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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Joshua 9

Verses 1-27

Joshua 9. The Stratagem of the Gibeonites.— This account, though composite, is straightforward enough if Joshua 9:17-21 be omitted. These verses give an account by the priestly writer in which the princes of the congregation” take the leading part, and make a treaty which immediately afterwards is made again by Joshua Joshua 9:22 is plainly the continuation of Joshua 9:16. That a treaty was made with the Gibeonites at an early date is a historical fact, but that treaty was very far from making them hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Temple ( Joshua 9:23; Joshua 9:27), which, of course, did not yet exist. We read in 2 Samuel 21 that a three years’ famine which occurred was considered to be a punishment on Israel for an attempt made by Saul to extirpate the Gibeonites in spite of the existence of an alliance. This looks as if the Gibeonites were independent allies. If so, they were not reduced until the time of Solomon, when with the rest of the Canaanites they were made to furnish labourers for Solomon’ s building operations (see 1 Kings 9:21 ff.) including, of course, the Temple— the house of Yahweh. The words “ hewer of wood and drawer of water” in Deuteronomy 29:10 show that the phrase simply means menial labourers, and it is with this meaning that the words were used in the earlier narrative. The Priestly writer is responsible for turning it into the definite meaning of Temple servants.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Joshua 9". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.