Joshua and the Gibeonites – Joshua 9
In another story, we learned about the fall of the great city of Jericho, of how the Israelites walked around the city 6 times while the priests blew the trumpets, and how on the 7th day the people shouted and the walls fell down.
Now after that all the kings that were in the hills and in the valleys heard about the fall of the great city Jericho, and they gathered together and fought with Joshua and with Israel.
But there was a city called Gibeon, and it was a city near to where Israel was camped. When the people who lived in the city heard what Joshua had done to Jericho, some of the people made a plan of how they could make peace with the children of Israel. They called themselves “ambassadors” and they decided to pretend that they came from a far away place. So they put old sacks upon their donkeys, and old wine bottles, and they put old shoes upon their feet, and they dressed in old clothes, and all the bread that they took was dry and mouldy.
And so they came to a place called Gilgal, where the children of Israel were camped, and they said “We have come from a far country, and we want you to make an agreement with us.” But the men of Israel said to them, “Maybe you will live among us, how can we make an agreement with you?” And so they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” When Joshua asked them who they were and where they came from, they said “Your servants have come from a very far country because of the name of the LORD your God: for we have heard all about him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he has done here. And so our elders and all the people who live in our country spoke to us and told us to take food for the journey and go to meet you and say that we are your servants, and therefore we want you to make an agreement with us. This is our bread that we took on the day that we left our houses, look, it is dry and moldy. These bottles of wine were new, but look, now they are torn, and look at our clothes, they have become old because the journey took so long.” So Joshua and his men believed them because of the way they looked, and they did not ask the advice of the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them, and made an agreement with them to let them live, and they made promises to them.
And it happened after they made peace with them that Joshua learned that the Gibeonites were actually their neighbors, only three days away. But the children of Israel did not kill them, because of the agreement that they had made. And Joshua called for them, and he said “Why did you deceive us saying that you lived far from us, when you live near us? Now you are cursed, and you will be servants. You will cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.”
The Gibeonites said “It was told to us how the LORD your God commanded Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the people who lived there, and we were afraid for our lives because of you, and so that is why we did this thing. And now we are in your hands, so do what seems good and right to you.” So Joshua delivered the Gibeonites out of the hands of the children of Israel, and Joshua made them cut wood and carry water for Israel, and for the altar of the LORD.
Memory Verse: Joshua 9:9 “…from a very far country your servants are come because of the name of the LORD your God.”
1 Why did the Gibeonites want to make peace with Joshua and the children of Israel? Answer: They were afraid because they had heard that the LORD had commanded all the people to be destroyed.
2 What did they do to make themselves look like they came from a far country? Answer: They put old sacks on their donkeys, carried old wine bottles, wore old clothes, and carried moldy bread.
3 What do you think was a mistake that Joshua made? Answer: They didn’t ask advice of the LORD
4 How far away did the Gibeonites actually live? Answer: Three days journey
5 What did the Gibeonites have to do for the children of Israel? Answer: They had to cut wood and carry water to all the children of Israel, and for the altar of the LORD.