You Have Not Because You Ask Not | Joshua 10
The Gibeonites Deceived The Israelites
The Gibeonites wanted to deceive the Israelites by using old clothing, stale bread, cracked wineskins, and other items to give the impression that they had traveled a long distance. They also wanted to deceive Joshua about their origin. They may have known that God had prohibited alliances with the Canaanites and that Israel was destroying the inhabitants of the Promised Land. However, they still thought they would be successful in their deception.
The Israelites may have felt ashamed, guilty, and betrayed by the Gibeonites’ deception. They may have even looked for other people to blame to avoid being blamed for their disobedience. But this is a very wrong interpretation.
The Gibeonites had been enemies of the Israelites for many centuries. They had been fighting Israel for several decades but could not defeat them. This was a humbling experience for the Israelites, and they began to doubt their loyalty and the ability of God to help them.
In response, the Israelites took the life of Achan and his children. This was the price for Achan’s rebellion against the LORD. The Israelites also burned the cities designated to be destroyed, destroying everything except for metals, which were to be placed in the treasury of the LORD.
Moreover, the Israelites did not circumcise the children until after crossing the Jordan River. The circumcision took several days. This is because they were very vulnerable to their enemies. After crossing the Jordan River, the enemies of Israel lost their courage and could not fight them. The Israelites, therefore, had to be very careful when circumcising their children.
The Gibeonites deceived Israel in a variety of ways. First, they deceived them with false words. The Gibeonites were clever in deception and painted a false picture of their long-distance travel and neighbors. They also deceived the Israelites by using false clothes and pretending to be their neighbors.
A false witness in the battle also deceived the Israelites. However, God assured Joshua that He would lead His people to victory. God also gave specific instructions about their strategy. As a result, the Israelites would be able to keep the spoils. If Achan had waited, he might have received those spoils.
The Gibeonites’ Leaders Deceived The Israelites
The leaders of Gibeon deceived the Israelites about their true origin. They claimed that they came from a foreign land. They also used other devices to strengthen their deception. In addition, they carefully crafted their story. Joshua and the leaders of Israel listened to this story.
Israel was under command to protect itself from pagan influences from nearby nations. Distant nations would be less likely to influence Israel. Israel acted as if the Gibeonites were a foreign people. As a result, they deceived the Israelites and took their food.
The Gibeonites’ leaders deceiving the Israelites was their only means of survival. Eventually, they were slaves to the Israelites, serving as woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly. This lasted for generations. They were later allotted to the tribe of Benjamin.
This deceitful strategy failed. Because the Gibeonites heard of Joshua’s battles against Ai and Jericho, they chose trickery over direct combat. This proved to be a costly mistake. But God was willing to forgive the Israelites despite the blunder.
The Gibeonites’ leaders deceiving the Israelites is an example of how not to go ahead with plans without seeking the blessing of God. After all, God had specifically forbidden the Israelites from making peace treaties with native Canaanite tribes. But, unfortunately, the Gibeonites’ leaders deceive the Israelites by displaying a timid spirit, providing them with food and clothing, and pretending to fear Yahweh to save their own lives.
Earlier, Rahab’s agreement with the spies preceded Israel’s attack on Jericho. In contrast, the Gibeonites’ treaty with Israel preceded the wars in Joshua 10. In addition, the Israelites were led by the Gibeonites to surrender their land. The Gibeonites’ leaders deceiving the Israelites led to a disastrous outcome for the Israelites.
Gibeonites’ leaders may have been seeking reconciliation with Israel, which would have given them a special priestly prerogative. However, they also asked for seven of Saul’s sons. They intended to impale these seven on the mountain before Yhwh.
The Gibeonites’ Leaders Betrayed The Israelites
Israel betrayed the Gibeonites in several ways. First, they betrayed Gibeonites by saying that the Israelites’ oath to protect Gibeon would keep them from attacking them. This was a lie; the Gibeonites’ leaders wanted to attack Israel, but they were prevented from doing so by Israel’s oath. They hoped their lives would be spared in exchange for a little freedom, which was the price of their captivity.
In addition, the Gibeonites’ leaders betrayed Israel by violating the treaty with the Israelites. They did so out of selfish ambition and did not consider God’s will in this matter. Because of this, Gibeonites were taken into slavery and made to work in menial jobs like gathering firewood and collecting water from deep wells.
Thankfully, God forgave Israel for the Gibeonites’ betrayal and continued to work out the overall plan for the nation. God saved the Israeli army from harm when they went to war against the Gibeonites. The sun was delayed by a full day during that war, proving God’s presence and power.
Despite this betrayal, the Israelites ultimately won the war. Gibeonites feared that the Israeli army was about to approach them, so they asked Joshua to make a peace treaty with them without consulting the Lord. They were also neighbors, so this ruse was necessary to preserve the Gibeonites.
Despite their betrayal, the Gibeonites were eventually fully assimilated into Israel. Moreover, they were the ones who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. However, the Gibeonites’ leaders betrayed the Israelites in several other ways. They were among the Israelites who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem after the exile.
Gibeonites betrayed the Israelites in Joshua 9. Although Joshua did not consult the Lord before making a treaty with the Gibeonites, they were under God’s curse for their deception. When Joshua discovered the deception, he did not destroy them. Instead, he cursed them.
The Gibeonites were aware that they would not survive without a peace treaty. Their leaders had already heard about Israel’s success in Egypt, but they still wanted to avoid a fight. Thus, they decided to make a peace treaty. They disguised themselves as people from a far-off land.
The Gibeonites Betrayed The Israelites
Gibeonites were a tribe of people living in the area around Israel. They betrayed the Israelites by forcing them to work for the assembly and the altar. This incident is related to the famine that occurred during the reign of David. During the famine, David sought the advice of an oracle to determine the cause. Instead, David discovered that Saul was responsible and summoned the Gibeonite leaders to determine the appropriate atonement. In the end, the Gibeonites killed seven descendants of Saul.
Israel defeated the Gibeonites because they used devious tactics to deceive them. This strategy was meant to show Israel that their oaths were sacred. Joshua hesitated to defend the Gibeonites, but God reminded him that estrangement affects those close to him. Ultimately, the Gibeonites were not fit to be part of the Israelites.
Gibeonites were Hivites. These people had deceived Israel into believing they were people of another land. The Gibeonites had been in Israel’s midst for years, but now, they were deceiving them. They proclaimed that they were not the inhabitants of their land but were part of it. In the process, they lied to Israel to get what they wanted.
In the book of Samuel, Gibeon is portrayed as a place of war between David and Saul. The prophet Jeremiah also alludes to this bloody battle at Gibeon in Chapter 28. However, the Gibeonite prophet Hananiah, who enjoys respect in Jerusalemite society, denies the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s message. As a result, he is cursed by Jeremiah and dies shortly afterward.
Joshua’s deception of the Gibeonites was crucial to the Israelites’ success in the conquest of the land. The Gibeonites lived in the area before the Israelites’ conquest of Jericho. As a result, they were forced to serve as water carriers and woodcutters for the Israelites. In the end, Joshua was able to make Gibeon a place of worship for the Israelites.
The Gibeonites betrayed the Jewish people, but this is not the only way that the Gibeonites betrayed Israel. Rahab, like the Gibeonites, was an archetypal Other that loomed over the biblical corpus. Her story illustrates the basic strategy used by disputed groups to affirm their affiliation with Israel.