Joshua, Chapter 9

- א ו ם -

The Gibeonites Form a Pact with the Israelites

After hearing about the Israelites’ military might and miraculous entry into the land, the Canaanite nations begin to form alliances. The Gibeonites, who live north of Jerusalem in the cities of Gibeon and Kiryat Ye’arim, are not interested in meeting this formidable enemy in battle. They therefore disguise themselves as poor foreigners and swear to a peace treaty with Joshua and the Israelites. Their scheme is later revealed when Joshua discovers that these men are in fact from the heartland of Canaan and are not impoverished. Nonetheless, the Israelites must keep their promise to not attack them. The two parties break bread and celebrate the pact. Joshua seeks to form covenants, create connections, and build bridges. He wants to bring people together in cooperation. Whoever doesn’t welcome the Israelites will suffer the consequences. Joshua teaches us that we must extend our hand in friendship and peace.

“together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord” (Joshua 9:2)

“and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy” (Joshua 9:4-5)

Affability is recognizing that all of creation is good, enabling us to enjoy life and the people around us.