New International Version
This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God's wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them."
King James Bible
This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.
Darby Bible Translation
This we will do to them, and let them live, lest wrath come upon us, because of the oath which we swore unto them.
World English Bible
This we will do to them, and let them live; lest wrath be on us, because of the oath which we swore to them."
Young's Literal Translation
this we do to them, and have kept them alive, and wrath is not upon us, because of the oath which we have sworn to them.'
Joshua 9:20 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
We have sworn unto them - Although the Israelites were deceived in this business, and the covenant was made on a certain supposition which was afterwards proved to have had no foundation in truth, and consequently the whole engagement on the part of the deceived was hereby vitiated and rendered null and void; yet, because the elders had eaten with them, offered a covenant sacrifice, and sworn by Jehovah, they did not consider themselves at liberty to break the terms of the agreement, as far as the lives of the Gibeonites were concerned. That their conduct in this respect was highly pleasing to God is evident from this, that Joshua is nowhere reprehended for making this covenant, and sparing the Gibeonites; and that Saul, who four hundred years after this thought himself and the Israelites loosed from this obligation, and in consequence oppressed and destroyed the Gibeonites, was punished for the breach of this treaty, being considered as the violator of a most solemn oath and covenant engagement. See 2 Samuel 21:2-9, and Ezekiel 17:18, Ezekiel 17:19. All these circumstances laid together, prove that the command to destroy the Canaanites was not so absolute as is generally supposed: and should be understood as rather referring to the destruction of the political existence of the Canaanitish nations, than to the destruction of their lives. See the notes on Deuteronomy 20:10, Deuteronomy 20:17.
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but all the leaders answered, "We have given them our oath by the LORD, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now.
They continued, "Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers in the service of the whole assembly." So the leaders' promise to them was kept.
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