Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 9:1

Now it came about when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country and in the lowland and on all the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, heard of it,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Alliances;   Hittites;   Hivites;   Joshua;   Lebanon;   Mediterranean Sea;   Thompson Chain Reference - Great;   Hivites;   Mediterranean Sea;   Sea;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Amorites;   Palestine;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - All-Sufficiency of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Hill;   Hittites;   Plain;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hill;   Hittites;   Hivites;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Conquest of Canaan;   Covenant;   Eglon;   Gibeon;   Joshua, the Book of;   Perizzites;   Prayer;   Valley;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gibeon;   Israel;   Joshua;   Lebanon;   Stranger;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Perizzites ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Hills;   Hit'tits;   Vale, Valley;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beyond;   Coast;   Haven;   Hill;   Joshua, Book of;   Judah, Territory of;   Lowland;   Mediterranean Sea;   Shephelah;   Shore;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And it came to pass, when all the kings - heard thereof - From this account it appears that the capture and destruction of Jericho and Ai had been heard of to the remotest parts of the land, that a general fear of the Israelitish arms prevailed, and that the different dynasties or petty governments into which the land was divided, felt all their interests at stake, and determined to make the defense of their country a common cause. This was the most prudent step they could take in their circumstances, and therefore they entered into a confederation in order to arrest the progress of the Israelites. The Great Sea mentioned here is the Mediterranean Sea, the coasts of which were inhabited by the Phoenicians, Syrians, Sidonians, and Philistines. It is very likely that all these united with the Canaanites for their common safety.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-9.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

A sharp focus upon another mistake of the Israelites is provided in Joshua 9, that mistake being their covenant with the Gibeonites to spare them from the kind of destruction that had been executed upon Jericho and Ai. Critical assaults upon this chapter are totally frustrated by a number of facts:

(1) The narrative itself is skillfully presented with a perfection that effectively denies the designation of the chapter as a composite of several narratives from different sources. As Woudstra stated it, "The narrator's skill ... argues against considering the chapter to be a composite of a variety of traditions, patched together so that the seams show in several places."[1]

(2) Critical scholars have been unable to reach any consensus whatever in their vain efforts to identify portions of the chapter with diverse sources. The questions that might be raised remain "unsolved by textual criticism."[2]

(3) Even the critical fancy of moving the date of the passage to the period of the exile, or later, is today widely rejected. Sizoo noted that:

"The fact that such a pact (as the one related in this chapter) existed is attested by 2 Samuel 21:2. Even if that verse is called a gloss (which is the customary device of critics in dealing with passages that contradict their theories), the context clearly reflects a treaty violation by Saul. If such a treaty existed in Saul's day, there is no reason to suppose that it did not date back to the time of the Conquest.[3] (The comments in parenthesis are mine, J.B.C.).

This chapter further reveals what is increasingly evident, that Joshua, like the entire Pentateuch, is in no sense a chronological account of all that Israel did. The Book of Joshua does not give us a thorough, item-by-item account of the conquest of Canaan, but, on the other hand, it relates the events which are pertinent to the redemptive purpose of God. Although Israel did indeed CONQUER all of Canaan, they did NOT drive out all of the Canaanites as God had commanded them, and this chapter relates primarily to that failure on Israel's part.

"And it came to pass when the kings that were beyond the Jordan, in the hill-country, and in the lowland, and all the shore of the Great Sea in front of Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanites, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof, that they gathered themselves together to light with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord."

The hill-country, the lowland, and the seacoast were the three geographical divisions of Palestine, and the picture here is simply that of a coalition of many of the kings of Canaan, forced by the fear that fell upon all of them as a result of Israel's victories at Jericho and Ai. They were too late with this. They had been forewarned of what Israel intended to do ever since the crossing of the Red Sea, but they still waited until Joshua and the Israelites were practically upon them before they acted. From the human standpoint, their coalition against Israel was a good thing. As Matthew Henry said:

"Oh that Israel (the Church) would learn this of the Canaanites, to sacrifice private interests to the public welfare, and to lay aside all animosities among themselves, that they may cordially unite against the common enemies of God's Kingdom among men."[4]

"Which were beyond Jordan ..." "Seventeen times in the Book of Joshua, this expression refers to the area east of Jordan, but here it refers to the area west of Jordan."[5] We have seen in previous O.T. books that this expression is worthless in determining either the identity or the location of the writer.

"The Great Sea in front of Lebanon ..." The Great Sea here is, of course, the Mediterranean but the expression, "in front of Lebanon" is evidently a mistranslation, for the simple reason that in the terminology of those days, "in front of" invariably meant "east of."[6] The Mediterranean, of course, is west of Lebanon. The most recent scholarship confirms this judgment by rendering the phrase, "toward Lebanon," instead of "east of Lebanon."[7]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan,.... On the side Israel now were, and was that in which the land of Canaan lay, and was now governed by many kings, and all that were now remaining, even all but the kings of Jericho and Ai, who were slain: both those

in the hills, and in the valleys; that dwelt in the mountainous part of the country, and in the plains of it:

and in all the coasts of the great sea, over against Lebanon; who inhabited and governed in that part of the country which lay on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, the country of Phoenicia, in which were Tyre, Sidon, and other cities, and were over against Mount Lebanon, which was on the northern part of the country; according to the Latin version, they dwelt near Lebanon; and according to the Septuagint, near Antilibanus. It seems best, with NoldiusF7Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 80. No. 370. , to render the words, "even unto Lebanon", for it designs all the sea coasts reaching to it; for all the maritime coasts did not lie over against it:

the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof; what they heard is not said, but to be understood; particularly they heard what had been done by Joshua, and the people of Israel, to Jericho and Ai: and their kings, Joshua 9:3. Some think, as Abarbinel, that they had heard of the altar Joshua had made, and of the stones he had set up, and of his reading the law to the people, by which they were to be governed; all which they understood as taking possession of the country, and looking upon it as conquered, and obliging his people to swear fealty to him. All the nations of Canaan are mentioned but the Gergasites; which, according to the Jewish writers, are omitted, because they were but few; the Septuagint version has them in some copies.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it came to pass, when all the kings which a [were] on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the b great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard [thereof];

(a) In respect to the plain of Moab.

(b) The main sea called the Mediterranean.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-9.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Joshua 9:1-27. The kings combine against Israel.

all the kings which were on this side — that is, the western side of Jordan.

in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea — This threefold distinction marks out very clearly a large portion of Canaan. The first designates the hill country, which belonged afterwards to the tribes of Judah and Ephraim: the second, all the low country from Carmel to Gaza; and the third, the shores of the Mediterranean, from the Isthmus of Tyre to the plain of Joppa. (As for the tribes mentioned, see on Numbers 13:29).

heard thereof - that is, of the sacking of Jericho and Ai, as well as the rapid advance of the Israelites into the interior of the country.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-9.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This chapter relates to us, the confederacy formed by the several kings of Canaan to fight against Israel. The subtilty of Gibeon, to make peace with Israel; and the event of their craft, in being made servants to Israel.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-9.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 9:1 And it came to pass, when all the kings which [were] on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard [thereof];

Ver. 1. The Hittite and the Amorite.] Some say the Girgashites are not here named, because that, of all the seven nations, they accepted of conditions; of peace; the rest, save only the Gibeonites, who were of the Hivites, [Joshua 9:7] stood it out to their utter destruction. If men harden their hearts, God will harden his hand, and hasten their ruin.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 1. And it came to pass, when all the kings, &c.— The success of Joshua's arms in the eastern part of the land of Canaan, soon struck with terror those princes whose territories lay to the west of that country. The fright was general, even to the mountains inhabited by the Amorites on the south, (Deuteronomy 7:19-20.) upon the coasts of the Mediterranean, where the Canaanites, properly so called, had their settlements; and to Lebanon, which bounded the Promised Land on the north. See on Deuteronomy 20:17 and hereafter on chap Joshua 16:10.

The great sea over against Lebanon The Mediterranean sea as far as to Lebanon. See Nold. 80. 831.

Note; 1. Those whom God means to destroy, are generally infatuated with malice and revenge. The enemies of God's people, however divided among themselves, are unanimous to oppose the truth: Deists, Arians, Socinians, Formalists, moral or profane, Conformists, or Separatists, all unite against the spiritual seed. 3. When we see the world so leagued together against the truth, surely they who are faithful should overlook their trivial differences in unessentials, and, laying every cause of dispute aside, join heart and hand against their common enemy.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-9.html. 1801-1803.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE CANAANITES CONFEDERATED, Joshua 9:1-2.

1.All the kings — Palestine was divided into many petty sovereignties, the heads of which were dignified by this title.

This side Jordan — Literally, beyond Jordan, but meaning here, as the context shows, the west side of Jordan. See note on Joshua 1:14.

In the hills — Or, in the mountain. The reference is to the entire mountain range which forms the backbone of Palestine.

In the valleys — Or, in the Shephelah. This word designates the maritime plain of Philistia, and might well be translated the low countries.

Great sea — The Mediterranean.

Coasts’ over against Lebanon — The Phenician plain. Canaanites from even these remoter parts joined this confederacy. On the Canaanitish tribes here mentioned, see note on Joshua 3:10.

Heard thereof — Not of the demonstration at Ebal and Gerizim, but of the rapid conquests of Joshua. The word thereof, supplied by our translators, is better omitted.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-9.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

These things. The solemn covenant by which the Israelites took possession of Chanaan, (Haydock) and the destruction of two cities of Jericho and Hai. (Calmet) --- The kings on that side of the Jordan, and in all the neighbourhood, perceiving that, if the Israelites were suffered to attack them singly, in this manner, they would all presently lose their dominions and their lives. They resolved, therefore, to form a general league, offensive and defensive. (Haydock) --- Beyond. Hebrew, "on the side of." --- Mountains, on the south of Judea. --- Sea. All the nations of Phoenicia, and the country of the Philistines, (Calmet) who had seized a part of the country, which belonged to the Israelites. Josue divided their territory among the people, though he did not live to make the conquest of it. (Haydock) --- Libanus. Hebrew, "and in all the coasts of the great sea, over-against Libanus," as if the Phœnicians were alone meant. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the Canaanite, the Perizzite. Some codices, with two early printed editions, read "and the Canaanite and the Perizzite".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;

All the kings which were on this side - i:e., the western side of Jordan.

In the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea. This threefold distinction marks out very clearly a large portion of Canaan. The first designates the hill country, which belonged afterward to the tribes of Judah and Ephraim; the second, all the low country from Carmel to Gaza; and the third, the shores of the Mediterranean from the isthmus of Tyre to the plain of Joppa. This designation, "the great sea," is in several other passages applied to that part of the Mediterranean which washed the coast of Canaan (Numbers 34:6; Joshua 1:4; Joshua 15:12; Ezekiel 47:20). As for the tribes mentioned, see the note at Joshua 3:10.

Heard thereof - that is, of the sacking of Jericho and Ai, as well as the rapid advance of the Israelites into the interior of the country.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-9.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;
all the kings
10:2-5,23,28-39; 11:1-5,10,11; 12:7-24
on this
1:15; 3:17; 5:1; 22:4,7; Deuteronomy 4:49
of the great
1:4; 15:12; 23:4; Numbers 34:6
Lebanon
11:17; 12:7; 13:5; Deuteronomy 3:25
Hittite
24:11; Genesis 15:18-21; Exodus 3:17; 23:23,31; 34:11; Deuteronomy 7:1
Reciprocal: Exodus 3:8 - Canaanites;  Deuteronomy 1:1 - on this;  Joshua 6:27 - his fame;  Joshua 10:5 - GeneralJoshua 11:16 - hills;  Joshua 12:8 - the Hittites;  Judges 3:5 - Canaanites;  1 Chronicles 1:13 - Heth;  Nehemiah 9:8 - the Canaanites

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-9.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.And it came to pass when all the kings, etc. As the arrival of the people was well known to these kings from the very first, it is certain that their minds were intoxicated from above with security or lethargy, so that they did not forthwith league together to oppose them. It implied excessive stupor not to provide for themselves till they were violently roused to exertion by the overthrow of two cities. (80) For as the war was common, it was a kind of voluntary surrender to send no aid to their neighbors, nay, to have no army ready, which might make a powerful impression for their defense. But in this way God spared the weakness of his people, to whom the combined forces of so many nations would have caused no small fear.

It is certain, then, that by the sloth and torpor of their enemies, the Israelites were rendered more expeditious. For an interval was, in the meanwhile, given them to compose themselves, and thus those whom the mere name of enemies might have alarmed, prepare leisurely to encounter them. (81) In the same way, although the reprobate are desirous, by every possible device, to destroy the Church, God, to take away their power of hurting her, scatters and confounds their counsels, nay, destroys their spirit. (82) On the other hand, these nations display their frantic audacity. Instead of being overcome by manifest miracle, they continue to rage like wild beasts against the unassailable power of God. A report of the taking of Jericho had reached them. Had it been overthrown by the counsel, or the acting, or the prowess, or the engines of men? Nay, the walls had fallen of their own accord. With what confidence then can they league to take up arms against heaven?

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 9:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-9.html. 1840-57.