This chapter is based on Joshua 9 and 10.
From Shechem the Israelites returned to their encampment at Gilgal. Here a strange deputation represented that they had come from a distant country. This seemed to be confirmed by their appearance. Their clothing was old and worn, their sandals patched, their provisions moldy, and the skins that served them for wine bottles were rent and bound up as if hastily repaired on the journey.
In their “far off” home—professedly beyond the limits of Palestine—they had heard of the wonders which God had wrought, and had sent to make a league with Israel. The Hebrews had been specially warned against entering into any league with the idolaters of Canaan, and a doubt as to the truth of the strangers’ words arose in the minds of the leaders.
“Peradventure ye dwell among us,” they said. To this the ambassadors replied, “We are thy servants.” But when Joshua directly demanded of them, “Who are ye? and from whence come ye?” they added, “This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is moldy: and these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.”
The Hebrews “asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of