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Text:

“But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 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. And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them” - Joshua 9:19-21.

Comment:

On discovering the trick played on them, Joshua called for them “Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us?” They told Joshua, “Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing.” They then offered to serve under any condition, even as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD - as long as their lives were preserved. - Joshua 9:22-27.

Though the elders of the Jews had made an error of judgment in believing the tale told by the Gibeonites they decided to accept the option that was practicable in the circumstances.  Though the Israelites were not happy with the elders for making a treaty on their behalf, they maintained the peace in view of the explanations given. People of God should be free and bold enough to speak out when they feel the laws of God or their rights had been violated.  The leaders should also be humble enough to truthfully explain to the people what they had done or are doing on the people's behalf. “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility…” - 1 Peter 5:5.

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