Joshua 9:16-27

Talks for Growing Christians

The Consequences of the Gibeonite Deception

Joshua 9:16-27

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Lesson Number 16

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Serious covenants made before God must be honored.
  2. Foolish covenants made before God may have long-term consequences.

Practical Application

  1. We don't have to be deceived.


  1. Was Israel defeated by the Gibeonites?
  2. Why did God command the Israelites to destroy the pagan nations from the land?
  3. Why didn't the children of Israel attack the cities allied with the Gibeonites?
  4. Why did the Israeli congregation complain about this?
  5. What role did the Gibeonites have with Israel?
  6. Why couldn't Israel just admit their mistake, break the covenant and do away with it?
  7. How did the covenant with the Gibeonites affect King Saul many years later?


  1. No, not defeated, but deceived.
  2. Because He did not want His people contaminated by the immoral and idolatrous pagan nations. See Deuteronomy 7:1-6. Israel was a holy people, chosen, a special treasure of the Lord.
  3. Because of their peace treaty and their oath with the Gibeonites, which included these people. See Joshua 9:17-18.
  4. Because of the treaty, they could not inhabit these cities and have use of the wells and vineyards.
  5. They became servants of the tabernacle and temple in Israel. Specifically, they were wood cutters and water carriers.
  6. Because it was a covenant made before God.
  7. See 2 Samuel 21. Seven of Saul's descendants were hanged following King Saul's murder of some Gibeonites.


  1. Israel was deceived into making a covenant with the enemy, and it had to be honored. Serious covenants made before God must be honored. Have you honored a covenant that you regretted making?
  2. Israel had to live with the consequences of their covenant long-term. Have you made foolish covenants that have had long-term consequences? What kind of fall-out did you endure? The good news? See 1 Chronicles 12:4 and Nehemiah 3:7. And in your case, expect a working for good in spite of your mistake. See Romans 8:28.


  1. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond your capacity to say "No." See 1 Corinthians 10:13. God will not allow any deceptive tactic of Satan to overtake you. In other words, you don't have to be deceived. Learn from past alliances with the world.

Key Verses

  • "We have sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel; now therefore, we may not touch them." (Joshua 9:19)
  • "Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers." (Joshua 9:21)
  • "Why have you deceived us?' 'We were afraid for our lives because of you." (Joshua 9:22, 24)

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