The Meaning of Joshua 9:15 Explained

Joshua 9:15

KJV: And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.

YLT: and Joshua maketh with them peace, and maketh with them a covenant, to keep them alive; and swear to them do the princes of the company.

Darby: And Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the princes of the assembly swore unto them.

ASV: And Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.

What does Joshua 9:15 Mean?

Context Summary

Joshua 9:1-15 - Deceived By The Gibeonites
The presence of common peril forced the nations of Canaan to combine for self-preservation. Would that the various sections of the visible Church might see their way to a similar policy in view of the evil in the world!
Gibeon lay five miles north of Jerusalem. The name means "built on a hill." The Church has suffered more from the wiles of the devil than from his attacks. The deceitfulness of sin is most to be dreaded. Better to meet Caiaphas than Judas, and a black devil than a white one.
How often we act without asking the counsel of God! Yet when once an oath is taken which does not absolutely conflict with morality, God holds us to it, 2 Samuel 21:1. By this impressive instance we are taught to wait on God before making our decisions, which are apt to become irrevocable, Psalms 127:2. [source]

Chapter Summary: Joshua 9

1  The kings combine against Israel
3  The Gibeonites by craft obtain a league
22  They are condemned to perpetual bondage

What do the individual words in Joshua 9:15 mean?

So made with them Joshua peace and made a covenant to let them live and swore to them the rulers of the congregation
וַיַּ֨עַשׂ לָהֶ֤ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ שָׁל֔וֹם וַיִּכְרֹ֥ת בְּרִ֖ית לְחַיּוֹתָ֑ם וַיִּשָּׁבְע֣וּ לָהֶ֔ם נְשִׂיאֵ֖י הָעֵדָֽה

וַיַּ֨עַשׂ  So  made 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָשָׂה 
Sense: to do, fashion, accomplish, make.
לָהֶ֤ם  with  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙  Joshua 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יְהֹושֻׁעַ  
Sense: son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim and successor to Moses as the leader of the children of Israel; led the conquest of Canaan.
שָׁל֔וֹם  peace 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: שָׁלֹום  
Sense: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.
וַיִּכְרֹ֥ת  and  made 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּרַת  
Sense: to cut, cut off, cut down, cut off a body part, cut out, eliminate, kill, cut a covenant.
בְּרִ֖ית  a  covenant 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: בְּרִית  
Sense: covenant, alliance, pledge.
לְחַיּוֹתָ֑ם  to  let  them  live 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Piel, Infinitive construct, third person masculine plural
Root: חָיָה  
Sense: to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live for ever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health.
וַיִּשָּׁבְע֣וּ  and  swore 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Nifal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: שָׁבַע  
Sense: to swear, adjure.
לָהֶ֔ם  to  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
נְשִׂיאֵ֖י  the  rulers 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: נָשִׂיא 
Sense: one lifted up, chief, prince, captain, leader.
הָעֵדָֽה  of  the  congregation 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: עֵדָה  
Sense: congregation, gathering.