Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
Joshua 9 recounts the crafty deception practiced by the Gibeonite envoys (vv. 4-5) when they came to the camp of Israel to conclude a treaty of alliance and peace. They lied by saying that they had come “from a very far country” (v. 9) because of their admiration for the God of Israel, who had so wonderfully prospered His people.… Actually Gibeon was less than a day’s journey away. Unquestionably they had been guilty of misrepresentations and had lured Israel into an alliance by the use of deception. Under normal conditions, therefore, the Israelites would not have been obligated to keep their contract with them. Any court of law would have absolved them from adherence to their promises in view of the calculated deception practiced by the Gibeonites.
This however, was no ordinary contract engagement, for it was sealed by a solemn oath taken in the name of Yahweh their God. Since they did not first consult God about the matter, prior to entering into an agreement with these heathen Canaanites, they were bound to keep their covenant promises that had been sworn to in the name of Yahweh (v. 15)…. Failure to keep this covenant obligation was one of the offenses for which God visited judgment on Israel, because Saul had put some of the Gibeonites to death (2 Sam. 21:1-14) (Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), pp. 160-161)