over against mount Ebal
8:33 over against mount Ebal. See notes on Deuteronomy 11:29; 27:12.
8:35 not a word. In obedience to Moses’ command (Deuteronomy 31:11-13; etc.), Joshua read every word of the record written down by Moses at the altar of whole stones (Joshua 8:30-32) built by him on Mount Ebal, the people evidently standing all the while (Joshua 8:33). This ceremony again confirms both the Mosaic authorship and the verbal inerrancy of these Scriptures, as well as the reverent obedience with which they should be received.
9:3 Gibeon. Gibeon, a city of the Hivites, was a city between Bethel and Jerusalem. The inhabitants of Gibeon knew they were also under God’s condemnation, like the inhabitants of Jericho and Ai, and thus were in imminent danger of destruction. Hence their stratagem of pretending they were from a distant land not under God’s judgment.