רבי חיים דוד הלוי, עשה לך רב ז:ע-עא
This means, according to the words of our Sages…there in Yevamot [78b-79a], that Saul did not actually kill even a single Gibeonite. Rather, his entire punishment was meted out on account of the fact that through his slaughter of the priests of God in Nob, the Gibeonites lost their livelihood…As the Gibeonites had no part or inheritance in the land, they could not support themselves through farming….And it is most obvious that, inasmuch as Joshua and the chieftains of the community had sworn to them [the Gibeonites] that they [the leadership of the people Israel] would sustain them (Joshua 9:20-21) — that is, that they [the leadership of the people Israel] would accomplish this by supplying them work whereby they could earn a livelihood — it is, therefore, the obligation of every government to be concerned for the subsistence of its citizens, whether they are permanent residents or strangers….And this we are also given to learn from their words: The Gibeonites were abandoned to die by famine…on account of the sin of Saul. And the entire people Israel saw and knew this, and not one person protested, not one demanded justice for the Gibeonites. [David Ellenson translation]
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. What does it mean that a government "be concerned for the subsistence of its citizens?"
2. How can a government go about doing this?
Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)