The treaty is an august instrument. Since antiquity, treaty-makers have recognized the sacrosanct nature of commitments embedded in treaty form. The Bible, for example, records the obligatory character of a treaty forged by Joshua and the Gibeonites. The Hebrew God had directed Israelites to destroy all neighbours living in the promised land of Canaan—‘save nothing alive that breathes’1—but permitted them to spare foreigners from distant lands. The inhabitants of Gibeon lived in Canaan and knew they faced extinction. They sent a mission to the Israelite leader,...
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full
to access all content.