1 All the kings west of Jordan heard these things; the kings in the hills, and in the valleys, in all the coasts of the Great Mediterraean Sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite heard these things.
2 They gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord unanimouslyone purpose.
3 When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai,
4 They resorted to a ruse schemetrick. They acted as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, worn out, torn, and mended.
5 They had worn out and patched shoes on their feet, they wore old garments; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy.
6 They went to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel: »We come from a distant country, make a treaty with us.«
7 The men of Israel said to the Hivites: »Perhaps you live near us. How can we make a treaty with you?«
8 They said: »We are your servants.« Joshua said to them: »Who are you? Where do you come from?«
9 They said: »From a very far country, your servants came because of the name of Jehovah your God, for we have heard about him and all he did in Egypt;
10 »and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth.
11 »Our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying: Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them: »We are your servants. Therefore make a treaty with us.« «
12 »We took hot fresh bread for our provision out of our houses on the day we came to you. Now it is dry, and it is moldy:
13 »These bottles of wine, which we filled, were new and now they are cracked. Our garments and shoes have become old by reason of the very long journey.«
14 The men sampled their provisions but did not ask for counsel from Jehovah.
15 Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live. The leaders of the congregation ratified it by an oath.
16 At the end of three days after they had made a treaty with them, they heard that they were their neighbors, and that they lived among them.
17 The children of Israel journeyed to their cities on the third day. Their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim.
18 The children of Israel did not kill them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by Jehovah God of Israel. The entire congregation murmured against the princes.
19 But all the leaders said to the entire congregation: »We have sworn to them by Jehovah the God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
20 »This we will do to them. We will even let them live in case we become angry. This is because of the oath we swore to them.«
21 The leaders said to them: »Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water to the entire congregation as the leaders had promised them.
22 Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying: »Why did you deceive us, saying: We are very far from you when you dwell among us?
23 Now you are cursed, and none of you will be freed from being slaves, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.«
24 They answered Joshua: »For the reason that it was absolutely told to your servants, how Jehovah your God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and destroy all the inhabitants of the land. Therefore we were very afraid for our lives because of you. So we did this thing.
25 »Now we are in your hands. Do to us what seems good and right to you.«
26 Joshua saved them from the children of Israel. They did not kill them.
27 Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of Jehovah, even to this day, in the place he should choose.