1 And when these things were heard, all the kings across the Jordan, who lived among the mountains and plains, along the coastline and shores of the great sea, also those who were living near Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite,
2 gathered themselves together, so that they might fight against Joshua and Israel, with one mind and with the same resolve.
3 But those who were living in Gibeon, hearing all that Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,
4 planning cleverly, took for themselves provisions, placing old sacks upon their donkeys, and wineskins that had torn and been sewed up,
5 and having very old shoes, which had been sewn with patches indicating their age, and being clothed in old garments, having also loaves, which they carried as food for the journey, which were hard and broken into pieces.
6 And they traveled to Joshua, who at that time was staying in the camp at Gilgal. And they said to him, and to all of Israel with him, “We have come from a far away land, desiring to make peace with you.” And the sons of Israel responded to them, and said,
7 “Perhaps instead, you live in the land which ought to be ours by lot, and we would be unable to form a pact with you.”
8 But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” And Joshua said to them: “But who are you? And where are you from?”
9 They responded: “Your servants have arrived, from a very far away land, in the name of the Lord, your God. For we have heard about the fame of his power, all the things that he has done in Egypt,
10 and to the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan: Sihon, the king of Heshbon, and Og, the king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.
11 And our elders, and all the inhabitants of our land, have said to us: ‘Take in hand provisions for the very long journey, and meet with them, and say: We are your servants; form a pact with us.’
12 Lo, the loaves were taken up warm when we departed from our houses, so that we might come to you. Now they have become dry and broken, due to age.
13 These wineskins were new when we filled them, now they are torn and broken. The garments we are wearing, and the shoes we have on our feet, due to the great length of the distance, have become worn and are nearly consumed.”
14 And so they accepted this, because of their provisions, and they did not consult the mouth of the Lord.
15 And Joshua made peace with them, and entering into a pact, he promised that they would not be put to death. The leaders of the multitude also swore to them.
16 Then, three days after the pact was formed, they heard that they lived in the vicinity, and that they would soon be among them.
17 And so the sons of Israel moved the camp, and they arrived at their cities on the third day, those which are called: Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim.
18 And they did not strike them, because the leaders of the multitude had sworn to them in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. And so all of the common people murmured against the leaders.
19 And they responded to them: “We have sworn to them in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, and for that reason, we are not able to touch them.
20 But we shall do this to them: Certainly, let them be preserved so that they may live, lest the wrath of the Lord be stirred up against us, since we would have sworn falsely.
21 But though they live, let them serve the entire multitude by cutting wood and carrying water.” And while they were discussing these things,
22 Joshua called the Gibeonites, and he said to them: “Why would you be willing to deceive us by fraud, saying, ‘We live very far away from you,’ when you are in our midst?
23 Therefore, you shall be under a curse, and your stock shall not cease to be cutters of wood and carriers of water, into the house of my God.”
24 And they responded: “It was reported to us, your servants, that the Lord your God had promised his servant Moses that he would give you the entire land, and that he would destroy all its inhabitants. Therefore, we were very afraid, and we made a provision for our lives, compelled by the dread of you, and we undertook this counsel.
25 And now we are in your hand. Act toward us as it seems good and right to you.”
26 Therefore, Joshua did just as he had said, and he freed them from the hand of the sons of Israel, so that they would not be killed.
27 And he decreed on that day, that they would be in the ministry of all the people and of the altar of the Lord, cutting wood and carrying water, even until this present time, in the place which the Lord had chosen.