1And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan, in the mountains and in the valleys and in all the coast of the great sea over against Lebanon, heard these things, the Hittites and the Amorites the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites2gathered themselves together with one accord to fight with Joshua and with Israel.
3But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,4they worked with prudence and went and made as if they had been ambassadors and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old and rent and bound up,5and old patched shoes upon their feet, and old garments upon them, and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.6Thus they came unto Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said unto him and to the men of Israel, We are come from a far country; now, therefore, make ye a covenant with us.7And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us, and how shall we make a covenant with you?8And they said unto Joshua, We are thy slaves. And Joshua said unto them, Who are you and where do you come from?9And they said unto him, From very far lands thy slaves are come because of the name of the Lord thy God, for we have heard the fame of him and all that he did in Egypt10and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side of the Jordan, and to Sihon, king of Heshbon, and to Og, king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.11Therefore, our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, Take provision with you for the journey and go to meet them and say unto them, We are your slaves; therefore, now make ye a covenant with us.12This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to come unto you, but now, behold, it is dry and mouldy.13These bottles of wine, we also filled new, and, behold, they are rent, and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.14And the men of Israel took of their provision and did not ask counsel at the mouth of the Lord.
15And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; also the princes of the congregation swore unto them.16At the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, they heard how they were their neighbours and that they dwelt among them.17And the sons of Israel journeyed and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and Kirjathjearim.18And the sons of Israel did not smite them because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.19But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel; therefore, now we may not touch them.20This we will do to them; we will let them live lest wrath come upon us because of the oath which we swore unto them.21And the princes said unto them, Let them live but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation, as the princes had said unto them.
22And Joshua called for them, and spoke unto them saying, Why have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you, when ye dwell among us?23Now, therefore, ye are cursed, and ye shall always be slaves and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.24And they answered Joshua and said, Because it was certainly told thy slaves how the Lord thy God commanded his slave Moses that he was to give you the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; therefore, we feared greatly of our lives because of you and have done this thing.25And now, behold, we are in thy hand; as it seems good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.26And so did he unto them; he delivered them out of the hand of the sons of Israel, so that they did not slay them.27And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, in the place which he should choose; which they are even unto this day.