1 WHEN ALL the kings beyond the Jordan in the hill country and in the lowland and all along the coast of the Great [Mediterranean] Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites heard this,
2 They gathered together with one accord to fight Joshua and Israel.
3 But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,
4 They worked cunningly, and went pretending to be ambassadors and took [provisions and] old sacks on their donkeys and wineskins, old, torn, and mended,
5 And old and patched shoes on their feet and wearing old garments; and all their supply of food was dry and moldy.
6 And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, We have come from a far country; so now, make a covenant with us.
7 But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, Perhaps you live among us; how then can we make a covenant with you?
8 They said to Joshua, We are your servants. And Joshua said to them, Who are you? From where have you come?
9 They said to him, From a very far country your servants have come because of the name of the Lord your God. For we have heard the fame of Him, and all that He did in Egypt,
10 And all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth.
11 So our elders and all the residents of our country said to us, Take provisions for the journey and go to meet [the Israelites] and say to them, We are your servants; and now make a covenant with us.
12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we set out to go to you; but now behold, it is dry and has become moldy.
13 These wineskins (bottles) which we filled were new, and behold, they are torn; and our garments and our shoes have become old because of the very long journey.
14 So the [Israelite] men partook of their food and did not consult the Lord.
15 Joshua made peace with them, covenanting with them to let them live, and the assembly's leaders swore to them.
16 Then three days after they had made a covenant with [the strangers, the Israelites] heard that they were their neighbors and that they dwelt among them.
17 And the Israelites set out and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim.
18 But the Israelites did not slay them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, [to spare them]. And all the assembly murmured against the leaders.
19 But all the leaders said to all the assembly, We have sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, so now we may not touch them.
20 This we will do to them: we will let them live, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them.
21 And the leaders said to them, Let them live [and be our slaves]. So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the assembly, just as the leaders had said of them.
22 Joshua called the men and said, Why did you deceive us, saying, We live very far from you, when you dwell among us?
23 Now therefore you are cursed, and of you there shall always be slaves, hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.
24 They answered Joshua, Because it was surely told your servants that the Lord your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land and to destroy all the land's inhabitants from before you. So we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
25 And now, behold, we are in your hand; do as it seems good and right in your sight to do to us.
26 So he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the Israelites, so that they did not kill them.
27 But Joshua then made them hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, to this day, in the place which He should choose.