And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side the Jordan, in the hill-country, and in the lowland, a and along all the coast of the great sea as far as opposite to Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard [of it],
that they assembled together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. b3
And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai,
then they also acted with craft, and they went prepared as on a journey, c and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-flasks, old and rent and tied up;
and old and patched sandals upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry [and] mouldy.
And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said to him, and to the men of Israel, From a far country are we come; and now make d a covenant with us.
And the men of Israel said to the Hivite, Perhaps thou dwellest in the midst of us, and how should I e make a covenant with thee?
And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said to them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?
And they said to him, From a very far country are thy servants come, because of the name of Jehovah thy God; for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,
and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon the king of Heshbon, and to Og the king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.
And our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, Take victuals in your hand for the way, and go to meet them, and say to them, We are your servants, and now make a covenant with us.
This our bread we took warm for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; and now, behold, it is dry, and is become mouldy. f13
And these flasks of wine which we filled new, behold, they are rent; and these our garments and our sandals are become old by reason of the very long journey.
And the men took of their victuals, but they did not inquire at the mouth of Jehovah.
And Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the princes of the assembly swore unto them.
And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt in their midst.
And the children of Israel journeyed, and came to their cities on the third day; and their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim.
And the children of Israel did not smite them, because the princes of the assembly had sworn unto them by Jehovah the God of Israel. Then all the assembly murmured against the princes.
And all the princes said to all the assembly, We have sworn unto them by Jehovah the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them.
This we will do to them, and let them live, lest wrath come upon us, because of the oath which we swore unto them.
And the princes said to them, Let them live. And they were hewers of wood and drawers of water for all the assembly; as the princes had said to them.
And Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, Why have ye deceived us, saying, We are very far from you; whereas ye dwell in our midst?
And now ye are cursed, and ye shall never cease to be g bondmen, and hewers of wood, and drawers of water for the house of my God.
And they answered Joshua and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants how that Jehovah thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; and we feared greatly for our lives h because of you, and did this thing.
And now behold, we are in thy hand: as it is good and right in thine eyes to do to us, do.
And he did so to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, and they did not slay them.
And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the assembly, and for the altar of Jehovah, to this day, in the place which he should choose.