It happened, when all the kings who were beyond the Yarden, in the hill-country, and in the lowland, and on all the shore of the great sea in front of Levanon, the Hittite, and the Amori, the Kana`ani, the Perizzi, the Hivvi, and the Yevusi, heard of it;
that they gathered themselves together, to fight with Yehoshua and with Yisra'el, with one accord.
But when the inhabitants of Giv`on heard what Yehoshua had done to Yericho and to `Ai,
they also resorted to a ruse, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks on their donkeys, and wine-skins, old and torn and bound up,
and old and patched shoes on their feet, and old garments on them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and was become moldy.
They went to Yehoshua to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him, and to the men of Yisra'el, We are come from a far country: now therefore make you a covenant with us.
The men of Yisra'el said to the Hivvi, What if you dwell among us; and how shall we make a covenant with you?
They said to Yehoshua, We are your servants. Yehoshua said to them, Who are you? and from whence come you?
They said to him, From a very far country your servants are come because of the name of the LORD your God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Mitzrayim,
and all that he did to the two kings of the Amori, who were beyond the Yarden, to Sichon king of Heshbon, and to `Og king of Bashan, who was at `Ashtarot.
Our Zakenim and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, Take provision in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them, and tell them, We are your servants: and now make you a covenant with us.
This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go to you; but now, behold, it is dry, and is become moldy:
and these wine-skins, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they are torn: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
The men took of their provision, and didn't ask counsel at the mouth of the LORD.
Yehoshua made shalom with them, and made a covenant with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation swore to them.
It happened at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors, and that they lived among them.
The children of Yisra'el journeyed, and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Giv`on, and Kefirah, and Be'erot, and Kiryat-Ye`arim.
The children of Yisra'el didn't strike them, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Yisra'el. All the congregation murmured against the princes.
But all the princes said to all the congregation, We have sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Yisra'el: now therefore we may not touch them.
This we will do to them, and let them live; lest wrath be on us, because of the oath which we swore to them.
The princes said to them, Let them live: so they became wood cutters and drawers of water to all the congregation, as the princes had spoken to them.
Yehoshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, Why have you deceived us, saying, We are very far from you; when you dwell among us?
Now therefore you are cursed, and there shall never fail to be of you bondservants, both wood cutters and drawers of water for the house of my God.
They answered Yehoshua, and said, Because it was certainly told your servants, how that the LORD your God commanded his servant Moshe to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; therefore we were sore afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
Now, behold, we are in your hand: as it seems good and right to you to do to us, do.
So did he to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Yisra'el, that they didn't kill them.
That day Yehoshua made those wood cutters and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, to this day, in the place which he should choose.