Three days after they had made the agreement, the Israelites learned that the Gibeonites lived nearby.
So the Israelites went to where they lived and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim.
But the Israelites did not attack those cities, because they had made a promise to them before the Lord, the God of Israel. All the Israelites grumbled against the leaders.
But the leaders answered, "We have given our promise before the Lord, the God of Israel, so we cannot attack them now.
This is what we must do. We must let them live. Otherwise, God's anger will be against us for breaking the oath we swore to them.
So let them live, but they will cut wood and carry water for our people." So the leaders kept their promise to them.
Joshua called for the Gibeonites and asked, "Why did you lie to us? Your land was near our camp, but you told us you were from a far country.
Now, you will be placed under a curse to be our slaves. You will have to cut wood and carry water for the house of my God."
The Gibeonites answered Joshua, "We lied to you because we were afraid you would kill us. We heard that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses to give you all of this land and to kill all the people who lived in it. That is why we did this.
Now you can decide what to do with us, whatever you think is right."
So Joshua saved their lives by not allowing the Israelites to kill them,