Webster Bible Translation
The Deceit of the Gibeonites
1And it came to pass, when all the kings who were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite heard these things, 2That they assembled themselves, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.
3And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, 4They did work craftily, and went and made as if they had been embassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; 5And old shoes and patched upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. 6And they went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him, and to the men of Israel, We have come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. 7And the men of Israel said to the Hivites, It may be ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? 8And they said to Joshua, we are thy servants. And Joshua said to them, Who are ye? and whence come ye? 9And they said to him, From a very far country thy servants have come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, 10And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth. 11Wherefore our elders, and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us: 12This 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 it is moldy: 13And these bottles of wine which we filled, were 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 took of their provisions, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD. 15And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation swore to them.
16And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors, and that they dwelt among them. 17And the children of Israel journeyed, and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim. 18And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. 19But all the princes said to all the congregation, We have sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 20This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we swore to them. 21And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.
22And Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, Why have ye deceived us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us? 23Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bond-men, 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 servants, how the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were greatly afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing. 25And now, behold, we are in thy hand: do as it seemeth good and right to thee to do to us, 26And so did he to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. 27And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even to this day, in the place which he should choose.