1 Now when the kings of the surrounding land

            West of the Jordan heard about these things–

            Those in the hills, the valleys and the coast

Along the Great Sea far as Lebanon

            (The kings who ruled the Hittites, Amorites,

            Kings of the Canaanites and Perizzites,

Kings of the Hivites and the Jebusites)–

            2 They soon combined their armies to make war

            On Joshua and the Israelites, 3 but when

The citizens of Gibeon heard what

            Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,

            4 They practiced trickery to save themselves:

They sent ambassadors to Joshua who wore

            Old clothes, as though from a long journey, 5 with

            Patched shoes, with weather-beaten saddlebags

Upon their donkeys and patched wineskins, and

            Their bread was dry and moldy, 6 then they went

            To Joshua in the camp of Israel

At Gilgal, and told Joshua and the men

            Of Israel, “Our land is far away.

            We’ve come to ask that you make peace with us.”

7 The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But

            Perhaps you live nearby, for if you do,

            We cannot make a treaty with you.” 8 They

Told Joshua, “We’re your servants,” but he asked,

            “But who are you? Where do you come from?” 9 They

            Replied, “We’re from a very distant land.

We’ve heard about the power of the LORD 

            Your God, and all he did in Egypt, 10  and

            All that he did to the two Amorite

Kings–Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og

            The king of Bashan, once in Ashtaroth.

            11 Our elders and our people told us, ‘Take

Provisions for your journey; go and meet

            The Israelites and say to them, “We are

            Your servants; let’s have peace.’” 12 This bread

Was oven-hot when loaded for this trip

            The day we left to come to you, but now

            You see how dry and moldy it’s become.

13 These wineskins that we filled were new; but see

            How cracked they are. Our clothes and sandals have

            Become worn out because of our long trip.”

14 The men of Israel tried out their food

            But did not ask direction from the LORD,

            15 Then Joshua made a treaty with them, which

Israeli leaders ratified by oath.

            16 Three days went by before they learned the facts:

            The Gibeonites were neighbors, living near

To them, 17 so Israelites set out and on

            The third day reached their cities: Gibeon,

            Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath

Jearim, 18 but the Israelites did not

            Attack them, for their leaders had declared

            An oath to them before the LORD, the God

Of Israel. The whole assembly was

            Upset, 19 but all the leaders answered, “We

            Have given them our oath before the LORD,

The God of Israel, that we won’t touch

            Them, and we won’t. 20 We’ll let them live, for if

            We break our oath, the wrath of God will be

Upon us.” 21 They continued, “Let them live

            As servants, chopping wood and carrying

            Our water. So the leaders’ promise was

Maintained, 22 then Joshua had the leaders of

            The Gibeonites appear to him and asked,

            “Why have you lied to us by saying you

Lived in a distant land, when really you

            Live here among us? 23 Now a curse shall be

            Upon you! You will never cease to serve

As woodcutters and water carriers

            In service to our God.” 24 They answered him,

            “Your servants were informed Jehovah had

Commanded his disciple Moses to

            Take over this whole land and wipe out all

            Of its inhabitants. We feared we’d lose

Our lives because of you; that’s why we have

            Done this. 25 Now we are in your hands. Do what

            Seems good and right to you,” 26 so Joshua saved

Them from the Israelites, who did not kill

            Them. 27 On that day he made the Gibeonites

            Be woodcutters and water carriers

For the Israelites and the altar of

            The LORD, whatever place the LORD would say

            For them to build, which they are to this day.