1. The kings who lived west of the Jordan, on the mountain, on the plain and on the seacoast heard of these events. The Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites
2. made a pact and came to an agreement to fight as one against Joshua and Israel.
3. The inhabitants of Gibeon came to know what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,
4. and decided to deceive the Israelites. They prepared provisions for themselves, loaded some worn-out, torn and mended sacks and wineskins on their asses,
5. put on worn-out and patched sandals and clothes. For their journey, they brought some dry bread, broken into pieces.
6. Then they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him: "We come from a far land to make a pact with you."
7. The Israelites answered: "Do you live near us? If so, then we cannot make a pact with you."
8. They answered Joshua: "We are your servants." And Joshua asked them: "Who are you? Where do you come from?"
9. They answered: "Your servants come from a very far country and through the greatness of Yahweh, your God, we came to know of his power and all that he did in Egypt
10. and with the two kings of the Amorites who reigned in the eastern part of the Jordan - Sihon, the king of Heshbon, and Og, the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth.
11. The leaders and the rest of the inhabitants of our country told us: 'Take provisions for a long journey, go out to meet them and say to them: We are your servants; may you make a covenant with us.'
12. Look at our bread which was warm when we took it from our houses to come and meet you, but see how dry it has become and how it has broken into pieces.
13. These wineskins that we filled up with wine were new, now they are ripped and worn-out. The clothes and sandals that we use have worn out because of the very long journey."
14. The Israelites shared their food with them without having asked Yahweh what must be done.
15. Joshua made a covenant with them without waiting for any answer from Yahweh. So he as well as the leaders of the community promised to let them live.
16. Three days later, the Israelites learned that these people lived near their own territory.
17. On hearing this, the Israelites set out and entered their cities: Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim.
18. They spared their lives because of what the leaders of the people had sworn to them by the name of Yahweh.
19. But all the people criticized their leaders. Then all the leaders said to them: "We have sworn by the name of Yahweh, therefore, we cannot kill them.
20. But this we can do: we shall let them live so that the anger of Yahweh may not be upon us,
21. but they shall serve by cutting firewood and fetching water for the community of Israel."
22. Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and told them about the decision of the leaders: "Why did you deceive us and say to us that you come from very far when in fact, you live right in our midst?
23. Henceforth, you are cursed and shall always cut wood and fetch water for the House of my God."
24. The Gibeonites answered: "We came to know that Yahweh had commanded Moses to destroy all the inhabitants of the land he gave you. We were afraid so we opted for this measure.
25. And now, we are in your hands: do with us whatever seems good and just to you."
26. Joshua fulfilled his promise and did not let the Israelites kill them.
27. But from that day on, they cut firewood and fetched water for the whole community and for the altar of Yahweh in the place he would choose.