15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace(A) with them to let them live,(B) and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near(C) them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth(D) and Kiriath Jearim.(E) 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath(F) to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.

The whole assembly grumbled(G) against the leaders, 19 but all the leaders answered, “We have given them our oath by the Lord, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now. 20 This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God’s wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath(H) we swore to them.” 21 They continued, “Let them live,(I) but let them be woodcutters and water carriers(J) in the service of the whole assembly.” So the leaders’ promise to them was kept.

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