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Joshua 9Amplified Bible (AMP)

Guile of the Gibeonites

Now when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country and in the lowland [at the western edge of the hills of Judea], and all along the coast of the Great [Mediterranean] Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, heard of this [army and its victories over Jericho and Ai], they gathered together with [a]one purpose to fight with Joshua and with Israel.

But when the people of Gibeon [the Hivites] heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they too acted craftily and cunningly, and set out and took along provisions, but took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins (leather bottles) that were worn out and split open and patched together, and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes; and all their supply of food was dry and had turned to crumbs. They went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; so now, make a covenant (treaty) with us.” But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you are living within our land; how then can we make a covenant (treaty) with you?” They said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” Then Joshua said to them, “Who are you, and where do you come from?” They said to him, “Your servants have come from a country that is very far away because of the fame of the Lord your God; for we have heard the news about Him and all [the remarkable things] that He did in Egypt, 10 and everything that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon the king of Heshbon and to Og the king of Bashan who lived in Ashtaroth. 11 So our elders and all the residents of our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for the journey and go to meet the sons of Israel and say to them, “We are your servants; now make a covenant (treaty) with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was hot (fresh) when we took it along as our provision from our houses on the day we left to come to you; now look, it is dry and has turned to crumbs. 13 These wineskins which we filled were new, and look, they are split; our clothes and our sandals are worn out because of the very long journey [that we had to make].” 14 So the men [of Israel] took some of their own provisions [and offered them in friendship], and [foolishly] did not ask for the counsel of the Lord. 15 Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant (treaty) with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation [of Israel] swore an oath to them.

16 It happened that three days after they had made a covenant (treaty) with them, the Israelites heard that they were [actually] their neighbors and that they were living among them. 17 Then the sons of Israel set out and came to their cities on the third day. Now the cities [of the Hivites] were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim. 18 But the sons of Israel did not strike them because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord the God of Israel [to spare them]. And all the congregation murmured [expressing great dissatisfaction] against the leaders. 19 But all the leaders said to the whole congregation, “We have sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, so now we cannot touch them. 20 This [is what] we will do to them: we will let them live, so that the wrath [of God] does not come upon us for [violating] the oath which we have sworn to them.” 21 The leaders said to them, “Let them live [as our slaves].” So they became the cutters and gatherers of firewood and water carriers for the entire congregation, just as the leaders had said of them.

22 Joshua called the [Hivite] men and said, “Why did you deceive us, saying, ‘We live very far away from you,’ when [in fact] you live among us? 23 Now therefore, you are cursed, and you shall always be slaves, both cutters and gatherers of firewood and water carriers for the house of my God.” 24 They replied to Joshua and said, “Because your servants were told in no uncertain terms that the Lord your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the land’s inhabitants before you, we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and so we did this [deceptive] thing. 25 Now look, we are in your hands; do to us as it seems good and right in your sight.” 26 So that is what he did to them; he rescued them from the hands of the Israelites and they did not kill them. 27 Now on that day Joshua made them cutters and gatherers of firewood and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, to this day, in the place which He would choose.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 9:2 Lit one mouth.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Joshua 9New International Version (NIV)

The Gibeonite Deception

Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things—the kings in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the entire coast of the Mediterranean Sea as far as Lebanon (the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites) they came together to wage war against Joshua and Israel.

However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded[a] with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”

The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?”

“We are your servants,” they said to Joshua.

But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

They answered: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 11 And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is. 13 And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.”

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, 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 them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.

The whole assembly grumbled 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 we swore to them.” 21 They continued, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers in the service of the whole assembly.” So the leaders’ promise to them was kept.

22 Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you deceive us by saying, ‘We live a long way from you,’ while actually you live near us? 23 You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”

24 They answered Joshua, “Your servants were clearly told how the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. 25 We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.”

26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the Lord at the place the Lord would choose. And that is what they are to this day.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 9:4 Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Septuagint) They prepared provisions and loaded their donkeys
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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