The Gibeonite Deception

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

However, when the people of Gibeon(G) heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,(H) 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(I) and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country;(J) make a treaty(K) with us.”

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

“We are your servants,(N)” 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(O) because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports(P) of him: all that he did in Egypt,(Q) 10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon,(R) and Og king of Bashan,(S) who reigned in Ashtaroth.(T) 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(U) of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace(V) with them to let them live,(W) 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(X) them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth(Y) and Kiriath Jearim.(Z) 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath(AA) to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.

The whole assembly grumbled(AB) 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(AC) we swore to them.” 21 They continued, “Let them live,(AD) but let them be woodcutters and water carriers(AE) 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(AF) from you,’ while actually you live near(AG) us? 23 You are now under a curse:(AH) 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(AI) 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.(AJ) Do to us whatever seems good and right(AK) to you.”

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


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

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters(A) received us warmly.(B) 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James,(C) and all the elders(D) were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles(E) through his ministry.(F)

20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous(G) for the law.(H) 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses,(I) telling them not to circumcise their children(J) or live according to our customs.(K) 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow.(L) 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites(M) and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved.(N) Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”(O)

26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.(P)

Paul Arrested

27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him,(Q) 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.”(R) 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus(S) the Ephesian(T) in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)

30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul,(U) they dragged him(V) from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.

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