18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath(A) to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.

The whole assembly grumbled(B) 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(C) we swore to them.” 21 They continued, “Let them live,(D) but let them be woodcutters and water carriers(E) 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(F) from you,’ while actually you live near(G) us? 23 You are now under a curse:(H) 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(I) 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.(J) Do to us whatever seems good and right(K) to you.”

26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them.

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