9 They answered, “Your servants have come from a very distant country. We have heard of the might of the Lord your God and of all he did in Egypt.10 We have also heard what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan (who lived in Ashtaroth).11 So our elders and all our people instructed us, ‘Take supplies for a long journey. Go meet with the people of Israel and tell them, “We are your servants; please make a treaty with us.”’
12 “This bread was hot from the ovens when we left our homes. But now, as you can see, it is dry and moldy.13 These wineskins were new when we filled them, but now they are old and split open. And our clothing and sandals are worn out from our very long journey.”
14 So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord.15 Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath.
16 Three days after making the treaty, they learned that these people actually lived nearby!17 The Israelites set out at once to investigate and reached their towns in three days. The names of these towns were Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim.18 But the Israelites did not attack the towns, for the Israelite leaders had made a vow to them in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
The people of Israel grumbled against their leaders because of the treaty.19 But the leaders replied, “Since we have sworn an oath in the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel, we cannot touch them.20 This is what we must do. We must let them live, for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath.21 Let them live.” So they made them woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community, as the Israelite leaders directed.
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