they developed a clever deception: they made themselves look as if they had been on a long journey by putting old sacks on their donkeys and taking used wineskins that had burst and been mended back together.
So they decided that some of their men should pretend to be messengers to Israel from a faraway country. The men put worn-out bags on their donkeys and found some old wineskins that had cracked and had been sewn back together.
So they decided to try to trick the Israelites. This was their plan: They gathered together old wineskins that were cracked and broken. They put these old wineskins on the backs of their animals. They put old pieces of cloth on their animals to look as if they had traveled from far away.
But when the people of Gibeon heard what had happened to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to trickery to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua wearing worn-out clothing, as though from a long journey, with patched shoes, weatherworn saddlebags on their donkeys, old, patched wineskins and dry, moldy bread.
The people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai and cooked up a ruse. They posed as travelers: their donkeys loaded with patched sacks and mended wineskins, threadbare sandals on their feet, tattered clothes on their bodies, nothing but dry crusts and crumbs for food. They came to Joshua at Gilgal and spoke to the men of Israel, “We’ve come from a far-off country; make a covenant with us.”
So they decided to trick the Israelites. They packed supplies as if they were going on a long trip. They loaded their donkeys with old sacks and old wineskins. The wineskins were cracked but had been mended.
They did work in a cunning, crafty manner [see Genesis 3:1], and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sakkim (sacks) upon their donkeys, and skins of yayin, old, and cracked, and mended;
Knowing that Joshua might turn his attention to them next, they decided to use their wits, not their military might. They formed a delegation to serve as envoys and gathered the most worn-out sacks for their donkeys and worn-out, patched-up wineskins they could find.
and they thought fellily, and took to themselves meats, and putted eld sackcloths on asses, and wine bottles broken, and sewed (up)/and patched, (and they thought out things craftily, and then took some food for themselves, and put old sackcloths upon their donkeys, and wine bottles that were broken and then sewed up, or patched,)