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The Gibeonite Deception...
And it came to be, when all the sovereigns who were beyond the Yarden, in the hills and in the low country and in all the coasts of the Great Sea toward Lebanon - the Hittite and the Amorite, the Kena`anite and the Perizzite, the Hiwwite and the Yebusite - heard,
they gathered together to fight with Yehoshua and Yisra'el with one accord.
And the inhabitants of Gib'on heard what Yehoshua had done to Yeriho and Ai,
and they acted slyly and went and pretended to be envoys. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended,
and old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves. And all the bread of their provision was dry, it was crumbs.
And they went to Yehoshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Yisra'el, 'We have come from a far land, and now, make a covenant with us.'
But the men of Yisra'el said to the Hiwwites, 'It could be that you dwell in our midst, so how would we make a covenant with you?'
And they said to Yehoshua, 'We are your servants.' And Yehoshua said to them, 'Who are you, and where do you come from?'
So they said to him, 'From a land very far off your servants have come, because of the Name of YHWH your Elohim. For we have heard the report of Him, and all that He did in Mitsrayim,
and all that He had done to the two sovereigns of the Amorites who were beyond the Yarden, to Sihon sovereign of Heshbon, and Og sovereign of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.
'So our elders and all the inhabitants of our land spoke to us, saying, 'Take food with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, 'We are your servants, and now, make a covenant with us.''
'This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day that we left to come to you. But now, see, it is dry and it is crumby.
'And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn. And these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey.'
And the men of Yisra'el took some of their food, but they did not ask the mouth of YHWH.
And Yehoshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live, and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.
And it came to be at the end of three days, after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours who dwelt near them.
And the children of Yisra'el set out and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gib'on, and Kephirah, and Be'eroth, and Qiryath Ye'arim.
But the children of Yisra'el did not smite them, because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by YHWH Elohim of Yisra'el. And all the congregation grumbled against the rulers.
But all the rulers said to all the congregation, 'We have sworn to them by YHWH Elohim of Yisra'el, and we are unable to touch them now.
'Let us do this to them: We shall keep them alive, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them.'
And the rulers said to them, 'Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and drawers of water for all the congregation, as the rulers had promised them.'
Then Yehoshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, 'Why have you deceived us, saying, 'We are very far from you,' yet you are dwelling in our midst?
'And now you are cursed, and you shall not cease from being slaves, and woodcutters and drawers of water for the House of my Elohim.'
And they answered Yehoshua and said, 'Your servants were clearly told that YHWH your Elohim commanded His servant Mosheh to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you. So we were very much afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this deed.
'And now, see, we are in your hands. Do with us as it seems good and right to do to us.'
And he did so to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Yisra'el, and they did not kill them.
And that day Yehoshua made them woodcutters and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of YHWH, even to this day, at the place that He should choose.