Josue is deceived by the Gabaonites: who being detected are condemned to be perpetual servants.
1 Now When these things were heard of, all the kings beyond the Jordan, that dwelt in the mountains and in the plains, in the places near the sea, and on the coasts of the great sea, they also that dwell by Libanus, the Hethite and the Amorrhite, the Chanaanite, the Pherezite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite,
2 Gathered themselves together, to fight against Josue and Israel with one mind, and one resolution.
3 But they that dwelt in Gabaon, hearing all that Josue had done to Jericho and Hai:
4 Cunningly devising took for themselves provisions, laying old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles rent and sewed up again,
5 And very old shoes, which for a shew of age were clouted with patches, and old garments upon them: the loaves also, which they carried for provisions by the way, were hard, and broken into pieces:
6 And they went to Josue, who then abode in the camp at Galgal, and said to him, and to all Israel with him: We are come from a far country, desiring to make peace with you. And the children of Israel answered them, and said:
7 Perhaps you dwell in the land which falls to our lot; if so, we can make no league with you.
8 But they said to Josue: We are thy servants. Josue said to them: Who are you? and whence came you?
9 They answered: From a very far country thy servants are come in the name of the Lord thy God. For we have heard the fame of his power, all the things that he did in Egypt.
10 And to the two kings of the Amorrhites that were beyond the Jordan, Sehon king of Hesebon, and Og king of Basan, that was in Astaroth:
11 And our ancients, and all the inhabitants of our country said to us: Take with you victuals for a long way, and go meet them, and say: We are your servants, make ye a league with us.
12 Behold, these loaves we took hot, when we set out from our houses to come to you, now they are become dry, and broken in pieces, by being exceeding old.
13 These bottles of wine when we filled them were new, now they are rent and burst. These garments we have on, and the shoes we have on our feet, by reason of the very long journey are worn out, and almost consumed.
14 They took therefore of their victuals, and consulted not the mouth of the Lord.
15 And Josue made peace with them, and entering into a league promised that they should not be slain: the princes also of the multitude swore to them.
16 Now three days after the league was made, they heard that they dwelt nigh, and they should be among them.
17 And the children of Israel removed the camp, and came into their cities on the third day, the names of which are Gabaon, and Caphira, and Beroth, and Cariathiarim.
18 And they slew them not, because the princes of the multitude had sworn in the name of the Lord the God of Israel. Then all the common people murmured against the princes.
19 And they answered them: We have sworn to them in the name of the Lord the God of Israel, and therefore we may not touch them.
20 But this we will do to them: Let their lives be saved, lest the wrath of the Lord be stirred up against us, if we should be forsworn.
21 But so let them live, as to serve the whole multitude in hewing wood, and bringing in water. As they were speaking these things,
22 Josue called the Gabaonites and said to them: Why would you impose upon us, saying: We dwell far off from you, whereas you are in the midst of us?
23 Therefore you shall be under a curse, and your race shall always be hewers of wood, and carriers of water unto the house of my God.
24 They answered: It was told us thy servants, that the Lord thy God had promised his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants thereof. Therefore we feared exceedingly and provided for our lives. compelled by the dread we had of you and we took this counsel.
25 And now we are in thy hand: deal with us as it seemeth good and right unto thee.
26 So Josue did as he had said, and delivered them from the hand of the children of Israel, that they should not be slain.
27 And he gave orders in that day that they should be in the service of all the people, and of the altar of the Lord, hewing wood and carrying water, until this present time, in the place which the Lord hath chosen.