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Joshua 9Now, the inhabitants of Gibe‘on, they heard all that Yehoshua‘ had done to Yericho and to ‘Ay, and so they acted with deceipt, by going and preparing themselves as envoys.
So they took
worn-out sacking to their donkeys, and
worn-out skins of wine, both ripped and tied up again, and
worn-out patched sandals on their feet, and
worn-out clothing upon themselves, and
all the bread of their provisions dried up and becoming mouldy.
Then they went to Yehoshua‘, to the encampment at the Gilgal, and they said to him and to the men of Yisra‘el, “From a land far away we have come: now cut for us a covenant.”
But the men of Yisra‘el said to the Chiwiy, “Perhaps you live close at hand: then how could we cut for you a covenant?”
Then they said to Yehoshua‘, “Your vassals we shall be”,
but Yehoshua‘ asked them, “Who are you, and from where have you come?”
So they said to him, “From a land far far away we came to be your vassals, drawn to the name of Yahweh your God, for we heard his fame, and indeed all that he did in Mitsrayim, and also all that he did to the pair of kings of the Emoriy who were on the far side of the Yorden - to Çiychon king of Cheshbon and to ‘Og king of the Bashan, who was in ‘Ashtaroth. So they said to us - our elders, and all those dwelling in our land - saying, ‘Take in your hand provisions for the road and go to them, saying to them, “Your vassals we shall be: now cut for us a covenant.”’
This is our bread, warm when we provisioned ourselves from our houses on the day we set out to travel to you -
and now see, it is dried up and becoming mouldy.
And here are the skins of wine we filled new -
and see, they have split themselves open.
And this is our clothing and our sandals -
worn out from the long, the very long way.”
Then the men took some of the provisions - but of the mouth of Yahweh they did not enquire. So Yehoshua‘ made peace for them, and he cut for them a covenant for their life, and the leaders of the assembly pledged agreement to them.
But it so happened that at the end of three days after the time when they cut for them a covenant, that they heard that they were close by, that close at hand were their settlements. So the children of Yisra‘el set out, and they came to their cities on the third day - their cities being Gibe‘on and the Kephiyrah and Be'eroth and Qiryath Ye‘arim.
But the children of Yisra‘el did not attack them, for the leaders of the assembly had pledged to them by Yahweh God of Yisra‘el, and all the assembly grumbled against the leaders. Then the whole leadership replied to all the assembly, “We pledged ourselves to them by Yahweh God of Yisra‘el, and now we are not able to strike at them. This we will do to them - they shall live, so there shall be no wrath upon us on account of the agreement which we pledged to them,” and the leaders went on to say to them, “they shall live, but they shall be gatherers of wood and drawers of water for all the assembly.”
Thus the leaders decided for them, and Yehoshua‘ proclaimed to them. Then he spoke with them saying, “Why did you deceive us, saying, ‘Far distant are we from you, very far’, when in fact just here close to us are your settlements? So now cursed are you, and never shall you be cut away from us as a vassal: and you are gatherers of wood and drawers of water for the house of God.”
But they answered Yehoshua‘ saying, “Because it was most plainly clear to your vassals the way that Yahweh your God commanded Mosheh his servant, to give to you the whole land, and to annihilate all those living in the land before your face, and we were greatly afraid to our very souls at your approach - and so we did this thing. And now see us in your hand - whatever seems good and whatever seems right in your eyes to do to us, do it.”
So he did this to them, and he rescued them from the hand of the children of Yisra‘el, so that they did not slaughter them, and Yehoshua‘ made them in that day to be gatherers of wood and drawers of water for the assembly, and for the altar of Yahweh up until this day, at the place which he would choose.