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Joshua 9 Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Gibeonite Trickery

All the kings ·west of [L beyond] the Jordan River heard about these things: the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. They lived in the ·mountains [hill country] and ·on the western foothills [or in the lowlands/L Shephelah] and along the whole ·Mediterranean [L Great] Sea coast. So all these kings gathered to fight Joshua and the Israelites.

When the ·people [inhabitants] of Gibeon heard ·how Joshua had defeated [L what Joshua had done to] Jericho and Ai, they decided to trick the Israelites. They gathered old sacks and old ·leather wine bags [wineskins] that were cracked and mended, and they put them on the backs of their donkeys. They put ·old [L worn and patched] sandals on their feet and wore ·old [ragged] clothes, and they took some dry, ·moldy [or crumbling] bread. Then they went to Joshua in the camp near Gilgal [4:19].

The men said to Joshua and the ·Israelites [L men of Israel], “We have traveled from a faraway country. Make a peace ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with us.”

The ·Israelites [men of Israel] said to these Hivites, “Maybe you live near us. How can we make a peace ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with you [Deut. 20:10–18]?”

The Hivites said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”

But Joshua asked, “Who are you? Where do you come from?”

The men answered, “We are your servants who have come from a far country, because we heard of the ·fame [reputation; L name] of the Lord your God. We heard about what he has done and everything he did in Egypt. 10 We heard that he defeated the two kings of the Amorites ·from the east side of [L who were beyond] the Jordan River—Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan who ·ruled [L was] in Ashtaroth. 11 So our elders and ·our people [L all the inhabitants of our country] said to us, ‘Take ·food [provisions] for your journey and go and meet ·the Israelites [L them]. Tell them, “We are your servants. Make a peace ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with us.” ’

12 “Look at our bread. On the day we left home to come to you it was warm and fresh, but now [L look; T behold] it is dry and ·moldy [or crumbling]. 13 Look at our ·leather wine bags [wineskins]. They were new and filled with wine, but now they ·are cracked and old [are ripped; or have burst]. Our clothes and sandals are worn out from the long journey.”

14 The men of Israel ·tasted [or examined; L took some of] the bread, but they did not ·ask the Lord what to do [seek the Lord’s guidance]. 15 So Joshua agreed to make peace with the Gibeonites and to let them live. And the leaders of the Israelites ·swore an oath to keep the agreement [L swore to them].

16 Three days after they had made the ·agreement [covenant; treaty], the Israelites learned that the Gibeonites ·lived nearby [L were neighbors and lived in their midst]. 17 So the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] went to where they lived and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] did not attack those cities, because they had ·made a promise [L sworn] to them before the Lord, the God of Israel.

·All the Israelites [The whole assembly/congregation] grumbled against the leaders. 19 But [L all] the leaders answered, “We ·have given our promise [L swore (an oath)] before the Lord, the God of Israel, so we cannot ·attack [L touch] them now. 20 This is what we must do. We must let them live. Otherwise, ·God’s anger [L wrath] will ·be against [come upon] us for breaking the oath we swore to them. 21 So let them live, but they will cut wood and carry water for ·our people [the whole congregation].” ·So the leaders kept their promise to them [or…as the leaders had decided].

22 Joshua called for the Gibeonites and asked, “Why did you ·lie to [deceive; trick] us? ·Your land was near our camp [L You live among us], but you told us you were from a far country. 23 Now, you will be placed under a curse to ·be our slaves [never cease being slaves/servants]. You will have to cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.”

24 The Gibeonites answered Joshua, “We lied to you because we were afraid you would kill us. ·We heard [L It was clearly/with certainty reported to your servants] that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses to give you all of this land and to ·kill [destroy] all the people who lived in it [Deut. 20:15–18]. That is why we did this. 25 Now [L look; T behold] ·you can decide what [L we are in your hands] to do with us, whatever you think is right.”

26 So Joshua saved their lives by not allowing the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] to kill them, 27 but he made the Gibeonites slaves. They cut wood and carried water for the Israelites, and they did it for the altar of the Lord—·wherever he chose it to be [L at the place that he would choose; 1 Sam. 4:3; 1 Kin. 9:3]. They are still doing this today [2 Sam. 21:1–14].

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Joshua 9 New International Version (NIV)

The Gibeonite Deception

Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things—the kings in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the entire coast of the Mediterranean Sea as far as Lebanon (the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites) they came together to wage war against Joshua and Israel.

However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded[a] with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”

The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?”

“We are your servants,” they said to Joshua.

But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

They answered: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 11 And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is. 13 And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.”

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.

The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders, 19 but all the leaders answered, “We have given them our oath by the Lord, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now. 20 This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God’s wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them.” 21 They continued, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers in the service of the whole assembly.” So the leaders’ promise to them was kept.

22 Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you deceive us by saying, ‘We live a long way from you,’ while actually you live near us? 23 You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”

24 They answered Joshua, “Your servants were clearly told how the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. 25 We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.”

26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the Lord at the place the Lord would choose. And that is what they are to this day.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 9:4 Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Septuagint) They prepared provisions and loaded their donkeys
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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