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The Gibeonites deceive Joshua

The Gibeonites deceive Joshua into making a treaty.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Portuguese, Polish, Hindi, Simplified Chinese
After the Israelites took the city of Ai, word quickly spread of their victory. – Slide 1
The kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites began planning how they could combine their armies to do battle with the Israelites. – Slide 2
In the city of Gibeon and the nearby towns of Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim the people met in fear wondering what to do. They knew God had told the Israelites not to make treaties with anyone in Canaan but destroy all those living in the land because of their wickedness. Instead of joining those gathering to fight the Israelites, the Gibeonites came up with a devious plan to save their lives. – Slide 3
Gibeon was only a three day walk from the Israelite base at Gilgal. The people of Gibeon and the nearby towns were Hivites. – Slide 4
A group of ambassadors were chosen. They loaded their donkeys with weathered saddlebags and old, patched wineskins. They put on worn-out, patched sandals and ragged clothes. And the bread they took with them was dry and mouldy. – Slide 5
When they arrived at the Israelite camp at Gilgal, they told Joshua and the men of Israel, ‘We have come from a distant land to ask you to make a peace treaty with us.’ – Slide 6
‘How do we know you don’t live nearby?’ Joshua asked. ‘For if you do, we cannot make a treaty with you,’ ‘This bread was hot from the ovens when we left our homes, they replied, ‘but now, it is dry and mouldy. These wineskins were new when we filled them, but now they are old and split open. And our clothing and sandals are worn out from our very long journey.’ – Slide 7
Joshua and the Israelites examined their food but did not ask God what to do. Joshua then made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety. The leaders of the Israelites ratified their agreement with a binding oath. – Slide 8
Three days after making the treaty, the Israelites learned that these people actually lived nearby! They sent men to investigate and reached their towns in three days.  – Slide 9
The people of Israel grumbled against their leaders because of the treaty. The leaders replied, ‘Since we have sworn an oath in the presence of the Lord, we cannot touch the Gibeonites. Divine anger would come upon us if we broke our promise.’ – Slide 10
Joshua called together the Gibeonites and asked, ‘Why did you lie to us and say that you lived in a distant land when you live right here among us?  From now on you will always be servants who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.’ ‘We did it because the Lord your God commanded Moses to give you this entire land and to destroy everyone in it,’ they replied. ‘Now we are at your mercy to do to us whatever you think is right.’ – Slide 11
Joshua did not allow the people of Israel to kill them. Instead the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers for the community of Israel and the altar of the Lord. – Slide 12
Slide 13