New International Reader's Version

Joshua 9:1-27

The People of Gibeon Trick Israel

1All the kings who ruled west of the Jordan River heard about the battles Israel had won. That included the kings who ruled in the central hill country and the western hills. It also included those who ruled along the entire coast of the Mediterranean Sea all the way to Lebanon. They were the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 2They brought their armies together to fight against Joshua and Israel.

3The people of Gibeon heard about what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai. 4So they decided to trick the Israelites. They packed supplies as if they were going on a long trip. They loaded their donkeys with old sacks and old wineskins. The wineskins were cracked but had been mended. 5They put worn-out sandals on their feet. The sandals had been patched. They also wore old clothes. All the bread they took along was dry and moldy. 6They went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal. They spoke to him and the Israelites. They said, “We’ve come from a country that’s far away. Make a peace treaty with us.”

7The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But suppose you live close to us. If you do, we can’t make a peace treaty with you.”

8“We’ll serve you,” they said to Joshua.

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

9They answered, “We’ve come from a country that’s very far away. We’ve come because the Lord your God is famous. We’ve heard reports about him. We’ve heard about everything he did in Egypt. 10We’ve heard about everything he did to Sihon and Og. They were the two kings of the Amorites. They ruled east of the Jordan River. Sihon was the king of Heshbon. Og was the king of Bashan. He ruled in Ashtaroth. 11Our elders and all the people living in our country spoke to us. They said, ‘Take supplies for your trip. Go and meet the Israelites. Say to them, “We’ll serve you. Make a peace treaty with us.” ’ 12Look at our bread. It was warm when we packed it. We packed it at home the day we left to come and see you. But look at how dry and moldy it is now. 13When we filled these wineskins, they were new. But look at how cracked they are now. And our clothes and sandals are worn out because we’ve traveled so far.”

14The Israelites looked over the supplies those people had brought. But they didn’t ask the Lord what they should do. 15Joshua made a peace treaty with the people who had come. He agreed to let them live. The leaders of the community gave their word that they agreed with the treaty.

16So the Israelites made a peace treaty with the people of Gibeon. But three days later they heard that the people of Gibeon lived close to them. 17So the Israelites started out to go to the cities of those people. On the third day they came to Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18But they didn’t attack those cities. That’s because the leaders of the community had given their word and made a peace treaty with them. They had given their word in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.

The whole community told the leaders they weren’t happy with them. 19But all the leaders answered, “We’ve made a peace treaty with them. We’ve given our word in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. So we can’t touch them now. 20But here is what we’ll do to them. We’ll let them live. Then the Lord won’t be angry with us because we didn’t keep our promise.” 21They continued, “Let them live. But make them cut wood and carry water to serve the whole community.” So the leaders kept their promise to them.

22Joshua sent for the people of Gibeon. He said to them, “Why did you trick us? You said, ‘We live far away from you.’ But in fact you live close to us. 23So now you are under a curse. You will always serve us. You will always cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.”

24They answered Joshua, “We were clearly told what the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to do. He commanded him to give you the whole land. He also ordered him to wipe out all its people to make room for you. So we were afraid you would kill us. That’s why we tricked you. 25We are now under your control. Do to us what you think is good and right.”

26So Joshua saved the people of Gibeon. He didn’t let the Israelites kill them. 27That day he made them cut wood and carry water. They had to serve the community of Israel. They also had to do work connected with the altar of the Lord. The altar would be at the place the Lord would choose. And they still serve the Israelites to this day.

Nueva Versión Internacional

Josué 9:1-27

Astucia de los gabaonitas

1Había reyes que vivían en el lado occidental del Jordán, en la montaña, en la llanura y a lo largo de la costa del Mediterráneo, hasta el Líbano: hititas, amorreos, cananeos, ferezeos, heveos y jebuseos. Cuando estos monarcas se enteraron de lo sucedido, 2se aliaron bajo un solo mando para hacer frente a Josué y a los israelitas.

3Los gabaonitas, al darse cuenta de cómo Josué había tratado a las ciudades de Jericó y de Hai, 4maquinaron un plan. Enviaron unos mensajeros, cuyos asnos llevaban costales viejos y odres para el vino, rotos y remendados. 5Iban vestidos con ropa vieja y tenían sandalias gastadas y remendadas. El pan que llevaban para comer estaba duro y hecho migas. 6Fueron al campamento de Guilgal, donde estaba Josué, y les dijeron a él y a los israelitas:

—Venimos de un país muy lejano. Queremos hacer un tratado con ustedes.

7Los israelitas replicaron:

—Tal vez ustedes son de por acá y, en ese caso, no podemos hacer ningún tratado con ustedes.

8Ellos le dijeron a Josué:

—Nosotros estamos dispuestos a servirles.

Y Josué les preguntó:

—¿Quiénes son ustedes y de dónde vienen?

9Ellos respondieron:

—Nosotros somos sus siervos, y hemos venido de un país muy distante, hasta donde ha llegado la fama del Señor su Dios. Nos hemos enterado de todo lo que él hizo en Egipto 10y de lo que les hizo a los dos reyes amorreos al este del Jordán: Sijón, rey de Hesbón, y Og, rey de Basán, el que residía en Astarot. 11Por eso los habitantes de nuestro país, junto con nuestros dirigentes, nos pidieron que nos preparáramos para el largo viaje y que les diéramos a ustedes el siguiente mensaje: “Deseamos ser siervos de ustedes; hagamos un tratado”. 12Cuando salimos para acá, nuestro pan estaba fresco y caliente, pero ahora, ¡mírenlo! Está duro y hecho migas. 13Estos odres estaban nuevecitos y repletos de vino, y ahora, tal como pueden ver, están todos rotos. Y nuestra ropa y sandalias están gastadas por el largo viaje.

14Los hombres de Israel participaron de las provisiones de los gabaonitas, pero no consultaron al Señor. 15Entonces Josué hizo con ellos un tratado de ayuda mutua y se comprometió a perdonarles la vida. Y los jefes israelitas ratificaron el tratado.

16Tres días después de haber concluido el tratado con los gabaonitas, los israelitas se enteraron de que eran sus vecinos y vivían en las cercanías. 17Por eso se pusieron en marcha, y al tercer día llegaron a sus ciudades: Gabaón, Cafira, Berot y Quiriat Yearín. 18Pero los israelitas no los atacaron porque los jefes de la comunidad les habían jurado en nombre del Señor, Dios de Israel, perdonarles la vida. Y aunque toda la comunidad se quejó contra sus jefes, 19estos contestaron:

—Hemos hecho un juramento en nombre del Señor, y no podemos hacerles ningún daño. 20Esto es lo que haremos con ellos: les perdonaremos la vida, para que no caiga sobre nosotros el castigo divino por quebrantar el juramento que hicimos.

21Luego añadieron:

—Se les permitirá vivir, pero a cambio de ser los leñadores y aguateros de la comunidad.

De ese modo, los jefes de la comunidad cumplieron su promesa.

22Entonces Josué llamó a los gabaonitas y les reclamó:

—¿Por qué nos engañaron con el cuento de que eran de tierras lejanas, cuando en verdad son nuestros vecinos? 23A partir de ahora, esta será su maldición: serán por siempre sirvientes del templo de mi Dios, responsables de cortar la leña y de acarrear el agua.

24Los gabaonitas contestaron:

—Nosotros, servidores suyos, fuimos bien informados de que el Señor su Dios ordenó a su siervo Moisés que les diera toda esta tierra y que destruyera a todos sus habitantes. Temimos tanto por nuestra vida que decidimos hacer lo que ya saben. 25Estamos a merced de ustedes. Hagan con nosotros lo que les parezca justo y bueno.

26Así salvó Josué a los gabaonitas de morir a manos del pueblo de Israel. 27Ese mismo día Josué los hizo leñadores y aguateros de la asamblea israelita, especialmente del altar del Señor que está en el lugar que él mismo eligió. Y así han permanecido hasta el día de hoy.