A strange story. People called gibeonites… from gibeon… one of the local towns, pretend to be from far away.
They know that the inhabitants of the promised land are being destroyed. So they act like they aren’t from there with an elaborate ruse.
They get a promise from the Israelites that they won’t hurt them, since they aren’t local. When the gig is up and they are discovered, the Israelites are honourable enough to keep the oath they swore.
They don’t hurt them, but they do put them into service, as woodcutters and water carriers.
It’s one of the Bible’s plan b’s. Where god’s preference is not done. It makes it clear that they went ahead without asking the lords advice.
It is an example of a comprise that will probably come back to haunt them. God needs them not to assimilate other cultures, they need to stay true to the law and the monotheism of worshipping the true God. But now this foreign culture will be integrated into theirs. It will probably weaken their single minded focus on living god’s law.