Tribes beyond Jordan Return
1 Then R404 Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 2 and said to them, "You have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and R405 have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you. 3 "You have not forsaken your brothers these many days to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God. 4 "And now the R406 LORD your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan. 5 "Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love R407 the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with R408 all your heart and with all your soul." 6 So Joshua blessed R409 them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.
7 Now to R410 the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to R411 the other half Joshua gave a possession among their brothers westward beyond the Jordan. So when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, 8 and said to them, F252 "Return to your tents with great riches and with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron, and with very many clothes; divide R412 the spoil of your enemies with your brothers." 9 The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home and departed from the sons of Israel at Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land R413 of Gilead, to the land of their possession which they had possessed, according to the command F253 of the LORD through F254 Moses.
The Offensive Altar
10 When they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan, a large altar in appearance. 11 And the sons of Israel heard it said, F255 "Behold, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built R414 an altar at the frontier F256 of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan, on the side belonging to the sons of Israel." 12 When the sons of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the sons of Israel gathered themselves at Shiloh R415 to go up against them in war.
13 Then the sons of Israel sent to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas R416 the son of Eleazar the priest, 14 and with him ten chiefs, one chief for each father's household from each of the tribes of Israel; and each R417 one of them was the head of his father's household among the thousands F257 of Israel. 15 They came to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them saying, 16 "Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, `What is this unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the LORD this day, by building R418 yourselves an altar, to rebel against the LORD this day? 17 `Is not the R419 iniquity of Peor enough F258 for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although a plague came on the congregation of the LORD, 18 that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? If you rebel against the LORD today, He R420 will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 `If, however, the land of your possession is unclean, then cross F259 into the land of the possession of the LORD, where the LORD'S tabernacle stands, F260 and take possession among us. Only do not rebel against the LORD, or rebel against us by building R421 an altar for yourselves, besides the altar of the LORD our God. 20 `Did not Achan R422 the son of Zerah act unfaithfully in the things under the ban, and wrath fall on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.' "
21 Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke to the heads of the families F261 of Israel. 22 "The Mighty R423 One, God, the LORD, the Mighty One, God, the LORD! He R424 knows, and may Israel itself know. If it was in rebellion, or if in an unfaithful act against the LORD do not save us this day! 23 "If we have built us an altar to turn away from following the LORD, or if to offer R425 a burnt offering or grain offering on it, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings on it, may the LORD Himself require it. 24 "But truly we have done this out of concern, for F262 a reason, saying, `In time to come your sons may say to our sons, F263 "What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel? 25 "For the LORD has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no portion in the LORD." So your sons may make our sons stop fearing the LORD.'
26 "Therefore we said, `Let us build F264 an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; 27 rather it shall be a R426 witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to perform R427 the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in time to come, "You have no portion in the LORD."' 28 "Therefore we said, `It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, "See the copy of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it is a witness between us and you."' 29 "Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn away from following the LORD this day, by building R428 an altar for burnt offering, for grain offering or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the LORD our God which is before His tabernacle." F265
30 So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, even the heads of the families F266 of Israel who were with him, heard the words which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, "Today we know that the LORD R429 is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the LORD; now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of the LORD."
32 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the leaders returned from the sons of Reuben and from the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 The word pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed R430 God; and they did not speak of going up against them in war to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living. 34 The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called R431 the altar Witness; "For," they said, "it is a witness between us that the LORD is God."
F252: Lit them, saying, ``Return
F253: Lit mouth
F254: Lit by the hand of
F255: Lit saying
F256: Lit front
F257: Or families
F258: Lit little for us
F259: Lit cross for yourselves
F260: Lit abides
F261: Lit thousands
F262: Lit from
F263: Lit sons, saying
F264: Lit prepare to build for ourselves
F265: Lit dwelling place
F266: Lit thousands
R404: Numbers 32:20-22
R405: Joshua 1:12-18
R406: Numbers 32:18; Deuteronomy 3:20
R407: Deuteronomy 5:10
R408: Deuteronomy 4:29
R409: Genesis 47:7; Joshua 14:13; 2 Samuel 6:18; Luke 24:50
R410: Numbers 32:33
R411: Joshua 17:1-13
R412: Numbers 31:27; 1 Samuel 30:16
R413: Numbers 32:1,26,29
R414: Deuteronomy 12:5; Joshua 22:19
R415: Joshua 18:1
R416: Numbers 25:7,11; 31:6
R417: Numbers 1:4
R418: Joshua 22:11
R419: Numbers 25:1-9
R420: Numbers 16:22
R421: Joshua 22:11
R422: Joshua 7:1-26
R423: Deuteronomy 10:17
R424: 1 Kings 8:39; Job 1:10:7; Psalms 44:21
R425: Deuteronomy 12:11
R426: Genesis 31:48; Joshua 24:27
R427: Deuteronomy 12:6,11,26f
R428: Deuteronomy 12:13f
R429: Exodus 25:8; Leviticus 26:11f; 2 Chronicles 15:2
R430: 1 Chronicles 29:20; Daniel 2:19; Luke 2:28
R431: Genesis 31:47-49