1 Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh,
2 and said to them: You have kept all that Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded
you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I have commanded you.
3 You have not left your brethren these many days, to this day, but have kept the charge
of the commandment of Jehovah your God.
4 And now Jehovah your God has given rest to your brethren, as He has promised them;
now therefore, return and go to your tents and to the land of your possession, which Moses
the servant of Jehovah has given you on the other side of the Jordan.
5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the Law which Moses the servant of
Jehovah has charged you, to love Jehovah your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His
commandments, to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your
6 So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.
7 Now to the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the
other half of it Joshua gave a possession among their brethren on this side of the Jordan,
westward. And when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them,
8 and spoke to them, saying, Return with much riches to your tents, with very much
livestock, with silver, with gold, with bronze, with iron, and with very much clothing.
Divide the spoils of your enemies with your brethren.
9 And the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned, and
departed from the children of Israel at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the
land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, which they had obtained according to the
mouth of Jehovah by the hand of Moses.
10 And when they came to the region of the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the sons of
Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan;
an altar of great appearance.
11 And the children of Israel heard it said, Behold, the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad,
and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar across from the land of Canaan, in the
regions of the Jordan, at the border of the children of Israel.
12 And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the sons of
Israel gathered together at Shiloh to go to war against them.
13 Then the sons of Israel sent Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the sons of
Reuben, to the sons of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead,
14 and with him ten leaders, each one a chief leader of a father's house of every tribe of
Israel; and each one was the head of the house of his father among the thousands of Israel.
15 And they came to the sons of Reuben, 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 Jehovah: What treachery is this that you have
committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following Jehovah, in that
you have built for yourselves an altar, that you might rebel this day against Jehovah?
17 Was the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed to this day,
and there was a plague in the congregation of Jehovah,
18 but that you must turn away this day from following Jehovah? And it shall be, if you
rebel today against Jehovah, that tomorrow He will be angry with the whole congregation
19 Nevertheless, if the land of your possession is unclean, then cross over to the land of
the possession of Jehovah, where the tabernacle of Jehovah stands, and take possession
among us; but do not rebel against Jehovah, nor rebel against us, by building yourselves an
altar besides the altar of Jehovah our God.
20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the devoted thing, and wrath fell
upon all the congregation of Israel? And that man was not the only one to die in his
21 Then the sons of Reuben, the sons of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered
and said to the heads of the thousands of Israel:
22 Jehovah, the Mighty God of gods, Jehovah, the Mighty God of gods, He knows, and
let Israel itself know; if it is in rebellion, or if in treachery against Jehovah, do not save us
23 If we have built ourselves an altar to turn from following Jehovah, or if to offer on it
burnt offerings or grain offerings, or if to offer peace offerings on it, let Jehovah Himself
24 But we have done it in this manner out of concern, thinking, In time to come your sons
may speak to our sons, saying, What have you to do with Jehovah the God of Israel?
25 For Jehovah has made the Jordan a border between you and us, you sons of Reuben
and sons of Gad. You have no portion in Jehovah. Thus your sons would make our sons
cease to fear Jehovah.
26 Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt
offering nor for sacrifice,
27 but that it may be a witness between you and us and our generations after us, that we
may perform the service of Jehovah before Him with our burnt offerings, with our
sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your sons may not say to our sons in time to
come, You have no portion in Jehovah.
28 Therefore we thought that it shall be, when they say this to us or to our generations in
time to come, that we shall say, Look at the pattern of the altar of Jehovah which our
fathers have made, though not for burnt offerings nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness
between you and us.
29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against Jehovah, to turn from following Jehovah
this day, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for grain offerings, or for sacrifices, besides
the altar of Jehovah our God which is before His tabernacle.
30 And when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, the heads of the
thousands of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the sons of Reuben, the sons
of Gad, and the sons of Manasseh had spoken, it pleased them.
31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben, the sons of
Gad, and the sons of Manasseh, This day we perceive that Jehovah is among us, because
you have not committed this treachery against Jehovah. Now you have delivered the
children of Israel out of the hand of Jehovah.
32 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the leaders, returned from the sons of
Reuben and the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the children
of Israel, and brought back word to them.
33 And the thing was good in the eyes of the children of Israel, and the children of Israel
blessed God and spoke no more of going against them in battle, to destroy the land where
the sons of Reuben and Gad were living.
34 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar, Witness, For it is a
witness between us that Jehovah is God.