1. Then Joshua called for the Reubenites and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,
2. And said to them, “You have done all that which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you. And you have hearkened to my voice, to all that I have commanded you.
3. You have not left your brethren these many days until today and have kept the observance of the command of the LORD your God.
4. And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brethren, as He spoke to them. And now turn and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD has given to you beyond the Jordan.
5. Only, diligently take heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
6. And Joshua blessed them and sent them away. And they went to their tents.
7. And to the half tribe of Manasseh, Moses had given possession in Bashan. And to its other half Joshua had given possession with their brothers beyond the Jordan westward. And also when Joshua had sent them away to their tents, then he blessed them.
8. And he spoke to them, saying, “You are returning to your tents with your great treasures, and with very much livestock, with silver, and with gold, and with bronze, and with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.”
9. And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned. And they departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, of which they had obtained, according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
10. And when they came to the borders of Jordan in the land of Canaan, the childrenof Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built an altar of grand appearance there by Jordan.
11. And the children of Israel heard, “Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar opposite the land of Canaan, on the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel.”
12. And when the children of Israel heard, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves at Shiloh to go to war against them.
13. And the children of Israel sent Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead,
14. And with him ten rulers, a ruler from each of the chief houses throughout all the tribes of Israel. And each one was a head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel.
15. And they came to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them saying,
16. “Thus says all the congregation of the LORD: ‘What trespass is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away today from following the LORD, in that you have built an altar for you so that you might rebel this day against the LORD?
17. Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us from which we have not been made clean until today? Yea, a plague came upon the congregation of the LORD!
18. But must you turn away today from following the LORD? It shall be that you rebel today against the LORD, and tomorrow He will be angry with all the congregation of Israel.
19. But surely if the land of your possession is unclean, pass over to the land of the possession of the LORD in which the LORD’S tabernacle dwells, and take possession among us. Do not rebel against the LORD, nor rebel against us in building an altar for yourselves besides the altar of the LORD our God.
20. Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a sin in the cursed thing, and did not wrath fall on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.’ ”
21. And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh answered and said to the heads of the thousands of Israel,
22. “The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods shall know, and Israel shall know if it is in rebellion or in transgression against the LORD (then you shall not save us alive today),
23. That we have built us an altar to turn from following the LORD, or if we have built an altar to offer on it burnt offering or grain offering, or if to offer peace offerings on it, let the LORD Himself require it.
24. And if we have not done it for fear of this thing, saying, ‘In time to come your children might speak to our children, saying, “What have you to do with the LORD God of Israel?
25. For the LORD has made Jordan a border between us and you, children of Reuben and children of Gad. You have no
part in the LORD.” And your children shall make our children stop fearing the LORD.’
26. And we said, ‘Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice,
27. But it shall be a witness between us and you, and our generations after us, so that we might do the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your children may not say to our children in time to come, “You have no part in the LORD.” ’
28. And we said that when they should say so to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say, ‘Behold the pattern of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings nor for sacrifices, but it is a witness between us and you.’
29. Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn this day from following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for grain offerings, or for sacrifices, besides the altar of the LORD our God that is before His tabernacle!”
30. And Phinehas the priest, and the rulers of the congregation and heads of the thousands of Israel with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spoke. And it was good in their eyes.
31. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the children of Reuben and to the children of Gad and to the half tribe of Manasseh, “Today we see that the LORD is among us because you have not committed this sin against the LORD. Now you have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the LORD.”
32. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the rulers, returned from the children of Reuben and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again.
33. And the thing pleased the children of Israel. And the children of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of going up against them in battle, to destroy the land in which the children of Reuben and Gad lived.
34. And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad proclaimed regarding the altar, that it was a witness between us that the LORD is God.
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