1Then Joshua called together the sons of Ruben, and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasse,
2and said to them, Ye have heard all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and ye have hearkened to my voice in all that he commanded you.
3Ye have not deserted your brethren these many days: until this day ye have kept the commandment of the Lord your God.
4And now the Lord our God has given our brethren rest, as he told them: now then return and depart to your homes, and to the land of your possession, which Moses gave you on the other side Jordan.
5But take great heed to do the commands and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you to do; to love the Lord our God, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commands, and to cleave to him, and serve him with all your mind, and with all your soul.
6And Joshua blessed them, and dismissed them; and they went to their homes.
7And to one half the tribe of Manasse Moses gave a portion in the land of Basan, and to the other half Joshua gave a portion with his brethren on the other side of Jordan westward: and when Joshua sent them away to their homes, then he blessed them.
8And they departed with much wealth to their houses, and they divided the spoil of their enemies with their brethren; very much cattle, and silver, and gold, and iron, and much raiment.
9So the sons of Ruben, and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasse, departed from the children of Israel in Selo in the land of Chanaan, to go away into Galaad, into the land of their possession, which they inherited by the command of the Lord, by the hand of Moses.
10And they came to Galaad of Jordan, which is in the land of Chanaan: and the children of Ruben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasse built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to look at.
11And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the sons of Ruben, and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasse have built an altar at the borders of the land of Chanaan at Galaad of Jordan, on the opposite side to the children of Israel.
12And all the children of Israel gathered together to Selo, so as to go up and fight against them.
13And the children of Israel sent to the sons of Ruben, and the sons of Gad, and to the sons of the half tribe of Manasse into the land of Galaad, both Phinees the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest,
14and ten of the chiefs with him; there was one chief of every household out of all the tribes of Israel; (the heads of families are the captains of thousands in Israel.)
15And they came to the sons of Ruben, and to the sons of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasse into the land of Galaad; and they spoke to them, saying,
16Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord, What is this transgression that ye have transgressed before the God of Israel, to turn away today from the Lord, in that ye have built for yourselves an altar, so that ye should be apostates from the Lord?
17Is the sin of Phogor too little for you, whereas we have not been cleansed from it until this day, though there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord?
18And ye have this day revolted from the Lord; and it shall come to pass if ye revolt this day from the Lord, that to-morrow there shall be wrath upon all Israel.
19And now if the land of your possession be too little, cross over to the land of the possession of the Lord, where the tabernacle of the Lord dwells, and receive ye an inheritance among us; and do not become apostates from God, neither do ye apostatize from the Lord, because of your having built an altar apart from the altar of the Lord our God.
20Lo! did not Achar the son of Zara commit a trespass taking of the accursed thing, and there was wrath on the whole congregation of Israel? and he himself died alone in his own sin.
21And the sons of Ruben, and the sons of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasse answered, and spoke to the captains of the thousands of Israel, saying,
22God even God is the Lord, and God even God himself knows, and Israel he shall know; if we have transgressed before the Lord by apostasy, let him not deliver us this day.
23And if we have built to ourselves an altar, so as to apostatize from the Lord our God, so as to offer upon it a sacrifice of whole-burnt-offerings, so as to offer upon it a sacrifice of peace-offering,—the Lord shall require it.
24But we have done this for the sake of precaution concerning this thing, saying, Lest hereafter your sons should say to our sons, What have ye to do with the Lord God of Israel?
25Whereas the Lord has set boundaries between us and you, even Jordan, and ye have no portion in the Lord: so your sons shall alienate our sons, that they should not worship the Lord.
26And we gave orders to do thus, to build this altar, not for burnt-offerings, nor for meat-offerings;
27but that this may be a witness between you and us, and between our posterity after us, that we may do service to the Lord before him, with our burnt-offerings and our meat-offerings and our peace-offerings: so your sons shall not say to our sons, hereafter, Ye have no portion in the Lord.
28And we said, If ever it should come to pass that they should speak so to us, or to our posterity hereafter; then shall they say, Behold the likeness of the altar of the Lord, which our fathers made, not for the sake of burnt-offerings, nor for the sake of meat-offerings, but it is a witness between you and us, and between our sons.
29Far be it from us therefore that we should turn away from the Lord this day so as to apostatize from the Lord, so as that we should build an altar for burnt-offerings, and for peace-offerings, besides the altar of the Lord which is before his tabernacle.
30And Phinees the priest and all the chiefs of the congregation of Israel who were with him heard the words which the children of Ruben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasse spoke; and it pleased them.
31And Phinees the priest said to the sons of Ruben, and to the sons of Gad, and to the half of the tribe of Manasse, To-day we know that the Lord is with us, because ye have not trespassed grievously against the Lord, and because ye have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the Lord.
32So Phinees the priest and the princes departed from the children of Ruben, and from the children of Gad, and from the half tribe of Manasse out of Galaad into the land of Chanaan to the children of Israel; and reported the words to them.
33And it pleased the children of Israel; and they spoke to the children of Israel, and blessed the God of the children of Israel, and told them to go up no more to war against the others to destroy the land of the children of Ruben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasse: so they dwelt upon it.
34And Joshua gave a name to the altar of the children of Ruben, and the children of Gad, and of the half tribe of Manasse; and said, It is a testimony in the midst of them, that the Lord is their God.