1Then did Joshua call the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Menasseh,
2And he said unto them, Ye have indeed kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and ye have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you:
3Ye have not forsaken your brethren these many days, until this day; but ye have kept the obligation of the commandment of the Lord your God.
4And now the Lord your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them; therefore now turn yourselves, and get you unto your tents, unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave unto you on the other side of the Jordan.
5Only take diligent heed to practise the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord hath commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
6And Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went unto their tents.
7Now to the one half of the tribe of Menasseh Moses had given possession in Bashan; but unto the other half thereof gave Joshua with their brethren on this side of the Jordan westward; and when Joshua sent them also away unto their tents, he blessed them;
8And he said unto them, as followeth, With much riches return unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with copper, and with iron, and with very many garments: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.
9And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Menasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel from Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gil'ad, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the order of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
10And when they came unto the districts of the Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Menasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, a great altar for a show.
11And the children of Israel heard, as followeth, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Menasseh have built an altar in the front of the land of Canaan, in the districts of the Jordan, at the side belonging to the children of Israel.
12And when the children of Israel heard it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves together at Shiloh, to go up against them to war.
13And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Menasseh, into the land of Gil'ad, Phinehas the son of Elazar the priest.
14And ten princes with him, one prince each for every division of all the tribes of Israel; and each one was a head of their family divisions among the thousands of Israel.
15And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Menasseh, unto the land of Gil'ad, and they spoke with them, saying:
16Thus have said the whole congregation of the Lord, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that ye have built yourselves an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord?
17Have we had too little in the iniquity of Peor,—from which we are not yet cleansed until this day,—when there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord?
18And will ye turn away this day from following the Lord? and it will be, that when ye will rebel this day against the Lord, tomorrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel.
19But, notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the Lord, wherein dwelleth the tabernacle of the Lord, and take possession in the midst of us; but rebel not against the Lord and against us do not rebel, in building yourselves an altar beside the altar of the Lord our God.
20Did not 'Achan the son of Zerach commit a trespass on the devoted things, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and he, though but one man, perished not alone in his iniquity.
21But the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Menasseh answered, and they spoke unto the heads of the thousands of Israel,
22The God of gods, the Eternal, the God of gods, the Eternal, he knoweth, and Israel also shall know: if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the Lord, aid us not this day,
23That we have built us an altar to turn away from following the Lord; or if to offer thereon burnt-offering or meat-offering, or if to offer thereon peace-offerings, may the Lord himself require it;
24Or whether we have not done it for fear of this thing, saying, In time to come your children might say unto our children, as followeth, What have ye to do with the Lord, the God of Israel?
25For the Lord hath made a boundary between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad,—the Jordan; ye have no part in the Lord: thus might your children make our children cease so as not to fear the Lord.
26Wherefore we said, Let us now act for ourselves to build this altar, not for burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice;
27But it shall be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we may perform the service of the Lord before him with our burnt-offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our, peace-offerings; and that your children may not say in time to come to our children, Ye have no portion in the Lord.
28And we said, that it shall be !!when they should say this to us and 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-offering, nor for sacrifice; but it is a witness between us and you.
29Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn away this day from following the Lord, to build an altar for burnt-offering, for meat-offering, or for sacrifice, beside the altar of the Lord our God that is before his dwelling.
30And when Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation and the heads of the thousands of Israel who were with him, heard the words which the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Menasseh had spoken, it was pleasing in their eyes.
31And Phinehas the son of Elazar the priest said unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Menasseh, This day do we know that the Lord is in our midst, because ye have not committed this trespass against the Lord: now have ye delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the Lord.
32And Phinehas the son of Elazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gil'ad, unto the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and they brought them word again.
33And the thing was pleasing in the eyes of the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God; and they did not speak any more to go up against them to battle, to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt.
34And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar “'Ed”; for they said it is a witness between us that the Eternal is God.