"No! We did it for fear that some day your descendants might say to ours, 'What do you have to do with the LORD, the God of Israel?
The LORD has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you--you Reubenites and Gadites! You have no share in the LORD.' So your descendants might cause ours to stop fearing the LORD.
"That is why we said, 'Let us get ready and build an altar--but not for burnt offerings or sacrifices.'
On the contrary, it is to be a witness1 between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the LORD at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices and fellowship offerings.2 Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours, 'You have no share in the LORD.'
"And we said, 'If they ever say this to us, or to our descendants, we will answer: Look at the replica of the LORD's altar, which our fathers built, not for burnt offerings and sacrifices, but as a witness3 between us and you.'
"Far be it from us to rebel4 against the LORD and turn away from him today by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings and sacrifices, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle.5"