11ThenJoshuasummoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,
and said to them, "You have keptall that Moses the servant of the LORDcommanded you, 2and have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you.
"You have not forsaken your brothersthesemanydays to thisday, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.
"And now3the LORD your God has givenrest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turnnow and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, whichMoses the servant of the LORDgave you beyond the Jordan.
5"Only be verycareful to observe the commandment and the lawwhichMoses the servant of the LORDcommanded you, to 4love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and holdfast to Him and serve Him 5with all your heart and with all your soul."
So Joshua6blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.
Now 7to the one half-tribe of ManassehMoses had given a possession in Bashan, but 8to the other halfJoshuagave a possession among their brotherswestwardbeyond the Jordan. So whenJoshuasent them away to their tents, he blessed them,
and said to athem, "Return to your tents with greatriches and with verymuchlivestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron, and with verymanyclothes; 9divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers."
The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manassehreturned home and departed from the sons of Israel at Shilohwhich is in the land of Canaan, to go to the 10land of Gilead, to the land of their possessionwhich they had possessed, according to the bcommand of the LORDcthroughMoses.
When they came to the region of the Jordanwhich is in the land of Canaan, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manassehbuilt an altarthere by the Jordan, a largealtar in appearance.
And the sons of Israelheard it dsaid, "Behold, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have 11built an altar at the efrontier of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan, on the side belonging to the sons of Israel."
When the sons of Israelheard of it, the wholecongregation of the sons of Israelgathered themselves at 12Shiloh to go up against them in war.
Then the sons of Israelsent to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, 13Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,
and with him tenchiefs, onechief for each father'shousehold from each of the tribes of Israel; and 14eachone of them was the head of his father'shousehold among the fthousands of Israel.
They came to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them saying,
16"Thussays the wholecongregation of the LORD, 'What is thisunfaithfulactwhich you have committed against the God of Israel, turningaway from following the LORD this day, by 15building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the LORD this day?
'Is not 16the iniquity of Peorgenough for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to thisday, although a plaguecame on the congregation of the LORD,
that you must turnaway this day from following the LORD? If you rebel against the LORD today, 17He will be angry with the wholecongregation of Israeltomorrow.
19'If, however, the land of your possession is unclean, then hcross into the land of the possession of the LORD, where the LORD'Stabernacleistands, and takepossessionamong us. Only do not rebel against the LORD, or rebelagainst us by 18building an altar for yourselves, besides the altar of the LORD our God.
'Did not 19Achan the son of Zerahactunfaithfully in the thingsunder the ban, and wrathfall on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perishalone in his iniquity.' "
Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manassehanswered and spoke to the heads of the jfamilies of Israel.
"The 20MightyOne, God, the LORD, the MightyOne, God, the LORD! 21He knows, and may Israelitselfknow. If it was in rebellion, or if in an unfaithfulact against the LORD do not save us thisday!
"If we have built us an altar to turnaway from following the LORD, or if to 22offer a burntoffering or grain offering on it, or if to offersacrifices of peaceofferings on it, may the LORDHimselfrequire it.
"But truly we have donethis out of concern, kfor a reason, saying, 'In time to come your sons may say to our lsons, "What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel?
"For the LORD has made the Jordan a borderbetween us and you, you sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you havenoportion in the LORD." So your sons may make our sonsstopfearing the LORD.'
"Therefore we said, 'Let us mbuild an altar, not for burntoffering or for sacrifice;
27rather it shall be 23a witnessbetween us and you and between our generationsafter us, that we are to 24perform the service of the LORDbefore Him with our burntofferings, and with our sacrifices and with our peaceofferings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in time to come, "You havenoportion in the LORD."'
"Therefore we said, 'It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, "See the copy of the altar of the LORDwhich our fathersmade, not for burntoffering or for sacrifice; rather it is a witnessbetween us and you."'
29"Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turnaway from following the LORD this day, by 25building an altar for burntoffering, for grain offering or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the LORD our Godwhich is before His ntabernacle."
So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, even the heads of the ofamilies of Israelwho were with him, heard the wordswhich the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manassehspoke, it pleased them.
And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priestsaid to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, "Today we know that the 26LORD is in our midst, because you have not committedthisunfaithfulact against the LORD; now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of the LORD."
Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the leadersreturned from the sons of Reuben and from the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and broughtbackword to them.
The wordpleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel27blessedGod; and they did not speak of going up against them in war to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living.
The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad28called the altar Witness; "For," they said, "it is a witnessbetween us that the LORD is God."