and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel, every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel.
They came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them,
"Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord, "What is this treachery that you have committed against the God of Israel in turning away today from following the Lord, by building yourselves an altar today in rebellion against the Lord?
Have we not had enough of the sin at Peor from which even yet we have not cleansed ourselves, and for which a plague came upon the congregation of the Lord,
that you must turn away today from following the Lord! If you rebel against the Lord today, he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow.
But now, if your land is unclean, cross over into the Lord's land where the Lord's tabernacle now stands, and take for yourselves a possession among us; only do not rebel against the Lord, or rebel against us a by building yourselves an altar other than the altar of the Lord our God.
Did not Achan son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity!' "
Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel,
"The Lord, God of gods! The Lord, God of gods! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the Lord, do not spare us today
for building an altar to turn away from following the Lord; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or offerings of well-being on it, may the Lord himself take vengeance.
No! We did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, "What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel?
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)