The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock.
So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said,
“Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon—
the land the LORD subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock.
If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”
Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here?
Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the LORD has given them?
This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land.
After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the LORD had given them.
The LORD’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath:
‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—
not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.’
The LORD’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.
“And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the LORD even more angry with Israel.
If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction.”