Joshua 22:19

19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the LORD, wherein the LORD'S tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the LORD, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the LORD our God.

Joshua 22:19 Meaning and Commentary

Joshua 22:19

Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession [be] unclean,
&c.] That is, if it was judged to be so by them, because not cleansed from the sins of the former inhabitants of it by sacrifice, or because there was no altar in it to offer up sacrifice for the expiation of sin:

[then] pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the Lord,
wherein the Lord's tabernacle dwelleth;
if you repent of the choice you have made of a country to dwell in, quit it, and come over into the land of Canaan, which the Lord has taken possession of, and residence in, and where his tabernacle is fixed, the place of his presence and worship, and where an altar is erected to sacrifice upon:

and take possession among us;
they were willing to quit possession of their own, and make room for them in each of their tribes, and even though they straitened themselves, and parted with much of their estates, rather than they should make a schism, or go into idolatrous practices; which was a brave, noble, spirit indeed, and showed their great concern for the honour and glory of God, and his worship, and their love to their brethren, and affectionate regard for their spiritual welfare, above their own private, personal, and temporal good:

but rebel not against the Lord:
the Word of the Lord, as the Targum, either Christ the essential Word, the Angel of Jehovah's presence, or his word of command:

nor rebel against us;
by breaking off from us, and setting up another religion or form of worship:

in building you an altar beside the altar of the Lord our God:
which ought to be common to both, and no other to be set up against it, or used beside it.

Joshua 22:19 In-Context

17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD,
18 But that ye must turn away this day from following the LORD? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the LORD, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel.
19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the LORD, wherein the LORD'S tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the LORD, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the LORD our God.
20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.
21 Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh answered, and said unto the heads of the thousands of Israel,