So the whole community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against them.
First, however, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to talk with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
In this delegation were ten leaders of Israel, one from each of the ten tribes, and each the head of his family within the clans of Israel.
When they arrived in the land of Gilead, they said to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh,
“The whole community of the LORD demands to know why you are betraying the God of Israel. How could you turn away from the LORD and build an altar for yourselves in rebellion against him?
Was our sin at Peor not enough? To this day we are not fully cleansed of it, even after the plague that struck the entire community of the LORD .
And yet today you are turning away from following the LORD . If you rebel against the LORD today, he will be angry with all of us tomorrow.
“If you need the altar because the land you possess is defiled, then join us in the LORD ’s land, where the Tabernacle of the LORD is situated, and share our land with us. But do not rebel against the LORD or against us by building an altar other than the one true altar of the LORD our God.
Didn’t divine anger fall on the entire community of Israel when Achan, a member of the clan of Zerah, sinned by stealing the things set apart for the LORD ? He was not the only one who died because of his sin.”
Then the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered the heads of the clans of Israel:
“The LORD, the Mighty One, is God! The LORD, the Mighty One, is God! He knows the truth, and may Israel know it, too! We have not built the altar in treacherous rebellion against the LORD . If we have done so, do not spare our lives this day.