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1Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 2and said to them, You have kept all that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, and have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you: 3you have not left your brothers these many days to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of Yahweh your God. 4Now Yahweh your God has given rest to your brothers, as he spoke to them: therefore now turn you, and get you to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan. 5Only take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, to love Yahweh your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. 6So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went to their tents. 7Now to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given inheritance in Bashan; but to the other half gave Joshua among their brothers beyond the Jordan westward; moreover when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, 8and spoke to them, saying, Return with much wealth to your tents, and with very much livestock, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much clothing: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers. 9The children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, which they owned, according to the commandment of Yahweh by Moses. 10When they came to the region about the Jordan, that is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, a great altar to look on. 11The children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the forefront of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that pertains to the children of Israel. 12When the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up against them to war. 13The children of Israel sent to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, 14and with him ten princes, one prince of a fathers’ house for each of the tribes of Israel; and they were everyone of them head of their fathers’ houses among the thousands of Israel. 15They came to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying, 16Thus says the whole congregation of Yahweh, What trespass is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following Yahweh, in that you have built you an altar, to rebel this day against Yahweh? 17Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although there came a plague on the congregation of Yahweh, 18that you must turn away this day from following Yahweh? and it will be, seeing you rebel today against Yahweh, that tomorrow he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel. 19However, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass over to the land of the possession of Yahweh, in which Yahweh’s tent dwells, and take possession among us: but don’t rebel against Yahweh, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar besides the altar of Yahweh our God. 20Didn’t Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the devoted thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man didn’t perish alone in his iniquity. 21Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered, and spoke to the heads of the thousands of Israel, 22The Mighty One, God, Yahweh, the Mighty One, God, Yahweh, he knows; and Israel he shall know: if it be in rebellion, or if in trespass against Yahweh (don’t save us this day), 23that we have built us an altar to turn away from following Yahweh; or if to offer thereon burnt offering or meal offering, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings thereon, let Yahweh himself require it; 24and if we have not rather out of carefulness done this, and of purpose, saying, In time to come your children might speak to our children, saying, What have you to do with Yahweh, the God of Israel? 25for Yahweh has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you children of Reuben and children of Gad; you have no portion in Yahweh: so might your children make our children cease from fearing Yahweh. 26Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: 27but it shall be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we may do the service of Yahweh before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not tell our children in time to come, You have no portion in Yahweh. 28Therefore said we, It shall be, when they so tell us or to our generations in time to come, that we shall say, Behold the pattern of the altar of Yahweh, which our fathers made, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice; but it is a witness between us and you. 29Far be it from us that we should rebel against Yahweh, and turn away this day from following Yahweh, to build an altar for burnt offering, for meal offering, or for sacrifice, besides the altar of Yahweh our God that is before his tent. 30When Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation, even the heads of the thousands of Israel that were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them well. 31Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, This day we know that Yahweh is in the midst of us, because you have not committed this trespass against Yahweh: now have you delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of Yahweh. 32Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gilead, to the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again. 33The thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and spoke no more of going up against them to war, to destroy the land in which the children of Reuben and the children of Gad lived. 34The children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: For, said they, it is a witness between us that Yahweh is God.
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