1 The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had a large number of livestock. They saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead was indeed a place suitable for livestock.
2 They approached Moses, the priest Eleazar, and the leaders of the congregation and said:
3 »Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon,
4 the land Jehovah won for the congregation of Israel, is a good place for livestock. Gentlemen, we have livestock.«
5 »Please give us this land as our property. Do not make us cross the Jordan River.«
6 Moses asked the tribes of Gad and Reuben: Are you going to stay here while the rest of the Israelites go to war?
7 That might discourage them from entering the land Jehovah has given them.
8 That is what your ancestors did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look at the land.
9 They went as far as the Eshcol Valley. They saw the land. But then they discouraged the rest of the Israelites from entering the land Jehovah had given them.
10 That day Jehovah became angry and swore this oath:
11 »None of the people twenty years old or older, who came from Egypt, will see the land I promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with an oath. This is because they did not wholeheartedly follow me.
12 »Only Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun will get to see the land. This is because they wholeheartedly followed Jehovah.
13 »Jehovahs anger blazed against the Israelites. Therefore he made them wander in the desert for forty years until the whole generation of those who had done evil in Jehovahs presence was gone.
14 »You are just like your parents! You are a bunch of sinners trying to make Jehovah angry at Israel again.
15 »If you turn away from him he will abandon all these people in the desert. You would be responsible for their destruction.«
16 The tribes of Gad and Reuben came to Moses and said: »Allow us to build stone fences for our livestock and cities for our families here.
17 »Then we will be ready to march in battle formation ahead of the other Israelites until we have brought them to their land. Meanwhile our families will live in walled cities. They will be safe from the other people who live here.
18 »We will not return to our homes until every Israelite has received his own land.
19 »We will not take possession of any land on the other side of the Jordan River, to the west and beyond. We already have our land here, east of the Jordan.«
20 Moses answered: »If you really mean what you say, then here in the presence of Jehovah get ready to go into battle.
21 »All your fighting men are to cross the Jordan and under Jehovahs command they are to attack our enemies until Jehovah defeats them
22 and takes possession of the land. You may return after that, because you will have fulfilled your obligation to Jehovah and to the other Israelites. Then Jehovah will acknowledge that this land east of the Jordan is yours.
23 »If you do not keep your promise, I warn you that you will be sinning against Jehovah. Do not doubt this, you will be punished for your sin.
24 »So build your towns and the enclosures for your sheep, but do what you have promised!«
25 The men from Reuben and Gad answered Moses: »Sir, we will do just what you have said.
26 »Our wives, children, sheep and cattle will stay here in the towns in Gilead.
27 »However those of us prepared for battle will cross the Jordan and fight for Jehovah.«
28 Moses said to Eleazar, Joshua, and the family leaders:
29 »Make sure the tribes of Gad and Reuben prepare for battle and cross the Jordan River with you. If they do, then after the land is in your control, give them the region of Gilead as their tribal land.
30 »But if they break their promise, they will receive land on the other side of the Jordan, like the rest of the tribes.«
31 The tribes of Gad and Reuben replied: »We are your servants and will do whatever Jehovah has commanded.
32 »We will enter Canaan as armed troops in Jehovahs presence. The land we will take possession of is here, east of the Jordan.«
33 So Moses gave the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of the tribe of Manasseh, son of Joseph, the kingdoms of King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan. It was the whole land with its cities and its surrounding territory.
34 The tribe of Gad rebuilt the cities of Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,
35 Atroth Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,
36 Beth Nimrah, and Beth Haran as walled cities. They also built stone fences for their flocks.
37 The tribe of Reuben rebuilt the cities of Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,
38 Nebo, Baal Meon whose names were changed, and Sibmah. These are the names they gave the cities they rebuilt.
39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead. They captured it and forced out the Amorites who were there.
40 So Moses gave Gilead to the people of Machir the descendants of Manasseh, and they lived there.
41 Then Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, captured the settlements in Gilead. He called them Havvoth Jair.
42 Nobah captured Kenath and its villages. He named it Nobah after himself.