1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh,
2 and 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:
3 you have not left your brothers these many days to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of Yahweh your God.
4 Now 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.
5 Only 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.
6 So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went to their tents.
7 Now 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,
8 and spoke to them, saying, Return with much wealth to your tents, and with very much cattle, 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.
9 The 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, whereof they were possessed, according to the commandment of Yahweh by Moses.
10 When 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.
11 The 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.
12 When 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.
13 The 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,
14 and 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.
15 They 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,
16 Thus 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?
17 Is 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,
18 that 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.
19 However, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass you 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.
20 Didn`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.
21 Then 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,
22 The 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,)
23 that 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;
24 and 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?
25 for 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.
26 Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice:
27 but 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.
28 Therefore 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.
29 Far 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.
30 When 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.
31 Phinehas 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.
32 Phinehas 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.
33 The 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.
34 The 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.