1 Then Joshua called unto the Reubenites, the Gadites and to the half tribe of Manasseh, 2 and said unto them, "Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you: 3 ye have not left your brethren of a long season unto this day but have kept the commandment of the LORD your God. 4 And now the LORD hath given rest unto your brethren as he promised them. Wherefore, return and go unto your tents and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan. 5 But in any wise take exceeding good heed that ye do the commandment and law which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you: which is, that ye love the LORD your God, and walk in his ways and keep his commandments, and cleave unto him, and serve him with all your hearts and all your souls."
6 And so Joshua blessed them and sent them away. And they went unto their tents. 7 Unto the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses gave possession in Bashan: and unto the other half thereof gave Joshua with their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And also when Joshua sent them away unto their tents and blessed them, 8 he said unto them, "Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, gold, brass, iron, and with raiment above measure, and divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren."
9 And the children of Ruben, the children of Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh, returned and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gilead, and to the land of their possession, wherein they were possessed at the mouth of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 10 And when they came unto the coasts of Jordan that lie in the land of Canaan: there the children of Ruben, the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh, built an altar fast by Jordan, and that a great altar to see to.
11 And when the children of Israel heard say, "Behold the children of Reuben, the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the forefront of the land of Canaan in the borders of Jordan on the side of the children of Israel": 12 the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered them together to Shiloh, to go upon them with battle.
13 And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Ruben, to the children of Gad and unto the half tribe of Manasseh into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, 14 and with him ten lords of every chief house a lord throughout all the tribes of Israel, which heads of their fathers' households were over the thousands of Israel. 15 And they went unto the children of Reuben, of Gad and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead and spake with them, saying, 16 "Thus say the whole congregation of the LORD: 'What transgression is this that ye have transgressed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from after the LORD and to build you an altar for to rebel this day against the LORD? 17 Is the wicked deed of Peor too little for us, whereof we are not cleansed unto this day, and there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD? 18 But that ye also should turn away this day from following the LORD: ye shall rebel today against the LORD, and tomorrow he shall be wroth with all the congregation. 19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then come over unto the land of the possession of the LORD, where the LORD's tabernacle dwelleth, and be possessed among us. But rebel not against the LORD nor against us, to build you any other altar save the altar of the LORD our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah trespass in the excommunicate things, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel, so that he alone perished not for his wickedness?'"
21 Then the children of Reuben and of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh answered, and said unto the heads over the thousands of Israel, 22 "The mighty God Jehovah, he knoweth, and Israel shall know if; it be to rebel or transgress against the LORD, then the LORD save us not this day. 23 Or else if we have built us an altar to turn from following the LORD, or to offer thereon burnt offering or meat offerings, or to offer peace offerings thereon: let the LORD require it. 24 And have not rather done it for fear of this: lest in time to come your children should say unto ours, 'What have ye to do with the LORD God of Israel?' 25 Saying, 'That the LORD hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Ruben and of Gad: ye have no part therefore in the LORD.' And so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the LORD.
26 And therefore we said, 'Let us cause an altar to be made, not for burnt offerings, nor sacrifices, 27 but it shall be a witness between us and you and our generations after us, that we should serve the LORD, with our offerings, sacrifices and peace offerings: and that your children should not say to ours in time to come: ye have no part in the LORD.' 28 And we thought if they should so say to us, or to our generations in time to come, that we would say again, 'Behold the fashion of the altar which our fathers made, neither for burnt offerings nor sacrifices, but that it should be a witness between us and you.' 29 God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD and that we should turn this day from after him, and build an altar for burnt offerings nor sacrifices, save the altar of the LORD our God that is before his tabernacle."
30 And when Phinehas the priest and the lords of the congregation and heads over the thousands of Israel, which were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben, the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spake, they were well content. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said unto the children of Ruben, of Gad and of Manasseh, "This day we perceive that the LORD is among us, because ye have not done this trespass against the LORD. Now have ye delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the LORD."
32 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the lords returned from the children of Reuben and of Gad out of the land of Gilead unto the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again. 33 And the answer pleased the children of Israel well, and they praised God, and did not intend to go against them in battle, to destroy the land which the children of Ruben and Gad dwelt in. 34 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed, because it is a witness between us, that the LORD is God.