Joshua 22:13-29 - Explanation Of The Altar

13 And the sons of Israel sent Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, to the sons of Reuben, and to the sons of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, 14 and with him ten rulers, one ruler of a fathers' house for each of the tribes of Israel. And they were each man of them head of their fathers' houses among the thousands of Israel. 15 And they came to the sons of Reuben, and to the sons 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 LORD, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following LORD, in that ye have built for you an altar, to rebel this day against LORD? 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 upon the congregation of LORD, 18 that ye must turn away this day from following LORD? And it will be, seeing ye rebel today against LORD, that tomorrow he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 However, if the land of your possession is unclean, then pass ye over to the land of the possession of LORD, in which LORD's tabernacle dwells, and take possession among us, but do not rebel against LORD, nor rebel against us, in b 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in what was set apart, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.

21 Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered, and spoke to the heads of the thousands of Israel, 22 The Mighty One, God, LORD, the Mighty One, God, LORD, he knows, and Israel he shall know, if it is in rebellion, or if in trespass against LORD (do not save us this day), 23 that we have built us an altar to turn away from following LORD, or if to offer burnt-offering or meal-offering on it, or if to offer sacrifices of peace-offerings on it, let LORD himself require it, 24 and if we have not [rather] out of carefulness done this, from purpose, saying, In time to come your sons might speak to our sons, saying, What have ye to do with LORD, the God of Israel? 25 For LORD has made the Jordan a border between us and you, ye sons of Reuben and sons of Gad. Ye have no portion in LORD. So your sons might make our sons cease from fearing LORD.

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 LORD before him with our burnt-offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace-offerings, that your sons may n 28 Therefore we said, It shall be, when they so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we shall say, Behold the pattern of the altar of LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice, but it is 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against LORD, and turn away this day from following LORD, to build an altar for burnt-offering, for meal-offering, or for sacrifice, besides the altar of LORD our God that is before his tabern