The Altar by the Jordan
22 1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, 2 and said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, and have hearkened to my voice in all that I commanded you. 3 Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, and ye have kept the charge of the commandment of Jehovah your God. 4 And now Jehovah your God hath given rest to your brethren, as he said unto them; and now return, and get you unto your tents, unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of Jehovah gave you beyond the Jordan. 5 Only, take great heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, to love Jehovah your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. 6 And Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went to their tents. 7 And to half the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given [inheritance] in Bashan, and to the other half thereof had Joshua given among their brethren on this side the Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them also, 8 and spoke to them, saying, Return unto your tents with much wealth and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with copper, and with iron, and with clothing, in very great quantity; divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren. 9 And 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 country of Gilead, into the land of their possession, of which they had become possessed, according to the word of Jehovah through Moses.
10 And they came to the districts of the Jordan that are in the land of Canaan; and the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of grand appearance. 11 And 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 over against the land of Canaan, in the districts of the Jordan, separately from the children of Israel. 12 And when the children of Israel heard [of it], the whole assembly of the children of Israel gathered together at Shiloh, to go up against them to war. 13 And 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, of each father's house a prince, out of all the tribes of Israel; and each of them was head of a father's house, of the thousands of Israel. 15 And 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 spoke with them, saying, 16 Thus saith the whole assembly of Jehovah: What wickedness is this which ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following Jehovah, in that ye have built yourselves an altar, rebelling this day against Jehovah? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us? from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the assembly of Jehovah. 18 And ye turn away this day from following Jehovah; and it will be, that since ye rebel this day against Jehovah, to-morrow he will be wroth with the whole assembly of Israel. 19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession is unclean, come over into the land of the possession of Jehovah, where Jehovah's tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession amongst us; but rebel not against Jehovah, and rebel not against us, in building for yourselves an altar besides the altar of Jehovah our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing? and wrath fell on all the assembly of Israel, and he perished not alone in his iniquity.
21 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh answered and said to the heads of the thousands of Israel, 22 The God of gods, Jehovah, the God of gods, Jehovah, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know [it]; if it is in rebellion, or if in trespass against Jehovah,—save us not this day! 23 —that we have built for ourselves an altar to turn from following Jehovah, and if it is to offer up burnt-offering and oblation on it, and if to offer peace-offerings thereon, let Jehovah himself require it [from us]; 24 and if we have not done it from fear of this thing, saying, In future your children will speak to our children, saying, What have ye to do with Jehovah the God of Israel? 25 Jehovah hath made the Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad, ye have no portion in Jehovah! And so shall your children make our children cease from fearing Jehovah. 26 And we said, Let us now set to work to build an altar, not for burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice, 27 but to be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we might do service to Jehovah before him with our burnt-offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace-offerings; that your children may not say to our children in future, Ye have no portion in Jehovah. 28 And we said, If it shall be that in future they so say to us and to our generations, we will say, Behold the pattern of the altar of Jehovah which our fathers made, not for burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice, but as a witness between us and you. 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against Jehovah, and turn this day from following Jehovah, in building an altar for burnt-offering, for oblation, and for sacrifice, besides the altar of Jehovah our God that is before his tabernacle.
30 And when Phinehas the priest and the princes of the assembly and 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 was good in their sight. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, This day we perceive that Jehovah is among us, because ye have not committed this trespass against Jehovah: now have ye delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of Jehovah. 32 And 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 And the thing was good in the sight of the children of Israel, and the children of Israel blessed God, and no more said that they would go up in warfare against them, to destroy the land in which the children of Reuben and the children of Gad dwelt. 34 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad gave a name to the altar; for it is a witness between us that Jehovah is God.