The eastern tribes return home
Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of
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:
Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have
kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.
And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he
promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and
unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave
you on the other side Jordan.
But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the
servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD 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.
So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their
Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given possession in
Bashan: but unto the other half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on
this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their
tents, then he blessed them,
And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents,
and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and
with iron, and with very much raiment: divide the spoil of your enemies with
Joshua called the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, and said to them,
You've obeyed all the commandments that God gave to Moses.
It's time for you to return home to the west side of the Jordan River.
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 unto the country of Gilead, to the
land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word
of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
So the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh returned to the country of Gilead on the west side
of the Jordan River.
And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are 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 Jordan, a great altar to see to.
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 borders of Jordan, at the passage of the
children of Israel.
The returning tribes built an altar by the Jordan river.
And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the
children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war
And the children of Israel sent unto 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,
And with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the
tribes of Israel; and each one was an head of the house of their fathers
among the thousands of Israel.
When the Israelites heard about the altar, they gathered together at Shiloh to go to war against them.
And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and
to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with
The Israelites came to the returning tribes and said to them,
Thus saith the whole congregation of the LORD, What trespass is this that
ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from
following the LORD, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might
rebel this day against the LORD?
Why have you rebelled against God by building an altar?
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 congregation of the LORD,
Wasn't the iniquity of Peor  enough for you?
But that ye must turn away this day from following the LORD? and it will
be, seeing ye rebel to day against the LORD, that to morrow he will be wroth
with the whole congregation of Israel.
Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye
over unto the land of the possession of the LORD, wherein the LORD's
tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the
LORD, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the
LORD our God.
Because you have rebelled against God by building an altar, God will be angry at all of us.
Did not Achan the son of Zerah
commit a trespass in the
accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and
that man perished not alone in his iniquity.
Didn't Achan commit a trespass with the accursed thing, and the wrath of God fell on the whole
Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of
Manasseh answered, and said unto the heads of the thousands of Israel,
The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he
shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD,
(save us not this day,)
That we have built us an altar to turn from following the LORD, or if to
offer thereon burnt offering or meat offering, or if to offer peace
offerings thereon, let the LORD himself require it;
And if we have not rather done it for fear of this thing, saying, In time
to come your children might speak unto our children, saying, What have ye to
do with the LORD God of Israel?
For the LORD hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of
Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the LORD: so shall your
children make our children cease from fearing the LORD.
Then the eastern tribes (the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh) said to the
God knows if we have rebelled against him by building an altar.
Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt
offering, nor for sacrifice:
But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations
after us, that we might do the service of the LORD 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 time to come, Ye have no part in the
Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to
our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern
of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings,
nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you.
God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn this day from
following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat
offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the LORD our God that is
before his tabernacle.
And when Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation and
heads of the thousands of Israel which were with him, heard the words that
the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh
spake, it pleased them.
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 the LORD is among us, because ye have not committed
this trespass against the LORD: now ye have delivered the children of Israel
out of the hand of the LORD.
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, unto the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them
The altar that we built will be a witness between you and us.
It will not be used for burnt offerings or sacrifice.
And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel
blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy
the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt.
And the thing pleased the Israelites. So they decided not to go to war with the Reubenites, Gadites,
and half the tribe of Manasseh.
And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed:
for it shall be a witness between us that the LORD is God.
And they called the altar "Ed".