21 The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh answered:
22 The Lord is the greatest God! We ask him to be our witness, because he knows whether or not we were rebellious or unfaithful when we built that altar. If we were unfaithful, then we pray that God won’t rescue us today. Let us tell you why we built that altar, 23 and we ask the Lord to punish us if we are lying. We didn’t build it so we could turn our backs on the Lord. We didn’t even build it so we could offer animal or grain sacrifices to please the Lord or ask his blessing.
24-25 We built that altar because we were worried. Someday your descendants might tell our descendants, “The Lord made the Jordan River the boundary between us Israelites and you people of Reuben and Gad. The Lord is Israel’s God, but you’re not part of Israel, so you can’t take part in worshiping the Lord.”
Your descendants might say that and try to make our descendants stop worshiping and obeying the Lord. 26 That’s why we decided to build the altar. It isn’t for offering sacrifices, not even sacrifices to please the Lord.[a]27-29 To build another altar for offering sacrifices would be the same as turning our backs on the Lord and rebelling against him. We could never do that! No, we built the altar to remind us and you and the generations to come that we will worship the Lord. And so we will keep bringing our sacrifices to the Lord’s altar, there in front of his sacred tent. Now your descendants will never be able to say to our descendants, “You can’t worship the Lord.”
But if they do say this, our descendants can answer back, “Look at this altar our ancestors built! It’s like the Lord’s altar, but it isn’t for offering sacrifices. It’s here to remind us and you that we belong to the Lord, just as much as you do.”
22.26sacrifices to please the Lord: See the note at 8.30-32.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the Believer's Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!