Joshua 22Expanded Bible (EXB)
Three Tribes Go Home
22 Then Joshua called a meeting of the people from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and ·East [L half-tribe of] Manasseh. 2 He said to them, “You have done everything Moses, the Lord’s servant, told you to do. You have also obeyed ·all my commands [L my voice in all I commanded you]. 3 For a long time you have ·supported [L not abandoned/forsaken] the other Israelites. You have been careful to ·obey the commands [or carry out the task] the Lord your God gave you [Deut. 3:18–20]. 4 The Lord your God promised to give the Israelites ·peace [rest], and he has kept his promise. Now you may go back to your homes, to the land that Moses, the Lord’s servant, gave you, ·on the east side of [L beyond] the Jordan River. 5 But be careful to obey the ·teachings [commandment] and laws Moses, the Lord’s servant, gave you: to love the Lord your God and ·obey his commands [L walk in his paths], to ·continue to follow [L hold fast to] him and serve him ·the very best you can [L with all your heart and with all your soul].”
6 Then Joshua ·said good-bye to [blessed] them, and ·they left and [L sent them away and they] went away to their ·homes [L tents]. 7 Moses had given the land of Bashan to ·East [the half-tribe of] Manasseh. Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan River to ·West Manasseh [L the other half]. And he sent them to their homes and he blessed them. 8 He said, “Go back to your homes with your riches. You have many animals, silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and many beautiful clothes. Divide among ·yourselves [L your brothers] the ·things [plunder] you have taken from your enemies.
9 So the people from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and ·East [the half-tribe of] Manasseh left the other ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] at Shiloh in Canaan and went back to Gilead. It was their own land, given to them by Moses as the Lord had commanded.
10 The people of Reuben, Gad, and ·East [the half-tribe of] Manasseh went to Geliloth, near the Jordan River in the land of Canaan. There they built a ·beautiful [or imposing; impressive] altar. 11 The ·other Israelites still at Shiloh [L sons/T children of Israel] heard about the altar these three tribes built at the border of Canaan at Geliloth, near the Jordan River on Israel’s side. 12 All the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] became very angry at these three tribes, so ·they [L the whole assembly/congregation] met together and decided to ·fight [wage war against] them [C because they considered this idolatry; Deut. 13:12–18].
13 The ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] sent Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest to Gilead to talk to the people of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. 14 They also sent ·one leader [L ten leaders, one] from each of the ten tribes at Shiloh. Each of them was a leader ·of his family group [among the clans] of Israelites.
15 These leaders went to Gilead to talk to the people of Reuben, Gad, and ·East [L the half-tribe of] Manasseh. They said: 16 “·All the Israelites [L The whole assembly/congregation of the Lord] ask you: ‘Why did you ·turn against [break faith by turning away from] the God of Israel by building an altar for yourselves? You know that this is ·against God’s law [L rebellion this day against the Lord]. 17 ·Remember what happened at Peor [L Wasn’t the sin of Peor enough; Num. 24]? We still ·suffer today [L have not cleansed/purified ourselves] because of that sin, for which ·God made many Israelites very sick [L a plague came against the congregation/assembly of the Lord]. 18 And now are you turning against the Lord and refusing to follow him?
“‘If you ·don’t stop what you’re doing [L rebel against the Lord] today, the Lord will be angry with ·everyone in Israel [the whole congregation/assembly] tomorrow. 19 If your land is ·unclean [C in a ritual sense], come over into our land where the Lord’s ·Tent [T Tabernacle] is. Share it with us. But don’t ·turn [rebel] against the Lord and us by building another altar for the Lord our God. 20 ·Remember how [L Is it not true that…?] Achan son of Zerah refused to obey the command about ·what must be completely destroyed [L the devoted things; 7:1–26]. That one man broke God’s law, but ·all the Israelites [L the whole assembly/congregation] were punished. ·Achan died because of his sin, but others also died [L And he did not die alone for his sin].’”
21 The people from Reuben, Gad, and ·East [the half-tribe of] Manasseh answered [L the heads of the clans of Israel], 22 “·The Lord is God of gods! [or El, God, the Lord] ·The Lord is God of gods [or El, God, the Lord]! God knows, and we want you to know also. If we have ·done something wrong [L rebelled or broken faith with the Lord], ·you may kill us [L do not spare us today]. 23 If we have built our own altar to turn away from the Lord or to offer burnt offerings [1:1–17] or ·grain [L gift; tribute; Lev. 2:1] and ·fellowship [or peace; well-being] offerings [3:1], may the Lord himself punish us.
24 “We did not build it for that reason. We feared that someday your people would not accept us as part of your nation. Then they might say, ‘·You cannot worship [L What do you have to do with…?] the Lord, the God of Israel. 25 The Lord made the Jordan River a border between us and you people of Reuben and Gad. You ·cannot worship [L have no share/portion in] the Lord.’ So we feared that your children might make our ·children [descendants] stop ·worshiping [L fearing] the Lord.
26 “That is why we decided to build this altar. But it is not for burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17] and sacrifices. 27 This altar is ·proof to [witness between] you and us and to all our ·children [generations] who will come after us that we ·worship the Lord [L do the service of the Lord before him] with our whole burnt offerings, grain, and ·fellowship [or peace] offerings. This was so your ·children [descendants] would not say to our ·children [descendants], ‘You ·are not the Lord’s [L have no share/portion in the Lord].’
28 “In the future if ·your children [L they] say that to us or our ·children [generations], we can say, ‘See the altar made by our ancestors. It is ·exactly like [a copy/model of] the Lord’s altar, but we do not use it for burnt offerings or sacrifices. It ·shows that we are part of Israel [L is a witness between us and you].’
29 “·Truly, we don’t want to be [L Far be it from us to rebel] against the Lord or to ·stop following [turn away from] him by building an altar for burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17], grain [L gift; tribute] offerings [Lev. 2:1], or sacrifices. We know the only true altar to the Lord our God is in front of the ·Holy Tent [T Tabernacle].”
30 When Phinehas the priest and the ·ten leaders [L leaders of the congregation, the heads of the clans of the families of Israel,] heard the people of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh, they were ·pleased [satisfied]. 31 So Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, said to the people of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, “·Now [L Today] we know the Lord is ·with us [L in our midst] ·and that you didn’t turn against [or because you have not broken faith with] him. Now ·the Israelites will not be punished by [L you have rescued the Israelites from the hand of] the Lord.”
32 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the leaders left the people of Reuben and Gad in Gilead and went back to Canaan where they told the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] what had happened. 33 They were ·pleased [satisfied] and thanked God. So they ·decided not to fight [L talked no more about going to war against] the people of Reuben and Gad and destroy those lands.
34 And the people of Reuben and Gad named the altar ·Proof That We Believe the Lord Is God [L A Witness Between Us—That the Lord Is God; or Witness, “For,” they said, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God”].
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