Joshua 22 New Life Version (NLV)
22 Joshua called the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-family group of Manasseh. 2 He said to them, “You have done all that the Lord’s servant Moses told you to do. You have obeyed me in all I have told you to do. 3 You have not left your brothers alone even to this day. But you have been careful to do what the Lord your God has told you. 4 Now the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as He promised them. So go now. Return to your homes in your own land, which the Lord’s servant Moses gave you on the other side of the Jordan. 5 Only be very careful to obey the Law which the Lord’s servant Moses told you. Love the Lord your God. Walk in all His ways. Obey His Laws. Stay close to Him, and work for Him with all your heart and soul.” 6 Joshua prayed that good would come to them, and sent them away. Then they went to their homes.
7 Moses had given land in Bashan to the half-family group of Manasseh. But Joshua gave land west of the Jordan to the other half of the family among their brothers. Joshua prayed that good would come to them when he sent them away to their homes. 8 He said to them, “Return to your homes with much riches, many animals, silver, gold, brass, iron, and very many clothes. Share with your brothers the riches taken from those who fought against you.” 9 The sons of Reuben and Gad and the half-family group of Manasseh returned home. They left the people of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan and went to their own land of Gilead. They had taken this land by the word of the Lord through Moses.
10 The sons of Reuben and Gad and the half-family group of Manasseh came to the Jordan River. Before they crossed the Jordan, they built a very large altar on the Canaan side of the Jordan. 11 The people of Israel heard the news, “See, the people of Reuben and Gad and the half-family group of Manasseh have built an altar in the land of Canaan by the Jordan. It stands on the side that belongs to the people of Israel.” 12 When the people of Israel heard about it, all the sons of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them.
13 Then the sons of Israel sent Phinehas the son of the religious leader Eleazar into the land of Gilead to the people of Reuben and Gad and the half-family group of Manasseh. 14 With him were ten leaders, one leader from each ruling house in every family of Israel. Each one was the head of his father’s house among the families of Israel. 15 They came to the people of Reuben and Gad and the half-family group of Manasseh in the land of Gilead, and said to them, 16 “All the people of the Lord say, ‘What sin is this that you have done against the God of Israel? You have turned away from following the Lord this day, by building yourselves an altar. Today you have gone against the Lord. 17 Is not the sin of Peor enough for us? We have made ourselves unclean from that to this day, and much trouble has come upon the people of the Lord. 18 Now to add to that sin, this day you have turned away from following the Lord. If you go against the Lord today, He will be angry with all the people of Israel tomorrow. 19 Now if the land you have been given is unclean, cross over into the Lord’s land. There stands the meeting tent of the Lord. Take land for yourselves among us. But do not go against the Lord, or against us, by building an altar other than the altar of the Lord our God. 20 Did not Zerah’s son Achan sin by taking things that should have been destroyed? Anger came upon all the people of Israel. He did not die alone for his sin.’” 21 Then the people of Reuben and Gad and the half-family group of Manasseh answered the leaders of the families of Israel, saying, 22 “The Powerful One, the Lord, the Powerful One, God, the Lord! He knows! And may Israel itself know! If it was going against the Lord and not being faithful to Him, do not save us this day! 23 If we have built an altar to turn away from following the Lord, or to give burnt gifts, grain gifts or peace gifts on it, may the Lord Himself punish us. 24 We have done this because we were afraid that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 For the Lord has put the Jordan between us and you people of Reuben and Gad. You have nothing to do with the Lord.’ Then your children might make our children stop worshiping the Lord. 26 So we said, ‘Let us build an altar. It will not be for burnt gifts or killing animals in worship. 27 But it will be something special to be seen between us and you and our children after us. It will show that we are to serve the Lord before Him with our burnt gifts, our gifts of animals and our peace gifts. Then your children will not say to our children in the future, “You have nothing to do with the Lord.”’ 28 We thought that if they say this to us or our children in the future we can say, ‘See the altar we have made like the altar of the Lord which our fathers made. It is not for burnt gifts or killing animals in worship. But it is something special to see between us and you.’ 29 Never let it be said that we went against the Lord and turned away from following the Lord this day by building an altar. It is not for burnt gifts or grain gifts or killing animals in worship. It is not to be used instead of the altar of the Lord our God before His meeting tent.”
30 Phinehas the religious leader and the leaders of the people, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, were pleased when they heard the words of the people of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh. 31 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the religious leader said to the people of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, “Today we know that the Lord is among us. Because you have not done this as sin against the Lord. Now you have saved the people of Israel from the hand of the Lord.” 32 Then Phinehas the son of the religious leader Eleazar and the leaders left the people of Reuben and Gad. They returned from the land of Gilead to the people of Israel in the land of Canaan. And they told them what had happened. 33 The news pleased the people of Israel, and they gave thanks to God. They said no more about going against them in war, to destroy the land where the people of Reuben and Gad were living. 34 The people of Reuben and Gad said, “This altar shows the agreement between us that the Lord is God.”