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Conquest and Division of Transjordan

32 Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle; and they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for cattle. So the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Elea′zar the priest and to the leaders of the congregation, “At′aroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elea′leh, Sebam, Nebo, and Be′on, the land which the Lord smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle; and your servants have cattle.” And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession; do not take us across the Jordan.”

But Moses said to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben, “Shall your brethren go to the war while you sit here? Why will you discourage the heart of the people of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord has given them? Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Ka′desh-bar′nea to see the land. For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the people of Israel from going into the land which the Lord had given them. 10 And the Lord’s anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, saying, 11 ‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me; 12 none except Caleb the son of Jephun′neh the Ken′izzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.’ 13 And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was consumed. 14 And behold, you have risen in your fathers’ stead, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the Lord against Israel! 15 For if you turn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness; and you will destroy all this people.”

16 Then they came near to him, and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our flocks, and cities for our little ones, 17 but we will take up arms, ready to go before the people of Israel, until we have brought them to their place; and our little ones shall live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until the people of Israel have inherited each his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond; because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan to the east.” 20 So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the Lord for the war, 21 and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord; then after that you shall return and be free of obligation to the Lord and to Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. 23 But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do what you have promised.” 25 And the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall remain there in the cities of Gilead; 27 but your servants will pass over, every man who is armed for war, before the Lord to battle, as my lord orders.”

28 So Moses gave command concerning them to Elea′zar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel. 29 And Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, every man who is armed to battle before the Lord, will pass with you over the Jordan and the land shall be subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession; 30 but if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.” 31 And the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben answered, “As the Lord has said to your servants, so we will do. 32 We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan.”

33 And Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Manas′seh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land and its cities with their territories, the cities of the land throughout the country. 34 And the sons of Gad built Dibon, At′aroth, Aro′er, 35 At′roth-sho′phan, Jazer, Jog′behah, 36 Beth-nim′rah and Beth-har′an, fortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37 And the sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elea′leh, Kiriatha′im, 38 Nebo, and Ba′al-me′on (their names to be changed), and Sibmah; and they gave other names to the cities which they built. 39 And the sons of Machir the son of Manas′seh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 And Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manas′seh, and he settled in it. 41 And Ja′ir the son of Manas′seh went and took their villages, and called them Hav′voth-ja′ir.[a] 42 And Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah, after his own name.


  1. Numbers 32:41 That is the villages of Jair

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