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Settling the East Side

32 The sons of Reuben and Gad had very large herds and flocks, and, they saw that the territory of Jazer and Gilead were ideal for livestock. So the sons of Reuben and Gad came and said to Moses, Eleazar the kohen, and the princes of the community saying, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the territory Adonai conquered before the community of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”

Then they said, “If we have found favor in your eyes, let this territory be given to your servants as a possession. Don’t make us cross the Jordan.”

Moses replied to the sons of Gad and Reuben, “Should your countrymen go to war while you dwell here? Why do you dishearten Bnei-Yisrael from going across to the land that Adonai has given to them? Your fathers did this when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. They went up to the Valley of Eshcol and viewed the land, but they discouraged the hearts of Bnei-Yisrael not to enter the land which Adonai had given them. 10 The anger of Adonai was aroused that day, and He swore an oath saying: 11 ‘The men who came out of Egypt, from 20 years old and upward, will not see the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for they have not followed after Me with a whole heart— 12 except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they were wholehearted after Adonai.’ 13 The anger of Adonai burned against Israel and He caused them to wander in the wilderness 40 years until all the generation doing that evil in Adonai’s sight was gone.

14 “Now look, here you stand in the place of your fathers as a brood of sinful men to add more to Adonai’s great wrath against Israel! 15 If you turn away from Him, He will repeat again leaving this people in the wilderness, you being the cause of this people’s destruction.”

16 Then they came up to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds for our livestock and cities for our children. 17 But we are prepared to arm ourselves and go ahead of Bnei-Yisrael until we have brought them to their place. Our children will live in the cities fortified against the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until each one of Bnei-Yisrael has received his inheritance. 19 Yet we will not inherit with them on the side beyond the Jordan, since our inheritance has come on the east side of the Jordan.”

20 Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves for battle for Adonai, 21 and if all of you cross the Jordan until Adonai has driven His enemies from before Him 22 and the land is subdued before Adonai—then afterward you may return and be free before Adonai and Israel. Then this territory will be your possession before Adonai.

23 “But if you don’t do this, behold, you sin against Adonai! Be assured! Your sin will find you out! 24 Build for yourselves cities for your children and pens for your flocks. Then do what has come out of your mouth.”

25 The sons of Gad and Reuben said to Moses saying, “Your servants will do just as my lord is commanding. 26 Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all of our herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead. 27 But your servants, every one armed for battle, will cross over for the war before Adonai, just as my lord says.”

28 Moses then gave orders about them to Eleazar the kohen, Joshua son of Nun, and to the chiefs of the fathers of the tribes of Bnei-Yisrael. 29 Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and Reuben cross over the Jordan with you, everyone armed for battle before Adonai, when the land is subdued before you, then give them the territory of Gilead as a possession. 30 However, if they do not cross over fully armed, they are to possess the land of Canaan with you.”

31 The sons of Gad and Reuben answered saying, “What Adonai has said to your servants, so we will do. 32 We will cross fully armed before Adonai into Canaan, but our inheritance will be on this side of the Jordan.”

33 Moses then gave to them—the sons of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, son of Joseph—the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og, king of Bashan—the land with its cities and the territory around the cities. 34 The sons of Gad built up Dibon, Ataroth and Aroer, 35 as well as Atroh-shophan, Jazer and Jogbehah, 36 Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran as fortified cities, as well as sheep pens.

37 The sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, Baal Meon, (cities whose names were changed) and Sibmah. They gave other names to the rebuilt cities.

39 The sons of Machir son of Manasseh went up to Gilead, captured it, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he lived there. 41 Jair, a son of Manasseh, went and captured their settlements and named them Jair’s Villages.

42 Nobah went and conquered Kenath and its settlements and named them Nobah after his own name.