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Yehoshua 22 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

22 Then Yehoshua summoned the Reuveni, and the Gadi, and the half-tribe of Menasheh,

And said unto them, Ye have been shomer over all that Moshe Eved Hashem commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you;

Ye have not deserted your achim these yamim rabbim to yom hazeh, but have been shomer over the mishmeret mitzvat Hashem Eloheichem (charge, duty of the commandment of Hashem your G-d.)

And now Hashem Eloheichem hath given manoach unto your achim, just as He promised them; therefore now return ye, and get you unto your ohalim, and unto the Eretz Achuzzatechem, which Moshe eved Hashem gave you on the other side of the Yarden.

But be shomer to do the mitzvah and the torah, which Moshe Eved Hashem charged you, to love Hashem Eloheichem, and to walk in all the darkhei Hashem (see Ac 21:21 OJBC), and to be shomer mitzot regarding His commandments, and to have deveykus (attachment, cleavimg to G-d) to Him, and to serve Him in avodas [kodesh] with kol levavchem uvkhol nafshechem (all your heart , with all your nefesh).

So Yehoshua gave them a brocha, and sent them away; and they went unto their ohalim.

Now to the one half of the tribe of Menasheh Moshe had given possession in Bashan; but unto the other half thereof gave Yehoshua among their achim on this side Yarden westward. And when Yehoshua sent them away also unto their ohalim, then he gave them a brocha.

And he spoke unto them, saying, Return with nekasim rabbin (many possessions) unto your ohalim, and with mikneh rav me’od (very much cattle), with kesef, and with zahav, and with nechoshet, and with barzel (iron), and with very much selamot (clothes); divide the plunder of your enemies with your achim.

And the Bnei Reuven and the Bnei Gad and the half-tribe of Menasheh returned, and departed from the Bnei Yisroel at Shiloh, which is in Eretz Kana’an, to go unto Eretz Gil‘ad, to the Eretz Achuzzatam (the land of their possession, estate), whereof they had taken as a possession, according to the word of Hashem by the yad Moshe.

10 And when they came unto the Gelilot of the Yarden, that is in eretz Kena’an, the Bnei Reuven and the Bnei Gad and the half-tribe of Menasheh built there a mizbe’ach by the Yarden, a mizbe’ach gadol in appearance.

11 And the Bnei Yisroel heard, Hinei, the Bnei Reuven and the Bnei Gad and the half-tribe of Menasheh have built a mizbe’ach at the edge of Eretz Kena’an, in the region of the Yarden, on the side belonging to the Bnei Yisroel.

12 And when the Bnei Yisroel heard of it, the kol Adat Bnei Yisroel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them.

13 And the Bnei Yisroel sent unto the Bnei Reuven, and to the Bnei Gad, and to the halftribe of Menasheh, into Eretz Gil`ad, Pinchas ben Eleazar the Kohen,

14 And with him ten nasi’im, one each of the bais av for all the tribes of Yisroel; and each one was a Rosh Bais Avotam among the Alephei Yisroel.

15 And they came unto the Bnei Reuven, and to the Bnei Gad, and to the half-tribe of Menasheh, unto Eretz Gil‘ad, and they spoke with them, saying,

16 Thus saith the Kol Adat Hashem, What ma’al (trespass, disobedience, breach of faith, treachery, breaking faith) is this that ye have committed against the Elohei Yisroel, to turn away this day from following Hashem, in that ye have built you a mizbe’ach, that ye might rebel this day against Hashem?

17 Is the avon Peor too little for us, from which we are not tahor until this day, even though there was the negef (plague) in the Adat Hashem,

18 But that ye must turn away this day from following Hashem? And it will be, seeing ye rebel hayom (today) against Hashem, that machar (tomorrow) He will be angry with the kol Adat Yisroel.

19 Notwithstanding, if the eretz achuzzatechem be tamei (unclean), then pass ye over unto the eretz achuzzat Hashem, wherein Hashem’s Mishkan dwelleth, and take possession among us; but rebel not against Hashem, nor rebel against us, in building you a mizbe’ach other than the mizbe’ach Hashem Eloheinu.

20 Did not Achan ben Zerach break faith in the cherem, and ketzef (wrath) fell on kol Adat Yisroel? And that ish perished not alone in his avon (iniquity).

21 Then the Bnei Reuven and the Bnei Gad and the half-tribe of Menasheh answered, and said unto the Rashei Alephei Yisroel,

22 El Elohim, Hashem El Elohim, He knoweth, and Yisroel shall have da’as; if it be in mered (rebellion), or if in ma’al against Hashem, (al toshieini hayom hazeh [save us not this day]),

23 That we have built us a mizbe’ach to turn away from following Hashem, or if to offer thereon olah or minchah, or if to offer zivkhei shelamim thereon, let Hashem Himself call it to account;

24 No, rather have we not done it for fear, for this reason, saying, In time to come your banim might speak unto our banim, saying, What have ye to do with Hashem Elohei Yisroel?

25 For Hashem hath made the Yarden a boundary between us and you, ye Bnei Reuven and Bnei Gad; ye have no chelek in Hashem; so might your banim make our banim cease from fearing Hashem.

26 Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us the mizbe’ach, not for olah nor for zevach,

27 But that it may be an ed (witness) between us, and you, and doroteinu (our generations) after us, that we might do the avodas Hashem before Him with oloteinu, and with zevakheinu, and with shelameinu; that your banim may not say to our banim in time to come, Ye have no chelek in Hashem.

28 Therefore we said, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to doroteinu in time to come, that we may say again, See the tavnit (pattern, replica) of the mizbe’ach Hashem, which Avoteinu built, not for olah, nor for zevach; but it is an ed (witness) between us and you.

29 Chalilah lanu (far be it from us) that we should rebel against Hashem, and turn today from following Hashem, to build a mizbe’ach for olah, for minchah, or for zevach, other than the Mizbe’ach Hashem Eloheinu that is before His Mishkan.

30 And when Pinchas HaKohen, and the nasi’im of the Edah and Rashei Alephei Yisroel which were with him, heard the words that the Bnei Reuven and the Bnei Gad and the Bnei Menasheh spoke, it pleased them.

31 And Pinchas ben Eleazar HaKohen said unto the Bnei Reuven, and to the Bnei Gad, and to the Bnei Menasheh, Today we have da’as that Hashem is among us, because ye have not broken faith with Hashem; now ye have saved the Bnei Yisroel out of the yad Hashem.

32 And Pinchas ben Eleazar HaKohen, and the nasi’im, returned from the Bnei Reuven, and from the Bnei Gad, out of Eretz Gil`ad, unto Eretz Kena’an, to the Bnei Yisroel, and reported the matter unto them.

33 And the thing pleased the Bnei Yisroel; and the Bnei Yisroel made brocha unto Elohim, and spoke no more about going up against them in battle, to destroy HaAretz wherein the Bnei Reuven and Gad dwelt.

34 And the Bnei Reuven and the Bnei Gad called the mizbe’ach Ed (Witness), for it is between us that Hashem is HaElohim.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

Joshua 22 New International Version (NIV)

Eastern Tribes Return Home

22 Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you. Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Then Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their homes. (To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan, and to the other half of the tribe Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan along with their fellow Israelites.) When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them, saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth—with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing—and divide the plunder from your enemies with your fellow Israelites.”

So the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan to return to Gilead, their own land, which they had acquired in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.

10 When they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan. 11 And when the Israelites heard that they had built the altar on the border of Canaan at Geliloth near the Jordan on the Israelite side, 12 the whole assembly of Israel gathered at Shiloh to go to war against them.

13 So the Israelites sent Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to the land of Gilead—to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 14 With him they sent ten of the chief men, one from each of the tribes of Israel, each the head of a family division among the Israelite clans.

15 When they went to Gilead—to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh—they said to them: 16 “The whole assembly of the Lord says: ‘How could you break faith with the God of Israel like this? How could you turn away from the Lord and build yourselves an altar in rebellion against him now? 17 Was not the sin of Peor enough for us? Up to this very day we have not cleansed ourselves from that sin, even though a plague fell on the community of the Lord! 18 And are you now turning away from the Lord?

“‘If you rebel against the Lord today, tomorrow he will be angry with the whole community of Israel. 19 If the land you possess is defiled, come over to the Lord’s land, where the Lord’s tabernacle stands, and share the land with us. But do not rebel against the Lord or against us by building an altar for yourselves, other than the altar of the Lord our God. 20 When Achan son of Zerah was unfaithful in regard to the devoted things,[a] did not wrath come on the whole community of Israel? He was not the only one who died for his sin.’”

21 Then Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh replied to the heads of the clans of Israel: 22 “The Mighty One, God, the Lord! The Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows! And let Israel know! If this has been in rebellion or disobedience to the Lord, do not spare us this day. 23 If we have built our own altar to turn away from the Lord and to offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, or to sacrifice fellowship offerings on it, may the Lord himself call us to account.

24 “No! We did it for fear that some day your descendants might say to ours, ‘What do you have to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 The Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you—you Reubenites and Gadites! You have no share in the Lord.’ So your descendants might cause ours to stop fearing the Lord.

26 “That is why we said, ‘Let us get ready and build an altar—but not for burnt offerings or sacrifices.’ 27 On the contrary, it is to be a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the Lord at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices and fellowship offerings. Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours, ‘You have no share in the Lord.’

28 “And we said, ‘If they ever say this to us, or to our descendants, we will answer: Look at the replica of the Lord’s altar, which our ancestors built, not for burnt offerings and sacrifices, but as a witness between us and you.’

29 “Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord and turn away from him today by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings and sacrifices, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle.

30 When Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the community—the heads of the clans of the Israelites—heard what Reuben, Gad and Manasseh had to say, they were pleased. 31 And Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, said to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, “Today we know that the Lord is with us, because you have not been unfaithful to the Lord in this matter. Now you have rescued the Israelites from the Lord’s hand.”

32 Then Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, and the leaders returned to Canaan from their meeting with the Reubenites and Gadites in Gilead and reported to the Israelites. 33 They were glad to hear the report and praised God. And they talked no more about going to war against them to devastate the country where the Reubenites and the Gadites lived.

34 And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us—that the Lord is God.


  1. Joshua 22:20 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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