Three Tribes Go Home
22 Then Joshua called a meeting of all the people from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. 2 Joshua said to them, “Moses was the Lord’s servant. You obeyed everything that Moses told you to do. And you also obeyed all of my commands. 3 All this time you have supported all the other Israelites. You carefully obeyed all the commands that the Lord your God gave you. 4 The Lord your God promised to give the Israelites peace. And now, he has kept his promise, so now you can go home. The Lord’s servant Moses gave you the land on the east side of the Jordan River. Now you can go home to that land. 5 But remember—continue to obey the law that the Lord’s servant Moses gave you. You must love the Lord your God and obey his commands. You must continue to follow him and serve him the very best that you can.”
6 Then Joshua said goodbye to them, and they left and went home. 7 Moses had given the land of Bashan to half of the Manasseh tribe. Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan River to the other half of the Manasseh tribe. Joshua blessed them and sent them home. 8 He said, “You have become very rich. You have many animals. You have gold, silver, and expensive jewelry. You have many beautiful clothes. You have taken many things from your enemies. Go home and divide these things among yourselves.”
9 So the people from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh left the other Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan. They went back home to Gilead. This was their own land, the land that Moses gave them, as the Lord had commanded.
10 They went to the place called Geliloth, near the Jordan River in the land of Canaan. There they built a beautiful altar. 11 But the other Israelites who were still at Shiloh heard about the altar that these three tribes built. They heard that the altar was at the border of Canaan at the place called Geliloth. It was near the Jordan River on Israel’s side. 12 All the Israelites became very angry with these three tribes. They met together and decided to fight against them.
13 So the Israelites sent some men to talk to the people of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh. The leader of these men was Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest. 14 They also sent ten of the leaders of the tribes there. There was one man from each family group of Israel who was at Shiloh.
15 So these eleven men went to Gilead. They went to talk to the people of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh. The eleven men said to them, 16 “All the Lord’s people sent us to ask you this: ‘Why did you do this thing against the God of Israel? Why did you stop following the Lord? Why did you build an altar for yourselves? You know that this is against the Lord’s command. 17 Remember what happened at Peor? Was the sin we committed there not bad enough? Because of that sin, the Lord punished his people with a terrible sickness. And we are still suffering from that sin. 18 And now you are doing the same thing. You are turning against the Lord. Will you refuse to follow the Lord? If you don’t stop what you are doing, he will be angry with everyone in Israel.
19 “‘If your land is not a good place to worship God, come over to the Lord’s land. This is where the Lord’s Tent is. You can have some of the land and live here. But don’t turn against the Lord or against us by building another altar. We already have the altar of the Lord our God at the Meeting Tent.
20 “‘Remember how Achan son of Zerah refused to obey the command about things that must be destroyed. That one man broke God’s law, but all the Israelites were punished. Achan died because of his sin, but also many other people died.’”Read full chapter