We built that altar because we were worried. Someday your descendants might tell our descendants, “The Lord made the Jordan River the boundary between us Israelites and you people of Reuben and Gad. The Lord is Israel’s God, but you’re not part of Israel, so you can’t take part in worshiping the Lord.” Your descendants might say that and try to make our descendants stop worshiping and obeying the Lord.
But that is not why we built it. We built it because we were afraid that in the future your descendants might not accept us as part of God’s people. So your children might say to our children, ‘You people have no reason to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.
“We did not build it for that reason. We feared that someday your people would not accept us as part of your nation. Then they might say, ‘·You cannot worship [L What do you have to do with…?] the Lord, the God of Israel.
But we did this because we were concerned for a reason, since we thought, ‘Sometime in the future your descendants may say to our descendants, “What do you have in common with the Lord, the God of Israel?
But in fact, we have done this because of anxiety, because of a reason, saying, ‘In the future your children may say to our children, ‘What is the relationship between you and Yahweh the God of Israel?
We have done it because we love the Lord and because we fear that in the future your children will say to ours, ‘What right do you have to worship the Lord God of Israel? The Lord has placed the Jordan River as a barrier between our people and your people! You have no part in the Lord.’ And your children may make our children stop worshiping him.
“But that’s not it. We did it because we cared. We were anxious lest someday your children should say to our children, ‘You’re not connected with God, the God of Israel! God made the Jordan a boundary between us and you. You Reubenites and Gadites have no part in God.’ And then your children might cause our children to quit worshiping God.
“No! We built it because we were afraid. Someday your children might speak to our children. We were afraid they might say, ‘What do you have to do with the Lord? What do you have to do with the God of Israel?
and not more, rather, (that) we did it with this thinking and treating, that we should say thus, (If) Your sons hereafter shall say to our sons, What is to you and to the Lord God of Israel? or, What claim (have) ye to be of his people?
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