They came close to him and said, “All we want to do is build corrals for our livestock and towns for our families. Then we’ll take up arms and take the front lines, leading the People of Israel to their place. We’ll be able to leave our families behind, secure in fortified towns, safe from those who live in the land. But we won’t go back home until every Israelite is in full possession of his inheritance. We won’t expect any inheritance west of the Jordan; we are claiming all our inheritance east of the Jordan.”
Reubenites and Gadites(approaching Moses): What if we lay claim to the land here, but then proceed with the others west across the Jordan and into their land? We would fight alongside all the other Israelites, but we wouldn’t take any of that land for ourselves since our inheritance is on the eastern side of the Jordan. Only after we’ve seen to it that everyone else is safely settled there would we return here to take up our lives as residents of this place. We could set up preliminary dwellings now for our sheep and livestock and towns for our women and children. The towns should be fortified, since there are still inhabitants in the land who would like to run us out. We really feel that we’ve found our home here, east of the Jordan.
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