22 Then Joshuaʽ called the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh 2 and said to them “You have kept all the commands Jehovah’s servant Moses gave you, and obeyed every order of mine; 3 you have not deserted your brothers, these many days. To this day you have kept the charge of your God Jehovah’s commandments. 4 And now Jehovah has brought your brothers to rest as he promised them; so now about-face and go to your homes in the country you have as your property, which Jehovah’s servant Moses gave to you on the other side of the Jordan. 5 Only be very careful to live up to the commandment and instruction which Jehovah’s servant Moses enjoined upon you, loving your God Jehovah and walking in all his ways and keeping his commandments and holding fast to him, and worshiping him with all your hearts and souls.” 6 And Joshuaʽ blessed them, and they went to their homes.
7 And Moses had given in the Bashan to half the tribe of Manasseh, and to half of it Joshuaʽ gave on the west side of the Jordan with their brothers. And when Joshuaʽ sent them away to their homes and blessed them, 8 they went back to their homes with great substance, with a very great quantity of stock, with silver and gold and bronze and iron, and with a very great quantity of clothing, and divided the booty from their enemies with their brothers.
9 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh went back from Shiloh in Canaan, from the company of the sons of Israel, to go to Gilead, the country of their property appropriated to them by Jehovah’s direction through Moses. 10 And they came to the marks of the Jordan, in Canaan, and there the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar by the Jordan, an imposing altar.
11 And the sons of Israel heard “There have the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar toward Canaan in the marks of the Jordan, on the sons of Israel’s side,” 12* and all the congregation of the sons of Israel assembled at Shiloh to go up in an expedition against them. 13* And the sons of Israel sent to Gilead, to the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Pinehas the son of Priest Eleazar 14 and ten princes with him, one prince from each family of all the tribes of Israel; each was one of the heads of families of the thousands of Israel. 15 And they came to Gilead to the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh and spoke with them, saying 16 “Says all Jehovah’s congregation, What does this unfaithfulness mean which you have been guilty of toward the God of Israel, going back today from following Jehovah, in that you have built yourselves an altar to break your allegiance to Jehovah today? 17 Was the offense of Peghor a little thing for us, that from which we are not cleansed to this day, and by which there came the calamity in Jehovah’s congregation, 18 and are you turning back from following Jehovah? and when you break your allegiance to Jehovah today, tomorrow he will be incensed at all the congregation of Israel. 19 If the country you have as your property is unclean, just come over to the country that is Jehovah’s property, where Jehovah’s tabernacle is present, and receive a property among us; but do not break your allegiance to Jehovah and put us in the position of breaking ours by your building yourselves an altar other than the altar of our God Jehovah. 20 ʽAcan the son of Zabdi was guilty of unfaithfulness in the deodand, and did there not come a wrath against all the congregation of Israel? and he did not perish a single man in his guilt.”
21 And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered to the heads of the thousands of Israel “Jehovah is God of gods. 22 Jehovah is God of gods. He knows, and let Israel know: if it be in breach of allegiance or if it be in unfaithfulness to Jehovah let him not help us this day, 23 building us an altar to turn back from following Jehovah; or if it be to offer burnt-offerings and grain-offerings on, or if it be to do welfare-sacrifices on, Jehovah himself look into it; 24 if it be not for anxiety about a certain point that we have done this, thinking ‘Tomorrow your sons will say to ours “What has Israel’s God Jehovah to do with you, 25 Jehovah having put a boundary between you sons of Reuben and of Gad and us, the Jordan? you have no share in Jehovah,” and your sons will make ours leave off fearing Jehovah.’ 26* And we thought ‘Let us make ourselves a model of the altar,’ not for burnt-offering and not for sacrifice, 27 because it is a witness between you and us, and between our generations after us, for rendering Jehovah’s worship before him with our burnt-offerings and our sacrifices and our welfare-sacrifices, and your sons are not to say to ours tomorrow ‘you have no share in Jehovah.’ 28 And we thought ‘And when they say so to us and to our generations tomorrow, we will say “See the model of Jehovah’s altar that our fathers made, not for burnt-offering and not for sacrifice, because it is a witness between you and us.”’ 29 Away from us with the thought of breaking our allegiance to Jehovah or turning back today from following Jehovah, building an altar for burnt-offering, grain-offering, and sacrifice, apart from our God Jehovah’s altar before his tabernacle.”
30 And Priest Pinehas and the princes of the congregation who were with him heard the words the sons of Reuben and of Gad and of Manasseh spoke, and approved of them. 31* And Priest Pinehas said to the sons of Reuben and of Gad and of Manasseh “Today we know that Jehovah is among us; in that you were not guilty of this unfaithfulness toward Jehovah, you then delivered the sons of Israel out of Jehovah’s hands.” 32* And Priest Pinehas and the princes returned from conferring with the sons of Reuben and of Gad in Gilead to the sons of Israel in Canaan and brought them back word; 33 and the sons of Israel approved of the word, and the sons of Israel blessed God and did not think of going up on an expedition against them to ravage the country the sons of Reuben and of Gad lived in. 34* And the sons of Reuben and of Gad called the altar ʽEd, “because it is an ʽed, witness, between us that Jehovah is our God.”