Now the Reubenites and the Gadites owned a very great number of cattle. When they saw that the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead was a good place for cattle, 2 the Gadites and the Reubenites came and spoke to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon— 4 the land that the Lord subdued before the congregation of Israel—is a land for cattle; and your servants have cattle.” 5 They continued, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession; do not make us cross the Jordan.”
6 But Moses said to the Gadites and to the Reubenites, “Shall your brothers go to war while you sit here? 7 Why will you discourage the hearts of the Israelites from going over into the land that the Lord has given them? 8 Your fathers did this, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. 9 When they went up to the Wadi Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the hearts of the Israelites from going into the land that the Lord had given them. 10 The Lord’s anger was kindled on that day and he swore, saying, 11 ‘Surely none of the people who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not unreservedly followed me— 12 none except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they have unreservedly followed the Lord.’ 13 And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord had disappeared. 14 And now you, a brood of sinners, have risen in place of your fathers, to increase the Lord’s fierce anger against Israel! 15 If you turn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness; and you will destroy all this people.”
16 Then they came up to him and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our flocks, and towns for our little ones, 17 but we will take up arms as a vanguard[a] before the Israelites, until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our little ones will stay in the fortified towns because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until all the Israelites have obtained their inheritance. 19 We will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan to the east.”
20 So Moses said to them, “If you do this—if you take up arms to go before the Lord for the war, 21 and all those of you who bear arms cross the Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord—then after that you may return and be free of obligation to the Lord and to Israel, and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. 23 But if you do not do this, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. 24 Build towns for your little ones, and folds for your flocks; but do what you have promised.”
25 Then the Gadites and the Reubenites said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock shall remain there in the towns of Gilead; 27 but your servants will cross over, everyone armed for war, to do battle for the Lord, just as my lord orders.”
28 So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua son of Nun, and to the heads of the ancestral houses of the Israelite tribes. 29 And Moses said to them, “If the Gadites and the Reubenites, everyone armed for battle before the Lord, will cross over the Jordan with you and the land shall be subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession; 30 but if they will not cross over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.” 31 The Gadites and the Reubenites answered, “As the Lord has spoken to your servants, so we will do. 32 We will cross over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, but the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us on this side of[b] the Jordan.”
33 Moses gave to them—to the Gadites and to the Reubenites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph—the kingdom of King Sihon of the Amorites and the kingdom of King Og of Bashan, the land and its towns, with the territories of the surrounding towns. 34 And the Gadites rebuilt Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran, fortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37 And the Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, and Baal-meon (some names being changed), and Sibmah; and they gave names to the towns that they rebuilt. 39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead, captured it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were there; 40 so Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he settled there. 41 Jair son of Manasseh went and captured their villages, and renamed them Havvoth-jair.[c] 42 And Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages, and renamed it Nobah after himself.
a. Numbers 32:17 Cn: Heb hurrying
b. Numbers 32:32 Heb beyond
c. Numbers 32:41 That is the villages of Jair
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
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