The Offer of the Reubenites and Gadites
32:16 Then they came very close to him and said, “We will build sheep folds here for our flocks and cities for our families,22 32:17 but we will maintain ourselves in armed readiness23 and go before the Israelites until whenever we have brought them to their place. Our descendants will be living in fortified towns as a protection against24 the inhabitants of the land. 32:18 We will not return to our homes until every Israelite has his inheritance. 32:19 For we will not accept any inheritance on the other side of the Jordan River25 and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this eastern side of the Jordan.”
32:20 Then Moses replied,26 “If you will do this thing, and if you will arm yourselves for battle before the Lord, 32:21 and if all your armed men cross the Jordan before the Lord until he drives out his enemies from his presence 32:22 and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you may return and be free of your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. This land will then be your possession in the Lord’s sight.
32:23 “But if you do not do this, then look, you will have sinned27 against the Lord. And know that your sin will find you out. 32:24 So build cities for your descendants and pens for your sheep, but do what you have said28 you would do.”
32:25 So the Gadites and the Reubenites replied to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 32:26 Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock will be there in the cities of Gilead, 32:27 but your servants will cross over, every man armed for war, to do battle in the Lord’s presence, just as my lord says.”
32:28 So Moses gave orders about them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua son of Nun, and to the heads of the families of the Israelite tribes. 32:29 Moses said to them: “If the Gadites and the Reubenites cross the Jordan with you, each one equipped for battle in the Lord’s presence, and you conquer the land,29 then you must allot them the territory of Gilead as their possession. 32:30 But if they do not cross over with you armed, they must receive possessions among you in Canaan.” 32:31 Then the Gadites and the Reubenites answered, “Your servants will do what the Lord has spoken.30 32:32 We will cross armed in the Lord’s presence into the land of Canaan, and then the possession of our inheritance that we inherit will be ours on this side of the Jordan River.”31
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