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1Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle; and they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for cattle. 2So the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleaʹzar the priest and to the leaders of the congregation, 3“Atʹaroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Eleaʹleh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beʹon, 4the land which the Lord smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle; and your servants have cattle.” 5And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession; do not take us across the Jordan.”

6But Moses said to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben, “Shall your brethren go to the war while you sit here? 7Why will you discourage the heart of the people of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord has given them? 8Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kaʹdesh-barʹnea to see the land. 9For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the people of Israel from going into the land which the Lord had given them. 10And the Lord’s anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, saying, 11‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me; 12none except Caleb the son of Jephunʹneh the Kenʹizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.’ 13And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was consumed. 14And behold, you have risen in your fathers’ stead, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the Lord against Israel! 15For if you turn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness; and you will destroy all this people.”

16Then they came near to him, and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our flocks, and cities for our little ones, 17but we will take up arms, ready to go before the people of Israel, until we have brought them to their place; and our little ones shall live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18We will not return to our homes until the people of Israel have inherited each his inheritance. 19For 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.” 20So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the Lord for the war, 21and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him 22and the land is subdued before the Lord; then after that you shall return and be free of obligation to the Lord and to Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. 23But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. 24Build cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do what you have promised.” 25And the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 26Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall remain there in the cities of Gilead; 27but your servants will pass over, every man who is armed for war, before the Lord to battle, as my lord orders.”

28So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleaʹzar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel. 29And Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, every man who is armed to battle before the Lord, will pass with you over the Jordan and the land shall be subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession; 30but if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.” 31And the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben answered, “As the Lord has said to your servants, so we will do. 32We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan.”

33And Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Manasʹseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land and its cities with their territories, the cities of the land throughout the country. 34And the sons of Gad built Dibon, Atʹaroth, Aroʹer, 35Atʹroth-shoʹphan, Jazer, Jogʹbehah, 36Beth-nimʹrah and Beth-harʹan, fortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37And the sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Eleaʹleh, Kiriathaʹim, 38Nebo, and Baʹal-meʹon (their names to be changed), and Sibmah; and they gave other names to the cities which they built. 39And the sons of Machir the son of Manasʹseh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40And Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasʹseh, and he settled in it. 41And Jaʹir the son of Manasʹseh went and took their villages, and called them Havʹvoth-jaʹir. 42And Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah, after his own name.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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