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Josua 22

Krigerne fra de østlige stammer vender hjem

1Josva kaldte nu krigerne fra Rubens og Gads stammer samt fra Manasses halve stamme til sig 2-3 og sagde til dem:

„I har gjort nøjagtig, som Herrens tjener Moses gav jer besked på—og I har også gjort, hvad jeg har sagt. I har gjort jeres pligt over for de andre stammer ved nøje at følge Herrens befalinger i al den tid, det tog at indtage landet. Nu har Herren endelig givet os fred og fremgang i landet, sådan som han lovede. Derfor er det på tide, at I vender hjem til det land på den anden side af Jordanfloden, som Moses gav jer. Men husk fortsat at adlyde Guds bud, de love, som han gav til Moses. Elsk Herren, jeres Gud, gør hans vilje og adlyd hans bud. Vær tro imod ham og tjen ham af hele jeres hjerte og med hele jeres sjæl!”

Så velsignede Josva dem og gav dem fri til at tage hjem. Moses havde jo givet den ene halvdel af Manasses stamme land i Bashan, og Josva havde givet den anden halvdel land blandt de andre israelitter vest for Jordanfloden. Efter at Josva havde velsignet dem, sagde han til dem: „I vender rige hjem med masser af krigsbytte: kvæg, sølv, guld, bronze, jern og tøj. Alt dette skal I dele med jeres slægtninge derhjemme!”

Så forlod krigerne fra Rubens, Gads og Manasses halve stamme israelitternes lejr ved Shilo i Kanaʼan og satte kurs mod Jordanfloden for at vende hjem til deres eget land i Gilead. 10 Men inden de satte over floden, byggede de ved Gelilot i Kanaʼan et stort alter, som kunne ses på lang afstand.

11 Da israelitterne fik at vide, at de havde bygget deres eget alter, 12 samledes lederne i Shilo og gjorde klar til krig imod dem. 13-15 De sendte en delegation i forvejen anført af Pinehas, præsten Eleazars søn. Delegationen, som foruden Pinehas bestod af lederne for hver af de ti øvrige stammer, satte over floden for at tale med Rubens, Gads og Manasses halve stamme i Gilead.

16 „Israels folk forlanger en forklaring på, hvorfor I har syndet imod Israels Gud og vendt jer fra ham, så I har bygget et alter og gjort oprør imod ham,” sagde de. 17-18 „I burde have taget ved lære af den synd, vi begik ved Peor, og som stadig tynger os. Hvorfor vil I gøre oprør igen, når I udmærket ved, at det vil udløse Herrens straf over os? 19 Hvis det land, I bor i, er besmittet af afgudsdyrkelse, så kom tilbage til Herrens land, hvor hans bolig er. Vi deler gerne vores land med jer, men hvis I begynder at ofre på et andet alter end Herrens sande alter, gør I oprør imod ham og drager os med ind i det. 20 Har I glemt, at dengang Akan, Zerachs søn, syndede imod Herren, ramte straffen ikke kun ham, men hele Israels folk?”

21 Rubens, Gads og Manasses halve stamme svarede: 22-23 „Herren er almægtig, Gud over alle guder, og han ved, at hensigten med dette alter ikke var at gøre oprør imod ham. Vi ønsker også, at hele Israel skal vide, at vi ikke har i sinde at ofre brændofre, afgrødeofre og takofre på det alter. Må Herrens forbandelse ramme os, hvis det havde været vores hensigt. 24-25 Nej, vi har bygget det, fordi vi frygter, at jeres efterkommere i fremtiden kan finde på at sige til vores efterkommere: ‚Hvad ret har I til at tilbede Herren, Israels Gud? Herren har sat Jordanfloden som en grænse mellem vores folk og jeres folk; det viser, at I ikke er rigtige israelitter.’ Resultatet bliver så, at I får vores efterkommere til at opgive at tilbede Herren. 26-27 Denne frygt er baggrunden for, at vi har bygget alteret som en påmindelse. Det skal være et tegn for vores og jeres efterkommere, at vi har samme ret som jer til at tilbede Herren med brændofre, takofre og andre ofre. Jeres efterkommere skal ikke komme og påstå, at vi ikke hører Herren til! 28 Gør de det, kan vores efterkommere frimodigt svare: ‚Se det alter, som vores forfædre byggede. Det ligner Herrens sande alter, men det er ikke beregnet til at ofre på. Det er et tegn på, at vi har samme ret som jer til at tilbede Herren, Israels Gud.’ 29 Det er bestemt ikke vores hensigt at gøre oprør imod Herren og bygge et alter, der skal konkurrere med Herrens sande alter, der står foran hans bolig, for kun på det alter kan der ofres til ham.”

30 Da præsten Pinehas og stammelederne hørte den forklaring, var de lettede. 31 „I dag står det klart,” sagde Pinehas, „at Herren stadig er med os, for I har ikke syndet imod ham, sådan som vi troede. Tværtimod har I reddet os fra at begå en stor fejl og blive straffet af Herren.”

32 Så vendte Pinehas og hans delegation tilbage til Israels folk og fortalte, hvordan det var gået, 33 og hele Israel frydede sig og lovpriste Gud. Fra da af var der ikke længere tale om at gå i krig mod stammerne øst for Jordanfloden. 34 Rubens og Gads stamme kaldte alteret for „Mindealter”, fordi det skulle minde begge parter om, at de alle regnede Herren som deres Gud.

Amplified Bible

Joshua 22

Tribes beyond Jordan Return

1Then Joshua called the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and said to them, “You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have listened to and obeyed my voice in everything that I commanded you. You have not deserted your brothers these many days to this day, but have [carefully] kept the obligation of the commandment of the Lord your God. And now the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as He has promised them; so turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the [east side of the] Jordan. Only be very careful and diligently observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord has commanded you to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul [your very life].” So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

Now to the one-half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half Joshua gave a possession on the west side of the Jordan among their brothers. So when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, and he said to them, “Return to your tents with great riches and with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron, and with very many clothes; divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers (fellow tribesmen).” So the sons (descendants) of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home and departed from the [other] sons (western tribes) of Israel at Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their own which they had possessed, in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.

The Offensive Altar

10 When they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan, an altar that was great to behold. 11 And the [other] sons of Israel heard it said, “Look, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an [a]altar at the edge of the land of Canaan, in the region [west] of the Jordan, on the side belonging to the sons of Israel.” 12 When the sons of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh to make war against them.

13 Then the sons of Israel sent Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, 14 and with him ten leaders, one leader from each father’s household from each of the tribes of Israel; and each one was the head of his father’s household among the thousands of Israel. 15 They came to the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them, 16 “This is what the entire congregation of the Lord says, ‘What is this disloyal and unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, so as to turn away from following the Lord this day, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the Lord this day? 17 Is the wrongdoing (idolatry) of Peor not enough for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, even though the affliction [in which twenty-four thousand died] came on the congregation of the Lord, 18 that you would turn away this day from following the Lord? If you rebel against the Lord today, He will be angry with the entire congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 If, however, the land of your possession is unclean, then cross into the land of the possession of the Lord, where the Lord’s tabernacle is situated, and settle down among us. But do not rebel against the Lord, or rebel against us by building an altar for yourselves, besides the altar of the Lord our God [at Shiloh]. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah act unfaithfully in the things under the ban, and [as a result God’s] wrath came on the entire congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his wrongdoing.’”

21 Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered and said to the heads of the families of Israel, 22 “The Mighty One, God, the Lord, the Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows, and may Israel itself know. If it was in rebellion, or if in an unfaithful act against the Lord, do not save us this day! 23 If we have built an altar for ourselves to turn away from following the Lord, or if [we did so] to offer a burnt offering or grain offering on it, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings on it, may the Lord Himself require it [of us and hold us responsible]. 24 But in truth we have done this out of concern, for a reason, saying, ‘In time to come your sons (descendants) may say to our sons, “What [b]claim do you have to the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 For the Lord has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no part in the Lord.” So your sons (descendants) may cause our sons to stop fearing the Lord.’

26 “So we said, ‘Let us prepare and build an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice, 27 but to be a witness between us and you and between the generations after us, that we are to perform the service of the Lord before Him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your sons (descendants) will not say to our sons in time to come, “You have no part in the Lord.”’ 28 So we said, ‘If your descendants should say this to us or to our descendants in time to come, then we can reply, “See the copy of the altar of the Lord which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice, but rather it is a witness between us and you.”’ 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord and turn away from following the Lord this day, by building an altar for burnt offering, for grain offering or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the Lord our God which is before His [c]tabernacle [in Shiloh].”

30 So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation and heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manasseh spoke, it [d]pleased them. 31 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manasseh, “Today we know that the Lord is among us, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the Lord; indeed you have saved Israel from the hand of the Lord.”

32 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the leaders returned from the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 The report [e]pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God; and they said no more about going to battle against them to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living. 34 The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar Witness; “For it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”

  1. Joshua 22:11 The immediate assumption of the Israelites was that this altar was an act of rebellion and was built to compete with the true altar of God in Shiloh.
  2. Joshua 22:24 Lit to you and to the Lord.
  3. Joshua 22:29 Lit dwelling place.
  4. Joshua 22:30 Lit was good in their eyes.
  5. Joshua 22:33 Lit was good in the eyes of.