Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

约书亚记 22

建祭坛之争

1约书亚召来了吕便、迦得和玛拿西半个支派的人来, 对他们说:“你们都遵守了耶和华的仆人摩西的一切吩咐,也遵守了我的一切吩咐。 这些日子以来,你们从没有离弃自己的弟兄,遵守了你们的上帝耶和华的吩咐。 现在你们的上帝耶和华已经照祂的应许使你们的弟兄安居,你们可以回到约旦河东,到摩西赐给你们作产业的地方。 不过,你们要谨遵耶和华的仆人摩西吩咐你们的诫命和律法,要爱你们的上帝耶和华,遵行祂的旨意,听从祂的命令,忠于祂,全心全意地事奉祂。”

于是,约书亚为他们祝福,送他们回去,他们就各自返回家园去了。

摩西已经在巴珊把土地分给了玛拿西半个支派,约书亚把约旦河西的土地分给了玛拿西另外的半个支派及其他支派。约书亚派他们回家的时候,为他们祝福, 说:“现在你们带着大量的财物、牲畜、金银、铜、铁和衣物返回家园,要把从敌人那里得来的财物分给你们的弟兄。” 于是,吕便、迦得和玛拿西半个支派的人便离开在迦南的示罗的以色列人,返回耶和华借摩西分配给他们的基列。

10 他们来到约旦河附近的迦南境内,就在约旦河边筑了一座高大的祭坛。 11 以色列人听见吕便、迦得和玛拿西半个支派的人在约旦河西的迦南境内筑起了一座祭坛, 12 便全部聚集在示罗,要讨伐他们。

13 以色列人派祭司以利亚撒的儿子非尼哈去基列见他们, 14 又从每支派差遣一位族长,共十位随行。 15 他们来到基列的吕便、迦得和玛拿西半个支派的人那里,对他们说: 16 “耶和华的全体会众问你们,你们怎能这样背叛以色列的上帝,离弃耶和华,为自己另建祭坛呢? 17 从前拜毗珥的罪恶不够大吗?那一次,瘟疫降到耶和华的会众身上,直到今日我们还没有洗净这罪。 18 你们今日要离弃耶和华吗?今日你们背叛耶和华,明日祂必向以色列全体会众发怒。 19 如果你们认为自己的土地不洁净,可以搬到耶和华的土地跟我们一起居住,这里有耶和华的圣幕。只是不可在耶和华的祭坛以外,自己另筑祭坛,以致背叛耶和华,连累我们。 20 从前谢拉的曾孙亚干私自留下那些耶和华吩咐要毁灭的东西,以致耶和华的烈怒临到以色列全体会众,因他的罪而死的不只他一个人!”

21 吕便、迦得和玛拿西半个支派的人便回答这些以色列的族长说: 22 “大能的上帝耶和华,大能的上帝耶和华,祂知道一切!以色列人也当知道!如果我们做了违背或干犯耶和华的事,愿祂今天就不放过我们! 23 如果我们离弃耶和华,为自己造祭坛,或是在坛上献燔祭、素祭和平安祭,愿耶和华亲自惩罚我们。 24 我们这样做是怕以后你们的子孙可能会对我们的子孙说,‘你们和以色列的上帝耶和华有什么关系? 25 耶和华把约旦河定为我们跟你们吕便和迦得人的边界,你们与耶和华一点关系也没有。’这样,恐怕你们的子孙会使我们的子孙不再敬畏耶和华。 26 因此,我们便商议在这里筑一座祭坛,这坛不是用来献燔祭或别的祭, 27 只是在你们和我们之间,也在彼此的后人之间立个证据,证明我们也献燔祭、平安祭及其他祭事奉耶和华,免得日后你们的子孙对我们的子孙说,‘你们与耶和华一点关系也没有。’ 28 万一你们对我们或我们的子孙这样说,我们可以回答说,‘你们看我们祖先筑的这座祭坛跟耶和华的祭坛一模一样,只是这座坛不是用来献燔祭或别的祭,而是作为你们和我们之间的证据!’ 29 我们根本无意背叛、离弃我们的上帝耶和华,在祂圣幕前的祭坛以外另筑祭坛来献燔祭、素祭和别的祭。”

30 祭司非尼哈和以色列会众的族长听了他们的解释,都很满意。 31 以利亚撒的儿子祭司非尼哈对他们说:“今日我们知道耶和华在我们当中,因为你们没有对耶和华不忠,现在你们使以色列人免遭耶和华的惩罚了。”

32 以利亚撒的儿子非尼哈祭司和众族长便离开吕便人和迦得人,从基列回到迦南向以色列人报告这事。 33 大家听后,都很满意,便颂赞耶和华,打消了出兵讨伐吕便人和迦得人、毁灭他们家园的念头。

34 吕便和迦得人给那座祭坛取名叫“证坛”,意思是这坛在我们中间证明耶和华是上帝。

The Message

Joshua 22

11-5 Then Joshua called together the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He said: “You have carried out everything Moses the servant of God commanded you, and you have obediently done everything I have commanded you. All this time and right down to this very day you have not abandoned your brothers; you’ve shouldered the task laid on you by God, your God. And now God, your God, has given rest to your brothers just as he promised them. You’re now free to go back to your homes, the country of your inheritance that Moses the servant of God gave you on the other side of the Jordan. Only this: Be vigilant in keeping the Commandment and The Revelation that Moses the servant of God laid on you: Love God, your God, walk in all his ways, do what he’s commanded, embrace him, serve him with everything you are and have.”

6-7 Then Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way. They went home. (To the half-tribe of Manasseh, Moses had assigned a share in Bashan. To the other half, Joshua assigned land with their brothers west of the Jordan.)

7-8 When Joshua sent them off to their homes, he blessed them. He said: “Go home. You’re going home rich—great herds of cattle, silver and gold, bronze and iron, huge piles of clothing. Share the wealth with your friends and families—all this plunder from your enemies!”

The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the People of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan to return to Gilead, the land of their possession, which they had taken under the command of Moses as ordered by God.

10 They arrived at Geliloth on the Jordan (touching on Canaanite land). There the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar on the banks of the Jordan—a huge altar!

11 The People of Israel heard of it: “What’s this? The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar facing the land of Canaan at Geliloth on the Jordan, across from the People of Israel!”

12-14 When the People of Israel heard this, the entire congregation mustered at Shiloh to go to war against them. They sent Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (that is, to the land of Gilead). Accompanying him were ten chiefs, one chief for each of the ten tribes, each the head of his ancestral family. They represented the military divisions of Israel.

15-18 They went to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh and spoke to them: “The entire congregation of God wants to know: What is this violation against the God of Israel that you have committed, turning your back on God and building your own altar—a blatant act of rebellion against God? Wasn’t the crime of Peor enough for us? Why, to this day we aren’t rid of it, still living with the fallout of the plague on the congregation of God! Look at you—turning your back on God! If you rebel against God today, tomorrow he’ll vent his anger on all of us, the entire congregation of Israel.

19-20 “If you think the land of your possession isn’t holy enough but somehow contaminated, come back over to God’s possession, where God’s Dwelling is set up, and take your land there, but don’t rebel against God. And don’t rebel against us by building your own altar apart from the Altar of our God. When Achan son of Zerah violated the holy curse, didn’t anger fall on the whole congregation of Israel? He wasn’t the only one to die for his sin.”

21-22 The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh replied to the heads of the tribes of Israel:

The God of Gods is God,
The God of Gods is God!

22-23 “He knows and he’ll let Israel know if this is a rebellious betrayal of God. And if it is, don’t bother saving us. If we built ourselves an altar in rebellion against God, if we did it to present on it Whole-Burnt-Offerings or Grain-Offerings or to enact there sacrificial Peace-Offerings, let God decide.

24-25 “But that’s not it. We did it because we cared. We were anxious lest someday your children should say to our children, ‘You’re not connected with God, the God of Israel! God made the Jordan a boundary between us and you. You Reubenites and Gadites have no part in God.’ And then your children might cause our children to quit worshiping God.

26 “So we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s do something. Let’s build an altar—but not for Whole-Burnt-Offerings, not for sacrifices.’

27 “We built this altar as a witness between us and you and our children coming after us, a witness to the Altar where we worship God in his Sacred Dwelling with our Whole-Burnt-Offerings and our sacrifices and our Peace-Offerings.

“This way, your children won’t be able to say to our children in the future, ‘You have no part in God.’

28 “We said to ourselves, ‘If anyone speaks disparagingly to us or to our children in the future, we’ll say: Look at this model of God’s Altar which our ancestors made. It’s not for Whole-Burnt-Offerings, not for sacrifices. It’s a witness connecting us with you.’

29 “Rebelling against or turning our backs on God is the last thing on our minds right now. We never dreamed of building an altar for Whole-Burnt-Offerings or Grain-Offerings to rival the Altar of our God in front of his Sacred Dwelling.”

30 Phinehas the priest, all the heads of the congregation, and the heads of the military divisions of Israel who were also with him heard what the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had to say. They were satisfied.

31 Priest Phinehas son of Eleazar said to Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, “Now we’re convinced that God is present with us since you haven’t been disloyal to God in this matter. You saved the People of Israel from God’s discipline.”

32-33 Then Priest Phinehas son of Eleazar left the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (from Gilead) and, with the chiefs, returned to the land of Canaan to the People of Israel and gave a full report. They were pleased with the report. The People of Israel blessed God—there was no more talk of attacking and destroying the land in which the Reubenites and Gadites were living.

34 Reuben and Gad named the altar:

A Witness Between Us.
God Alone Is God.