Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

約書亞記 22

建祭壇之爭

1約書亞召來了呂便、迦得和瑪拿西半個支派的人來, 對他們說:「你們都遵守了耶和華的僕人摩西的一切吩咐,也遵守了我的一切吩咐。 這些日子以來,你們從沒有離棄自己的弟兄,遵守了你們的上帝耶和華的吩咐。 現在你們的上帝耶和華已經照祂的應許使你們的弟兄安居,你們可以回到約旦河東,到摩西賜給你們作產業的地方。 不過,你們要謹遵耶和華的僕人摩西吩咐你們的誡命和律法,要愛你們的上帝耶和華,遵行祂的旨意,聽從祂的命令,忠於祂,全心全意地事奉祂。」

於是,約書亞為他們祝福,送他們回去,他們就各自返回家園去了。

摩西已經在巴珊把土地分給了瑪拿西半個支派,約書亞把約旦河西的土地分給了瑪拿西另外的半個支派及其他支派。約書亞派他們回家的時候,為他們祝福, 說:「現在你們帶著大量的財物、牲畜、金銀、銅、鐵和衣物返回家園,要把從敵人那裡得來的財物分給你們的弟兄。」 於是,呂便、迦得和瑪拿西半個支派的人便離開在迦南的示羅的以色列人,返回耶和華藉摩西分配給他們的基列。

10 他們來到約旦河附近的迦南境內,就在約旦河邊築了一座高大的祭壇。 11 以色列人聽見呂便、迦得和瑪拿西半個支派的人在約旦河西的迦南境內築起了一座祭壇, 12 便全部聚集在示羅,要討伐他們。

13 以色列人派祭司以利亞撒的兒子非尼哈去基列見他們, 14 又從每支派差遣一位族長,共十位隨行。 15 他們來到基列的呂便、迦得和瑪拿西半個支派的人那裡,對他們說: 16 「耶和華的全體會眾問你們,你們怎能這樣背叛以色列的上帝,離棄耶和華,為自己另建祭壇呢? 17 從前拜毗珥的罪惡不夠大嗎?那一次,瘟疫降到耶和華的會眾身上,直到今日我們還沒有洗淨這罪。 18 你們今日要離棄耶和華嗎?今日你們背叛耶和華,明日祂必向以色列全體會眾發怒。 19 如果你們認為自己的土地不潔淨,可以搬到耶和華的土地跟我們一起居住,這裡有耶和華的聖幕。只是不可在耶和華的祭壇以外,自己另築祭壇,以致背叛耶和華,連累我們。 20 從前謝拉的曾孫亞干私自留下那些耶和華吩咐要毀滅的東西,以致耶和華的烈怒臨到以色列全體會眾,因他的罪而死的不只他一個人!」

21 呂便、迦得和瑪拿西半個支派的人便回答這些以色列的族長說: 22 「大能的上帝耶和華,大能的上帝耶和華,祂知道一切!以色列人也當知道!如果我們做了違背或干犯耶和華的事,願祂今天就不放過我們! 23 如果我們離棄耶和華,為自己造祭壇,或是在壇上獻燔祭、素祭和平安祭,願耶和華親自懲罰我們。 24 我們這樣做是怕以後你們的子孫可能會對我們的子孫說,『你們和以色列的上帝耶和華有什麼關係? 25 耶和華把約旦河定為我們跟你們呂便和迦得人的邊界,你們與耶和華一點關係也沒有。』這樣,恐怕你們的子孫會使我們的子孫不再敬畏耶和華。 26 因此,我們便商議在這裡築一座祭壇,這壇不是用來獻燔祭或別的祭, 27 只是在你們和我們之間,也在彼此的後人之間立個證據,證明我們也獻燔祭、平安祭及其他祭事奉耶和華,免得日後你們的子孫對我們的子孫說,『你們與耶和華一點關係也沒有。』 28 萬一你們對我們或我們的子孫這樣說,我們可以回答說,『你們看我們祖先築的這座祭壇跟耶和華的祭壇一模一樣,只是這座壇不是用來獻燔祭或別的祭,而是作為你們和我們之間的證據!』 29 我們根本無意背叛、離棄我們的上帝耶和華,在祂聖幕前的祭壇以外另築祭壇來獻燔祭、素祭和別的祭。」

30 祭司非尼哈和以色列會眾的族長聽了他們的解釋,都很滿意。 31 以利亞撒的兒子祭司非尼哈對他們說:「今日我們知道耶和華在我們當中,因為你們沒有對耶和華不忠,現在你們使以色列人免遭耶和華的懲罰了。」

32 以利亞撒的兒子非尼哈祭司和眾族長便離開呂便人和迦得人,從基列回到迦南向以色列人報告這事。 33 大家聽後,都很滿意,便頌讚耶和華,打消了出兵討伐呂便人和迦得人、毀滅他們家園的念頭。

34 呂便和迦得人給那座祭壇取名叫「證壇」,意思是這壇在我們中間證明耶和華是上帝。

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.