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。

New International Reader's Version

Joshua 22

The Eastern Tribes Return Home

1Joshua sent for the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh. He said to them, “You have done everything that Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded. You have also obeyed everything I commanded. For a long time now you haven’t deserted the other Israelites. Instead, you have done what the Lord your God sent you to do. You have obeyed him right up to this day. Now the Lord your God has given the other tribes peace and rest. That’s what he promised to do. So return to your homes. They are in the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you. It’s on the east side of the Jordan River. Be very careful to obey the law that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you. He commanded you to love the Lord your God. He told you to live exactly as the Lord wants you to. He told you to obey the Lord’s commands. He told you to remain faithful to the Lord. And he told you to serve the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Joshua gave the eastern tribes his blessing. Then he sent them home. So they went. Moses had given land in Bashan to half of the tribe of Manasseh. Joshua had given land to the other half of the tribe. He had given it to them along with the other tribes on the west side of the Jordan River. When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them. He said, “Return to your homes. Take your great wealth with you. Return with your large herds of livestock. Take your silver, gold, bronze and iron with you. Return with all the extra clothes you acquired. Divide up the things you have taken from your enemies. Share them with your people.”

So the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh went home. They left the other Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan. They returned to Gilead. That was their own land. They had acquired it according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

10 The tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh came to Geliloth. It was near the Jordan River in the land of Canaan. They built a large altar there by the Jordan. 11 The rest of the Israelites heard that the eastern tribes had built the altar. They heard that it had been built on the border of Canaan at Geliloth. It was near the Jordan River on the west side. 12 So the whole community of Israel gathered together at Shiloh. They decided to go to war against the eastern tribes.

13 The Israelites sent Phinehas the priest to the land of Gilead. Phinehas was the son of Eleazar. They sent him to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh. 14 They sent ten of their leaders with him. There was one from each of the tribes of Israel. Each man was the leader of a family group among the larger family groups of Israel.

15 Those leaders went to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh. Those tribes were in the land of Gilead. The leaders said to them, 16 “We’re speaking for the Lord’s whole community. How could you disobey the God of Israel like this? How could you turn away from the Lord? How could you disobey him by building an altar for yourselves? 17 Don’t you remember how we sinned at Peor? The Lord struck us with a plague because of what we did. Up to this day we’re still suffering because of that sin. 18 Are you turning away from the Lord now?

“Suppose you disobey the Lord today. If you do, he’ll be angry with the whole community of Israel tomorrow. 19 If your own land is ‘unclean,’ come over to the Lord’s land. It’s where his holy tent stands. Share our land with us. But don’t disobey the Lord. Don’t turn against us by building an altar for yourselves. Don’t build any altar other than the altar of the Lord our God. 20 Remember what happened to Achan, the son of Zerah. Achan wasn’t faithful to the Lord. He took the things that had been set apart to the Lord in a special way to be destroyed. Didn’t the whole community of Israel experience the Lord’s anger? Achan wasn’t the only one who died because of his sin.”

21 Then the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh replied. They answered the leaders of the family groups of Israel. 22 They said, “The Mighty One, God, the Lord! The Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows! And we want Israel to know! Have we opposed the Lord? Have we refused to obey him? If we have, don’t spare us today. 23 Have we built our own altar so we can turn away from the Lord? Have we built it to offer burnt offerings and grain offerings on it? Have we built it to sacrifice friendship offerings on it? If we have, may the Lord himself hold us accountable.

24 “No! We built it because we were afraid. Someday your children might speak to our children. We were afraid they might say, ‘What do you have to do with the Lord? What do you have to do with the God of Israel? 25 The Lord has made the Jordan River a border between us and you. You people of Reuben! You people of Gad! You don’t have anything to do with the Lord.’ If your children say that, they might cause our children to stop worshiping the Lord.

26 “That’s why we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s get ready and build an altar. But let’s not build it to offer burnt offerings or sacrifices on it.’ 27 So just the opposite is true. The altar will be a witness between us and you. It will be a witness between our children and yours after us. It will also be a witness that we will worship the Lord at his sacred tent. We’ll worship him there with our burnt offerings, sacrifices and friendship offerings. Then in days to come your children won’t be able to say to ours, ‘You don’t have anything to do with the Lord.’

28 “So we said to ourselves, ‘Suppose they say that to us sometime. Or suppose they say it to our children after us. Then we’ll answer, “Look at this altar. It’s exactly like the Lord’s altar. Our people built it. They didn’t build it to offer burnt offerings and sacrifices on it. Instead, they built it to be a witness between us and you.” ’

29 “We would never refuse to obey the Lord. We would never turn away from him now. We wouldn’t build an altar to offer burnt offerings, grain offerings and sacrifices on it. We wouldn’t use any altar other than the altar of the Lord our God. That altar stands in front of his holy tent.”

30 Phinehas the priest heard what the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh had to say. The leaders of the family groups of the community of Israel heard it too. All of them were pleased with what they heard. 31 Phinehas the priest spoke to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh. Phinehas was the son of Eleazar. He said, “Today we know that the Lord is with us. That’s because you have been faithful to him in this matter. Now you have saved the Israelites from the Lord’s anger against them.”

32 Then Phinehas the priest, the son of Eleazar, returned to Canaan. So did the leaders. All of them went back from their meeting with the tribes of Reuben and Gad in Gilead. They brought a report back to the Israelites. 33 The people were glad to hear the report. They praised God. They didn’t talk anymore about going to war against the eastern tribes. And they didn’t talk anymore about destroying the country where the tribes of Reuben and Gad lived.

34 The tribes of Reuben and Gad gave the altar a name. They called it A Witness Between Us that the Lord is God.