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 Living Translation

Joshua 22

The Eastern Tribes Return Home

1Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He told them, “You have done as Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you, and you have obeyed every order I have given you. During all this time you have not deserted the other tribes. You have been careful to obey the commands of the Lord your God right up to the present day. And now the Lord your God has given the other tribes rest, as he promised them. So go back home to the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you as your possession on the east side of the Jordan River. But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went home.

Moses had given the land of Bashan, east of the Jordan River, to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (The other half of the tribe was given land west of the Jordan.) As Joshua sent them away and blessed them, he said to them, “Go back to your homes with the great wealth you have taken from your enemies—the vast herds of livestock, the silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and the large supply of clothing. Share the plunder with your relatives.”

So the men of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the rest of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. They started the journey back to their own land of Gilead, the territory that belonged to them according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

The Eastern Tribes Build an Altar

10 But while they were still in Canaan, and when they came to a place called Geliloth[a] near the Jordan River, the men of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh stopped to build a large and imposing altar.

11 The rest of Israel heard that the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had built an altar at Geliloth at the edge of the land of Canaan, on the west side of the Jordan River. 12 So the whole community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against them. 13 First, however, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to talk with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 14 In this delegation were ten leaders of Israel, one from each of the ten tribes, and each the head of his family within the clans of Israel.

15 When they arrived in the land of Gilead, they said to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 16 “The whole community of the Lord demands to know why you are betraying the God of Israel. How could you turn away from the Lord and build an altar for yourselves in rebellion against him? 17 Was our sin at Peor not enough? To this day we are not fully cleansed of it, even after the plague that struck the entire community of the Lord. 18 And yet today you are turning away from following the Lord. If you rebel against the Lord today, he will be angry with all of us tomorrow.

19 “If you need the altar because the land you possess is defiled, then join us in the Lord’s land, where the Tabernacle of the Lord is situated, and share our land with us. But do not rebel against the Lord or against us by building an altar other than the one true altar of the Lord our God. 20 Didn’t divine anger fall on the entire community of Israel when Achan, a member of the clan of Zerah, sinned by stealing the things set apart for the Lord[b]? He was not the only one who died because of his sin.”

21 Then the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered the heads of the clans of Israel: 22 “The Lord, the Mighty One, is God! The Lord, the Mighty One, is God! He knows the truth, and may Israel know it, too! We have not built the altar in treacherous rebellion against the Lord. If we have done so, do not spare our lives this day. 23 If we have built an altar for ourselves to turn away from the Lord or to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or peace offerings, may the Lord himself punish us.

24 “The truth is, we have built this altar because we fear that in the future your descendants will say to ours, ‘What right do you have to worship the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 The Lord has placed the Jordan River as a barrier between our people and you people of Reuben and Gad. You have no claim to the Lord.’ So your descendants may prevent our descendants from worshiping the Lord.

26 “So we decided to build the altar, not for burnt offerings or sacrifices, 27 but as a memorial. It will remind our descendants and your descendants that we, too, have the right to worship the Lord at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices, and peace offerings. Then your descendants will not be able to say to ours, ‘You have no claim to the Lord.’

28 “If they say this, our descendants can reply, ‘Look at this copy of the Lord’s altar that our ancestors made. It is not for burnt offerings or sacrifices; it is a reminder of the relationship both of us have with the Lord.’ 29 Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord or turn away from him by building our own altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings, or sacrifices. Only the altar of the Lord our God that stands in front of the Tabernacle may be used for that purpose.”

30 When Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the community—the heads of the clans of Israel—heard this from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, they were satisfied. 31 Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, replied to them, “Today we know the Lord is among us because you have not committed this treachery against the Lord as we thought. Instead, you have rescued Israel from being destroyed by the hand of the Lord.”

32 Then Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, and the other leaders left the tribes of Reuben and Gad in Gilead and returned to the land of Canaan to tell the Israelites what had happened. 33 And all the Israelites were satisfied and praised God and spoke no more of war against Reuben and Gad.

34 The people of Reuben and Gad named the altar “Witness,”[c] for they said, “It is a witness between us and them that the Lord is our God, too.”

  1. 22:10 Or to the circle of stones; similarly in 22:11.
  2. 22:20 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
  3. 22:34 Some manuscripts lack this word.