New American Standard Bible

Joshua 22

Tribes beyond Jordan Return

1Then Joshua summoned 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 my voice in all that I commanded you. You have not forsaken your brothers these many days to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the Lord your God. And now the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan. Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord 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.” So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

Now to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half Joshua gave a possession among their brothers westward beyond the Jordan. So when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, and said to [a]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.” The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home and departed from the sons of Israel at Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession which they had possessed, according to the [b]command of the Lord [c]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, a large altar in appearance. 11 And the sons of Israel heard it [d]said, “Behold, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar at the [e]frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region 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 sons of Israel gathered themselves at Shiloh to go up against them in war.

13 Then the sons of Israel sent to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, 14 and with him ten chiefs, one chief for each father’s household from each of the tribes of Israel; and each one of them was the head of his father’s household among the [f]thousands of Israel. 15 They came to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them saying, 16 “Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord, ‘What is this unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the Lord this day, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the Lord this day? 17 Is not the iniquity of Peor [g]enough for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although a plague came on the congregation of the Lord, 18 that you must turn away this day from following the Lord? If you rebel against the Lord today, He will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 If, however, the land of your possession is unclean, then [h]cross into the land of the possession of the Lord, where the Lord’s tabernacle [i]stands, and take possession among us. Only do not rebel against the Lord, or rebel against us by building an altar for yourselves, besides the altar of the Lord our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah act unfaithfully in the things under the ban, and wrath fall on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.’”

21 Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke to the heads of the [j]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 us an altar to turn away from following the Lord, or if 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. 24 But truly we have done this out of concern, [k]for a reason, saying, ‘In time to come your sons may say to our [l]sons, “What have you to do with 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 portion in the Lord.” So your sons may make our sons stop fearing the Lord.’

26 “Therefore we said, ‘Let us [m]build an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; 27 rather it shall be a witness between us and you and between our 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 will not say to our sons in time to come, “You have no portion in the Lord.”’ 28 Therefore we said, ‘It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, “See the copy of the altar of the Lord which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; 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 [n]tabernacle.”

30 So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, even the heads of the [o]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 pleased them. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, “Today we know that the Lord is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the Lord; now you have delivered the sons of 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 from 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 word pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God; and they did not speak of going up against them in war 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,” they said, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”

  1. Joshua 22:8 Lit them, saying, “Return
  2. Joshua 22:9 Lit mouth
  3. Joshua 22:9 Lit by the hand of
  4. Joshua 22:11 Lit saying
  5. Joshua 22:11 Lit front
  6. Joshua 22:14 Or families
  7. Joshua 22:17 Lit little for us
  8. Joshua 22:19 Lit cross for yourselves
  9. Joshua 22:19 Lit abides
  10. Joshua 22:21 Lit thousands
  11. Joshua 22:24 Lit from
  12. Joshua 22:24 Lit sons, saying
  13. Joshua 22:26 Lit prepare to build for ourselves
  14. Joshua 22:29 Lit dwelling place
  15. Joshua 22:30 Lit thousands

Bibelen på hverdagsdansk

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.