O Livro

Josué 22

As tribos orientais regressam a Gileade

11/2 Josué convocou as tropas das tribos de Rúben, Gad e da meia­tribo de Manassés e dirigiu­se­lhes deste modo: “Vocês fizeram tudo conforme Moisés, o servo do Senhor, vos ordenou e obedeceram a cada mandamento que vos foi transmitido, a cada ordem dada pelo Senhor vosso Deus. Não abandonaram as tribos vossas irmãs, mesmo tendo esta campanha durado tanto tempo. 4/5 E agora o Senhor nosso Deus deu­nos êxito e por fim o descanso, conforme nos tinha prometido. Por isso agora regressem aos vossos lares, à terra que vos foi dada pelo servo do Senhor, Moisés, no lado de lá do Jordão. Não deixem de obedecer a todos os mandamentos que Moisés vos deu. Amem o Senhor e sigam o seu plano para as vossas vidas. Cheguem­se a ele e sirvam­no com zelo e entusiasmo.”

6/9 Dessa forma Josué os abençoou e os mandou embora. (Eles regressaram à terra que Moisés lhes tinha atribuído, que era, no que respeita à meia­tribo de Manassés, a terra de Basã; a outra meia­tribo recebeu terra igualmente, mas no lado ocidental do Jordão.) Josué pois, ao mandar regressar aquelas tropas, abençoou­as e disse­lhes que repartissem todos os bens que tinham obtido do despojo dos combates com os seus irmãos que tinham ficado do outro lado; bens esses que consistiam em gado, em prata, ouro, bronze, ferro e vestuário. Foi então dessa forma que as tropas de Rúben, de Gad e da meia­tribo de Manassés deixaram o exército de Israel em Silo em Canãa, e atravessaram de novo o Jordão, de volta aos seus lares, à sua terra de Gileade.

10 Mas antes de encetarem essa travessia, enquanto estavam ainda em Canaã, resolveram construir um grande monumento, bem visível a toda a gente, e com a forma de um altar.

11/15 Quando o resto de Israel ouviu dizer o que eles estavam a fazer, mobilizaram imediatamente um exército em Silo e prepararam­se para combater aquelas tribos irmãs. No entanto mandaram primeiro uma delegação chefiada por Finéias, filho do sacerdote Eleazar. Estes atravessaram o rio e vieram conferenciar com as tribos de Rúben, de Gad e com a meia­tribo de Manassés. Nessa delegação havia dez oficiais superiores de Israel, um de cada uma das dez tribos; cada um destes era chefe dum clã. Quando chegaram à terra de Gileade disseram às outras três tribos:

16/20 “Toda a congregação do Senhor vos pede que lhe façam saber a razão porque estão a pecar contra o Deus de Israel, desviando­se dele e construindo um altar, sinal de rebelião contra o Senhor. Terá sido pouca coisa a rebelião de Peor —da qual ainda hoje não estamos completamente limpos a despeito da praga que nos flagelou— e agora querem cair no mesmo? Vocês sabem bem que se se revoltarem hoje contra o Senhor, amanhã estará contra todos nós. Se precisam desse altar por causa da terra estar impura, então juntem­se a nós no outro lado do rio, onde o Senhor vive connosco no tabernáculo; repartiremos a nossa terra convosco. Mas em todo o caso não se voltem contra o Senhor, construindo outro altar além do único altar verdadeiro do nosso Deus. Não se lembram que quando Acã, o filho de Zera, pecou contra o Senhor, a nação inteira foi castigada, para além desse homem que tinha sido o único que pecou?”

21 Foi a seguinte a resposta do povo de Rúben, de Gad e da meia­tribo de Manassés àqueles oficiais:

22/28 “Nós juramos, por Jeová, o Deus dos deuses, que não construímos nenhum altar em rebelião contra o Senhor. Ele sabe bem — e que todo Israel o saiba igualmente — que não construímos um altar para nele realizar sacrifícios, ofertas de cereais ou de paz. Que a maldição do Senhor caia sobre nós se o fizermos. Edificámos isso porque amamos o Senhor, e porque tememos que no futuro os vossos filhos venham a dizer para os nossos: ‘Com que direito adoram vocês o Senhor Deus de Israel? O Senhor colocou o rio Jordão como fronteira entre o nosso povo e o vosso! Vocês nada têm que ver com o Senhor.’ E assim os vossos descendentes poderiam vir a impedir que os nossos o adorem. Por isso é que decidimos construir este altar como um símbolo, para mostrar aos nossos e aos vossos vindouros que nós, cá deste lado, também adoramos o Senhor, oferecendo­lhe os nossos holocaustos, as nossas ofertas de paz e sacrifícios. Assim, os vossos filhos não poderão vir a dizer para os nossos: ‘Nada têm que ver com o Senhor nosso Deus’. No caso de virem a dizer tal coisa, os nossos poderão responder­lhes. ‘Vejam só, o altar do Senhor que os nossos pais construíram, de acordo com o modelo do altar de Jeová. Não servirá para oferecer holocaustos ou sacrifícios, mas será apenas um símbolo do relacionamento com Deus, que ambos temos, nós e vós.’ 29 Longe de nós pretendermos afastarmos­nos do Senhor ou insurgirmo­nos contra ele, construindo um altar só para nós para oferecermos os nossos holocaustos, ofertas de paz e sacrifícios. Só o altar que está defronte do tabernáculo pode ser usado para isso.”

30 Quando Finéias, o sacerdote, e os outros delegados ouviram esta explanação da parte das tribos de Rúben, de Gad e de Manassés, ficaram muito satisfeitos. 31 Finéias replicou­lhes: “Continuamos a verificar que o Senhor tem estado no nosso meio; vocês não pecaram contra o Senhor como tínhamos pensado, e conseguiram com o que disseram evitar que vos destruíssemos!”

32/33 Finéais e os outros dez embaixadores regressaram para junto do povo de Israel, contando o seu encontro com os rubenitas e os gaditas em Gileade; todo Israel se alegrou e louvou Deus, não se tendo falado mais de guerra contra Rúben e Gad. 34 O povo destas tribos chamou ao monumento que tinham levantado o Altar do Testemunho — “É um testemunho”, disseram, “entre nós e eles em como Jeová é também o nosso Deus.”

King James Version

Joshua 22

1Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you:

Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the Lord your God.

And now the Lord your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side Jordan.

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents.

Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given possession in Bashan: but unto the other half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them,

And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.

And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

10 And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to.

11 And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel.

12 And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them.

13 And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children 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 princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the tribes of Israel; and each one was an head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel.

15 And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with them, saying,

16 Thus saith the whole congregation of the Lord, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord?

17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord,

18 But that ye must turn away this day from following the Lord? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the Lord, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel.

19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the Lord, wherein the Lord's tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the Lord, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the Lord our God.

20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.

21 Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh answered, and said unto the heads of the thousands of Israel,

22 The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the Lord, (save us not this day,)

23 That we have built us an altar to turn from following the Lord, or if to offer thereon burnt offering or meat offering, or if to offer peace offerings thereon, let the Lord himself require it;

24 And if we have not rather done it for fear of this thing, saying, In time to come your children might speak unto our children, saying, What have ye to do with the Lord God of Israel?

25 For the Lord hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the Lord: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the Lord.

26 Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice:

27 But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the Lord before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the Lord.

28 Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of the Lord, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you.

29 God forbid that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn this day from following the Lord, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the Lord our God that is before his tabernacle.

30 And when Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation and heads of the thousands of Israel which were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spake, it pleased them.

31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, This day we perceive that the Lord is among us, because ye have not committed this trespass against the Lord: now ye have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the Lord.

32 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gilead, unto the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again.

33 And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt.

34 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord is God.