The Transjordan tribes
1The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. 2So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, 3‘Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon – 4the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel – are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. 5If we have found favour in your eyes,’ they said, ‘let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.’
6Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, ‘Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? 7Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? 8This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. 9After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. 10The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: 11“Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – 12not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.” 13The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.
14‘And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. 15If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction.’
16Then they came up to him and said, ‘We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. 17But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants of the land. 18We will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has received their inheritance. 19We will not receive any inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan, because our inheritance has come to us on the east side of the Jordan.’
20Then Moses said to them, ‘If you will do this – if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle 21and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him – 22then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the Lord.
23‘But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. 24Build cities for your women and children, and pens for your flocks, but do what you have promised.’
25The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses, ‘We your servants will do as our lord commands. 26Our children and wives, our flocks and herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead. 27But your servants, every man who is armed for battle, will cross over to fight before the Lord, just as our lord says.’
28Then Moses gave orders about them to Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and to the family heads of the Israelite tribes. 29He said to them, ‘If the Gadites and Reubenites, every man armed for battle, cross over the Jordan with you before the Lord, then when the land is subdued before you, you must give them the land of Gilead as their possession. 30But if they do not cross over with you armed, they must accept their possession with you in Canaan.’
31The Gadites and Reubenites answered, ‘Your servants will do what the Lord has said. 32We will cross over before the Lord into Canaan armed, but the property we inherit will be on this side of the Jordan.’
33Then Moses gave to the Gadites, the Reubenites and the half-tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan – the whole land with its cities and the territory around them.
34The Gadites built up Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35Atroth Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36Beth Nimrah and Beth Haran as fortified cities, and built pens for their flocks. 37And the Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh and Kiriathaim, 38as well as Nebo and Baal Meon (these names were changed) and Sibmah. They gave names to the cities they rebuilt.
39The descendants of Makir son of Manasseh went to Gilead, captured it and drove out the Amorites who were there. 40So Moses gave Gilead to the Makirites, the descendants of Manasseh, and they settled there. 41Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, captured their settlements and called them Havvoth Jair. 42And Nobah captured Kenath and its surrounding settlements and called it Nobah after himself.