Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead
1Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had an exceedingly large number of livestock. So when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that it was indeed a place suitable for livestock, 2the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, 3“Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon, 4the land which the Lord conquered before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” 5They said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession; do not take us across the Jordan.”
6But Moses said to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to war while you yourselves sit here? 7Now why are you discouraging the sons of Israel from crossing over into the land which the Lord has given them? 8This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. 9For when they went up to the valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the sons of Israel so that they did not go into the land which the Lord had given them. 10So the Lord’s anger burned in that day, and He swore, saying, 11‘None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; for they did not follow Me fully, 12except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have followed the Lord fully.’ 13So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord was destroyed. 14Now behold, you have risen up in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to add still more to the burning anger of the Lord against Israel. 15For if you turn away from following Him, He will once more abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.”
16Then they came near to him and said, “We will build here sheepfolds for our livestock and cities for our little ones; 17but we ourselves will be armed ready to go before the sons of Israel, until we have brought them to their place, while our little ones live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18We will not return to our homes until every one of the sons of Israel has possessed his inheritance. 19For we will not have an inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has fallen to us on this side of the Jordan toward the east.”
20So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, 21and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven His enemies out from before Him, 22and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you shall return and be free of obligation toward the Lord and toward Israel, and this land shall be yours for a possession before the Lord. 23But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out. 24Build yourselves cities for your little ones, and sheepfolds for your sheep, and do what you have promised.”
25The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben spoke to Moses, saying, “Your servants will do just as my lord commands. 26Our little ones, our wives, our livestock and all our cattle shall remain there in the cities of Gilead; 27while your servants, everyone who is armed for war, will cross over in the presence of the Lord to battle, just as my lord says.”
28So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers’ households of the tribes of the sons of Israel. 29Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, everyone who is armed for battle, will cross with you over the Jordan in the presence of the Lord, and the land is subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession; 30but if they will not cross over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.” 31The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben answered, saying, “As the Lord has said to your servants, so we will do. 32We ourselves will cross over armed in the presence of the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us across the Jordan.”
33So Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Joseph’s son Manasseh, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og, the king of Bashan, the land with its cities with their territories, the cities of the surrounding land. 34The sons of Gad built Dibon and Ataroth and Aroer, 35and Atroth-shophan and Jazer and Jogbehah, 36and Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran as fortified cities, and sheepfolds for sheep. 37The sons of Reuben built Heshbon and Elealeh and Kiriathaim, 38and Nebo and Baal-meon—their names being changed—and Sibmah, and they gave other names to the cities which they built. 39The sons of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40So Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he lived in it. 41Jair the son of Manasseh went and took its towns, and called them Havvoth-jair. 42Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah after his own name.