New English Translation
The Petition of the Reubenites and Gadites
1 Now the Reubenites and the Gadites possessed a very large number of cattle. When they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideal for cattle, 2 the Gadites and the Reubenites came and addressed Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the community. They said, 3 "Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the land that the LORD subdued before the community of Israel, is ideal for cattle, and your servants have cattle." 5 So they said, "If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for our inheritance. Do not have us cross the Jordan River."
6 Moses said to the Gadites and the Reubenites, "Must your brothers go to war while you remain here? 7 Why do you frustrate the intent of the Israelites to cross over into the land which the LORD has given them? 8 Your fathers did the same thing when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. 9 When they went up to the Eshcol Valley and saw the land, they frustrated the intent of the Israelites so that they did not enter the land that the LORD had given them. 10 So the anger of the LORD was kindled that day, and he swore, 11 'Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old and upward who came from Egypt will see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 12 except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.' 13 So the LORD's anger was kindled against the Israelites, and he made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until all that generation that had done wickedly before the LORD was finished. 14 Now look, you are standing in your fathers' place, a brood of sinners, to increase still further the fierce wrath of the LORD against the Israelites. 15 For if you turn away from following him, he will once again abandon them in the wilderness, and you will be the reason for their destruction."
The Offer of the Reubenites and Gadites
16 Then they came very close to him and said, "We will build sheep folds here for our flocks and cities for our families, 17 but we will maintain ourselves in armed readiness and go before the Israelites until whenever we have brought them to their place. Our descendants will be living in fortified towns as a protection against the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until every Israelite has his inheritance. 19 For we will not accept any inheritance on the other side of the Jordan River and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this eastern side of the Jordan."
20 Then Moses replied, "If you will do this thing, and if you will arm yourselves for battle before the LORD, 21 and if all your armed men cross the Jordan before the LORD until he drives out his enemies from his presence 22 and the land is subdued before the LORD, then afterward you may return and be free of your obligation to the LORD and to Israel. This land will then be your possession in the LORD's sight.
23 "But if you do not do this, then look, you will have sinned against the LORD. And know that your sin will find you out. 24 So build cities for your descendants and pens for your sheep, but do what you have said you would do."
25 So the Gadites and the Reubenites replied to Moses, "Your servants will do as my LORD commands. 26 Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock will be there in the cities of Gilead, 27 but your servants will cross over, every man armed for war, to do battle in the LORD's presence, just as my LORD says."
28 So Moses gave orders about them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua son of Nun, and to the heads of the families of the Israelite tribes. 29 Moses said to them: "If the Gadites and the Reubenites cross the Jordan with you, each one equipped for battle in the LORD's presence, and you conquer the land, then you must allot them the territory of Gilead as their possession. 30 But if they do not cross over with you armed, they must receive possessions among you in Canaan." 31 Then the Gadites and the Reubenites answered, "Your servants will do what the LORD has spoken. 32 We will cross armed in the LORD's presence into the land of Canaan, and then the possession of our inheritance that we inherit will be ours on this side of the Jordan River."
33 So Moses gave to the Gadites, the Reubenites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph the realm of King Sihon of the Amorites, and the realm of King Og of Bashan, the entire land with its cities and the territory surrounding them. 34 The Gadites rebuilt Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atroth Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth Nimrah, and Beth Haran as fortified cities, and constructed pens for their flocks. 37 The Reubenites rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, Baal Meon (with a change of name), and Sibmah. They renamed the cities they built.
39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead, took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir, son of Manasseh, and he lived there. 41 Now Jair son of Manasseh went and captured their small towns and named them Havvoth Jair. 42 Then Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages and called it Nobah after his own name.
King James Version
1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle;
2 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying,
3 Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon,
4 Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle:
5 Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.
6 ¶ And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?
7 And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them?
8 Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land.
9 For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them.
10 And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying,
11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:
12 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.
13 And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.
14 And, behold, ye are risen up in your fathers' stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment yet the fierce anger of the LORD toward Israel.
15 For if ye turn away from after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and ye shall destroy all this people.
16 ¶ And they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones:
17 But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land.
18 We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance.
19 For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward.
20 ¶ And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war,
21 And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him,
22 And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD.
23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
24 Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth.
25 And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth.
26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities of Gilead:
27 But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord saith.
28 So concerning them Moses commanded Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel:
29 And Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession:
30 But if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.
31 And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, As the LORD hath said unto thy servants, so will we do.
32 We will pass over armed before the LORD into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan may be our's.
33 And Moses gave unto them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and unto half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about.
34 ¶ And the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer,
35 And Atroth, Shophan, and Jaazer, and Jogbehah,
36 And Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran, fenced cities: and folds for sheep.
37 And the children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kirjathaim,
38 And Nebo, and Baal-meon, (their names being changed,) and Shibmah: and gave other names unto the cities which they builded.
39 And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, and took it, and dispossessed the Amorite which was in it.
40 And Moses gave Gilead unto Machir the son of Manasseh; and he dwelt therein.
41 And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns thereof, and called them Havoth-jair.
42 And Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and called it Nobah, after his own name.