1. The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned great herds of fine cattle. Now they saw that the land of Jazer and Gilead was good for raising livestock.
2. Because of this they went to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the community, and said to them,
3. "The land around Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon,
4. which Yahweh has conquered in the sight of the community of Israel, is good land for raising cattle, and we have livestock.
5. If we have deserved your friendship, give us this land for our own; do not make us cross the Jordan River."
6. Moses replied, "Shall you stay here while your brothers are off to the war?
7. Why do you discourage the people of Israel from entering the land that Yahweh has given them?
8. This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to inspect the land.
9. They went up as far as the Valley of Eshcol and inspected the land; but they kept the people of Israel from entering the land Yahweh had given them.
10. Because of this Yahweh was angry that day and swore this oath,
11. 'These men of twenty years and over, who came out from Egypt, will never see the land that I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For they have not followed me faithfully,
12. except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, and Joshua son of Nun: these indeed have followed Yahweh faithfully.'
13. The anger of Yahweh blazed out against Israel and he made them wander in the desert for forty years, until the generation that offended Yahweh had all disappeared.
14. And now, will you do as your fathers did? You, new generation of sinful people, will you add still more to the burning anger of Yahweh against Israel!
15. If you turn away from him, he will make your roaming in the desert still longer, and all this people will perish because of you."
16. But they explained their purpose to Moses, "We would like to build sheepfolds here for our flocks and towns for our young children.
17. Then we ourselves will take up arms to lead the people of Israel until we have brought them to the place appointed for them: only our young children will stay in the fortified towns, safe from the inhabitants of the country.
18. As for us we will not return to our homes until every one of the Israelites has taken possession of his inheritance.
19. For we shall have no inheritance with them on the other bank of the Jordan River or beyond, since our inheritance has fallen to us here, east of the Jordan."
20. Moses said to them, "If you mean what you have said, if you are prepared to go to battle in the presence of Yahweh,
21. and if all your fighting men cross the Jordan River under the command of Yahweh, until he has defeated all his enemies,
22. then, once Yahweh has taken possession of the land, you may go back; you shall be free of your obligation toward Yahweh and Israel, and this country shall be your inheritance before Yahweh.
23. But if you do not, you will sin against Yahweh, and you can be sure that your sin will follow you.
24. Build towns, then, for your young children and fenced places for your sheep; but do what you have promised."
25. The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben said to Moses, "Your servants will do as you order, sir.
26. Our children, our wives, our sheep and all our livestock will stay in the towns of Gilead,
27. but we, every man armed for war, will cross over the Jordan before Yahweh to fight as you have ordered."
28. Then Moses gave instructions about them to Eleazar, the priest, to Joshua, son of Nun, and to the other leaders of Israel.
29. Moses said to them, "If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, all who are armed for battle, cross the Jordan before Yahweh to fight with you, then once you have conquered the land, you will give them the country of Gilead for their possession.
30. But if they do not cross over and go into battle with you, then they must have their possessions among you in the land of Canaan."
31. The sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben replied, "What Yahweh has said to us, we will do.
32. We will cross into the land of Canaan and go into battle under Yahweh's command; but our inheritance shall be beyond the Jordan."
33. Moses gave to the tribes of Gad and Reuben and to half the tribe of Manasseh, the territory of Sihon, king of the Amorites, as well as that of Og, king of Bashan, and all the land and towns surrounding them.
34. The sons of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,
35. Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,
36. Beth-nimrah, Beth-haran, fortified towns, and fenced places for the sheep.
37. The sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,
38. Nebo, Baal-meon (their names were changed), and Sibmah. They gave names to the towns they had built.
39. The sons of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead. They conquered it and drove out the Amorites who were there.
40. Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he settled there.
41. Jair son of Manasseh attacked and captured some villages and called them villages of Jair.
42. Nobah attacked and captured Kenath with its outlying villages, and called it Nobah after himself.