Numbers 32

Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead

32 Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had a very large number of livestock. So when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that [a]it was indeed a place suitable for livestock, the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, the land which the Lord [b]conquered before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as our property; do not take us across the Jordan.”

But Moses said to the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, “Should your brothers go to war while you remain here? And why are you discouraging the [c]sons of Israel from crossing over into the land which the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. For when they went up to the [d]Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the [e]sons of Israel so that they did not go into the land which the Lord had given them. 10 So the Lords anger burned on 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, 12 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun; for they have followed the Lord fully.’ 13 So the Lords anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord came to an end. 14 Now behold, you have risen up in your fathers’ place, born of sinful men, to add still more to the burning anger of the Lord against Israel. 15 For if you turn away from following Him, He will once more leave them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.”

16 Then they approached him and said, “We will build sheepfolds for our livestock here and cities for our little ones; 17 but we ourselves will be armed, hurrying ahead of 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. 18 We will not return to our homes until every one of the sons of Israel has gained possession of his inheritance. 19 But we will not have an inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan toward the east.”

20 So Moses said to them, “If you will do [f]this, if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, 21 and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven His enemies out from Him, 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you may return and be [g]free of obligation toward the Lord and toward Israel, and this land shall be yours as property before the Lord. 23 But if you do not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure that your sin will find you out. 24 Build yourselves cities for your little ones, and sheepfolds for your sheep, and do [h]what you have promised.”

25 Then the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben spoke to Moses, saying, “Your servants will do just as my lord commands. 26 Our little ones, our wives, our livestock, and all our cattle shall [i]remain there in the cities of Gilead, 27 while your servants, that is, everyone who is armed for war, cross over in the presence of the Lord to battle, just as my lord says.”

28 So Moses gave the command regarding them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers’ households of the tribes of the sons of Israel. 29 And Moses said to them, “If the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben, everyone who is armed for battle, 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 as their property; 30 but if they do not cross over with you armed, they shall instead be settled among you in the land of Canaan.” 31 And the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben answered, saying, “As the Lord has said to your servants, so we will do. 32 We ourselves will cross over armed in the presence of the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the property of our inheritance shall remain with us across the Jordan.”

33 So Moses gave to them, to the sons of Gad, 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 [j]territories, the cities of the surrounding land. 34 And the sons of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran as fortified cities, and sheepfolds for sheep. 37 The sons of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, and Baal-meon—their names being changed—and Sibmah, and they gave other names to the cities which they built. 39 The sons of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he lived in it. 41 Jair the son of Manasseh went and took its [k]towns, and called them [l]Havvoth-jair. 42 Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and named it Nobah, after his own name.


  1. Numbers 32:1 Lit behold, the place, a place of
  2. Numbers 32:4 Lit struck
  3. Numbers 32:7 Lit heart of the sons
  4. Numbers 32:9 Or wadi
  5. Numbers 32:9 Lit heart of the sons
  6. Numbers 32:20 Lit this thing
  7. Numbers 32:22 Lit blameless toward
  8. Numbers 32:24 Lit that which has gone out of your mouth
  9. Numbers 32:26 Lit be
  10. Numbers 32:33 Lit borders
  11. Numbers 32:41 Lit tent villages
  12. Numbers 32:41 I.e., the towns of Jair