Old Testament: Jos 22.10–12
To read the Bible in a year, read Joshua 21–22 on March 28, In the year of our Lord Christ 2021
By Don Ruhl
The Book of Joshua reveals that, after the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh returned to their land on the east side of the Jordan, that they built an altar, but when the rest of Israel found out about it, they were ready for war:
And when they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan—a great, impressive altar. Now the children of Israel heard someone say, “Behold, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have built an altar on the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan—on the children of Israel’s side.” And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered together at Shiloh to go to war against them.
– Joshua 22.10–12
The rest of Israel assumed that it was an altar to an idol. Based on that assumption, they were ready to confront the tribes on the east side. It was good that they were ready to eradicate idolatry, but when they found out the truth, they went back home.
- Why does the text refer to Manasseh as half of that tribe?
- How did the writer describe the altar?
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