Joshua blesses and sends the trans-Jordan tribes home (Josh 22:1-22:8)

“Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He said to them. ‘You have observed all that Moses, the servant of Yahweh, commanded you. You have obeyed me in all that I have commanded you. You have not forsaken your brothers these many days, down to this day. But you have been careful to keep the charge of Yahweh your God. Now Yahweh your God has given rest to your brothers, as he promised them. Therefore turn and go to your tents in the land where your possession lays, which Moses, the servant of Yahweh, gave you on the other side of the Jordan. Take good care to observe the commandments and instructions that Moses, the servant of Yahweh, commanded you. Love Yahweh your God. Walk in all his ways. Keep his commandments. Hold to him. Serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. So Joshua blessed them. He sent them away. They went to their tents.”

The Gadites and Reubenites were to return to their homes on the eastern bank of the Jordan because they had fulfilled their promises to Moses. Moses is always referred to as ‘the servant of Yahweh.’ They had not abandoned their brothers. This blessing of Joshua work takes on a Deuteronomic tone, especially about loving God with your whole heart and soul. You keep the commandments because you love God. It is a blessing to do so.

“Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan. But to the other half Joshua had given a possession beside their fellow Israelites on the land west of the Jordan. When Joshua sent them away to their tents and blessed them, he said to them. ‘Go back to your tents with much wealth, and with abundant livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and with a great quantity of clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your kindred.”

The Manasseh tribe was split in 2 parts, on the west bank and the other on the east bank, both in the northern areas. These tribes are all set with great wealth and livestock to go home to their families.

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