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Numbers 32:16-27

Context
The Offer of the Reubenites and Gadites

32:16 Then they came very close to him and said, “We will build sheep folds here for our flocks and cities for our families, 1  32:17 but we will maintain ourselves in armed readiness 2  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 3  the inhabitants of the land. 32:18 We will not return to our homes until every Israelite has his inheritance. 32:19 For we will not accept any inheritance on the other side of the Jordan River 4  and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this eastern side of the Jordan.”

32:20 Then Moses replied, 5  “If you will do this thing, and if you will arm yourselves for battle before the Lord, 32:21 and if all your armed men cross the Jordan before the Lord until he drives out his enemies from his presence 32:22 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.

32:23 “But if you do not do this, then look, you will have sinned 6  against the Lord. And know that your sin will find you out. 32:24 So build cities for your descendants and pens for your sheep, but do what you have said 7  you would do.”

32:25 So the Gadites and the Reubenites replied to Moses, “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 32:26 Our children, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock will be there in the cities of Gilead, 32:27 but your servants will cross over, every man armed for war, to do battle in the Lord’s presence, just as my lord says.”

1 tn Heb “our little ones.”

2 tn The MT has חֻשִׁים (khushim); the verbal root is חוּשׁ (khush, “to make haste” or “hurry”). But in light of the Greek and Latin Vulgate the Hebrew should probably be emended to חֲמֻשִׁים (hamushim), a qal passive participle meaning “in battle array.” See further BDB 301 s.v. I חוּשׁ, BDB 332 s.v. חֲמֻשִׁים; HALOT 300 s.v. I חושׁ, חישׁ; HALOT 331 s.v. I חמשׁ.

3 tn Heb “from before.”

4 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “said to them.”

6 tn The nuance of the perfect tense here has to be the future perfect.

7 tn Heb “that which goes out/has gone out of your mouth.”



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