The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned a huge amount of livestock, so when they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideally suited for their flocks and herds, they came to Moses, Eleazar, and the other leaders of the community, saying, “Notice the towns of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sibmah, Nebo, and Beon? Yahuah has conquered this whole area for Yisharal and it’s ideally suited for all our livestock. If we’ve found any favor with you, please let us have this land as our property instead of giving us land across the Jordan River.”
“Do you intend to stay here while your brothers go across and do all the fighting?” Moses asked, “Why do you want to discourage the rest of the people of Yisharal from going across to the land Yahuah has given them? Your ancestors did the same thing when I sent them from Kadesh to explore the land and after they went up to the valley of Eshcol (clusters of grapes) and explored the land, they discouraged the people of Yisharal from entering the land Yahuah was giving them. Then He was furious with them, and vowed, ‘No one who is twenty years or older of all those I rescued from Egypt, will ever see the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for they have disobeyed Me. The only exceptions are Caleb and Joshua, for they have whole-heartedly followed Me.’
So Yahuah was furious with Yisharal and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation that had disobeyed Him died. Do you want this to happen again? No? But here you are again, a brood of evil vipers, doing exactly the same thing! Are you trying to make Yahuah even angrier with Yisharal? If you turn away from Him like this and He abandons them all again in the wilderness, you will be responsible for destroying this entire nation!”
But the men of Reuben and Gad said, “We simply want to build pens for our livestock and fortified towns for our wives and children. Then we’ll arm ourselves and lead our brothers in Yisharal into battle until we‘ve brought them all safely to their land. Meanwhile, our families will stay in the protected towns we build here, so they’ll be safe from any attacks by the local people. We won’t return to our homes until all the people of Yisharal have received their portions of land. We just don’t want to claim any of the land on the other side of the Jordan! We’d rather live here on the east side and accept this as our grant of land.”
Then Moses said, “If you keep your word and arm yourselves for Yahuah’s battles, and if your troops cross the Jordan and keep fighting until Yahuah has driven out His enemies, then you may return when Yahuah has conquered the land. Then you will have fulfilled your duty to Yahuah and to the rest of the people of Yisharal. And the land on the east side of the Jordan will be your property from Yahuah. But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have done a great evil against Yahuah your Alahim, and you can be damn sure your wickedness will come back and bite you on the arse. So go ahead and build towns for your families and pens for your flocks, but make sure you do everything you have promised.”
Then the men of Gad and Reuben replied, “We are your servants and we’ll follow all your instructions. Our children, wives, flocks, and cattle will stay here in the towns of Gilead. But all those who are able to bear arms will cross over to fight for Yahuah, just as you’ve said.”
So Moses gave orders to Eleazar, Joshua and the leaders of the clans of Yisharal, saying, “The men of Gad and Reuben who are armed for battle must cross the Jordan with you to fight for Yahuah. If they do, give them the land of Gilead as their property when the land is conquered. But if they refuse to arm themselves and cross over with you, then they must accept land with the rest of you in the land of Canaan.”
And the tribes of Gad and Reuben said again, “We are your servants, and will do as Yahuah has instructed! We will cross the Jordan into Canaan fully armed to fight for Yahuah and our property will be here on this side of the Jordan.”
So Moses assigned land to the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh (son of Joseph). He gave them the territory of King Sihon of the Amorites and the land of King Og of Bashan, the whole land with its cities and surrounding lands. The descendants of Gad built the towns of Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, Beth-Nimrah, and Beth-Haran. These were all fortified towns with pens for their flocks. And the descendants of Reuben built the towns of Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, Nebo, Baal-Meon, and Sibmah. They changed the names of some of the towns they conquered and rebuilt. Then the descendants of Makir (from the tribe of Manasseh) went to Gilead and conquered it, and they drove out the Amorites living there. So Moses gave Gilead to the Makirites (descendants of Manasseh) and they settled there. The people of Jair (another clan of the tribe of Manasseh) captured many of the towns in Gilead and changed the name of that region to the towns of Jair. Meanwhile, a man named Nobah captured the town of Kenath and its surrounding villages, and he renamed that area Nobah after himself!
REMEMBER REUBEN HAD BEEN KICKED OUT OF HIS FATHER JACOB’S BLESSINGS BECAUSE HE WAS `AS UNSTABLE AS BOILED WATER’, AND HE, ALONG WITH SIMEON AND GAD, SHARED A CLOSE BOND SINCE BIRTH (MOTHERS). IT’S PROPHETICALLY INTERESTING THAT THESE NATIONS CHOSE TO REJECT LIVING IN THE PROMISED LAND. HOWEVER BECAUSE REUBEN AND GAD SETTLED WHERE THEY DID, THEY WERE ABLE TO SERVE AS A PROTECTIVE BARRIER AND WARD OFF ATTACKING ENEMIES FROM THE EAST (AND THERE WERE LOTS OF THEM) . THIS HELPED GREATLY IN PROTECTING THE TRIBAL TERRITORIES LIVING INSIDE OF CANAAN. IN FACT, REUBEN AND GAD WOULD BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE MANY ATTACKING INVADERS WHO HAD TO PASS THROUGH THEM FIRST BEFORE GETTING TO THE OTHER 10 TRIBES OF YISHARAL. POSSIBLY, THIS IS THE PRICE YAHUSHA MADE THEM PAY FOR THEIR DECISION. MAYBE HE WAS INDIRECTLY TELLING THEM “SURE, YOU CAN LIVE OUTSIDE THE PROMISED LAND BUT JUST KNOW `THERE AIN’T NO PEACE OUT THERE!’ THE LEADERS OF REUBEN AND GAD DID NOT APPROACH MOSES IN A RUDE, DEMONSTRATIVE AND DEMANDING MANNER WHEN THEY MADE THEIR REQUEST. THEY APPROACHED VERY HUMBLE, GENTLE AND IN AN INTIMATE MANNER. THE LEADERS OF REUBEN AND GAD WERE NOT IN ANY WAY THREATENING THAT THEIR REQUEST TO STAY IN THE TRANS-JORDAN MUST BE MET OR ELSE. THE EXACT TYPE OF SPECIAL MILITARY SOLDIERS GAD AND REUBEN WOULD PROVIDE WERE “SPECIALLY CHOSEN” OR “CHERRY-PICKED“ AND THE IDEA BEING EXPRESSED IS THAT THESE SOLDIERS WERE BATTLE-TESTED AND PROVEN TO BE THE MOST FIERCE AND MOST EFFECTIVE WARRIORS IN ALL OF YISHARAL. THEY WERE LIKE THE NAVY SEALS IN OUR DAY AND THEY’D ACTUALLY BE THE ONES LEADING THE YISHARALITE MILITARY AS IT FOUGHT ITS WAY THROUGH CANAAN. AND NOT ONLY THAT, REUBEN AND GAD PROMISED MOSES THAT THESE SOLDIERS WOULD NOT RETURN BACK TO THEIR TERRITORY IN THE TRANS-JORDAN UNTIL EVERY YISHARALITE TRIBE HAD TAKEN POSSESSION OF THE LAND YAHUAH HAD SET APART FOR THEM IN CANAAN. SO IT WAS IMPERATIVE THAT THESE GUYS SHOWED UP, CAUSE THEY WERE THE MOST VICIOUS WARRIORS IN YISHARAL (HENCE MOSES` RELUCTANCE AT FIRST)!!