Numbers 32: Land for Reuben and Gad

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 70–71

While the children of Israel were on the east side of the Jordan River waiting to cross over into Canaan, the tribes of Reuben and Gad asked Moses if they could have their inheritance on the east side because they thought the land looked good for cattle. Moses told them the other tribes would be upset if they did not help conquer the land on the west of the Jordan (Canaan); the main body of Israelites felt that conquering Canaan’s inhabitants would be hard enough with all twelve tribes. Reuben and Gad agreed to send their men to help with the conquest until every tribe had an inheritance. They would, however, leave their women, children, and cattle behind on the eastern shore. Moses agreed to this arrangement and also gave half the tribe of Manasseh an inheritance on the east of the Jordan as well (see Bible map 3).