Numbers 32:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then Moses said to them, "If you will do this--if you will arm yourselves before the LORD for battle

New Living Translation
Then Moses said, "If you keep your word and arm yourselves for the LORD's battles,

English Standard Version
So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the LORD for the war,

New American Standard Bible
So Moses said to them, "If you will do this, if you will arm yourselves before the LORD for the war,

King James Bible
And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Moses replied to them, "If you do this--if you arm yourselves for battle before the LORD,

International Standard Version
"If you do this," Moses replied to them, "that is, if you equip yourselves for war in the LORD's presence

NET Bible
Then Moses replied, "If you will do this thing, and if you will arm yourselves for battle before the LORD,

New Heart English Bible
Moses said to them, "If you will do this thing, if you will arm yourselves to go before the LORD to the war,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Moses answered, "Do what you have said. In the LORD's presence have all your armed men get ready for battle.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Moses said unto them: 'If ye will do this thing: if ye will arm yourselves to go before the LORD to the war,

New American Standard 1977
So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will arm yourselves before the LORD for the war,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will prepare yourselves to go before the LORD to the war

King James 2000 Bible
And Moses said unto them, If you will do this thing, if you will go armed before the LORD to war,

American King James Version
And Moses said to them, If you will do this thing, if you will go armed before the LORD to war,

American Standard Version
And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will arm yourselves to go before Jehovah to the war,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Moses said to them: If you do what you promise, go on well appointed for war before the Lord:

Darby Bible Translation
And Moses said to them, If ye do this thing, if ye arm yourselves before Jehovah for war,

English Revised Version
And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing; If ye will arm yourselves to go before the LORD to the war,

Webster's Bible Translation
And Moses said to them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war,

World English Bible
Moses said to them, "If you will do this thing, if you will arm yourselves to go before Yahweh to the war,

Young's Literal Translation
And Moses saith unto them, 'If ye do this thing: if ye are armed before Jehovah for battle,
Study Bible
Reuben and Gad Appease Moses
19"For we will not have an inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has fallen to us on this side of the Jordan toward the east." 20So Moses said to them, "If you will do this, if you will arm yourselves before the LORD for the war, 21and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the LORD until He has driven His enemies out from before Him,…
Cross References
Numbers 32:21
and all of you armed men cross over the Jordan before the LORD until He has driven His enemies out from before Him,

Deuteronomy 3:18
"Then I commanded you at that time, saying, 'The LORD your God has given you this land to possess it; all you valiant men shall cross over armed before your brothers, the sons of Israel.

Joshua 1:12
To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,

Joshua 22:1
Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,
Treasury of Scripture

And Moses said to them, If you will do this thing, if you will go armed before the LORD to war,

Deuteronomy 3:18-20 And I commanded you at that time, saying, The LORD your God has given …

Joshua 1:13-15 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, …

Joshua 4:12,13 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the …

Joshua 22:2-4 And said to them, You have kept all that Moses the servant of the …

(20) if ye will go armed before the Lord . . . --The same verb and the same preposition are here used which are used in Numbers 32:17. It may be inferred from this expression that the army of the Israelites was regarded as the army of the Lord; and it seems probable that there is a reference to the ark of the Lord as being carried on certain occasions into the war. If the order of march prescribed in the second chapter of this Book was still observed, there may be a reference to the fact that the tribes of Reuben and Gad, which encamped on the south side of the Tabernacle, immediately preceded the ark (see Numbers 10:18-22), just as those of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh immediately followed it (Psalm 80:2). At the time of the passage of the Jordan, the priests who bare the ark stood still in the river until the whole of the people had passed over "before the ark of the Lord" (Joshua 4:5; Joshua 4:11); but at the siege of Jericho it appears that the ark was carried in the midst of the host, some of the armed men going before it, and some following after it (Joshua 6:9). If this is the true meaning of the word "before the Lord," it was natural that the Reubenites, or their spokesman, should first use the words "before the children of Israel" in Numbers 32:17, and should not adopt the expression "before the Lord," as in Numbers 32:32, until it had been previously employed by Moses.

Verse 20. - Before the Lord. Perhaps in a quasi-local sense, as the vanguard of the host before the sacred symbols of the Lord's presence (see on chapter Numbers 10:21, and Joshua 6:9). But since the same expression (לִפְנֵי יְהוָה) is twice used in a much vaguer sense in verse 22, it is more probable that it only means "in the Lord's service, or "beneath his eye." And Moses said unto them,.... Being better disposed towards them, and more satisfied with the reasonableness of their request, it being explained unto him:

if ye will do this thing; which they had promised:

if ye will go armed before the Lord to war; they had said they would go ready armed before the children of Israel, but Moses expresses it "before the Lord"; which is more agreeable to their encampment and order in marching, for not the standard of Reuben but that of Judah went foremost, yet the standard of Reuben marched directly before the sanctuary bore by the Kohathites, Numbers 10:18, and so might be properly said to go before the Lord, who dwelt there. 20-33. Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing—with sincerity and zeal.

go before the Lord to war—The phrase was used in allusion to the order of march in which the tribes of Reuben and Gad immediately preceded the ark (see on [96]Nu 2:10-31), or to the passage over the Jordan, in which the ark stood in mid-channel, while all the tribes marched by in succession (Jos 3:4), of course including those of Reuben and Gad, so that, literally, they passed over before the Lord and before the rest of Israel (Jos 4:13). Perhaps, however, the phrase is used merely in a general sense to denote their marching on an expedition, the purpose of which was blessed with the presence, and destined to promote the glory, of God. The displeasure which Moses had felt on the first mention of their proposal had disappeared on the strength of their solemn assurances. But a lurking suspicion of their motives seems still to have been lingering in his mind—he continued to speak to them in an admonitory strain; and he concluded by warning them that in case of their failing to redeem their pledge, the judgments of an offended God would assuredly fall upon them. This emphatic caution against such an eventuality throws a strong doubt on the honesty of their first intentions; and yet, whether through the opposing attitude or the strong invectives of Moses they had been brought to a better state of mind, their final reply showed that now all was right.32:16-27 Here is the good effect of plain dealing. Moses, by showing their sin, and the danger of it, brought them to their duty, without murmuring or disputing. All men ought to consider the interests of others as well as their own; the law of love requires us to labour, venture, or suffer for each other as there may be occasion. They propose that their men of war should go ready armed before the children of Israel into the land of Canaan, and that they should not return till the conquest of Canaan was ended. Moses grants their request, but he warns them of the danger of breaking their word. If you fail, you sin against the Lord, and not against your brethren only; God will certainly reckon with you for it. Be sure your sin will find you out. Sin will surely find out the sinner sooner or later. It concerns us now to find our sins out, that we may repent of them, and forsake them, lest they find us out to our ruin.
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