“he will be put to death.” Although this seems harsh, it was appropriate. The fighting men of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the eastern half-tribe of Manasseh were going to go into battle in the Promised Land at the head of the army (Josh. 1:14) and therefore were involved in the heaviest fighting. To succeed the people had to be motivated and follow orders. If anyone became negative, obstinate and rebellious he would not only endanger his own life but the lives of others as well. There is a good reason why, in armies through the centuries, deserters were executed. High morale is essential to success in an army.