Joshua 18-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Allotments of the Remaining Land
18 Now that the land was under Israelite control, the entire community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle.[a] 2 But there remained seven tribes who had not yet been allotted their grants of land.
3 Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you? 4 Select three men from each tribe, and I will send them out to explore the land and map it out. They will then return to me with a written report of their proposed divisions of their new homeland. 5 Let them divide the land into seven sections, excluding Judah’s territory in the south and Joseph’s territory in the north. 6 And when you record the seven divisions of the land and bring them to me, I will cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord our God to assign land to each tribe.
7 “The Levites, however, will not receive any allotment of land. Their role as priests of the Lord is their allotment. And the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh won’t receive any more land, for they have already received their grant of land, which Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave them on the east side of the Jordan River.”
8 As the men started on their way to map out the land, Joshua commanded them, “Go and explore the land and write a description of it. Then return to me, and I will assign the land to the tribes by casting sacred lots here in the presence of the Lord at Shiloh.” 9 The men did as they were told and mapped the entire territory into seven sections, listing the towns in each section. They made a written record and then returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. 10 And there at Shiloh, Joshua cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord to determine which tribe should have each section.
The Land Given to Benjamin
11 The first allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin. It lay between the territory assigned to the tribes of Judah and Joseph.
12 The northern boundary of Benjamin’s land began at the Jordan River, went north of the slope of Jericho, then west through the hill country and the wilderness of Beth-aven. 13 From there the boundary went south to Luz (that is, Bethel) and proceeded down to Ataroth-addar on the hill that lies south of Lower Beth-horon.
14 The boundary then made a turn and swung south along the western edge of the hill facing Beth-horon, ending at the village of Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a town belonging to the tribe of Judah. This was the western boundary.
15 The southern boundary began at the outskirts of Kiriath-jearim. From that western point it ran[b] to the spring at the waters of Nephtoah,[c] 16 and down to the base of the mountain beside the valley of Ben-Hinnom, at the northern end of the valley of Rephaim. From there it went down the valley of Hinnom, crossing south of the slope where the Jebusites lived, and continued down to En-rogel. 17 From En-rogel the boundary proceeded in a northerly direction and came to En-shemesh and on to Geliloth (which is across from the slopes of Adummim). Then it went down to the Stone of Bohan. (Bohan was Reuben’s son.) 18 From there it passed along the north side of the slope overlooking the Jordan Valley.[d] The border then went down into the valley, 19 ran past the north slope of Beth-hoglah, and ended at the north bay of the Dead Sea,[e] which is the southern end of the Jordan River. This was the southern boundary.
20 The eastern boundary was the Jordan River.
These were the boundaries of the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
The Towns Given to Benjamin
21 These were the towns given to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
Jericho, Beth-hoglah, Emek-keziz, 22 Beth-arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Kephar-ammoni, Ophni, and Geba—twelve towns with their surrounding villages. 25 Also Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zela, Haeleph, the Jebusite town (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath-jearim[f]—fourteen towns with their surrounding villages.
This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
The Land Given to Simeon
19 The second allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Simeon. Their homeland was surrounded by Judah’s territory.
2 Simeon’s homeland included Beersheba, Sheba, Moladah, 3 Hazar-shual, Balah, Ezem, 4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5 Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah, 6 Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen—thirteen towns with their surrounding villages. 7 It also included Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan—four towns with their villages, 8 including all the surrounding villages as far south as Baalath-beer (also known as Ramah of the Negev).
This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Simeon. 9 Their allocation of land came from part of what had been given to Judah because Judah’s territory was too large for them. So the tribe of Simeon received an allocation within the territory of Judah.
The Land Given to Zebulun
10 The third allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Zebulun.
The boundary of Zebulun’s homeland started at Sarid. 11 From there it went west, going past Maralah, touching Dabbesheth, and proceeding to the brook east of Jokneam. 12 In the other direction, the boundary went east from Sarid to the border of Kisloth-tabor, and from there to Daberath and up to Japhia. 13 Then it continued east to Gath-hepher, Eth-kazin, and Rimmon and turned toward Neah. 14 The northern boundary of Zebulun passed Hannathon and ended at the valley of Iphtah-el. 15 The towns in these areas included Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem—twelve towns with their surrounding villages.
16 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Zebulun included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Issachar
17 The fourth allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Issachar.
18 Its boundaries included the following towns: Jezreel, Kesulloth, Shunem, 19 Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21 Remeth, En-gannim, En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez. 22 The boundary also touched Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth-shemesh, ending at the Jordan River—sixteen towns with their surrounding villages.
23 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Issachar included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Asher
24 The fifth allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Asher.
25 Its boundaries included these towns: Helkath, Hali, Beten, Acshaph, 26 Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal. The boundary on the west touched Carmel and Shihor-libnath, 27 then it turned east toward Beth-dagon, and ran as far as Zebulun in the valley of Iphtah-el, going north to Beth-emek and Neiel. It then continued north to Cabul, 28 Abdon,[g] Rehob, Hammon, Kanah, and as far as Greater Sidon. 29 Then the boundary turned toward Ramah and the fortress of Tyre, where it turned toward Hosah and came to the Mediterranean Sea.[h] The territory also included Mehebel, Aczib, 30 Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob—twenty-two towns with their surrounding villages.
31 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Asher included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Naphtali
32 The sixth allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Naphtali.
33 Its boundary ran from Heleph, from the oak at Zaanannim, and extended across to Adami-nekeb, Jabneel, and as far as Lakkum, ending at the Jordan River. 34 The western boundary ran past Aznoth-tabor, then to Hukkok, and touched the border of Zebulun in the south, the border of Asher on the west, and the Jordan River[i] on the east. 35 The fortified towns included in this territory were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth, 36 Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37 Kedesh, Edrei, En-hazor, 38 Yiron, Migdal-el, Horem, Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh—nineteen towns with their surrounding villages.
39 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Naphtali included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Dan
40 The seventh allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Dan.
41 The land allocated as their homeland included the following towns: Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-shemesh, 42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, 43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45 Jehud, Bene-berak, Gath-rimmon, 46 Me-jarkon, Rakkon, and the territory across from Joppa.
47 But the tribe of Dan had trouble taking possession of their land,[j] so they attacked the town of Laish.[k] They captured it, slaughtered its people, and settled there. They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor.
48 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Dan included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Joshua
49 After all the land was divided among the tribes, the Israelites gave a piece of land to Joshua as his allocation. 50 For the Lord had said he could have any town he wanted. He chose Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the town and lived there.
51 These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the tribal leaders allocated as grants of land to the tribes of Israel by casting sacred lots in the presence of the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle[l] at Shiloh. So the division of the land was completed.
The Cities of Refuge
20 The Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Now tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed Moses. 3 Anyone who kills another person accidentally and unintentionally can run to one of these cities; they will be places of refuge from relatives seeking revenge for the person who was killed.
4 “Upon reaching one of these cities, the one who caused the death will appear before the elders at the city gate and present his case. They must allow him to enter the city and give him a place to live among them. 5 If the relatives of the victim come to avenge the killing, the leaders must not release the slayer to them, for he killed the other person unintentionally and without previous hostility. 6 But the slayer must stay in that city and be tried by the local assembly, which will render a judgment. And he must continue to live in that city until the death of the high priest who was in office at the time of the accident. After that, he is free to return to his own home in the town from which he fled.”
7 The following cities were designated as cities of refuge: Kedesh of Galilee, in the hill country of Naphtali; Shechem, in the hill country of Ephraim; and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), in the hill country of Judah. 8 On the east side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho, the following cities were designated: Bezer, in the wilderness plain of the tribe of Reuben; Ramoth in Gilead, in the territory of the tribe of Gad; and Golan in Bashan, in the land of the tribe of Manasseh. 9 These cities were set apart for all the Israelites as well as the foreigners living among them. Anyone who accidentally killed another person could take refuge in one of these cities. In this way, they could escape being killed in revenge prior to standing trial before the local assembly.
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