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Joshua 21Amplified Bible (AMP)

Forty-eight Cities of the Levites

21 Then the heads of the [a]households of the Levites came to Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel. They spoke to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us cities to live in, with their pasture lands for our cattle.” So the sons of Israel gave the Levites from their inheritance these [forty-eight] cities and their pasture lands, in accordance with the command of the Lord. The [first] lot (allotment) came out for the families of the Kohathites. So those [b]Levites who were sons (descendants) of Aaron the priest received thirteen cities by lot from the tribe of Judah and from the tribe of Simeon and from the tribe of Benjamin.

The rest of the sons of Kohath received ten cities by lot from the families of the tribe of Ephraim and from the tribe of Dan and from the half-tribe of Manasseh.

The sons of Gershon received thirteen cities by lot from the families of the tribe of Issachar and from the tribe of Asher and from the tribe of Naphtali and from the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

The sons of Merari according to their families received twelve cities from the tribe of Reuben and from the tribe of Gad and from the tribe of Zebulun.

The sons of Israel gave by lot to the Levites these cities with their pasture lands, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

They gave these cities which are mentioned here by name from the tribe of the sons of Judah and from the tribe of the sons of Simeon; 10 and they were for the sons of Aaron, one of the families of the Kohathites, of the sons of Levi, because the lot fell to them first. 11 They gave them [the city of] Kiriath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah, with its surrounding pasture lands. 12 But the fields of the city and its villages they had given to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as his property.

13 So to the sons of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron, the city of refuge for anyone who committed manslaughter, with its pasture lands, and Libnah with its pasture lands, 14 and Jattir with its pasture lands and Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, 15 and Holon with its pasture lands and Debir with its pasture lands, 16 and Ain with its pasture lands and Juttah with its pasture lands and Beth-shemesh with its pasture lands; nine cities from these two tribes (Judah and Simeon). 17 From the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with its pasture lands, and Geba with its pasture lands, 18 Anathoth with its pasture lands and Almon with its pasture lands; four cities. 19 All the cities of the sons of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their pasture lands.

20 Then the cities from the tribe of Ephraim were allotted to the families of the sons of Kohath, the Levites, even to the rest of the sons of Kohath. 21 They gave them Shechem, the city of refuge for anyone who committed manslaughter, with its pasture lands, in the hill country of Ephraim, and Gezer with its pasture lands, 22 and Kibzaim with its pasture lands and Beth-horon with its pasture lands; four cities. 23 From the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with its pasture lands, Gibbethon with its pasture lands, 24 Aijalon with its pasture lands, Gath-rimmon with its pasture lands; four cities. 25 From the half-tribe of Manasseh, they allotted Taanach with its pasture lands and Gath-rimmon with its pasture lands; two cities. 26 All the cities with their pasture lands for the families of the rest of the sons of Kohath totaled ten.

27 To the sons of Gershon, one of the families of the Levites, they gave from the other half-tribe of Manasseh, [the city of] Golan in Bashan, the city of refuge for anyone who committed manslaughter, with its pasture lands, and Be-eshterah with its pasture lands; two cities. 28 From the tribe of Issachar, they gave Kishion with its pasture lands, Daberath with its pasture lands, 29 Jarmuth with its pasture lands, and En-gannim with its pasture lands; four cities. 30 From the tribe of Asher, they gave Mishal with its pasture lands, Abdon with its pasture lands, 31 Helkath with its pasture lands and Rehob with its pasture lands; four cities. 32 From the tribe of Naphtali, they gave Kedesh in Galilee, the city of refuge for anyone who committed manslaughter, with its pasture lands and Hammoth-dor with its pasture lands and Kartan with its pasture lands; three cities. 33 All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their pasture lands.

34 To the families of the sons of Merari, the rest of the Levites, they gave from the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with its pasture lands and Kartah with its pasture lands, 35 Dimnah with its pasture lands and Nahalal with its pasture lands; four cities. 36 From the tribe of Reuben, they gave Bezer with its pasture lands and Jahaz with its pasture lands, 37 Kedemoth with its pasture lands and Mephaath with its pasture lands; four cities. 38 From the tribe of Gad, they gave Ramoth in Gilead, the city of refuge for anyone who committed manslaughter, with its pasture lands and Mahanaim with its pasture lands, 39 Heshbon with its pasture lands and Jazer with its pasture lands; four cities in all. 40 All [these were] the cities of the sons of Merari according to their families, the rest of the families of the Levites; and their lot was twelve cities.

41 All the cities of the Levites in the midst of the property of the sons of Israel were forty-eight cities with their pasture lands. 42 These cities each had its surrounding pasture lands; so it was with all these cities.

43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers (ancestors), and they took possession of it and lived in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest [from conflict] on every side, in accordance with everything that He had sworn to their fathers, and not one of all their enemies stood before them [in battle]; the Lord handed over all their enemies to them. 45 Not one of the good promises which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel failed; all had come to pass.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 21:1 Lit fathers.
  2. Joshua 21:4 The Levites were divided into three groups, the descendants of Levi’s three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. But only those Israelites who were descendants of Levi through Kohath’s grandson Aaron could be priests. The priesthood was made hereditary in the family of Aaron and restricted to it; however, even some of these were rendered ineligible by physical disabilities (Lev 21:16ff). The other families of Levi’s descendants, the Gershonites and Merarites, and those Kohathites who were not descended from Aaron, were entrusted with the care of the sanctuary. The priests ministered at the altar.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Joshua 21New International Version (NIV)

Towns for the Levites

21 Now the family heads of the Levites approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the other tribal families of Israel at Shiloh in Canaan and said to them, “The Lord commanded through Moses that you give us towns to live in, with pasturelands for our livestock.” So, as the Lord had commanded, the Israelites gave the Levites the following towns and pasturelands out of their own inheritance:

The first lot came out for the Kohathites, according to their clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest were allotted thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin. The rest of Kohath’s descendants were allotted ten towns from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan and half of Manasseh.

The descendants of Gershon were allotted thirteen towns from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

The descendants of Merari, according to their clans, received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun.

So the Israelites allotted to the Levites these towns and their pasturelands, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

From the tribes of Judah and Simeon they allotted the following towns by name 10 (these towns were assigned to the descendants of Aaron who were from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because the first lot fell to them):

11 They gave them Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), with its surrounding pastureland, in the hill country of Judah. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) 12 But the fields and villages around the city they had given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.

13 So to the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Libnah, 14 Jattir, Eshtemoa, 15 Holon, Debir, 16 Ain, Juttah and Beth Shemesh, together with their pasturelands—nine towns from these two tribes.

17 And from the tribe of Benjamin they gave them Gibeon, Geba, 18 Anathoth and Almon, together with their pasturelands—four towns.

19 The total number of towns for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, came to thirteen, together with their pasturelands.

20 The rest of the Kohathite clans of the Levites were allotted towns from the tribe of Ephraim:

21 In the hill country of Ephraim they were given Shechem (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Gezer, 22 Kibzaim and Beth Horon, together with their pasturelands—four towns.

23 Also from the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon, 24 Aijalon and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands—four towns.

25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they received Taanach and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands—two towns.

26 All these ten towns and their pasturelands were given to the rest of the Kohathite clans.

27 The Levite clans of the Gershonites were given:

from the half-tribe of Manasseh,

Golan in Bashan (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Be Eshterah, together with their pasturelands—two towns;

28 from the tribe of Issachar,

Kishion, Daberath, 29 Jarmuth and En Gannim, together with their pasturelands—four towns;

30 from the tribe of Asher,

Mishal, Abdon, 31 Helkath and Rehob, together with their pasturelands—four towns;

32 from the tribe of Naphtali,

Kedesh in Galilee (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Hammoth Dor and Kartan, together with their pasturelands—three towns.

33 The total number of towns of the Gershonite clans came to thirteen, together with their pasturelands.

34 The Merarite clans (the rest of the Levites) were given:

from the tribe of Zebulun,

Jokneam, Kartah, 35 Dimnah and Nahalal, together with their pasturelands—four towns;

36 from the tribe of Reuben,

Bezer, Jahaz, 37 Kedemoth and Mephaath, together with their pasturelands—four towns;

38 from the tribe of Gad,

Ramoth in Gilead (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Mahanaim, 39 Heshbon and Jazer, together with their pasturelands—four towns in all.

40 The total number of towns allotted to the Merarite clans, who were the rest of the Levites, came to twelve.

41 The towns of the Levites in the territory held by the Israelites were forty-eight in all, together with their pasturelands. 42 Each of these towns had pasturelands surrounding it; this was true for all these towns.

43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

New International Version (NIV)

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