Contemporary English Version
Joshua Gives Out the Rest of the Land
18 After Israel had captured the land, they met at Shiloh and set up the sacred tent.[a] 2 There were still seven tribes without any land, 3-7 so Joshua told the people:
The Judah tribe has already settled in its land in the south, and the Joseph tribes[b] have settled in their land in the north. The tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh already have the land that the Lord’s servant Moses gave them east of the Jordan River. And the people of Levi won’t get a single large region of the land like the other tribes. Instead, they will serve the Lord as priests.
But the rest of you haven’t done a thing to take over any land. The Lord God who was worshiped by your ancestors has given you the land, and now it’s time to go ahead and settle there.
Seven tribes still don’t have any land. Each of these tribes should choose three men, and I’ll send them to explore the remaining land. They will divide it into seven regions, write a description of each region, and bring these descriptions back to me. I will find out[c] from the Lord our God what region each tribe should get.
8 Just before the men left camp, Joshua repeated their orders: “Explore the land and write a description of it. Then come back to Shiloh, and I will find out from the Lord how to divide the land.”
9 The men left and went across the land, dividing it into seven regions. They wrote down a description of each region, town by town, and returned to Joshua at the camp at Shiloh. 10 Joshua found out from the Lord how to divide the land, and he told the tribes what the Lord had decided.
11 Benjamin was the first tribe chosen to receive land. The region for its clans lay between the Judah tribe on the south and the Joseph tribes[d] on the north. 12 Benjamin’s northern border started at the Jordan River and went up the ridge north of Jericho, then on west into the hill country as far as the Beth-Aven Desert. 13-14 From there it went to Luz, which is now called Bethel. The border ran along the ridge south of Luz, then went to Ataroth-Orech[e] and on as far as the mountain south of Lower Beth-Horon. At that point it turned south and became the western border. It went as far south as Kiriath-Baal, a town in Judah now called Kiriath-Jearim.
15 Benjamin’s southern border started at the edge of Kiriath-Jearim and went east to the ruins[f] and on to Nephtoah Spring. 16 From there it went to the bottom of the hill at the northern end of Rephaim Valley. The other side of this hill faces Hinnom Valley, which is on the land that slopes south from Jerusalem.[g] The border went down through Hinnom Valley until it reached Enrogel.
17 At Enrogel the border curved north and went to Enshemesh and on east to Geliloth,[h] which is across the valley from Adummim Pass. Then it went down to the Monument of Bohan,[i] who belonged to the Reuben tribe. 18 The border ran along the hillside north of Beth-Arabah,[j] then down into the Jordan River valley. 19 Inside the valley it went south as far as the northern hillside of Beth-Hoglah. The last section of the border went from there to the northern end of the Dead Sea,[k] at the mouth of the Jordan River. 20 The Jordan River itself was Benjamin’s eastern border.
These were the borders of Benjamin’s tribal land, where the clans of Benjamin lived.
21-24 One region of Benjamin’s tribal land had twelve towns with their surrounding villages. Those towns were Jericho, Beth-Hoglah, Emek-Keziz, Beth-Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, Chephar-Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba.
25-28 In the other region there were the following fourteen towns with their surrounding villages: Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah, Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, Zelah, Haeleph, Gibeah, Kiriath-Jearim,[l] and Jerusalem, which is also called Jebusite Town.
These regions are the tribal lands of Benjamin.
- 18.1 sacred tent: Or “meeting tent.”
- 18.3-7 Joseph tribes: See the note at 17.14.
- 18.3-7 find out: Hebrew “cast lots to find out” (see the note at 14.1-5).
- 18.11 Joseph tribes: See the note at 17.14.
- 18.13,14 Ataroth-Orech: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Ataroth-Addar.”
- 18.15 the ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 18.16 Jerusalem: Hebrew “the Jebusite town.”
- 18.17 Geliloth: Probably another name for Gilgal.
- 18.17 Monument of Bohan: See the note at 15.6.
- 18.18 hillside north of Beth-Arabah: One ancient translation (see also the border description in 15.6); Hebrew “the northern hillside overlooking the Jordan River valley.”
- 18.19 northern. . . Dead Sea: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 18.25-28 Kiriath-Jearim: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Kiriath.”