Cities of the Levites

21 The Levite family heads approached the priest Eleazar, Joshua son of Nun, and the family heads of the Israelite tribes. At Shiloh, in the land of Canaan, they told them, “The Lord commanded through Moses that we be given cities to live in, with their pasturelands for our livestock.”(A) So the Israelites, by the Lord’s command, gave the Levites these cities with their pasturelands from their inheritance.

The lot came out for the Kohathite clans: The Levites who were the descendants of the priest Aaron received thirteen cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. The remaining descendants of Kohath received ten cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

Gershon’s descendants received thirteen cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and half the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

Merari’s descendants received twelve cities for their clans from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.

The Israelites gave these cities with their pasturelands around them to the Levites by lot, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

Cities of Aaron’s Descendants

The Israelites gave these cities by name from the tribes of the descendants of Judah and Simeon 10 to the descendants of Aaron from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because they received the first lot. 11 They gave them Kiriath-arba(B) (that is, Hebron; Arba was the father of Anak) with its surrounding pasturelands in the hill country of Judah. 12 But they gave the fields and settlements of the city to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.

13 They gave to the descendants of the priest Aaron:

Hebron, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Libnah with its pasturelands, 14 Jattir with its pasturelands, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, 15 Holon with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, 16 Ain with its pasturelands, Juttah with its pasturelands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasturelands—nine cities from these two tribes.

17 From the tribe of Benjamin they gave:

Gibeon with its pasturelands, Geba with its pasturelands, 18 Anathoth with its pasturelands, and Almon with its pasturelands—four cities. 19 All thirteen cities with their pasturelands were for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

Cities of Kohath’s Other Descendants

20 The allotted cities to the remaining clans of Kohath’s descendants, who were Levites, came from the tribe of Ephraim. 21 The Israelites gave them:

Shechem,(C) the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 22 Kibzaim with its pasturelands, and Beth-horon with its pasturelands—four cities.

23 From the tribe of Dan they gave:

Elteke with its pasturelands, Gibbethon with its pasturelands, 24 Aijalon with its pasturelands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands—four cities.

25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they gave:

Taanach with its pasturelands and Gath-rimmon[a] with its pasturelands—two cities.

26 All ten cities with their pasturelands were for the clans of Kohath’s other descendants.

Cities of Gershon’s Descendants

27 From half the tribe of Manasseh, they gave to the descendants of Gershon,(D) who were one of the Levite clans:

Golan, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in Bashan, and Beeshterah with its pasturelands—two cities.

28 From the tribe of Issachar they gave:

Kishion with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, 29 Jarmuth with its pasturelands, and En-gannim with its pasturelands—four cities.

30 From the tribe of Asher they gave:

Mishal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, 31 Helkath with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelands—four cities.

32 From the tribe of Naphtali they gave:

Kedesh in Galilee, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Hammoth-dor with its pasturelands, and Kartan with its pasturelands—three cities.

33 All thirteen cities with their pasturelands were for the Gershonites by their clans.

Cities of Merari’s Descendants

34 From the tribe of Zebulun, they gave to the clans of the descendants of Merari,(E) who were the remaining Levites:

Jokneam with its pasturelands, Kartah with its pasturelands, 35 Dimnah with its pasturelands, and Nahalal with its pasturelands—four cities.

36 From the tribe of Reuben they gave:

Bezer(F) with its pasturelands, Jahzah[b] with its pasturelands, 37 Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its pasturelands—four cities.[c]

38 From the tribe of Gad they gave:

Ramoth in Gilead, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Mahanaim with its pasturelands, 39 Heshbon with its pasturelands, and Jazer with its pasturelands—four cities in all. 40 All twelve cities were allotted to the clans of Merari’s descendants, the remaining Levite clans.

41 Within the Israelite possession there were forty-eight cities in all with their pasturelands for the Levites.(G) 42 Each of these cities had its own surrounding pasturelands; this was true for all the cities.

The Lord’s Promises Fulfilled

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 according to all he had sworn to their ancestors. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the Lord handed over all their enemies to them. 45 None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.(H)

Footnotes

  1. 21:25 Or Ibleam
  2. 21:36 Or Jahaz
  3. 21:36–37 Some Hb mss omit these vv.

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