Joshua 16-18 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Land for Ephraim and Manasseh
16 This is the land that the family of Joseph received. This land started at the Jordan River near Jericho and continued to the waters of Jericho. (This was just east of Jericho.) The border went up from Jericho to the hill country of Bethel. 2 Then the border continued from Bethel (Luz) to the Arkite border at Ataroth. 3 Then the border went west to the border of the Japhletites. The border continued to Lower Beth Horon. Then the border went to Gezer and continued to the Mediterranean Sea.
4 So the people of Manasseh and Ephraim got their land. (Manasseh and Ephraim were sons of Joseph.)
5 This is the land that was given to the people of Ephraim: Their eastern border started at Ataroth Addar near Upper Beth Horon. 6 And the western border started at Micmethath. The border turned to the east to Taanath Shiloh and continued east to Janoah. 7 Then it went from Janoah down to Ataroth and to Naarah. The border continued until it touched Jericho and ended at the Jordan River. 8 The border went from Tappuah west to Kanah Ravine and ended at the sea. This is all the land that was given to the Ephraimites. Each family in that tribe got a part of this land. 9 Many of the border towns of Ephraim were actually in Manasseh’s borders, but the Ephraimites got the towns and the fields around them. 10 But the Ephraimites were not able to force the Canaanites to leave the town of Gezer. So the Canaanites still live among the Ephraimites today, although they did become slaves of the Ephraimites.
17 Then land was given to the tribe of Manasseh. Manasseh was Joseph’s first son. Manasseh’s first son was Makir, the father of Gilead.[a] Makir was a great soldier, so the areas of Gilead and Bashan were given to his family. 2 Land was also given to the other families in the tribe of Manasseh. These families were Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. All these men were the other sons of Manasseh, the son of Joseph. The families of these men got their share of the land.
3 Zelophehad was the son of Hepher. Hepher was the son of Gilead. Gilead was the son of Makir, and Makir was the son of Manasseh. Zelophehad did not have any sons, but he had five daughters. The daughters were named Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4 The daughters went to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and all the leaders. The daughters said, “The Lord told Moses to give us land the same as our male relatives.” So Eleazar obeyed the Lord and gave the daughters some land, just like their uncles.
5 So the tribe of Manasseh had ten areas of land west of the Jordan River and two more areas of land, Gilead and Bashan, on the other side of the Jordan River. 6 So these women from the tribe of Manasseh got land the same as the men. The land of Gilead was given to the rest of the families of Manasseh.
7 The lands of Manasseh were in the area between Asher and Micmethath. This is near Shechem. The border went south to the En Tappuah area. 8 The land around Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but the town itself did not. The town of Tappuah was at the border of Manasseh’s land, and it belonged to the people of Ephraim. 9 The border of Manasseh continued south to Kanah Ravine. This area belonged to the tribe of Manasseh, but the cities belonged to the people of Ephraim. Manasseh’s border was on the north side of the river and it continued west to the Mediterranean Sea. 10 The land to the south belonged to Ephraim. And the land to the north belonged to Manasseh. The Mediterranean Sea was the western border. The border touched Asher’s land in the north and Issachar’s land in the east.
11 The people of Manasseh had towns in the area of Issachar and Asher. Beth Shean, Ibleam, and the small towns around them also belonged to them. The people of Manasseh also lived in Dor, Endor, Taanach, Megiddo, and the small towns around these cities. They also lived in the three towns of Naphoth. 12 The people of Manasseh were not able to defeat those cities. So the Canaanites continued to live there. 13 But the Israelites grew strong. When this happened, they forced the Canaanites to work for them. But they did not force them to leave that land.
14 The tribe of Joseph spoke to Joshua and said, “You gave us only one area of land, but we are many people. Why did you give us only one part of all the land that the Lord gave his people?”
15 Joshua answered them, “If you have too many people, go up to the wooded area in the hill country and clear that land for a place to live. That land now belongs to the Perizzites and the Rephaites. But if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go take that land.”
16 The people of Joseph said, “It is true that the hill country of Ephraim is not large enough for us. But the Canaanites living there have powerful weapons—they have iron chariots! And they control Jezreel Valley, Beth Shean, and all the small towns in that area.”
17 Then Joshua said to the people of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, “You have many people and you are very strong, so you should get more than one share of the land. 18 You will take these mountains. It is a forest, but you can cut down the trees and make it a good place to live. You can take it from the Canaanites and force them to leave. You can defeat them, even if they are strong and have iron chariots.”
Dividing the Rest of the Land
18 All the Israelites gathered together at Shiloh where they set up the Meeting Tent. The Israelites controlled that country. They had defeated all the enemies in that land. 2 But at this time there were still seven tribes of Israel that had not yet received their land.
3 So Joshua said to the Israelites, “Why do you wait so long to take your land? The Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given this land to you. 4 So each of your tribes should choose three men. I will send them out to study the land. They will describe that land, and then they will come back to me. 5 They will divide the land into seven parts. The people of Judah will keep their land in the south. The people of Joseph will keep their land in the north. 6 But you should describe the land and divide it into seven parts. Bring the map to me, and we will throw lots to let the Lord our God decide how to divide the land among the tribes. 7 The Levites don’t get a share of the land. Their share is to serve the Lord as priests. Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received the land that was promised to them. They are on the east side of the Jordan River. Moses, the Lord’s servant, gave them that land.”
8 So the men who were chosen went to look at the land and write down what they saw. Joshua told them, “Go through the land and describe it in writing. Then come back to me at Shiloh. I will throw lots and let the Lord decide how you will share the land.”
9 So the men went into the land. As they walked through it, they wrote down what they saw. They listed all the cities and divided the land into seven parts. Then they went back to Joshua at Shiloh. 10 Joshua threw lots for them in front of the Lord at Shiloh. In this way Joshua divided the land and gave each tribe its part of the land.
Land for Benjamin
11 The tribe of Benjamin was given the land that was between the areas of Judah and Joseph. Each family in the tribe of Benjamin got its land. This is the land that was chosen for Benjamin: 12 The northern border started at the Jordan River. It went along the northern edge of Jericho. Then the border went west into the hill country. It continued until it was just east of Beth Aven. 13 Then the border went south to Luz (Bethel), then down to Ataroth Addar. Ataroth Addar is on the hill south of Lower Beth Horon. 14 At the hill south of Beth Horon, the border turned south and went along the west side of the hill. The border went to Kiriath Baal (also called Kiriath Jearim). This town belonged to the people of Judah. This was the western border.
15 The southern border started near Kiriath Jearim and went to the River of Nephtoah. 16 Then the border went down to the bottom of the hill near the valley of Ben Hinnom, north of Rephaim Valley. It continued down Hinnom Valley just south of the Jebusite city. Then the border went on to En Rogel. 17 There it turned north, went to En Shemesh, and then continued on to Geliloth. (Geliloth is near the Adummim Pass in the mountains.) The border went down to the Great Stone that was named for Bohan, the son of Reuben. 18 It continued to the northern part of Beth Arabah. Then the border went down into the Jordan Valley. 19 Then it went to the northern part of Beth Hoglah and ended at the north shore of the Dead Sea. This is where the Jordan River flows into that sea. That was the southern border.
20 The Jordan River was the eastern border. So this was the land that was given to the tribe of Benjamin. These were the borders on all sides. 21 Each family got its land. These are their cities: Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz, 22 Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Kephar Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba. There were twelve cities and the fields around them.
25 The tribe of Benjamin also got Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zelah, Haeleph, the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath. There were 14 cities and the fields around them. The tribe of Benjamin got all these areas.