Contemporary English Version
The Kings Defeated by the Israelites
12 Before Moses died, he and the people of Israel had defeated two kings east of the Jordan River. These kings had ruled the region from the Arnon River gorge in the south to Mount Hermon in the north, including the eastern side of the Jordan River valley.
2 The first king that Moses and the Israelites defeated was an Amorite, King Sihon of Heshbon.[a] The southern border of his kingdom ran down the middle of the Arnon River gorge, taking in the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the gorge. The Jabbok River separated Sihon’s kingdom from the Ammonites on the east. Then the Jabbok turned west and became his northern border, so his kingdom included the southern half of the region of Gilead. 3 Sihon also controlled the eastern side of the Jordan River valley from Lake Galilee[b] south to Beth-Jeshimoth and the Dead Sea. In addition to these regions, he ruled the town called Slopes of Mount Pisgah[c] and the land south of there at the foot of the hill.
4 Next, Moses and the Israelites defeated King Og of Bashan,[d] who lived in the town of Ashtaroth part of each year and in Edrei the rest of the year. Og was one of the last of the Rephaim.[e] 5 His kingdom stretched north to Mount Hermon, east to the town of Salecah, and included the land of Bashan as far west as the borders of the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah. He also ruled the northern half of Gilead.
6 Moses, the Lord’s servant, had led the people of Israel in defeating Sihon and Og. Then Moses gave their land to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh.
7-8 Later, Joshua and the Israelites defeated many kings west of the Jordan River, from Baal-Gad in Lebanon Valley in the north to Mount Halak near the country of Edom in the south. This region included the hill country and the foothills, the Jordan River valley and its western slopes, and the Southern Desert. Joshua and the Israelites took this land from the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Joshua divided up the land among the tribes of Israel.
The Israelites defeated the kings of the following towns west of the Jordan River:
9-24 Jericho, Ai near Bethel, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, Gezer, Debir, Geder, Hormah, Arad, Libnah, Adullam, Makkedah, Bethel, Tappuah, Hepher, Aphek, Lasharon,[f] Madon, Hazor, Shimron-Meron, Achshaph, Taanach, Megiddo, Kedesh, Jokneam on Mount Carmel, Dor in Naphath-Dor, Goiim in Galilee,[g] and Tirzah.[h]
There were thirty-one of these kings in all.
The Land Israel Had Not Yet Taken
13 Many years later, the Lord told Joshua:
Now you are very old, but there is still a lot of land that Israel has not yet taken. 2-7 First, there is the Canaanite territory that starts at the Shihor River just east of Egypt and goes north to Ekron. The southern part of this region belongs to the Avvites and the Geshurites,[i] and the land around Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron belongs to the five Philistine rulers.
The other Canaanite territory is in the north. Its northern border starts at the town of Arah, which belongs to the Sidonians. From there, it goes to Aphek,[j] then along the Amorite border[k] to Hamath Pass.[l] The eastern border starts at Hamath Pass and goes south to Baal-Gad at the foot of Mount Hermon, and its southern boundary runs west from there to Misrephoth-Maim.[m] This northern region includes the Lebanon Mountains and the land that belongs to the Gebalites[n] and the Sidonians who live in the hill country from the Lebanon Mountains to Misrephoth-Maim.
With my help, Israel will capture these Canaanite territories and force out the people who live there. But you must divide up the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea[o] among the nine tribes and the half of Manasseh that don’t have any land yet. Then each tribe will have its own land.
The Land East of the Jordan River
8 Moses had already given land east of the Jordan River to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh. 9 This region stretched north from the town in the middle of the Arnon River valley, and included the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the valley. It covered the flatlands of Medeba north of Dibon, 10 and took in the towns that had belonged to Sihon, the Amorite king of Heshbon. Some of these towns were as far east as the Ammonite border.
11-12 Geshur and Maacah were part of this region, and so was the whole territory that King Og had ruled, that is, Gilead, Mount Hermon, and all of Bashan as far east as Salecah. Og had lived in Ashtaroth part of each year, and he had lived in Edrei the rest of the year. Og had been one of the last of the Rephaim,[p] but Moses had defeated Sihon and Og and their people[q] and had forced them to leave their land. 13 However, the Israelites did not force the people of Geshur and Maacah to leave, and they still live there among the Israelites.
Moses Did Not Give Land to the Levi Tribe
14 Moses did not give any land to the Levi tribe, because the Lord God of Israel had told them, “Instead of land, you will receive the sacrifices offered at my altar.”
Moses Gives Land to the Reuben Tribe
15 Moses gave land to each of the clans in the Reuben tribe. 16 Their land started in the south at the town in the middle of the Arnon River valley, took in the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the valley, and went as far north as the flatlands around Medeba. 17-21 The Amorite King Sihon had lived in Heshbon and had ruled the towns in the flatlands. Now Heshbon belonged to Reuben, and so did the following towns in the flatlands: Dibon, Bamoth-Baal, Beth-Baal-Meon, Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth-Shahar on the hill in the valley, Beth-Peor, Slopes of Mount Pisgah, and Beth-Jeshimoth.
Moses defeated Sihon and killed him and the Midianite chiefs who ruled parts of his kingdom for him. Their names were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. 22 The Israelites also killed Balaam the son of Beor, who had been a fortuneteller.
23 This region with its towns and villages was the land for the Reuben tribe, and the Jordan River was its western border.
Moses Gives Land to the Gad Tribe
24 Moses also gave land to each of the clans in the Gad tribe. 25 It included the town of Jazer, and in the Gilead region their territory took in the land and towns as far east as the town of Aroer[r] just west of Rabbah.[s] This was about half of the land that had once belonged to the Ammonites. 26 The land given to Gad stretched from Heshbon in the south to Ramath-Mizpeh and Betonim in the north, and even further north to Mahanaim and Lidebor.[t] 27 Gad also received the eastern half of the Jordan River valley, which had been ruled by King Sihon of Heshbon. This territory stretched as far north as Lake Galilee,[u] and included the towns of Beth-Haram, Beth-Nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon. 28 These regions with their towns and villages were given to the Gad tribe.
Moses Gives Land to Half of the Manasseh Tribe
29 Moses gave land east of the Jordan River to half of the clans from the Manasseh tribe. 30-31 Their land started at Mahanaim and took in the region that King Og of Bashan had ruled, including Ashtaroth and Edrei, the two towns where he had lived. The villages where the Jair clan settled were part of Manasseh’s land, and so was the northern half of the region of Gilead. The clans of this half of Manasseh had sixty towns in all.
The Manasseh tribe is sometimes called the Machir tribe, after Manasseh’s son Machir.
32 That was how Moses divided up the Moab Plains to the east of Jericho on the other side of the Jordan River, so these two and a half tribes would have land of their own. 33 But Moses did not give any land to the Levi tribe, because the Lord had promised that he would always provide for them.
The Land West of the Jordan River
14 1-5 Nine and a half tribes still did not have any land, although two and a half tribes had already received land east of the Jordan River. Moses had divided that land among them, and he had also said that the Levi tribe would not receive a large region like the other tribes. Instead, the people of Levi would receive towns and the nearby pastures for their sheep, goats, and cattle. And since the descendants of Joseph had become the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, there were still nine and a half tribes that needed land. The Lord had told Moses that he would show those tribes[v] how to divide up the land of Canaan.
When the priest Eleazar, Joshua, and the leaders of the families and tribes of Israel met to divide up the land of Canaan, the Lord showed them how to do it.
Joshua Gives Hebron to Caleb
6 One day while the Israelites were still camped at Gilgal, Caleb the son of Jephunneh went to talk with Joshua. Caleb belonged to the Kenaz clan, and many other people from the Judah tribe went with Caleb. He told Joshua:
You know that back in Kadesh-Barnea the Lord talked to his prophet Moses about you and me. 7 I was forty years old at the time Moses sent me from Kadesh-Barnea into Canaan as a spy. When I came back and told him about the land, everything I said was true. 8 The other spies said things that made our people afraid, but I completely trusted the Lord God. 9 The same day I came back, Moses told me, “Since you were faithful to the Lord God, I promise that the places where you went as a spy will belong to you and your descendants forever.”
10 Joshua, it was forty-five years ago that the Lord told Moses to make that promise, and now I am eighty-five. Even though Israel has moved from place to place in the desert, the Lord has kept me alive all this time as he said he would. 11 I’m just as strong today as I was then, and I can still fight as well in battle.
12 So I’m asking you for the hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You were there. You heard the other spies talk about that part of the hill country and the large, walled towns where the Anakim[w] live. But maybe the Lord will help me take their land, just as he promised.
13 Joshua prayed that God would help Caleb, then he gave Hebron to Caleb and his descendants. 14 And Hebron still belongs to Caleb’s descendants, because he was faithful to the Lord God of Israel.
There was peace in the land.
15 The clans of the Judah tribe were given land that went south along the border of Edom, and at its farthest point south it even reached the Zin Desert. 2 Judah’s southern border started at the south end of the Dead Sea. 3 As it went west from there, it ran south of Scorpion Pass[z] to Zin, and then came up from the south to Kadesh-Barnea. It continued past Hezron up to Addar, turned toward Karka, 4 and ran along to Azmon. After that, it followed the Egyptian Gorge and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. This was also Israel’s southern border.
5 Judah’s eastern border ran the full length of the Dead Sea.
The northern border started at the northern end of the Dead Sea.[aa] 6 From there it went west up to Beth-Hoglah, continued north of Beth-Arabah, and went up to the Monument of Bohan,[ab] who belonged to the Reuben tribe. 7 From there, it went to Trouble Valley[ac] and Debir,[ad] then turned north and went to Gilgal,[ae] which is on the north side of the valley across from Adummim Pass. It continued on to Enshemesh, Enrogel, 8 and up through Hinnom Valley on the land sloping south from Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem itself belonged to the Jebusites.
Next, the border went up to the top of the mountain on the west side of Hinnom Valley and at the north end of Rephaim Valley. 9 At the top of the mountain it turned and went to Nephtoah Spring and then to the ruins[af] on Mount Ephron. From there, it went to Baalah, which is now called Kiriath-Jearim.
10 From Baalah the northern border curved west to Mount Seir and then ran along the northern ridge of Mount Jearim, where Chesalon is located. Then it went down to Beth-Shemesh[ag] and over to Timnah. 11 It continued along to the hillside north of Ekron, curved around to Shikkeron, and then went to Mount Baalah. After going to Jabneel, the border finally ended at the Mediterranean Sea, 12 which was Judah’s western border.
The clans of Judah lived within these borders.
13 Joshua gave Caleb some land among the people of Judah, as God had told him to do. Caleb’s share was Hebron, which at that time was known as Arba’s Town,[ah] because Arba was the famous ancestor of the Anakim.[ai]
14 Caleb attacked Hebron and forced the three Anakim clans of[aj] Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai to leave. 15 Next, Caleb started a war with the town of Debir, which at that time was called Kiriath-Sepher. 16 He told his men, “The man who captures Kiriath-Sepher can marry my daughter Achsah.”
17 Caleb’s nephew Othniel[ak] captured Kiriath-Sepher, and Caleb let him marry Achsah. 18 Right after the wedding, Achsah started telling Othniel that he[al] ought to ask her father for a field. She went to see her father, and while she was getting down from[am] her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What’s bothering you?”
19 She answered, “I need your help. The land you gave me is in the Southern Desert, so I really need some spring-fed ponds[an] for a water supply.”
Caleb gave her a couple of small ponds, named Higher Pond and Lower Pond.[ao]
Towns in Judah’s Land
20 The following is a list of the towns in each region given to the Judah clans:
21-32 The first region was located in the Southern Desert along the border with Edom, and it had the following twenty-nine towns with their surrounding villages:
Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Aradah,[ap] Kedesh, Hazor of Ithnan,[aq] Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, Hazor-Hadattah, Kerioth-Hezron, which is also called Hazor, Amam, Shema, Moladah, Hazar-Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-Pelet, Hazar-Shual, Beersheba and its surrounding villages,[ar] Baalah, Iim, Ezem, Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, Lebaoth, Shilhim, and Enrimmon.[as]
33-36 The second region was located in the northern part of the lower foothills, and it had the following fourteen towns with their surrounding villages:
Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, Zanoah, En-Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah, and Gederothaim.
37-41 The third region was located in the southern part of the lower foothills, and it had the following sixteen towns with their surrounding villages:
Zenan, Hadashah, Migdalgad, Dilan, Mizpeh, Joktheel, Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, Cabbon, Lahmas,[at] Chitlish, Gederoth, Beth-Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah.
42-44 The fourth region was located in the central part of the lower foothills, and it had the following nine towns with their surrounding villages:
Libnah, Ether, Ashan, Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah.
45-47 The fifth region was located along the Mediterranean seacoast, and it had the following towns with their surrounding settlements and villages:
Ekron and the towns between there and the coast, Ashdod and the larger towns nearby, Gaza, the towns from Gaza to the Egyptian Gorge, and the towns along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
48-51 The sixth region was in the southwestern part of the hill country, and it had the following eleven towns with their surrounding villages:
Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, Dannah, Kiriath-Sannah, which is now called Debir, Anab, Eshtemoh,[au] Anim, Goshen, Holon, and Giloh.
52-54 The seventh region was located in the south-central part of Judah’s hill country, and it had the following nine towns with their surrounding villages:
Arab, Dumah,[av] Eshan, Janim, Beth-Tappuah, Aphekah, Humtah, Kiriath-Arba, which is now called Hebron, and Zior.
55-57 The eighth region was located in the southeastern part of the hill country, and it had the following ten towns with their surrounding villages:
58-59 The ninth region was located in the central part of Judah’s hill country, and it had the following six towns with their surrounding villages:
Halhul, Beth-Zur, Gedor, Maarath, Beth-Anoth, and Eltekon.
The tenth region was located in the north-central part of Judah’s hill country, and it had the following eleven towns with their surrounding villages:
Tekoa, Ephrath, which is also called Bethlehem, Peor, Etam, Culon, Tatam, Shoresh, Kerem, Gallim, Bether, and Manahath.[az]
60 The eleventh region was located in the northern part of Judah’s hill country, and it had the following two towns with their surrounding villages:
Rabbah, and Kiriath-Baal, which is also called Kiriath-Jearim.
61-62 The twelfth region was located in the desert along the Dead Sea, and it had the following six towns with their surrounding villages:
Beth-Arabah, Middin, Secacah, Nibshan, Salt Town, and En-Gedi.
63 The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and the people of the Judah tribe could not capture the city and get rid of them. That’s why Jebusites still live in Jerusalem along with the people of Judah.[ba]
- 12.2 King Sihon of Heshbon: See Numbers 21.21-31.
- 12.3 Lake Galilee: See the note at 11.2.
- 12.3 the town called Slopes of Mount Pisgah: Or “the slopes of Mount Pisgah.”
- 12.4 King Og of Bashan: See Numbers 21.33-35.
- 12.4 Rephaim: Perhaps a group of very large people that lived in Palestine before the Israelites (see Deuteronomy 2.10,11,20,21).
- 12.9-24 Aphek, Lasharon: Or “Aphek in the Sharon Plain.”
- 12.9-24 Galilee: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Gilgal.”
- 12.9-24 Jericho. . . Tirzah: There are some differences in this list between the Hebrew and several ancient translations.
- 13.2-7 Geshurites: Not the same Geshur as in 12.5 and 13.11. One ancient translation has “Gezerites.” Gezer was a town north of Ekron that the Israelites did not capture (see Judges 1.29).
- 13.2-7 Aphek: Not the same Aphek as in 12.9-24.
- 13.2-7 Amorite border: What had been the southern border of the old Amorite kingdom of Amurru.
- 13.2-7 Hamath Pass: Or “Lebo-Hamath.”
- 13.2-7 Misrephoth-Maim: Or “Misrephoth” or “the Misrephoth River.”
- 13.2-7 Gebalites: Gebal was another name for Byblos.
- 13.2-7 from. . . Sea: One ancient translation; the Hebrew text does not have these words.
- 13.11,12 Rephaim: See the note at 12.4.
- 13.11,12 Sihon. . . people: Or “the Rephaim.”
- 13.25 Aroer: Not the same town as the Aroer in verse 16.
- 13.25 Rabbah: The capital city of Ammon.
- 13.26 Lidebor: This may be another name for Lodebar, a town a few miles east of the Jordan River and about ten miles south of Lake Galilee.
- 13.27 Lake Galilee: See the note at 11.2.
- 14.1-5 he would show those tribes: The Hebrew text has “those tribes must cast lots to find out.” Pieces of wood or stone (called “lots”) were used to find out what God wanted his people to do.
- 14.12 Anakim: See the note at 11.21.
- 14.15 Arba’s Town: Or “Kiriath-Arba.”
- 14.15 Arba’s Town, because. . . greatest: Hebrew; one ancient translation “Arba’s Town. It was one of the main towns.”
- 15.3 Scorpion Pass: Or “Akrabbim Pass.”
- 15.5 at. . . Dead Sea: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 15.6 Monument of Bohan: Or “Bohan Rock,” possibly a natural rock formation.
- 15.7 Trouble Valley: Or “Achor Valley.”
- 15.7 Debir: Not the same town as in 10.38,39.
- 15.7 Gilgal: Not the same “Gilgal” as in 4.19.
- 15.9 ruins: Hebrew; one ancient translation “towns.”
- 15.10 Beth-Shemesh: Probably the same town as the Ir-Shemesh of 19.41-46. Two other towns were also named Beth-Shemesh (see 19.17-23 and 19.35-39).
- 15.13 Arba’s Town: See the note at 14.15.
- 15.13 Anakim: See the note at 11.21.
- 15.14 clans of: Or “warriors.”
- 15.17 Caleb’s nephew Othniel: Hebrew “Othniel the son of Caleb’s brother Kenaz.”
- 15.18 Achsah. . . Othniel. . . he: Hebrew; one manuscript of one ancient translation and two ancient translations of the parallel in Judges 1.14 “Othniel. . . Achsah. . . she.”
- 15.18 getting down from: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 15.19 spring-fed ponds: Or “wells.”
- 15.19 small ponds. . . Pond. . . Pond: Or “wells. . . Well. . . Well.”
- 15.21-32 Aradah: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 15.21-32 Hazor of Ithnan: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Hazor and Ithnan.”
- 15.21-32 its. . . villages: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Biziothiah.”
- 15.21-32 Enrimmon: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Ain and Rimmon.”
- 15.37-41 Lahmas: Most Hebrew manuscripts; many other Hebrew manuscripts and one manuscript of one ancient translation “Lahmam.”
- 15.48-51 Eshtemoh: Another spelling for the name Eshtemoa (see 21.9-19).
- 15.52-54 Dumah: Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts and one ancient translation “Rumah.”
- 15.55-57 Jezreel: Not the same Jezreel as in 19.17-23.
- 15.55-57 Jokdeam: Hebrew; one ancient translation “Jorkeam.”
- 15.55-57 Gibeah: Not the same Gibeah as in 18.25-28.
- 15.58,59 The tenth region. . . Manahath: One ancient translation; the Hebrew text does not have these words.
- 15.63 Jebusites. . . Judah: Israel captured Jerusalem in King David’s time, but even then the Jebusites were not forced to leave.