New Living Translation
The Land Given to West Manasseh
17 The next allotment of land was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph’s older son. Makir, the firstborn son of Manasseh, was the father of Gilead. Because his descendants were experienced soldiers, the regions of Gilead and Bashan on the east side of the Jordan had already been given to them. 2 So the allotment on the west side of the Jordan was for the remaining families within the clans of the tribe of Manasseh: Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. These clans represent the male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph.
3 However, Zelophehad, a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, had no sons. He had only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4 These women came to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the Israelite leaders and said, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us a grant of land along with the men of our tribe.”
So Joshua gave them a grant of land along with their uncles, as the Lord had commanded. 5 As a result, Manasseh’s total allocation came to ten parcels of land, in addition to the land of Gilead and Bashan across the Jordan River, 6 because the female descendants of Manasseh received a grant of land along with the male descendants. (The land of Gilead was given to the rest of the male descendants of Manasseh.)
7 The boundary of the tribe of Manasseh extended from the border of Asher to Micmethath, near Shechem. Then the boundary went south from Micmethath to the settlement near the spring of Tappuah. 8 The land surrounding Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but the town of Tappuah itself, on the border of Manasseh’s territory, belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. 9 From the spring of Tappuah, the boundary of Manasseh followed the Kanah Ravine to the Mediterranean Sea.[a] Several towns south of the ravine were inside Manasseh’s territory, but they actually belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. 10 In general, however, the land south of the ravine belonged to Ephraim, and the land north of the ravine belonged to Manasseh. Manasseh’s boundary ran along the northern side of the ravine and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. North of Manasseh was the territory of Asher, and to the east was the territory of Issachar.
11 The following towns within the territory of Issachar and Asher, however, were given to Manasseh: Beth-shan,[b] Ibleam, Dor (that is, Naphoth-dor),[c] Endor, Taanach, and Megiddo, each with their surrounding settlements.
12 But the descendants of Manasseh were unable to occupy these towns because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region. 13 Later, however, when the Israelites became strong enough, they forced the Canaanites to work as slaves. But they did not drive them out of the land.
14 The descendants of Joseph came to Joshua and asked, “Why have you given us only one portion of land as our homeland when the Lord has blessed us with so many people?”
15 Joshua replied, “If there are so many of you, and if the hill country of Ephraim is not large enough for you, clear out land for yourselves in the forest where the Perizzites and Rephaites live.”
16 The descendants of Joseph responded, “It’s true that the hill country is not large enough for us. But all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots, both those in Beth-shan and its surrounding settlements and those in the valley of Jezreel. They are too strong for us.”
17 Then Joshua said to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph, “Since you are so large and strong, you will be given more than one portion. 18 The forests of the hill country will be yours as well. Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of its farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.”
The Allotments of the Remaining Land
18 Now that the land was under Israelite control, the entire community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle.[d] 2 But there remained seven tribes who had not yet been allotted their grants of land.
3 Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you? 4 Select three men from each tribe, and I will send them out to explore the land and map it out. They will then return to me with a written report of their proposed divisions of their new homeland. 5 Let them divide the land into seven sections, excluding Judah’s territory in the south and Joseph’s territory in the north. 6 And when you record the seven divisions of the land and bring them to me, I will cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord our God to assign land to each tribe.
7 “The Levites, however, will not receive any allotment of land. Their role as priests of the Lord is their allotment. And the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh won’t receive any more land, for they have already received their grant of land, which Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave them on the east side of the Jordan River.”
8 As the men started on their way to map out the land, Joshua commanded them, “Go and explore the land and write a description of it. Then return to me, and I will assign the land to the tribes by casting sacred lots here in the presence of the Lord at Shiloh.” 9 The men did as they were told and mapped the entire territory into seven sections, listing the towns in each section. They made a written record and then returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. 10 And there at Shiloh, Joshua cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord to determine which tribe should have each section.
The Land Given to Benjamin
11 The first allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin. It lay between the territory assigned to the tribes of Judah and Joseph.
12 The northern boundary of Benjamin’s land began at the Jordan River, went north of the slope of Jericho, then west through the hill country and the wilderness of Beth-aven. 13 From there the boundary went south to Luz (that is, Bethel) and proceeded down to Ataroth-addar on the hill that lies south of Lower Beth-horon.
14 The boundary then made a turn and swung south along the western edge of the hill facing Beth-horon, ending at the village of Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a town belonging to the tribe of Judah. This was the western boundary.
15 The southern boundary began at the outskirts of Kiriath-jearim. From that western point it ran[e] to the spring at the waters of Nephtoah,[f] 16 and down to the base of the mountain beside the valley of Ben-Hinnom, at the northern end of the valley of Rephaim. From there it went down the valley of Hinnom, crossing south of the slope where the Jebusites lived, and continued down to En-rogel. 17 From En-rogel the boundary proceeded in a northerly direction and came to En-shemesh and on to Geliloth (which is across from the slopes of Adummim). Then it went down to the Stone of Bohan. (Bohan was Reuben’s son.) 18 From there it passed along the north side of the slope overlooking the Jordan Valley.[g] The border then went down into the valley, 19 ran past the north slope of Beth-hoglah, and ended at the north bay of the Dead Sea,[h] which is the southern end of the Jordan River. This was the southern boundary.
20 The eastern boundary was the Jordan River.
These were the boundaries of the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
The Towns Given to Benjamin
21 These were the towns given to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
Jericho, Beth-hoglah, Emek-keziz, 22 Beth-arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Kephar-ammoni, Ophni, and Geba—twelve towns with their surrounding villages. 25 Also Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zela, Haeleph, the Jebusite town (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath-jearim[i]—fourteen towns with their surrounding villages.
This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
- 17:9 Hebrew the sea; also in 17:10.
- 17:11a Hebrew Beth-shean, a variant spelling of Beth-shan; also in 17:16.
- 17:11b The meaning of the Hebrew here is uncertain.
- 18:1 Hebrew Tent of Meeting.
- 18:15a Or From there it went to Mozah. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 18:15b Or the spring at Me-nephtoah.
- 18:18 Hebrew overlooking the Arabah, or overlooking Beth-arabah.
- 18:19 Hebrew Salt Sea.
- 18:28 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Kiriath.