Joshua 19-20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
19 Simeon was the second tribe chosen to receive land, and the region for its clans was inside Judah’s borders. 2-6 In one region of Simeon’s tribal land there were the following thirteen towns with their surrounding villages:
Beersheba, Shema,[a] Moladah, Hazar-Shual, Balah, Ezem, Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-Marcaboth, Hazar-Susah, Beth-Lebaoth, and Sharuhen.
7 In another region, Simeon had the following four towns with their surrounding villages:
8 Simeon’s land also included all the other towns and villages as far south as Baalath-Beer, which is also called Ramah of the South.
9 Simeon’s tribal land was actually inside Judah’s territory. Judah had received too much land for the number of people in its tribe, so part of Judah’s land was given to Simeon.
10-12 Zebulun was the third tribe chosen to receive land. The southern border for its clans started in the west at the edge of the gorge near Jokneam. It went east to the edge of the land that belongs to the town of Dabbesheth, and continued on to Maralah and Sarid. It took in the land that belongs to Chislothtabor, then ended at Daberath.
The eastern border went up to Japhia 13 and continued north to Gath-Hepher, Ethkazin, and Rimmonah,[d] where it curved[e] toward Neah 14 and became the northern border. Then it curved south around Hannathon and went as far west as Iphtahel Valley.
16 This is the tribal land, and these are the towns and villages of the Zebulun clans.
17-23 Issachar was the fourth tribe chosen to receive land. The northern border for its clans went from Mount Tabor east to the Jordan River. Their land included the following sixteen towns with their surrounding villages:
24-26 Asher was the fifth tribe chosen to receive land, and the region for its clans included the following towns:
Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal.
Asher’s southern border ran from the Mediterranean Sea southeast along the Shihor-Libnath River at the foot of Mount Carmel, 27 then east to Beth-Dagon. On the southeast, Asher shared a border with Zebulun along the Iphtahel Valley. On the eastern side their border ran north to Beth-Emek, went east of Cabul, and then on to Neiel, 28 Abdon,[k] Rehob, Hammon, Kanah, and as far north as the city of Sidon. 29-31 Then it turned west to become the northern border and went to Ramah[l] and the fortress-city of Tyre.[m] Near Tyre it turned toward Hosah and ended at the Mediterranean Sea.
32-34 Naphtali was the sixth tribe chosen to receive land. The southern border for its clans started in the west, where the tribal lands of Asher and Zebulun meet near Hukkok. From that point it ran east and southeast along the border with Zebulun as far as Aznoth-Tabor. From there the border went east to Heleph, Adami-Nekeb, Jabneel,[p] then to the town called Oak in Zaanannim,[q] and Lakkum. The southern border ended at the Jordan River, at the edge of the town named Jehudah.[r] Naphtali shared a border with Asher on the west.
35-39 The Naphtali clans received this region as their tribal land, and it included nineteen towns with their surrounding villages. The following towns had walls around them:
40-46 Dan was the seventh tribe chosen to receive land, and the region for its clans included the following towns:
Dan’s tribal land[x] went almost as far as Joppa. 47-48 Its clans received this land and these towns with their surrounding villages.
Later, when enemies[y] forced them to leave their tribal land, they went to the town of Leshem. They attacked the town, captured it, and killed the people who lived there. Then they settled there themselves and renamed the town Dan after their ancestor.
49-51 The Israelites were still gathered in Shiloh in front of the sacred tent,[z] when Eleazar the priest, Joshua, and the family leaders of Israel finished giving out the land to the tribes. The Lord had told the people to give Joshua whatever town he wanted. So Joshua chose Timnath-Serah in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people gave it to him. Joshua went to Timnath-Serah, rebuilt it, and lived there.
The Safe Towns
20 One day the Lord told Joshua:
2 When Moses was still alive, I had him tell the Israelites about the Safe Towns. Now you tell them that it is time to set up these towns. 3-4 If a person accidentally kills someone and the victim’s relatives say it was murder, they might try to take revenge.[aa] Anyone accused of murder can run to one of the Safe Towns and be safe from the victim’s relatives. The one needing protection will stand at the entrance to the town gate and explain to the town leaders what happened. Then the leaders will bring that person in and provide a place to live in their town.
5 One of the victim’s relatives might come to the town, looking for revenge. But the town leaders must not simply hand over the person accused of murder. After all, the accused and the victim had been neighbors, not enemies. 6 The citizens of that Safe Town must come together and hold a trial. They may decide that the victim was killed accidentally and that the accused is not guilty of murder.
Everyone found not guilty[ab] must still live in the Safe Town until the high priest dies. Then they can go back to their own towns and their homes that they had to leave behind.
7 The Israelites decided that the following three towns west of the Jordan River would be Safe Towns:
Kedesh in Galilee in Naphtali’s hill country, Shechem in Ephraim’s hill country, and Kiriath-Arba in Judah’s hill country. Kiriath-Arba is now called Hebron.
8 The Israelites had already decided on the following three towns east of the Jordan River:
Bezer in the desert flatlands of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead, which was a town that belonged to Gad, and Golan in Bashan, which belonged to Manasseh.
9 These Safe Towns were set up, so that if Israelites or even foreigners who lived in Israel accidentally killed someone, they could run to one of these towns. There they would be safe until a trial could be held, even if one of the victim’s relatives came looking for revenge.
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