Joshua 18

Chapter 18

1 [a]The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered together at Shiloh and they set up the tent of meeting there. The land had been brought under their control, 2 but there were still seven tribes among the Israelites who had not yet received their inheritance.

Inheritance for the Remaining Seven Tribes. 3 Joshua said to the Israelites, “How long will you wait before you go in to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you? 4 Choose three men from each of your tribes. I will send them to arise and go through the land, describing it according to each of their inheritances. They will then return to me. 5 They will divide it into seven portions. Judah will continue to live in its territory to the south, and the descendants of Joseph will continue to live in their territory to the north. 6 You will write down a description of the seven portions of the land and bring it to me. I will cast lots for you here before the Lord, our God. 7 The Levites will have no portion among you, for the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance. Gad, Reuben, and one of the halves of the tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance on the other side of the Jordan, to the east, from Moses, the servant of the Lord.”

8 So the men arose and went on their way. Joshua commanded them to write a description of the land saying, “Go and travel through the land, writing a description of it. Return to me here so that I can cast lots for you before the Lord in Shiloh.”

9 The men traveled through the land, writing a description of its cities, divided into seven portions, in a book. They then came back to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. 10 Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord. Joshua divided the land among the Israelites there, dividing it according to their allotments.

11 The Tribe of Benjamin. The lot for the tribe of Benjamin, divided according to its clans, was selected. The territory for their allotment lay between the Judahites and the descendants of Joseph. 12 [b]On the north their boundary started at the Jordan, going up the northern slope of Jericho and out west into the hill country until it exited in the Desert of Beth-aven. 13 From there the boundary traveled on toward Luz, passing on the southern side of Luz (that is, Bethel). The boundary then ran down to Ataroth-addar, near the hill that lay to the south of Lower Beth-horon. 14 From the hill that lay facing Beth-horon on the south, the boundary extended around the west side to the south. It ended at Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a city of Judahites. This was the western side.

15 The southern side of the boundary began at the outskirts of Kiriath-jearim and extended to the west, reaching the spring of the water of Nephtoah. 16 The boundary extended to the foot of the hill that lay over the Valley of Ben-hinnom, north of the Valley of Rephaim. It continued through the Valley of Hinnom on the southern slope of the city of the Jebusites until it reached En-rogel. 17 It then passed on north to En-shemesh, continued on to Geliloth which faced the Pass of Adummim, and ran up to the stone of Bohan, the son of Reuben. 18 It continued along the northern slope of the Arabah, continuing down into the Arabah itself. 19 The boundary then passed along the northern side of Beth-hoglah, ending at the northern bay of the Salt Sea which is at the southern part of the Jordan. This was their southern boundary. 20 The Jordan was their boundary on the east. This was the inheritance of the Benjaminites with the boundaries that surround it, divided according to its clans.

21 The cities of the tribe of the Benjaminites, divided according to its clans, were: Jericho, Beth-hoglah, Emek-keziz, 22 Beth-arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Chephar-ammoni, Ophni, and Geba. There were twelve cities, along with their dependent towns. 25 There were also Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpah, Chephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zela, Haeleph, Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath. There were fourteen cities with their dependent towns. This was the inheritance of the Benjaminites, divided according to its clans.

Footnotes

  1. Joshua 18:1 The conquest of the promised land was not yet complete—seven tribes had not been assigned their land. But it seemed that the time was appropriate to move the Israelite center of worship from Gilgal to Shiloh.
  2. Joshua 18:12 The narrow strip of land inherited by the Benjaminites lay between the land of the two most powerful tribes of Judah and Ephraim.

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