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Joshua 18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Joshua Gives Out the Rest of the Land

18 After Israel had captured the land, they met at Shiloh and set up the sacred tent.[a] There were still seven tribes without any land, 3-7 so Joshua told the people:

The Judah tribe has already settled in its land in the south, and the Joseph tribes[b] have settled in their land in the north. The tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh already have the land that the Lord’s servant Moses gave them east of the Jordan River. And the people of Levi won’t get a single large region of the land like the other tribes. Instead, they will serve the Lord as priests.

But the rest of you haven’t done a thing to take over any land. The Lord God who was worshiped by your ancestors has given you the land, and now it’s time to go ahead and settle there.

Seven tribes still don’t have any land. Each of these tribes should choose three men, and I’ll send them to explore the remaining land. They will divide it into seven regions, write a description of each region, and bring these descriptions back to me. I will find out[c] from the Lord our God what region each tribe should get.

Just before the men left camp, Joshua repeated their orders: “Explore the land and write a description of it. Then come back to Shiloh, and I will find out from the Lord how to divide the land.”

The men left and went across the land, dividing it into seven regions. They wrote down a description of each region, town by town, and returned to Joshua at the camp at Shiloh. 10 Joshua found out from the Lord how to divide the land, and he told the tribes what the Lord had decided.

Benjamin’s Land

11 Benjamin was the first tribe chosen to receive land. The region for its clans lay between the Judah tribe on the south and the Joseph tribes[d] on the north. 12 Benjamin’s northern border started at the Jordan River and went up the ridge north of Jericho, then on west into the hill country as far as the Beth-Aven Desert. 13-14 From there it went to Luz, which is now called Bethel. The border ran along the ridge south of Luz, then went to Ataroth-Orech[e] and on as far as the mountain south of Lower Beth-Horon. At that point it turned south and became the western border. It went as far south as Kiriath-Baal, a town in Judah now called Kiriath-Jearim.

15 Benjamin’s southern border started at the edge of Kiriath-Jearim and went east to the ruins[f] and on to Nephtoah Spring. 16 From there it went to the bottom of the hill at the northern end of Rephaim Valley. The other side of this hill faces Hinnom Valley, which is on the land that slopes south from Jerusalem.[g] The border went down through Hinnom Valley until it reached Enrogel.

17 At Enrogel the border curved north and went to Enshemesh and on east to Geliloth,[h] which is across the valley from Adummim Pass. Then it went down to the Monument of Bohan,[i] who belonged to the Reuben tribe. 18 The border ran along the hillside north of Beth-Arabah,[j] then down into the Jordan River valley. 19 Inside the valley it went south as far as the northern hillside of Beth-Hoglah. The last section of the border went from there to the northern end of the Dead Sea,[k] at the mouth of the Jordan River. 20 The Jordan River itself was Benjamin’s eastern border.

These were the borders of Benjamin’s tribal land, where the clans of Benjamin lived.

21-24 One region of Benjamin’s tribal land had twelve towns with their surrounding villages. Those towns were Jericho, Beth-Hoglah, Emek-Keziz, Beth-Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, Chephar-Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba.

25-28 In the other region there were the following fourteen towns with their surrounding villages: Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah, Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, Zelah, Haeleph, Gibeah, Kiriath-Jearim,[l] and Jerusalem, which is also called Jebusite Town.

These regions are the tribal lands of Benjamin.

Footnotes:

  1. 18.1 sacred tent: Or “meeting tent.”
  2. 18.3-7 Joseph tribes: See the note at 17.14.
  3. 18.3-7 find out: Hebrew “cast lots to find out” (see the note at 14.1-5).
  4. 18.11 Joseph tribes: See the note at 17.14.
  5. 18.13,14 Ataroth-Orech: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Ataroth-Addar.”
  6. 18.15 the ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 18.16 Jerusalem: Hebrew “the Jebusite town.”
  8. 18.17 Geliloth: Probably another name for Gilgal.
  9. 18.17 Monument of Bohan: See the note at 15.6.
  10. 18.18 hillside north of Beth-Arabah: One ancient translation (see also the border description in 15.6); Hebrew “the northern hillside overlooking the Jordan River valley.”
  11. 18.19 northern. . . Dead Sea: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  12. 18.25-28 Kiriath-Jearim: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Kiriath.”

Joshua 18 New International Version (NIV)

Division of the Rest of the Land

18 The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The country was brought under their control, but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance.

So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you? Appoint three men from each tribe. I will send them out to make a survey of the land and to write a description of it, according to the inheritance of each. Then they will return to me. You are to divide the land into seven parts. Judah is to remain in its territory on the south and the tribes of Joseph in their territory on the north. After you have written descriptions of the seven parts of the land, bring them here to me and I will cast lots for you in the presence of the Lord our God. The Levites, however, do not get a portion among you, because the priestly service of the Lord is their inheritance. And Gad, Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan. Moses the servant of the Lord gave it to them.

As the men started on their way to map out the land, Joshua instructed them, “Go and make a survey of the land and write a description of it. Then return to me, and I will cast lots for you here at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord.” So the men left and went through the land. They wrote its description on a scroll, town by town, in seven parts, and returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. 10 Joshua then cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the Lord, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions.

Allotment for Benjamin

11 The first lot came up for the tribe of Benjamin according to its clans. Their allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph:

12 On the north side their boundary began at the Jordan, passed the northern slope of Jericho and headed west into the hill country, coming out at the wilderness of Beth Aven. 13 From there it crossed to the south slope of Luz (that is, Bethel) and went down to Ataroth Addar on the hill south of Lower Beth Horon.

14 From the hill facing Beth Horon on the south the boundary turned south along the western side and came out at Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim), a town of the people of Judah. This was the western side.

15 The southern side began at the outskirts of Kiriath Jearim on the west, and the boundary came out at the spring of the waters of Nephtoah. 16 The boundary went down to the foot of the hill facing the Valley of Ben Hinnom, north of the Valley of Rephaim. It continued down the Hinnom Valley along the southern slope of the Jebusite city and so to En Rogel. 17 It then curved north, went to En Shemesh, continued to Geliloth, which faces the Pass of Adummim, and ran down to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. 18 It continued to the northern slope of Beth Arabah[a] and on down into the Arabah. 19 It then went to the northern slope of Beth Hoglah and came out at the northern bay of the Dead Sea, at the mouth of the Jordan in the south. This was the southern boundary.

20 The Jordan formed the boundary on the eastern side.

These were the boundaries that marked out the inheritance of the clans of Benjamin on all sides.

21 The tribe of Benjamin, according to its clans, had the following towns:

Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz, 22 Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Kephar Ammoni, Ophni and Geba—twelve towns and their villages.

25 Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zelah, Haeleph, the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah and Kiriath—fourteen towns and their villages.

This was the inheritance of Benjamin for its clans.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 18:18 Septuagint; Hebrew slope facing the Arabah
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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