Joshua 18

Joshua gives land to the other tribes

1 All the Israelite people met together at Shiloh. There they put up the Tent of Meeting. They now ruled the whole land. 2 But there were still seven tribes that Joshua had not yet given a part of the land for themselves.

18:1Shiloh was near the middle of the land of Canaan. It was easy for everyone to get there.

3 Joshua said to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you the land. How much longer will you wait before you take it? 4 Choose three men from each tribe. I will send them to look at the whole land, to see what it is like. They must describe each part and then bring a report back to me. 5 You must make it into seven parts. Judah's tribe will keep the land in the south. Joseph's two tribes will keep their land in the north. Divide the rest of the land into seven parts. 6 See what the land is like and describe each of the seven parts. Bring your report to me. Then I will use lots to choose which tribe should receive each part of the land. The Lord our God will decide this. 7 The Levites will not have any land of their own. Their gift from the Lord is to serve him. Gad, Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh already have their land on the east side of the Jordan River. The Lord's servant, Moses, gave it to them.’

18:5Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh had already received their land. See Joshua 16-17.

8 Before the men left, Joshua said to them, ‘Go and look carefully at the land. Describe what you see. Then bring your report back to me here in Shiloh. I will use lots so that the Lord decides how to share the land between you.’

9 So the men left and they travelled through the land. They described the land and each town and they wrote it in a book. They wrote about each of the seven parts of the land. Then they went back to Joshua at Shiloh, where the Israelites had put up their tents.

10 There at Shiloh, Joshua used lots to see how the Lord wanted to divide the land. He told each of the seven Israelite tribes which part of the land they would receive.

Land for Benjamin's tribe

11 The first part of the land was for Benjamin's tribe, clan by clan. Their land was between the land that Joshua had already given to the tribes of Judah and Joseph.

12 The north border of their land began at the Jordan River, and it went up the hills to the north of Jericho. From there it went west into the hills, to the desert of Beth Aven. 13 Then their border continued to the south of Luz (that is Bethel) and went down to Ataroth Addar. That is on the hill south of Lower Beth Horon.

14 From that hill, their west border went south to Kiriath Baal (that is Kiriath-Jearim). This town belonged to the people of Judah. That was the west border of Benjamin's land.

15 The south border went from the edge of Kiriath-Jearim to the springs of water at Nephtoah. 16 Then it went to the edge of the hill country, near Ben Hinnom valley. This was north of the Valley of the Rephaites. It continued down the Hinnom valley, south of the Jebusite city and then went on to En Rogel. 17 Then it went north to En Shemesh. It continued to Geliloth, opposite the valley of Adummim. Then it went to the great stone of Bohan, Reuben's son. 18 It continued to the north of Beth Arabah down into the Jordan Valley. 19 Then it went north of Ben Hoglah, to the north end of the Salt Sea, where the Jordan River ends. That was the south border of Benjamin's land.

20 The east border of their land was the Jordan River.

Those are the borders of the land that Joshua gave to the families of Benjamin's tribe.

21 These are the cities that Joshua gave to the tribe of Benjamin:

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

There were 12 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.

There were 14 towns and their villages.

Joshua gave these cities to Benjamin's tribe, for each clan to live in.