Joshua 21

Towns for the Levites

1 The leaders of the Levite families came to speak to Joshua, son of Nun. Eleazar the priest and the leaders of the other tribes were also there. 2 They met at Shiloh in Canaan land. The Levites said, ‘The Lord told Moses that you must give us towns to live in, as well as land for our animals.’

21:2The Levites did not have any land of their own.

3 So the Israelites did as the Lord had told them. They gave to the Levites towns to live in and land for their animals. They gave these from their own land.

4 They gave towns first to the clans of Kohath. They gave 13 towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin. They gave these to Levites who were descendants of Aaron, the priest. 5 They also gave to the other descendants of Kohath, towns from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan and the west half of Manasseh.

6 Then they gave 13 towns to the descendants of Gershon. Those towns came from the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and the east half of Manasseh in Bashan.

7 They gave 12 towns to the descendants of Merari. Those towns came from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun.

8 In that way, the Israelites gave these towns to the Levites, as well as land for their animals. They used lots to do it. They did as the Lord had told Moses to do.

9 These are the names of the towns that the tribes of Simeon and Judah gave to the Levites. 10 The Kohathite clans who were descendants of Aaron received these towns, because God chose them first.

11 They received Kiriath Arba (or Hebron), with land near to it, in the hill country of Judah. Arba was the father of Anak. 12 But the fields and villages near Hebron belonged to Caleb, son of Jephunneh. 13 Hebron was one of the safe cities. The descendants of Aaron, the priest, received Hebron, Libnah, 14 Jattir, Eshtemoa, 15 Holon, Debir, 16 Ain, Juttah and Beth Shemesh, as well as their fields. These two tribes gave them nine towns. 17 Benjamin's tribe also gave four towns to them: Gibeon, Geba, 18 Anathoth and Almon, as well as their fields.

19 So the priests, descendants of Aaron, received 13 towns with their fields.

20 The tribe of Ephraim gave some towns to Levites from other clans of Kohath. 21 They gave them Shechem, a safe city, in the hill country of Ephraim, as well as Gezer, 22 Kibzaim and Beth Horon, with their fields. That was four towns. 23 The tribe of Dan gave them Eltekeh, Gibbethon, 24 Aijalon, and Gath Rimmon. That was another four towns with their fields. 25 The west half tribe of Manasseh gave them Taanach and Gath Rimmon, with their fields. That was two towns.

26 So these Kohathite clans received 10 towns with their fields.

27 The Levites from the clans of Gershon received these towns. The east half tribe of Manasseh gave them Golan in Bashan, a safe city, and Be Eshtarah. That was two towns, as well as their fields. 28 The tribe of Issachar gave them Kishion, Daberath, 29 Jarmuth and En Gannim, with their fields. That was another four towns. 30 The tribe of Asher gave them Mishal, Abdon, 31 Helkath and Rehob, with their fields. That was four more towns. 32 The tribe of Naphtali gave them Kedesh in Galilee, a safe city, Hammoth Dor and Kartan, with their fields. That was three towns.

33 So the clans of Gershon received 13 cities with their fields.

34 The other Levites were from the clan of Merari. The tribe of Zebulun gave them Jokneam, Kartah, 35 Dimnah and Nahalal. That was four towns, as well as their fields. 36 The tribe of Reuben gave them Bezer, Jahaz, 37 Kedemoth and Mephaath, with their fields. That was four towns. 38 The tribe of Gad gave them Ramoth in Gilead, a safe city, Mahanaim, 39 Heshbon and Jazer, with their fields. That was four more towns.

40 So the clans of Merari received 12 towns. That was all the Levite clans.

41 The Levites received 48 towns in the land of the Israelite people. 42 Each of these towns had its own fields round it, for animals to eat the grass.

43 That is how the Lord gave the land to all the Israelite people. He had promised their ancestors that he would give the land to them. They took it from the people who had lived there, and then they lived there themselves. 44 The Lord let them live there safely, as he had promised to their ancestors. The Lord made them stronger than their enemies, so nobody could attack them. 45 The Lord did all the good things that he had promised to do for the people of Israel. He did not fail to do anything that he had promised.