Joshua 21

Towns for the Levites

1 The fathers of the Levite families came to speak to Joshua. They came with the leaders of all the other tribes. 2 They met at Shiloh in Canaan. ‘The LORD told Moses that you must give us towns to live in’, they said. ‘And we must have land to feed our animals.’ 3 So the Israelites did as the LORD had told them. They gave them towns with land from the land that belonged to their tribes.

21:3Verses 1-3 The Levites did not have any land of their own.

4 They gave towns first to the Kohathite family. They gave them 13 towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin. They gave these to Levites from the family of Aaron, the priest. 5 They gave to the other Kohathites, towns from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan and half of Manasseh.

6 Then they gave 13 towns to the family of Gershon. The tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and the half of Manasseh in Bashan gave them these towns.

7 They gave 12 towns to the families of Merari. The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun gave them these.

8 So the people of Israel gave these towns and the land and fields near to them to the families of Levi's tribe. They did as the LORD had told Moses.

9 These are the names of the towns that the tribes of Simeon and Judah gave. 10 They gave them to the Kohathites, of Aaron's family, because God chose them first.

11 They gave them Kiriath Arba (or Hebron), with land near to it, in the hills of Judah. (Arba was the father of Anak.) 12 But the fields and villages near Hebron belonged to Caleb, son of Jephunneh. 13 So they gave the city of Hebron (a safe city) to the sons of Aaron. They also gave them Libnah, 14 Jattir, Eshtemoa, 15 Holon, Debir, 16 Ain, Juttah and Beth Shemesh with their land and fields. These two tribes gave them 9 towns. 17 They gave them Gibeon, Geba, 18 Anathoth and Almon with their fields. These 4 towns were from the tribe of Benjamin.

19 They gave the priests, sons of Aaron, all these 13 towns.

20 They gave to the Levites of Kohath's family, towns from the tribe of Ephraim.

21 They gave them Shechem, a safe city, in the hills of Ephraim, and Gezer, 22 Kibzaim and Beth Horon with their fields. They gave them 4 towns. 23 The tribe of Dan gave them Eltekeh, Gibbethon, 24 Aijalon, and Gath Rimmon. They gave them these 4 towns with their fields. 25 The half tribe of west Manasseh gave them Taanach and Gath Rimmon with their fields. They gave them two towns.

26 They gave the families of Kohath all these 10 cities.

27 They gave the Levites of Gershon's family the towns of Golan in Bashan, a safe city, and Be Eshtarah, two cities with their fields. The half tribe of east Manasseh gave them these. 28 They gave them 4 cities from the tribe of Issachar. These were Kishion, Daberath, 29 Jarmuth and En Gannim, with their fields. 30 The tribe of Asher gave them 4 towns. These were Mishal, Abdon, 31 Helkath and Rehob, with their fields. 32 The tribe of Naphtali gave them Kedesh in Galilee, a safe city, Hammoth Dor and Kartan with their fields. They gave them these 3 cities.

33 They gave the families of Gershon all these 13 cities.

34 The other Levites that did not have any towns were the Merarite family. The tribe of Zebulun gave to them the towns of Jokneam, Kartah, 35 Dimnah and Nahalal. They gave to them 4 towns with their fields.

36 The tribe of Reuben gave them four towns. These were Bezer, Jahaz, 37 Kedemoth and Mephaath, with their fields. 38 The tribe of Gad gave them four towns. These were Ramoth in Gilead, a safe city, Mahanaim, 39 Heshbon and Jazer, with their fields.

40 So they gave to these Levites, the family of Merari, 12 towns.

41 The Levites had 48 towns in the land of Israel. 42 Each of these towns had its own fields round it.

43 So the LORD gave all the land to the people of Israel. He had promised it to their fathers. They took it and lived there. 44 The LORD gave them rest, as he had promised. None of the people round Israel attacked them. Not one of their enemies could win a fight with them. The LORD helped them to win all their fights. 45 The LORD kept all his good promises to the people of Israel. He did not forget one of his promises.

21:45Verses 43-45 These verses are what the Book of Joshua is all about.