Joshua 19-21 The Message Bible

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19 1  The second lot went to Simeon for its clans. Their inheritance was within the territory of Judah. 2  In their inheritance they had: Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah, 3  Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem, 4  Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5  Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susah, 6  Beth Lebaoth, and Sharuhen - thirteen towns and their villages. 7  Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan - 8  plus all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath Beer, the Ramah of the Negev. 9  The inheritance of Simeon came out of the share of Judah, because Judah's portion turned out to be more than they needed. That's how the people of Simeon came to get their lot from within Judah's portion.

10  The third lot went to Zebulun, clan by clan: 11  It ran west to Maralah, met Dabbesheth, and then went to the brook opposite Jokneam. 12  In the other direction from Sarid, the border ran east; it followed the sunrise to the border of Kisloth Tabor, on to Daberath and up to Japhia. 13  It continued east to Gath Hepher and Eth Kazin, came out at Rimmon, and turned toward Neah. 14  There the border went around on the north to Hannathon and ran out into the Valley of Iphtah El. 15  It included Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem - twelve cities with their villages. 16  This is the inheritance of the people of Zebulun for their clans - these towns and their villages.

17  The fourth lot went to Issachar, clan by clan. 18  Their territory included: Jezreel, Kesulloth, Shunem, 19  Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20  Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21  Remeth, En Gannim, En Haddah, and Beth Pazzez. 22  The boundary touched Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth Shemesh and ended at the Jordan - sixteen towns and their villages. 23  These towns with their villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Issachar, clan by clan.

24  The fifth lot went to the tribe of Asher, clan by clan: 25  Their territory included Helkath, Hali, Beten, Acshaph, 26  Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal. The western border touched Carmel and Shihor Libnath, 27  then turned east toward Beth Dagon, touched Zebulun and the Valley of Iphtah El, and went north to Beth Emek and Neiel, skirting Cabul on the left. 28  It went on to Abdon, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, all the way to Greater Sidon. 29  The border circled back toward Ramah, extended to the fort city of Tyre, turned toward Hosah, and came out at the Sea in the region of Aczib, 30  Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob - twenty-two towns and their villages. 31  These towns and villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Asher, clan by clan.

32  The sixth lot came to Naphtali and its clans. 33  Their border ran from Heleph, from the oak at Zaanannim, passing Adami Nekeb and Jabneel to Lakkum and ending at the Jordan. 34  The border returned on the west at Aznoth Tabor and came out at Hukkok, meeting Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and the Jordan on the east. 35  The fort cities were: Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth, 36  Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37  Kedesh, Edrei, En Hazor, 38  ron, Migdal El, Horem, Beth Anath, and Beth Shemesh - nineteen towns and their villages. 39  This is the inheritance of the tribe of Naphtali, the cities and their villages, clan by clan.

40  The seventh lot fell to Dan. 41  The territory of their inheritance included: Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir Shemesh, 42  Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, 43  Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44  Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45  Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon, 46  Me Jarkon, and Rakkon, with the region facing Joppa. 47  But the people of Dan failed to get rid of the Westerners (Amorites), who pushed them back into the hills. The Westerners kept them out of the plain and they didn't have enough room. So the people of Dan marched up and attacked Leshem. They took it, killed the inhabitants, and settled in. They renamed it Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their ancestor. 48  This is the inheritance of the tribe of Dan, according to its clans, these towns with their villages.

49  They completed the dividing of the land as inheritance and the setting of its boundaries. The People of Israel then gave an inheritance among them to Joshua son of Nun. 50  In obedience to God's word, they gave him the city which he had requested, Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the city and settled there. 51  These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and the ancestral leaders assigned by lot to the tribes of Israel at Shiloh in the presence of God at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. They completed the dividing of the land.

The Cities of Refuge Appointed

20 1  Then God spoke to Joshua: 2  "Tell the People of Israel: Designate the asylum-cities, as I instructed you through Moses, 3  so that anyone who kills a person accidentally - that is, unintentionally - may flee there as a safe place of asylum from the avenger of blood. 4  "A person shall escape for refuge to one of these cities, stand at the entrance to the city gate, and lay out his case before the city's leaders. The leaders must then take him into the city among them and give him a place to live with them. 5  "If the avenger of blood chases after him, they must not give him up - he didn't intend to kill the person; there was no history of ill-feeling. 6  He may stay in that city until he has stood trial before the congregation and until the death of the current high priest. Then he may go back to his own home in his hometown from which he fled."

7  They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hills of Naphtali, Shechem in the hills of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hills of Judah. 8  On the other side of the Jordan, east of Jericho, they designated Bezer on the desert plateau from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh. 9  These were the designated cities for the People of Israel and any resident foreigner living among them, so that anyone who killed someone unintentionally could flee there and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood without a fair trial before the congregation.

The Cities of the Levites

21 1  The ancestral heads of the Levites came to Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and to the heads of the other tribes of the People of Israel. 2  This took place at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. They said, "God commanded through Moses that you give us cities to live in with access to pastures for our cattle." 3  So the People of Israel, out of their own inheritance, gave the Levites, just as God commanded, the following cities and pastures: 4  The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites this way: Levites descended from Aaron the priest received by lot thirteen cities out of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. 5  The rest of the Kohathites received by lot ten cities from the families of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 6  The Gershonites received by lot thirteen cities from the families of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan. 7  The families of the Merarites received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. 8  So the People of Israel gave these cities with their pastures to the Levites just as God had ordered through Moses, that is, by lot.

9  They assigned from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin the following towns, here named individually 10  (these were for the descendants of Aaron who were from the families of the Kohathite branch of Levi because the first lot fell to them): 11  Kiriath Arba (Arba was the ancestor of Anak), that is, Hebron, in the hills of Judah, with access to the pastures around it. 12  The fields of the city and its open lands they had already given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession. 13  To the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron (the asylum-city for the unconvicted killers), Libnah, 14  Jattir, Eshtemoa 15  , Holon, Debir 16  , Ain, Juttah, and Beth Shemesh, all with their accompanying pastures - nine towns from these two tribes. 17  And from the tribe of Benjamin: Gibeon, Geba, 18  Anathoth, and Almon, together with their pastures - four towns. 19  The total for the cities and pastures for the priests descended from Aaron came to thirteen. 20  The rest of the Kohathite families from the tribe of Levi were assigned their cities by lot from the tribe of Ephraim: 21  Shechem (the asylum-city for the unconvicted killer) in the hills of Ephraim, Gezer, 22  Kibzaim, and Beth Horon, with their pastures - four towns. 23  From the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon, 24  Aijalon, and Gath Rimmon, all with their pastures - four towns. 25  And from the half-tribe of Manasseh they received Taanach and Gath Rimmon with their pastures - two towns. 26  All told, ten cities with their pastures went to the remaining Kohathite families. 27  The Gershonite families of the tribe of Levi were given from the half-tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), and Be Eshtarah, with their pastures - two cities. 28  And from the tribe of Issachar: Kishion, Daberath, 29  Jarmuth, and En Gannim, with their pastures - four towns. 30  From the tribe of Asher: Mishal, Abdon, 31  Helkath, and Rehob, with their pastures - four towns. 32  From the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), Hammoth Dor, and Kartan, with their pastures - three towns. 33  For the Gershonites and their families: thirteen towns with their pastures. 34  The Merari families, the remaining Levites, were given from the tribe of Zebulun: Jokneam, Kartah, 35  Dimnah, and Nahalal, with their pastures - four cities. 36  From the tribe of Reuben: Bezer, Jahaz, 37  Kedemoth, and Mephaath, with their pastures - four towns. 38  From the tribe of Gad: Ramoth in Gilead (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), Mahanaim, 39  Heshbon, and Jazer, with their pastures - a total of four towns. 40  All these towns were assigned by lot to the Merarites, the remaining Levites - twelve towns. 41  The Levites held forty-eight towns with their accompanying pastures within the territory of the People of Israel. 42  Each of these towns had pastures surrounding it - this was the case for all these towns.

Israel Possesses the Land

43  And so God gave Israel the entire land that he had solemnly vowed to give to their ancestors. They took possession of it and made themselves at home in it. 44  And God gave them rest on all sides, as he had also solemnly vowed to their ancestors. Not a single one of their enemies was able to stand up to them - God handed over all their enemies to them. 45  Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right.

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