The Division of the land in Joshua’s time
Joshua 16:1 And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel, 16:2 And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth, 16:3 And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Bethhoron the nether, and to Gezer; and the goings out thereof are at the sea.
16:4 So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.
The border of Ephraim
16:5 And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Atarothaddar, unto Bethhoron the upper; 16:6 And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanathshiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah; 16:7 And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan. 16:8 The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.
Ephraim also had some cities within the area of Manasseh.
16:9 And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages. 16:10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day [the day this was written], and serve under tribute.
The land of Manasseh
One half of Manasseh, being the children of Manasseh the first born of Joseph; chose to stay on the east of Jordan and Galilee including the Golan heights and the fertile plains of modern Syria. The other half of Manasseh was on the west side along with Ephraim.
Joshua 17:1 There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan [the area of the Golan Heights and plains of modern Syria.].
The firstborn son of Manasseh was given the Golan Heights and the fertile plains of Syria; while the other children of Manasseh were given land on the west of Jordan alongside Ephraim.
17:2 There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families.
The daughters of Zelophehad requested their inheritance as promised by Moses and by Christ.
17:3 But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 17:4 And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father.
The land of Manasseh on the west side of Jordan
17:5 And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other [east side] side Jordan; 17:6 Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh’s sons had the land of Gilead.
17:7 And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah.
The land of Tappuah was given to Manasseh, but the actual city being on the border was given to Ephraim
17:8 Now Manasseh had the land of Tappuah: but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim; 17:9 And the coast descended unto the river Kanah, southward of the river: these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh: the coast of Manasseh also was on the north side of the river, and the outgoings of it were at the sea: 17:10 Southward it was Ephraim’s, and northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east.
Manasseh was also given some land in Issachar and Asher.
17:11 And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries.
After Joshua died, the tribes could not defeat the Canaanites because Israel had turned away from any zeal for God, which will be revealed in the Book of the Judges. They began to commit the sin of idolatry and follow other gods, exalting their idols of men above the whole Word of God.
17:12 Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. 17:13 Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, but did not utterly drive them out.
As the tribe of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh were given only one joint lot and they complained about this to Joshua.
17:14 And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, [one piece of land for both Ephraim and Manasseh] seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto? 17:15 And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.
17:16 And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.
Joshua then gave another lot to the family of Joseph, a separate lot for Ephraim alone, in addition to the lot given for Manasseh; so that Manasseh could have her own lot and Ephraim could have her own lot, receiving a double portion for the descendants of Joseph.
17:17 And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: 17:18 But the mountain [Mount Ephraim shall be for Ephraim] shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.
Until now the ark had traveled with the people and went with them into battle; now after seven years of war and seven years of dividing the land, the Tabernacle was “permanently” set up in Shiloh and the ark was placed inside the Most Holy Place. The laws of the land Sabbath, Jubilees and the Wave Offering then came into practical effect when Israel began to cultivate their own land.
The main job of the Levites had been preparing the Tabernacle for travel and assisting the priests. When the Tabernacle had a permanent place in the promised land and they would no longer travel, the chief task of the Levites was completed.
After that the synagogues [school] system of Israel was established in the 48 Levitical cities scattered throughout the tribes, and places of learning were established throughout the land along with traveling Levitical teachers. The Levites then taught basic education and the Word of God in every place; as long as they were faithful to God.
The synagogue was very much more than a place of worship on Sabbath as some have supposed. It was a place of basic and biblical education, and also a place of local Sabbath meetings.
Joshua 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
Joshua then commanded that three spies be sent out by each of the remaining tribes to search out the remaining land; 21 spies in all.
18:2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. 18:3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? 18:4 Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me.
The remaining land was to be divided to the seven remaining tribes which have received no land as yet. Judah, Benjamin, Reuben, Gad and Joseph had their lands; and all the remaining land was to be divided into seven parts and each part apportioned to each of the seven remaining tribes by lot.
18:5 And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north. 18:6 Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.
The seven remaining tribes had their portion but no portion of land was sought for Levi, Levi having been given the Levitical cities amongst the lands of all the other tribes. In this way the Levites would be spread through ALL the tribes, so that every land would have Levites to teach them the whole Word of God.
David reveals that the land was filled with synagogues [Levitical schools] from the most ancient times in Psalm 74:8. From these Levitical synagogues [schools], Ezra restored the temple era synagogue system.
18:7 But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.
Joshua charged the spies to carefully scout and describe the land to him, so that he might cast lots before Christ at the Tabernacle in Shiloh.
18:8 And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh. 18:9 And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh. 18:10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.
Benjamin was to be between Judah which was south of Jerusalem and Joseph [in this case Manasseh].
The borders of Benjamin.
18:11 And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. 18:12 And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven. 18:13 And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron.
18:14 And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Bethhoron southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter. 18:15 And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjathjearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah: 18:16 And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to Enrogel,
18:17 And was drawn from the north, and went forth to Enshemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, 18:18 And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah: 18:19 And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast.
18:20 And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families.
The cities of Benjamin
18:21 Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz, 18:22 And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, 18:23 And Avim, and Pharah, and Ophrah, 18:24 And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages: 18:25 Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, 18:26 And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah, 18:27 And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, 18:28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.
Simeon was to live in an enclave inside Judah in the far south.
Joshua 19:1 And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.
The land of Simeon was Beersheba and the surrounding villages.
19:2 And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, and Sheba, and Moladah, 19:3 And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem, 19:4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, 19:5 And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah, 19:6 And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: 19:7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: 19:8 And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
19:9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.
The border of Zebulon
19:10 And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid: 19:11 And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam; 19:12 And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia, 19:13 And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah;
19:14 And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel: 19:15 And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
19:16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Issachar was by Jordan river.
19:17 And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families 19:18 And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem, 19:19 And Haphraim, and Shihon, and Anaharath, 19:20 And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,
19:21 And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez; 19:22 And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages. 19:23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.
Asher was on the Mediterranean Sea from Zebulon north to Carmel [Haifa].
19:24 And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families. 19:25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, 19:26 And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath; 19:27 And turneth toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,
19:28 And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; 19:29 And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib: 19:30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages. 19:31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
The land of Naphtali
19:32 The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families. 19:33 And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan: 19:34 And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising. 19:35 And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,
19:36 And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, 19:37 And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor, 19:38 And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. 19:39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.
The lot of Dan
19:40 And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. 19:41 And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh, 19:42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah, 19:43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, 19:44 And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, 19:45 And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon, 19:46 And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.
19:47 And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. 19:48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Joshua is given his lot in Ephraim
19:49When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them: 19:50 According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.
The end of the dividing of the land; next came the Levitical Cities including the Judicial Cities, followed by the farewell address of Joshua.
19:51 These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.