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The Holman Christian Standard Bible

Joshua 21:1–22:9

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Cities of the Levites

21 The heads of the Levite families approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the families of the Israelite tribes. At Shiloh, in the land of Canaan, they told them, “The Lord commanded through Moses that we be given cities to live in, with their pasturelands for our livestock.” v So the Israelites, by the Lord’s command, gave the Levites these cities with their pasturelands from their inheritance.

The lot came out for the Kohathite clans: The Levites who were the descendants of Aaron the priest received 13 cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. The remaining descendants of Kohath w received 10 cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

Gershon’s descendants received 13 cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and half the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

Merari’s descendants received 12 cities for their clans from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.

The Israelites gave these cities with their pasturelands around them to the Levites by lot, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

Cities of Aaron’s Descendants

The Israelites gave these cities by name from the tribes of the descendants of Judah and Simeon 10 to the descendants of Aaron from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because they received the first lot. 11 They gave them Kiriath-arba x (that is, Hebron) with its surrounding pasturelands in the hill country of Judah. Arba was the father of Anak. 12 But they gave the fields and villages of the city to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.

13 They gave to the descendants of Aaron the priest:

Hebron, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Libnah with its pasturelands, 14 Jattir with its pasturelands, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, 15 Holon with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, 16 Ain with its pasturelands, Juttah with its pasturelands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasturelands—nine cities from these two tribes.

17 From the tribe of Benjamin they gave:

Gibeon with its pasturelands, Geba with its pasturelands, 18 Anathoth with its pasturelands, and Almon with its pasturelands—four cities. 19 All 13 cities with their pasturelands were for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

Cities of Kohath’s Other Descendants

20 The allotted cities to the remaining clans of Kohath’s descendants, who were Levites, came from the tribe of Ephraim. 21 The Israelites gave them:

Shechem, y the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 22 Kibzaim with its pasturelands, and Beth-horon with its pasturelands—four cities.

23 From the tribe of Dan they gave:

Elteke with its pasturelands, Gibbethon with its pasturelands, 24 Aijalon with its pasturelands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands—four cities.

25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they gave:

Taanach with its pasturelands and Gath-rimmon z with its pasturelands—two cities.

26 All 10 cities with their pasturelands were for the clans of Kohath’s other descendants.

Cities of Gershon’s Descendants

27 From half the tribe of Manasseh, they gave to the descendants of Gershon, a who were one of the Levite clans:

Golan, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in Bashan, and Beeshterah with its pasturelands—two cities.

28 From the tribe of Issachar they gave:

Kishion with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, 29 Jarmuth with its pasturelands, and En-gannim with its pasturelands—four cities.

30 From the tribe of Asher they gave:

Mishal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, 31 Helkath with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelands—four cities.

32 From the tribe of Naphtali they gave:

Kedesh in Galilee, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Hammoth-dor with its pasturelands, and Kartan with its pasturelands—three cities.

33 All 13 cities with their pasturelands were for the Gershonites by their clans.

Cities of Merari’s Descendants

34 From the tribe of Zebulun, they gave to the clans of the descendants of Merari, b who were the remaining Levites:

Jokneam with its pasturelands, Kartah with its pasturelands, 35 Dimnah with its pasturelands, and Nahalal with its pasturelands—four cities.

36 From the tribe of Reuben they gave:

Bezer c with its pasturelands, Jahzah d with its pasturelands, 37 Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its pasturelands—four cities. e

38 From the tribe of Gad they gave:

Ramoth in Gilead, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Mahanaim with its pasturelands, 39 Heshbon with its pasturelands, and Jazer with its pasturelands—four cities in all. 40 All 12 cities were allotted to the clans of Merari’s descendants, the remaining Levite clans.

41 Within the Israelite possession there were 48 cities in all with their pasturelands for the Levites. f 42 Each of these cities had its own surrounding pasturelands; this was true for all the cities.

The Lord’s Promises Fulfilled

43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side according to all He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the Lord handed over all their enemies to them. 45 None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled. g

Eastern Tribes Return Home

22 Joshua summoned the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh and told them, “You have done everything Moses the Lord’s servant commanded you h and have obeyed me in everything I commanded you. You have not deserted your brothers even once this whole time but have carried out the requirement of the command of the Lord your God. Now that He has given your brothers rest, just as He promised them, return to your homes in your own land that Moses the Lord’s servant gave you across the Jordan. Only carefully obey the command and instruction that Moses the Lord’s servant gave you: to love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, keep His commands, remain faithful i to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” j

Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way, k and they went to their homes. Moses had given territory to half the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, but Joshua had given territory to the other half, l with their brothers, on the west side of the Jordan. m When Joshua sent them to their homes and blessed them, he said, “Return to your homes with great wealth: a huge number of cattle, and silver, gold, bronze, iron, and a large quantity of clothing. Share the spoil of your enemies with your brothers.” n

Eastern Tribes Build an Altar

The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in the land of Canaan to return to their own land of Gilead, o which they took possession of according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

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21:5 Descendants not in Aaron’s priestly line

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21:25 Or Ibleam

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21:36 Or Jahaz

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21:36–37 Some Hb * omit these vv.

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22:5 * commands, hold on

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k
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22:7 * to his half

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