Judah’s Tribal Lands1 The following is a record of the territory assigned to the Israelites in the land of Canaan by Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the Israelite tribal leaders. ▼
▼ Heb “These are [the lands] which the sons of Israel received as an inheritance in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes assigned as an inheritance to the sons of Israel.”2 The land assignments to the nine-and-a-half tribes were made by drawing lots, as the Lord had instructed Moses. ▼
▼ Heb “By lot was their inheritance, as the Lord had commanded by Moses, to the nine tribes and the half-tribe.”3 Now Moses had assigned land ▼
▼ Or “assigned an inheritance.”to the two-and-a-half tribes east of the Jordan, but he assigned no land ▼
▼ Or “no inheritance.”to the Levites. ▼
▼ The Hebrew text adds, “in their midst.”4 The descendants of Joseph were considered as two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. The Levites were allotted no territory, though they were assigned cities in which to live, along with the grazing areas for their cattle and possessions. ▼
▼ Heb “and they did not assign a portion to the Levites in the land, except cities [in which] to live and their pastures for their cattle and property.”5 The Israelites followed the Lord’s instructions to Moses and divided up the land. ▼
▼ Heb “Just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did, and they divided up the land.”
6 The men of Judah approached Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said about you and me to Moses, the man of God, at Kadesh Barnea. ▼
▼ Heb “You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses, the man of God, because of me and because of you in Kadesh Barnea.”▼ 7 I was forty years old when Moses, the Lord’s servant, sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy on the land and I brought back to him an honest report. ▼
▼ Heb “and I brought back to him a word just as [was] in my heart.”8 My countrymen ▼
▼ Heb “brothers.”who accompanied ▼
▼ Heb “went up with.”me frightened the people, ▼
▼ Heb “made the heart[s] of the people melt.”but I remained loyal to the Lord my God. ▼
▼ Heb “I filled up after the Lord my God,” an idiomatic statement meaning that Caleb remained loyal to the Lord.9 That day Moses made this solemn promise: ▼
▼ Heb “swore an oath.”‘Surely the land on which you walked ▼
▼ Heb “on which your foot has walked.”will belong to you and your descendants permanently, ▼
▼ Heb “will belong to you for an inheritance, and to your sons forever.”for you remained loyal to the Lord your God.’ 10 So now, look, the Lord has preserved my life, just as he promised, these past forty-five years since the Lord spoke these words to Moses, during which Israel traveled through the wilderness. Now look, I am today eighty-five years old. 11 Today I am still as strong as when Moses sent me out. I can fight and go about my daily activities with the same energy I had then. ▼
▼ Heb “like my strength then, like my strength now, for battle and for going out and coming in.”12 Now, assign me this hill country which the Lord promised me at that time! No doubt you heard at that time that the Anakites live there in large, fortified cities. ▼
▼ Heb “are there and large, fortified cities.”But, assuming the Lord is with me, I will conquer ▼
▼ Or “will dispossess.”them, as the Lord promised.” 13 Joshua asked God to empower Caleb son of Jephunneh and assigned him Hebron. ▼
▼ Heb “Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb son of Jephunneh as an inheritance.”14 So Hebron remains the assigned land of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this very day ▼
▼ Heb “Therefore Hebron belongs to Caleb son of Jephunneh for an inheritance to this day.”because he remained loyal to the Lord God of Israel. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba. Arba was a famous Anakite. ▼
▼ Heb “And he was the great man among the Anakites.”) Then the land was free of war.
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