After Moses died Yahva said to Joshua, son of Nun; "Moses is dead. Now with the people, prepare to cross Jordan to the land I give the Israelites. Every place where you set foot I have given you, as I promised Moses. All the land of the Hittites, from the wilderness and Lebanon east to the great river Euphrates and west to the Great Sea, will be your territory. No one can withstand you as long as you live. As I supported Moses, I will support you and not forsake you. Be strong and steadfast to give these people the land I promised their ancestors. Be careful to observe the entire law which Moses enjoined to you. Do not deviate from it so that you may succeed wherever you go. Do not let this book of the law depart from your lips. Recite it by day and night so that you may carefully obey all that is written in it; then you will attain your goal and succeed. I command you: Be strong and steadfast eithout fear for I am with you always."
Joshua commanded the officers; "Go through the camp and tell the people to prepare provisions for crossing the Jordan three days from now. They will possess the land Yahva is giving them as heritance."
Joshua addressed the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh; "Remember what Moses commanded you; 'Yahva is ready to give you rest in this land.' Your wives, children, and livestock may remain in the land Moses gave you east of Jordan. But all the warriors among you must cross armed in the vanguard, to help your kin until the Yahva has settled them and they, like you, possess the land Yahva is giving them. Afterward you may return and occupy your own land which Moses has given you east of Jordan." They answered Joshua; "We will do all you have commanded us and we will go wherever you send us. We will obey you completely as we obeyed Moses. May Yahva support you as he did Moses. Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey all your commands will be killed."
Joshua secretly sent spies from Shittim, saying; "Go; explore the land and Jericho." When the two reached Jericho, they went to the house of a free woman named Rahab where they lodged. The king of Jericho received a report; "Some men came here last night. We think they are Israelites spying our land." So the king of Jericho sent Rahab the order; "Bring the men who entered your house. They have come to spy the entire land." The woman had taken the two men and hidden them, so she said; "Some men came to me. I did not know from where. At dusk, closing time for the gate, they left and I do not know where they went. You may have to pursue them quickly to overtake them." She had hidden them among stalks of flax spread on the roof. The pursuers set out on the road to the fords of Jordan. As soon as they left, the gate was shut.
Before the spies lay down, Rahab went to them on the roof and said; "I know that your god has given you this land. A dread of you has come to us. All the inhabitants tremble with fear of you. We have heard how your god dried up the waters of the Red Sea when you escaped Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom you destroyed. We heard, and our hearts melted within us. Everyone is utterly dispirited because of you, since Yahva is god in heaven and on earth. Swear to me by your god that, since I am showing kindness, you will return kindness to my family. Give me a reliable sign that you will allow my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and my whole family to live, saving us from death." "We pledge our lives for yours," they answered her. "If you do not betray our mission, we will be faithful in showing kindness to you when we come into this land."
She lived in a house built into the city wall so she let them down through the window with a rope. "Go to the hill country;" she said; "where your pursuers can not find you. Hide there for three days until they return. Then you can depart." They answered; "This oath that you force us to take is invalid unless, when we invade the land, you tie this scarlet rope in this window. Gather all your family into your house. Should one of them leave your house, their blood will be on themselves and we will be guiltless. But if anyone in your house is harmed, we accept blood guilt. If you betray our mission, this oath is void." "I accept;" she replied and they departed. When they were gone, she tied the scarlet rope in the window.
They went into the hill country where they stayed three days until their pursuers gave up. The pursuers had searched along the road without finding them. Then they returned from the hills, crossed Jordan to Joshua and told him all that happened to them. They assured Joshua; "Yahva has given this land to us; all the inhabitants tremble with fear of us."
Early the next morning, Joshua with the Israelites warriors moved from Shittim the edge of Jordan where they stayed before crossing. Three days later the officers went through the camp issuing commands to the people; "When you see the ark of the covenant carried by the Levite priests, break camp and follow. You do not know the way to take since you have not traveled this road before. Keep a distance of two thousand cubits between you and the ark: do not come nearer." Joshua also said; "Consecrate yourselves, tomorrow Yahva will perform wonders among you." He told the priests; "Take the ark across ahead of the people." They took the ark and went before the people."
Then Yahva said to Joshua; "Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of Israel so that they may understand that I will treat you as I treated Moses. Command the priests carrying the ark; 'When you come to the edge of Jordan, wait there.'"
Joshua said to the Israelites; "Listen to the words of Yahva. You will know that there is a God in your midst. He will dispossess the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites before you.
The ark will cross Jordan before you. When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark touch the waters of the Jordan, it will cease to flow. The water flowing down stream will halt in a lake."
The people set out from their tents to cross Jordan with the priests carrying the ark ahead of them. When those bearing the ark came to the Jordan and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were immersed in the waters of the Jordan-which overflows all its banks during the entire harvest season-the waters flowing from upstream halted, standing in a lake for a very great distance, to Adam (a town in the direction of Zarethan). Those flowing downstream toward the Salt Sea of Araba ceased entirely. Thus the people crossed over toward Jericho. The priests carrying the ark of the covenant stood on dry ground in the riverbed while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all Israel crossed Jordan.
After the entire nation had crossed Jordan, Yahva said to Joshua; "Choose twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, and command them to take twelve stones from this spot in the riverbed where the priests have been standing. Carry them with you, and place them where you stay tonight."
Summoning the twelve men selected from among the Israelites, Joshua said to them; "Go to the Jordan riverbed in front of the ark of Yahva and each of you pick up a large stone, one for each tribe. In the future, they will be a symbol to you. When your children ask you; 'What is the meaning these stones?' you can answer; 'The waters of Jordan ceased to flow when the ark of the covenant crossed Jordan.' These stones are a perpetual memorial to the Israelites." The twelve Israelites obeyed Joshua and carried the stones to the camp site and placed them there. Joshua set up the twelve stones from the Jordan riverbed where the priests carrying the ark stood. They are still there.
The priests carrying the ark stayed in the Jordan riverbed until everything commanded by Yahva was completed. The people crossed quickly. When all the people had crossed; the ark and the priests went in front of them. The Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh marched in the vanguard of the Israelites as Moses had ordered. About 40 thousand troops, equipped for battle, crossed to the plains of Jericho for war.
That day Yahva exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel and during his whole life they feared him as they had feared Moses.
Then Yahva said to Joshua; "Command the priests carrying the ark to come from Jordan, which Joshua did." When the priests carrying the ark came from the Jordan riverbed, as the soles of their feet stepped on dry ground, the waters of Jordan resumed their flow and overflowed its banks as before.
The people crossed Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped in Gilgal to the east of Jericho. At Gilgal, Joshua set up the twelve stones from the Jordan, saying; "In the future, when your children ask their parents; 'What do these stones mean?' you shall inform them, 'Israel crossed Jordan here on dry ground.' For Yahva dried up the waters of Jordan before you until you crossed just as he had done at the Sea of Reeds, drying it up in front of us until we crossed, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that Yahva is mighty to be feared forever."
When the Amorite kings west of Jordan and the Canaanite kings by the sea heard that Yahva had dried up the waters of Jordan before the Israelites until they crossed, their spirit wavered and they were dispirited.
On this occasion Yahva said to Joshua; "Make flint knives and circumcise Israel for the second time," which Joshua did at Gibeath-haaraloth. The reason for the circumcision was: Every male of military age who left Egypt had died in the wilderness during the journey. Although the men who left were circumcised, none of those born during the journey were circumcised. The Israelites wandered 40 years in the wilderness until all the warriors who left Egypt died. Yahva declared that he would not let them see the land promised to their ancestors, a fertile and prosperous land. Joshua circumcised the children that Yahva raised in their stead. When the circumcision of the entire nation was complete, they camped where they were until they recovered. Then Yahva said to Joshua; "Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you." Therefore the place is called Gilgal to this day.
While the Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated passover on the evening of the 14th day of the month. On the next day they ate the produce of the land in the form of unleavened cakes and parched grain. On the day after they ate from the the harvest of Canaan, the manna ceased. No longer was there manna for the Israelites.
While Joshua was near Jericho, he raised his eyes and saw one who stood facing him with a drawn sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked; "Are you one of us or one of our enemies?" He replied; "Neither. I am the commander of the army of Yahva: Now I have come." Then Joshua prostrated himself in worship and asked him; "What has my lord to say to his servant?" The commander of Yahva's army replied to Joshua; "Remove your sandals for you are standing on holy ground," which Joshua did.
Jericho was under siege because of the Israelite presence. No one left or entered. Yahva said to Joshua; "I have delivered Jericho, its king, and warriors to you. Have all your soldiers circle the city marching once around it each day. Do this for six days with seven priests carrying ram's horns before the ark. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear them give a long blast on the ram's horns, all the people shall shout loudly. The wall of the city will collapse and the soldiers shall immediately attack over the rubble of the walls."
Summoning the priests Joshua instructed them; "With seven priests carrying ram's horns, parade the ark around the walls." He ordered the people; "Surround the city with the elite troops preceding the ark." Then the priests who carried the ram's horns marched and blew their horns with the ark following them. The elite troops marched in front of the priests. A rear guard followed the ark. The horns were blown continually as they marched. But Joshua had ordered the people, "Do not shout or make any noise until I tell you, then scream loudly."
The ark circled the city, marching once around it. Then they returned to camp for the night. Early in the morning for six days, Joshua had the priests and elite troops march around the city.
On the seventh day, beginning at daybreak, they marched around the city seven times in the same manner. The seventh time around the priests blew the horns loudly and Joshua said; "Now shout loudly, Yahva has given you the city. The city and everything in it are condemned. Only Rahab and those in her house are permitted to live because she protected our spies. Be careful to not take anything that is condemned, for that would bring misery on Israel. All silver, gold, bronze and iron are consecrated. Put them in the treasury of Yahva."
As the horns blew, the people raised a tremendous shout. The wall collapsed and the troops attacked the city straight over the walls and took it. They killed all living creatures in the city; men and women, young and old, as well as livestock.
To the men who had spied the land, Joshua said; "Go to the free woman's house and rescue the woman with her family, as you swore to do." The spies rescued Rahab with all her family and led them to a place outside the Israelite camp. They burned the city and everything in it, except the silver, gold, bronze, and iron which they placed in Yahva's treasury. Because Rahab had hidden the spies whom Joshua sent to reconnoiter Jericho, Joshua let her live along with all her family. They still dwell amid Israel.
On that occasion Joshua imposed the oath; "The man who attempts to rebuild Jericho will be cursed by Yahva. Laying the foundation will cost his firstborn son and setting up its gates will cost of his youngest son."
Thus Yahva supported Joshua so that his fame spread throughout the land.
Some Israelites ignored the prohibition; Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, took prohibited things and Yahva's anger flared against the Israelites.
Next Joshua sent men from Jericho to reconnoiter Ai, which is near Beth-aven and east of Bethel." When they had explored Ai, they returned to Joshua and advised; "Do not send all the people with only 2,000 or 3,000 go, they can overcome Ai. You need not tire all the people for the soldiers of Ai are few." About 3,000 troops attacked but fled from the army of Ai, which killed about 36 men. They pursued them from the city gate to the Shebarim and defeated them on the descent. Thus the confidence of the people melted like water.
Joshua, with the elders of Israel, tore their garments, threw dust on their heads, and prostrated themselves before the ark until evening. "O Yahva," Joshua prayed; "why did you allow this people to cross Jordan to the Amorites so they could destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell on the other side of the Jordan. Please, Yahva, what can I say since Israel has fled from its enemies? When the Canaanites and other inhabitants of the land hear, they will encircle us and wipe us from the earth. What must we do for your great name?"
Yahva replied to Joshua; "Arise. Why are you lying there? Israel sinned by transgressing the covenant which I gave them. They have taken prohibited things. They have stolen and lied while placing the objects in their baggage. If the Israelites cannot withstand their enemies but flee them, it is because they have violated my orders. I will not support you unless you remove the prohibited things from among you. Get up. Tell the people to consecrate themselves before tomorrow for the God of Israel says; 'Banned things are among you. You cannot withstand your enemies until you remove them.' In the morning you must come forward by tribes. The tribe which Yahva designates shall come forward by clans; the designated clan shall come forward by families; the family which Yahva designates shall come forward one by one. Whoever is designated as taking banned objects shall be destroyed by fire, with all that is his, because he transgressed the covenant and committed a shameful crime against Israel."
Early the next morning Joshua had Israel approach by tribes, and the tribe of Judah was designated. Then he had the clans of Judah approach, and the clan of Zerah was designated. He had the clan of Zerah approach by families, and Zabdi was designated. Finally he had that family approach one by one, and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, was designated. Joshua said to Achan; "My child, praise Yahva by telling me what you have done. Do not hide or lie to me." Achan answered Joshua; "I have sinned against Yahva. Among the spoils, I saw a beautiful Babylonian mantle, 200 shekels of silver, and a 50 shekel bar of gold. I coveted them and took them. They are now hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." Joshua sent messengers to the tent where the things were hidden in the tent. They brought them to Joshua and the Israelites, and spread them before Yahva.
Then Joshua and Israel took Achan, son of Zerah; with the silver, the mantle, and the bar of gold; and with his sons and daughters, his ox, his donkey, his sheep, his tent, and all his possessions; and led them to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said; "What misery have you caused us? May Yahva punish you today!" Israel stoned them to death and burnt them. Over Achan they placed a great pile of stones, which still remains. Then Yahva's anger abated. That is why the place is called the Valley of Achor.
Yahva then said to Joshua; "Do not be afraid or dismayed. Take all the army with you and prepare to attack Ai. I have delivered the king of Ai to your power with his people, city, and land. Do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king-except you may take its spoil and livestock as plunder. Set an ambush behind the city." So Joshua and all the soldiers prepared to attack Ai. Picking out 30,000 warriors, Joshua sent them by night with these orders; "Ambush the city from the rear. Stay close to the city. Everyone must be ready. The rest of the people and I will approach the city. When they make a sortie against us, as they did the last time, we will flee from them. They will keep coming after us until we have drawn them away from the city. They will think; 'They are fleeing from us as they did the last time.' When we flee, rise from ambush and take the city. Yahva will deliver it to you. When you have taken the city, set it on fire in obedience to the Yahva's command." Then Joshua sent them away. They went to the place of ambush to the west of Ai, toward Bethel. Joshua spent that night with the army.
Early the next morning Joshua mustered the army and led it to Ai with the elders of Israel. When all the troops were before the city, they pitched camp on across the ravine north of Ai. About 5,000 warriors were sent as an ambush between Bethel and Ai, west of the city. Thus the people took their stations with the main body north of the city and the ambush west of it. Joshua waited overnight in the valley. The king of Ai saw this and went with his army to attack Israel very early in the morning in front of the Arabah. They did not know that an ambush was behind the city. Joshua and the main body of Israelites fled toward the wilderness, pretending defeat, until all the soldiers in the city had been called out to pursue them. They were drawn away from the city, pursuing Joshua. No soldier remained in Ai or Bethel. They left the city open in pursuit of Israel.
Then Yahva directed Joshua; "Wave your javelin toward Ai and I will deliver it to you." Joshua waved his javelin and the ambush troops arose, rushed in to capture the city, then immediately set it on fire. By the time the army of Ai looked back, the smoke from the city covered the sky. Escape was impossible since the retreating Israelites turned on their pursuers. When Joshua and the main body of Israelites saw that the ambush city had been taken by ambush and was burning, they attacked the forces of Ai. Since the Israelites in the city came out to intercept them, Ai's army was between two armies. The Israelites slaughtered them. No one survived except the king whom they brought alive to Joshua.
When Israel finished killing the soldiers of Ai, pursued them into the wilderness, and killed all of them, they returned to the city and killed everyone there; the entire population of Ai 12,000 men and women. Joshua held the javelin in his hand until all the inhabitants of Ai were dead. The Israelites plunder the city, taking all the livestock and valuables, as Yahva commanded Joshua. Then Joshua burned Ai to a mound of ruins. He hung the king of Ai on a tree until evening. At sunset Joshua ordered the body buried at t the city gate under a pile of stones. It remains there to this day.
Later Joshua built an altar to Yahva on Mount Ebal. The altar was made of unhewn stones without the use of iron tools, just as Moses had recorded in the book of the law. On this altar they sacrificed burnt offerings to Yahva and made communion sacrifices. In the presence of the Israelites, Joshua inscribed on these stones a copy of the law written by Moses. All Israel—foreigner and native alike, with their elders, officers and judges—stood on either side of the ark facing the Levite priests who were carrying the ark. Half of them faced Mount Gerizim and half on Mount Ebal, just as Moses had commanded for the blessing of the people of Israel. Then they read aloud the entire law, the blessings and the curses, exactly as written in the book of the law. Joshua read aloud to the entire assembly, including the women, children, and foreigners every word that Moses had commanded.
When the news reached the kings west of Jordan, in the lowlands, the hill country, and along the coast of the Great Sea as far as Lebanon; the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites assembled to launch a united attack against Joshua and Israel.
On hearing what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, the Hivite inhabitants of Gibeon conceived a cunning plan. They chose provisions for a journey, using old sacks on their donkeys, and old wineskins, torn and mended. They wore old, patched sandals and shabby garments. All the bread they took was dry and moldy. Thus they journeyed to Joshua's camp at Gilgal where they asked him and the Israelites; "We have come from a distant land; please make a treaty with us." But the Israelites replied to them; "You may be living in our land. How can we make a pact with you?" They answered; "We are your servants." Joshua asked them; "Who are you? Where do you come from?" They answered him; "Your servants have come from a distant land because of the fame of Yahva. We have heard reports of what he did to Egypt and to the Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, who lived in Ashtaroth across Jordan. Our elders and the inhabitants of our land told us to take along provisions and go to meet them and plead with them; 'We are your servants, please make a treaty with us.' Our bread was fresh when we left home to come to you but now it is dry and moldy. Our wineskins were new when we filled them but are torn. Our garments and sandals are worn from the long journey." Then the Israelite leaders shared their provisions without invoking Yahva. So Joshua made a treaty to let them live in peace. The Israelite leaders sealed the treaty with an oath.
Three days after the treaty, the Israelites heard that these people lived nearby and would be living among the Israelites. In three days, the Israelites came to their cities of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. They did not attack because the Israelite leaders had sworn by the name of Yahva. When the entire community grumbled against the leaders, they compromised with the community; "We have sworn by Yahva so we cannot attack them. We will let them live so that the wrath of Yahva does not fall on us. Although they can live they will be manual laborers for the entire community." So the community agreed.
Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and asked them; "Why did you deceive us by saying that you live far from us? You live among us! Now you are cursed. Every one of you will be a slave and manual laborer for Israel." They replied; "Your servants were fully informed of how Yahva commanded Moses that you were given the entire land and that all its inhabitants would be destroyed. Therefore, at your advance, we feared for our lives and acted as we did. Now that we are in your power, do what is honorable to you." As decided, Joshua saved them from being killed, but made them manual laborers, as they still are, for the community and for Yahva's altar wherever he should choose.
When Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had destroyed Ai and treated that city and its king as he had Jericho and its king, and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel while remaining among them, there was great fear abroad. Gibeon was a great city, like a royal city, greater even than Ai and all its men were warriors. So Adonizedek sent to Hoham, king of Hebron, Piram, king of Jarmuth; Japhia, king of Lachish; and Debir, king of Eglon, with this message; "Come and help me attack Gibeon for it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites." The five Amorite kings, of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, gathered with their troops, and marched toward Gibeon to attack it. The Gibeonites appealed to Joshua at Gilgal; "Do not abandon your servants. Come quickly to save us. Help us. All the Amorite kings of the hill country have united against us."
Joshua marched from Gilgal with all his army. Yahva said to Joshua; "Do not fear them for I have delivered them to you. No one will withstand you." After a night march from Gilgal, Joshua made a surprise attack, and Yahva threw them into disorder. The Israelites slaughtered them at Gibeon and pursued them down the Beth-horon slope, attacking them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.
While they fled before Israel along the descent of Beth-horon, Yahva hurled great hailstones on them to Azekah. More died from these hailstones than the Israelites killed. When Yahva delivered the Amorites to the Israelites, Joshua prayed to Yahva in the presence of Israel.
Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
Moon, in the valley of Aijalon!
The sun stood still,
The moon stayed,
While the nation took
Vengeance on its foes.
This is recorded in the Book of Jashar. The sun halted halfway across the sky and stayed there for an entire day. Never before or since was there a day like this, when Yahva obeyed the voice of a man and fought for Israel. Joshua and Israel then returned to the camp at Gilgal.
The five fleeing kings hid in a cave at Makkedah. When Joshua was told he said; "Roll large stones into the mouth of the cave and post guards over it. Do not remain there but pursue your enemies and harry them as they run. Do not allow them to reach their cities, for Yahva has delivered them to you."
Once Joshua and the Israelites had completed this great slaughter, except the few survivors who escaped to fortified cities?the army returned in victory to Joshua at the camp at Makkedah. No one uttered a sound against the Israelites. Joshua said; "Open the cave mouth and bring out those five kings." They brought the kings, of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon to him. Joshua summoned the army of Israel and said to the commanders who had marched with him; "Come forward and step on the necks of these kings." They stepped on the kings' necks. Then Joshua said to them; "Do not be afraid or dismayed, be firm and steadfast. Yahva will do this to all the enemies you fight." Then Joshua killed the kings and hanged them on trees, where they remained until evening. At sunset Joshua commanded that they be taken from the trees and thrown into the cave where they had hidden. Large stones were placed over the cave mouth, where they remain.
Joshua captured Makkedah and destroyed it. He killed every person in it, leaving no survivors. Joshua then marched Israel to Libnah and attacked it. Yahva delivered it and its king to Israel. He killed every person there. Joshua next marched Israel from Libnah to Lachish, where they set up a camp. Yahva delivered Lachish to Israel, so that on the second day Joshua captured it and killed every person in it, just as he had done to Libnah.
Horam, king of Gezer, came to help Lachish, but Joshua slaughtered him and his people leaving no survivors. From Lachish, Joshua marched Israel to Eglon, camping near it. They attacked and captured it the same day, killing everyone. From Eglon, Joshua went with Israel to Hebron which they attacked and captured. They killed its king and every person in all its cities, leaving no survivors. He put it under the ban and every person in it. Then Joshua and Israel turned back to Debir and attacked it, capturing it with its king and all its cities. They killed every person in it, leaving no survivors.
Joshua conquered the entire land; the hill regions, the desert, the low lands, and the mountain slopes, with all their kings. He left no survivors just as Yahva had commanded. Joshua conquered them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza and all the land of Goshen to Gibeon. All these kings and their lands, Joshua captured easily for Yahva fought for Israel. Then Joshua with Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal.
When Jabin, king of Hazor, learned of this, he sent messages to Jobab, king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph, to the northern kings in the mountain regions, in Arabah near Chinneroth, in the lowlamds, and in Naphath-dor to the west. These were east and west Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites in the mountain regions, and Hivites at the foot of Hermon in Mizpah. They came with all their troops?an army numerous as the sands on the seashore?and with a multitude of horses and chariots. These kings made a pact and together they marched to the waters of Merom where they camped to oppose Israel.
Yahva said to Joshua, "Do not fear them. By this time tomorrow I will present them slain to Israel. You must hamstring their horses and burn their chariots." Joshua with his whole army attacked suddenly at the waters of Merom. Yahva delivered them to Israel, who defeated them and pursued them to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth-maim, and eastward to the valley of Mizpeh. They killed them leaving no survivors. Joshua did as Yahva had commanded: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.
Joshua then turning back and captured Hazor killing its king. Hazor was formerly the leader of all those kingdoms. He also killed every person there, leaving none alive. Hazor itself he burned. All the cities of those kings, and the kings themselves, Joshua captured and killed as Moses had commanded. However, Israel did not burn any of the cities built on their mounds, except Hazor. Israel took as plunder all the wealth and livestock of these cities but killed the people, until they had destroyed the last person. Joshua acted as Yahva had commanded his servant Moses and Moses commanded Joshua. He did everything that Yahva had told Moses should be done.
So Joshua took all this land: the mountain regions, the entire Negeb, all the land of Goshen, the lowlands, the Arabah, as well as the mountain regions and low lands of Israel, from Mount Halak that rises toward Seir as far as Baal-gad in the Lebanon valley at the foot of Mount Hermon. All their captured kings were killed. Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time. With the exception of the Hivites who lived in Gibeon, no city made peace with the Israelites; all were taken in battle. Yahva made them obstinate to meet Israel in battle so that they might be killed without mercy and destroyed as Yahva had commanded Moses.
About that time Joshua penetrated the mountain regions and exterminated the Anakim in Hebron, Debir and Anab; the entire mountain region of Judah and Israel. Joshua banned them so that most were killed and no Anakim were left in Israel. However, some survived in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. Thus Joshua conquered the whole land as Yahva had promised. Joshua gave it to Israel as their heritage, apportioning it among the tribes. The land rested from war.
These are the kings who the Israelites conquered and whose land they occupied, east of the Jordan, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern section of the Arabah:
Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon. His domain extended from Aroer, which is on the slope of the Arnon valley, along with the valley itself, and the land northward through half of Gilead to the Jabbok valley at the border with the Ammonites, as well as the Arabah from the eastern side of the Sea of Chinnereth, as far south as the eastern side of the Salt Sea of the Arabah in the direction of Beth-jeshimoth, southward under the slopes of Pisgah.
Og, king of Bashan, a survivor of the Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and Edrei. He ruled over Mount Hermon, Salecah, and all Bashan as far as the boundary of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and over half of Gilead as far as the territory of Sihon.
Moses and the Israelites conquered them. Moses gave possession of their land to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
This is a list of the 31 kings who Joshua and Israel conquered west of Jordan, from Baal-gad in the Lebanon valley to Mount Halak which rises toward Seir. Joshua apportioned it to the tribes of Israel. It included the mountain regions and lowlands, the Arabah, the slopes, the wilderness, and the Negeb; all belonging to the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
King of Jericho
King of Ai, near Bethel
King of Jerusalem
King of Hebron
King of Jarmuth
King of Lachish
King of Eglon
King of Gezer
King of Debir
King of Geder
King of Hormah
King of Arad
King of Libnah
King of Adullam
King of Makkedah
King of Bethel
King of Tappuah
King of Hepher
King of Aphek
King of Lasharon
King of Madon
King of Hazor
King of Shimron
King of Achshaph
King of Taanach
King of Megiddo
King of Kedesh
King of Jokneam, at Carmel
King of Dor, in Naphath-dor
King of Goyim at Gilgal
King of Tirzah
When Joshua was advanced in years, Yahva said to him; "Although you are old, a large part of the land still remains to be conquered. This is the remaining land.
Geshur and all the districts of the Philistines (from the stream adjoining Egypt to the boundary of Ekron in the north is reckoned Canaanite territory, although held by five lords of the Philistines in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron).
Avvim in the south.
Canaanites from Mearah of the Sidonians to Aphek and the boundaries of the Amorites.
East Lebanon from Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath.
All inhabitants of the mountain regions between Lebanon and Misrephoth-maim.
I will drive them before Israel; including at least these areas in the division of the Israelite heritage. I will apportion among the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh the land which is to be their heritage.
The other half of the tribe of Manasseh as well as the Reubenites and Gadites, had taken as their heritage as Moses had given them east of Jordan: from Aroer on the bank of the Arnon valley and the city in the valley itself, through the tableland of Medeba and Dibon, with the rest of the cities of Sihon, king of the Amorites to the boundary of the Ammonites; also Gilead and the territory of the Geshurites and Maacathites, all Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah, the entire kingdom in Bashan of Og, who was king at Ashtaroth and Edrei (only he had survived of the Rephaim). These Moses defeated and dispossessed. But the Israelites did not dispossess the Geshurites and Maacathites. Geshur and Maacath still dwell among the Israelites. Also, Moses assigned no heritage to Levi. Yahva, God of Israel, is their heritage, as promised.
Moses gave this to the Reubenites by their clans: Their territory reached from Aroer, on the bank of the Arnon valley, and the city in the valley, through the tableland around Medeba, including Heshbon and all its towns on the tableland, Dibon, Bamoth-baal, Beth-baal-meon, Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth-shahar on the knoll within the valley, Beth-peor, the slopes of Pisgah, Beth-jeshimoth, the other towns of the tableland and of the whole kingdom of Sihon. Moses had defeated the Amorite king, who reigned in Heshbon, along with the princes of Midian, vassals of Sihon settled in the land: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. The diviner Balaam, son of Beor was killed by the Israelites, along with those they had taken. The boundary of the Reubenites was Jordan. These towns and their villages were the heritage of the Reubenites by their clans.
Moses gave this to the Gadites by their clans: Their territory included Jazer, all the towns of Gilead, and half the land of the Ammonites as far as Aroer, toward Rabbah (that is, from Heshbon to Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim, and from Mahanaim to the boundary of Lo-debar); and in the Jordan valley: Beth-haram, Beth-nimrah, Succoth, Zaphon, the other part of the kingdom of Sihon, king of Heshbon, with the bank of the Jordan to the southeastern tip of the Sea of Chinnereth. These cities and their villages were the heritage of the clans of the Gadites.
Moses gave this to the half-tribe of Manasseh, by their clans, territory including Mahanaim, all of Bashan, the entire kingdom of Ogand, all the villages of Jair, and sixty towns in Bashan. Half of Gilead, with Ashtaroth and Edrei, royal cities of Og in Bashan, fell to the descendants of Machir, son of Manasseh, to half the Machirites, by their clans?The descendants of Joseph formed two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim.
These are the heritages which Moses gave when he was in the plains of Moab, beyond Jordan east of Jericho. But Moses gave no heritage to the tribe of Levi: Yahva, the God of Israel, is their heritage, as he had promised them.
These are the portions which the Israelites received as heritage in the land of Canaan. Eleazar the priest, Joshua and the family heads of the Israelite tribes of the determined their heritage by lot, as Yahva had commanded concerning the remaining nine and a half tribes. Two and a half tribes had already been given a heritage beyond the Jordan. The Levites were given no heritage but were given cities to live in, plus pasture land for their herds and flocks.
So the Israelites apportioned the land as Yahva had commanded.
When the Judahites approached Joshua in Gilgal, the Kenizzite Caleb, son of Jephunneh, said to him: "You know what Yahva told Moses, concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. I was 40 years old when Moses sent me to reconnoiter the land. I brought back to him a frank report. My fellow scouts weakened people's confidence, but I was loyal to Yahva. On that occasion Moses swore this oath; 'The land where you have set foot shall become your heritage and that of your descendants forever, because you have been completely loyal to Yahva.' Now, as promised, Yahva has preserved me these 45 years since Yahva said this to Moses while Israel journeyed in the wilderness. Now I am 85 years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me with no less vigor in war or other tasks. Please give me this mountain region which Yahva promised me then. The Anakim are there with large fortified cities but with Yahva I will destroy them." Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his heritage. Hebron remains the heritage of Caleb to the present because he was completely loyal to Yahva. Hebron was formerly called Kiriath-arba, named for Arba the greatest Anakim. The land was free from war.
The lot for the tribe of Judah by their clans fell toward the boundary of Edom, the wilderness of Zin in the Negeb, in the extreme south. Their southern boundary ran from the end of the Salt Sea, from the tongue of land that faces the Negeb, and went southward below the pass of Akrabbim, across through Zin, to a point south of Kadesh-barnea, across to Hezron, and up to Addar; from there, looping around Karka, it crossed to Azmon and then joined the creek of Egypt before coming out at the sea. The eastern boundary was the Salt Sea as far as the mouth of the Jordan. The northern boundary climbed northward from the tongue of sea, toward the mouth of Jordan, up to Beth-hoglah, and ran north of Beth-arabah, to Eben-Bohan-ben-Reuben. From there the boundary climbed to Debir, north of Achor valley, in the direction of the Gilgal that faces the pass of Adummim, on the south side of the valley; from there it crossed to the waters of En-shemesh and emerged at En-rogel. Climbing again to Ben-hinnom valley on the southern flank of the Jebusites (that is, Jerusalem), the boundary rose to the top of the mountain at the northern end of Rephaim valley, which bounds the Hinnom valley on the west. From the top of the mountain it ran to the fountain of waters of Nephtoah, extended to the cities of Mount Ephron, and continued to Baalah, or Kiriath-jearim. From Baalah it curved westward to Mount Seir and passed north of the ridge of Mount Jearim (that is Chesalon); it descended to Beth-shemesh, and ran across to Timnah. It then extended along the northern flank of Ekron, continued through Shikkeron, and across to Mount Baalah, from there to include Jabneel, before it reached the sea. The western boundary was the Great Sea and its coast. This was the complete boundary of Judah.
Joshua had given Caleb a portion in Judah; Hebron, formerly called Kiriath-arba.?Arba was the father of Anak. Caleb dispossessed the three Anakim descendants of Anak: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. From there he marched against the inhabitants of Debir, which was formerly called Kiriath-sepher. Caleb said; "I will give my daughter Achsah in marriage to the man who captures Kiriath-sepher." Othniel, the son of Caleb's brother Kenaz captured it. Caleb gave him his daughter Achsah in marriage. When she came to him, she influenced him to ask her father for some land. Then, as she alighted from the donkey, Caleb asked her; "What do you want?" She answered; "Give me a present! Since you have assigned me land in the Negeb, give me also water holes." So he gave her the upper and the lower holes.
This is the heritage of the tribe of Judah by their clans: There were 29 towns< with their villages in the extreme southern district toward Edom.
In the lowlands there were 40 towns and their villages.
Ekron and its towns and villages; from Ekron to the sea, all the towns that lie alongside Ashdod and their villages; Ashdod with its towns and villages; Gaza and its towns and villages, as far as the creek of Egypt and the coast of the Great Sea.
There were 49 towns and villages in the mountain regions:
There were 6 towns and villages in the wilderness:
But Judah could not expel the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem so the Jebusites dwell in Jerusalem beside the Judahites to this day.
The lot of the Josephites starting from Jordan east of Jericho ran to the springs of Jericho east of the wilderness; then the boundary rose from Jericho to the heights at Bethel. Leaving Bethel toward Luz, it crossed the crest to the border of the Archites at Ataroth, and descended westward to the border of the Japhletites, to that of the Lower Beth-horon, and to Gezer, and from there to the sea.
Within the heritage of Manasseh and Ephraim, sons of Joseph, the border for the heritage of the Ephraimites by their clans ran from east of Ataroth-addar to Upper Beth-horon and then to the sea. From Michmethath on the north, their boundary curved eastward around Taanath-shiloh, and continued east to Janoah; from there it descended to Ataroth and Naarah, and reaching Jericho, it ended at Jordan. From Tappuah the boundary ran westward to the Kanah valley and ended at the sea. This was the heritage of the Ephraimites by their clans, including the villages that belonged to each city set aside for the Ephraimites within the heritage of the Manassites. But they did not expel the Canaanites living in Gezer. They live within Ephraim to the present day, although they have been reduced to manual labor.
Now as for the lot that fell to the tribe of Manasseh as the firstborn of Joseph: since Manasseh's eldest son, Machir, the father of Gilead, was a warrior who had already obtained Gilead and Bashan, the allotment was now made to the rest of the Manassites by their clans: the descendants of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida?these are the other male children of Manasseh, son of Joseph, by their clans.
Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters. Their names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. These presented themselves to Eleazar the priest, Joshua, and the leaders, saying; "Yahva commanded Moses to give us a heritage among our relatives." So in accordance with the command of Yahva a heritage was given them among their father's relatives. Thus ten shares fell to Manasseh apart from the land of Gilead and Bashan beyond the Jordan, since these female descendants of Manasseh received each a portion among his sons. The land of Gilead fell to the rest of the Manassites.
Manasseh bordered on Asher. From Michmethath, near Shechem, another boundary ran southward to include the inhabitants of En-Tappuah, because the district of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, although Tappuah itself was an Ephraimite city on the border of Manasseh. This same boundary continued down to the Kanah valley. The towns that belonged to Ephraim from among the towns in Manasseh were those to the south of that valley; thus the territory of Manasseh ran north of the valley and ended at the sea. The land on the south belonged to Ephraim and that on the north to Manasseh; with the sea as their common boundary, they met Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.
Moreover, in Issachar and Asher, Manasseh was awarded Beth-shean, the inhabitants of Dor, the inhabitants of Endor, the inhabitants of Taanach, the inhabitants of Megiddo (the third is Naphath-dor) along with all their towns. Since the Manassites were not able to dispossess these cities, Canaanites continued to inhabit this region. When the Israelites grew stronger they put the Canaanites to forced labor but they did not expel them.
The descendants of Joseph said to Joshua; "Why have you given us only one lot and one share as our heritage? Our people are too many, since Yahva has blessed us." Joshua answered; "If you are too many, clear the forest for a place for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaim, since the mountain regions of Ephraim are so narrow." The Josephites said, "Our mountain regions are not sufficient; also the Canaanites living in the valley region have iron chariots, in particular those in Beth-shean and its towns, and those in the valley of Jezreel." Joshua said to Ephraim and Manasseh; "You are a numerous people and very strong. You will not have only one share, for the mountain region which is now forest will be yours when you clear it. Its adjacent land will also be yours if, despite their strength and iron chariots, you expel the Canaanites."
The whole community of the Israelites assembled at Shiloh, where they set up the meeting tent. The land was subdued.
There remained seven tribes among the Israelites who had not yet received their heritage. Joshua said to the Israelites; "How much longer will you delay taking steps to possess the land which Yahva has given you? Choose three representatives from each of your tribes. I will send them throughout the land to survey it for purposes of acquiring their heritage. When they return, you shall divide it into seven parts. Judah is to retain its territory in the south, and the house of Joseph its territory in the north. You shall bring me the survey of the land in seven sections. I will then cast lots for you before Yahva. The Levites have no share among you because the priesthood of Yahva is their heritage, Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received the heritage east of the Jordan which Moses gave them."
When those who were to survey the land were ready for their journey, Joshua commanded them; "Go throughout the land and describe it; return to me and I will cast lots for you before Yahva in Shiloh." So they went through the land, surveying its cities in seven sections. They returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. Joshua then cast lots for them before Yahva in Shiloh and divided the land for the Israelites into their separate shares.
One lot fell to the tribe of Benjamin by their clans. The territory allotted them lay between the descendants of Judah and those of Joseph. Their northern boundary began at the Jordan and went over the northern flank of Jericho, up westward into the mountains, until it reached the wilderness of Beth-aven. From there it crossed to the southern flank of Luz (that is, Bethel). Then it ran down to Ataroth-addar, on the mountaintop south of Lower Beth-horon. For the western border, the boundary line swung south from the mountaintop opposite Beth-horon until it reached Kiriath-baal (Kiriath-jearim?this city belonged to the Judahites). This was the western boundary. The southern boundary began at the limits of Kiriath-jearim and projected to the spring at Nephtoah. It went down to the edge of the mountain on the north of Rephaim valley, where it faces Ben-hinnom valley; and continuing down Hinnom valley along the southern flank of the Jebusites, reached En-rogel. Inclining to the north, it extended to En-shemesh, and from there to Geliloth, opposite the pass of Adummim. Then it dropped to Eben-Bohan-ben-Reuben, across the northern flank of the Arabah overlook, down into the Arabah. From there the boundary continued across the northern flank of Beth-hoglah and extended northward to the tongue of the Salt Sea, toward the southern end of the Jordan. This was the southern boundary. The Jordan bounded it on the east. This was how the heritage of the Benjaminites by their clans was bounded on all sides.
The 26 towns belonged to the tribe of the Benjaminites by their clans.
Jebusite city (Jerusalem)
This was the heritage of the clans of Benjaminites.
The second lot fell to Simeon. The heritage of the tribe of Simeonites by their clans lay within that of the Judahites. For their heritage they received 18 towns and their villages.
They also received all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath-beer (that is, Ramoth-negeb). This was the heritage of Simeon by their clans. The heritage of Simeon was within the borders of Judah since the portion of the latter was too large for them. Simeon obtained their heritage within it.
The third lot fell to the Zebulunites by their clans. The boundary of their heritage was at Sarid. Their boundary went up west and through Mareal, reaching Dabbesheth and the valley near Jokneam. From Sarid eastward it ran to the district of Chisloth-tabor, on to Daberath, and to Japhia. From there it continued eastward to Gath-hepher and to Eth-kazin, extended to Rimmon, and turned to Neah. Skirting north of Hannathon, the boundary ended at the valley of Iphtahel. Thus, with Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem, there were 12 cities and their villages. This was the heritage of the Zebulunites by their clans, these cities and their villages.
The fourth lot fell to Issachar. The territory of the Issacharites by their clans included.
The boundary reached Tabor, Shahazumah and Beth-shemesh, ending at Jordan: 16 cities and their villages. This was the heritage of the Issachar by their clans, these towns and their villages.
The fifth lot fell to the Asherites by their clans. Their territory included.
The boundary reached Carmel on the west. In the other direction, it ran eastward of Beth-dagon, to Zebulun and Iphtahel valley; then north of Beth-emek and Neiel. It extended northward to Cabul, Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, near Greater Sidon. Then the boundary turned back to Ramah and to the fortress city of Tyre; from there it cut back to Hosah and ended at the sea. There were 22 towns and their villages. This was the heritage of the tribe of Asher by their clans, these towns and their villages.
The sixth lot fell to the Naphtalites. Their boundary extended from Heleph, from the woods at Zaanannim to Lakkum, and ended at Jordan. In the opposite direction, westerly, it ran through Aznoth-tabor and from there extended to Hukkok; it reached Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and the Jordan on the east.
There were 19 fortified cities, towns and their villages. This was the heritage of the tribe of Naphtal by their clans.
The seventh lot fell to the Danites by their clans. Their heritage was the territory of these 17 towns west to the coast at Joppa.
The territory of Dan was too small for them so they attacked Leshem which they captured and slaughtered. Once they had taken possession of Leshem, they dwelt there and named it after their ancestor Dan. This was the heritage of the tribe of the Danites by their clans.
When the last of them had received the portions of the land they were to inherit, the Israelites assigned a heritage in their midst to Joshua, son of Nun. According to the command of Yahva, they gave him the city he requested, Timnah-serah in the mountain region of Ephraim. He rebuilt the city and made it his home.
These are the heritages which Eleazar the priest, Joshua and the heads of families in the tribes of the Israelites apportioned by lot in the presence of Yahva, at the door of the tent of meeting in Shiloh. Thus they finished dividing the land.
Yahva said to Joshua; "Tell the Israelites to designate for themselves the cities of refuge where anyone guilty of inadvertent and unintentional homicide may flee for asylum from the blood avenger. Standing at the entrance of the city gate, he may plead his case before the elders of the city, who must receive him and assign a place to live among them. Though the blood avenger pursues him, they shall not deliver to him the one who killed a neighbor unintentionally, when there had been no hatred previously. Once he has stood judgment before the community, he may live in that city until the death of the high priest who is in office at the time. Then the killer may return home to the city from where he originally fled.
They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the mountain region of Naphtali, Shechem in the mountain region of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the mountain region of Judah. Beyond Jordan east of Jericho they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. These are the designated cities to which any Israelite or alien residing among them who had killed a person unintentionally might flee to escape death at the hand of the blood avenger until the killer could appear before the community.
The heads of the Levite families approached Eleazar, Joshua and the heads of families of the other tribes at Shiloh in Canaan saying to them; "Yahva commanded, through Moses, that cities be given us to dwell in, with pasture lands for our livestock." From their own heritage the Israelites gave the Levites the following cities with their pasture lands.
When the first lot among the Levites fell to the clans of the Kohathites, the descendants of Aaron the priest obtained by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, thirteen cities. From the clans of the tribe of Ephraim, from the tribe of Dan, and from the half-tribe of Manasseh, the rest of the Kohathites obtained by lot ten cities. From the clans of the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from the tribe of Naphtali, and from the half-tribe of Manasseh, the Gershonites obtained by lot thirteen cities. From the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun, the clans of the Merarites obtained twelve cities. These cities with their pasture lands the Israelites gave by lot to the Levites, as Yahva had commanded through Moses.
The Judahites and Simeonites gave the following cities assigning them to the descendants of Aaron in the Kohathite clan of the Levites, since the first lot fell to them: Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the mountain region of Judah, with the adjacent pasture lands, although the open country and villages belonging to the city had been given to Caleb, son of Jephunneh, as his holding. Thus to the descendants of Aaron the priest were given nine cities of refuge for homicides. From the tribe of Benjamin they obtained four cities. The pasture lands were included for each city.
These cities, with their pasture lands, belonged to the priestly descendants of Aaron.
The rest of the Kohathite clans among the Levites obtained by lot, from the tribe of Ephraim: four cities; from the tribe of Dan: four cities; and from the half-tribe of Manasseh: two cities. They were assigned the pasture lands for each city. These cities which with their pasture lands belonged to the ten Kohathite clans.
The Gershonite clan of the Levites received from the half-tribe of Manasseh as cities of refuge for homicides Golan in Bashan; and Beth-Astharoth: two cities. From the tribe of Issachar they obtained Kishion, Daberath, Jarmuth, and En-gannim: four cities. From the tribe of Asher; Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob: four cities. From the tribe of Naphtali; Kedesh in Galilee, Hammath, and: three cities. These cities, with their pasture lands, belonged to the Gershonite clans.
Golan in Bashan
Kedesh in Galilee
The Merarite clans, the last of the Levites, received from the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam, Kartah, Dimnah, and Nahalal: four cities. Across Jordan, from the tribe of Reuben, the cities of refuge for homicides, Bezer, Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath: four cities. From the tribe of Gad; Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer: four cities. The cities allotted to the Merarite clans were therefore twelve. Each city with their pasture lands, belonged to the Merarite clans.
Ramoth in Gilead
The total cities within the territory of the Israelites which, with their pasture lands, belonged to the Levites was 48.
Yahva gave Israel the entire land he had promised to their ancestors. Once they had taken possession and dwelt in it, Yahva gave them peace on every side, just as he had promised their ancestors. Not one of their enemies could withstand them. Yahva gave all their enemies to them. No word of the blessing that Yahva had promised to the house of Israel failed; it all came true.
At that time Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said; "You have observed all that Moses commanded you, and have obeyed to me in everything I commanded you. For many years now you have not abandoned your allies, but have taken care to observe the commands of Yahva. Now Yahva has settled your allies as he promised. You may return to your own land which Moses gave you across Jordan. But be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses commanded you: Love Yahva, follow him in all his ways, keep his commandments, hold fast to him, and serve him with your essence and your substance." Joshua then blessed them and sent them away. They went to their heritance.
For half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had assigned land in Bashan; and to the other half Joshua had given a portion along with their allies west of the Jordan. When Joshua sent them away and blessed them, he said; "Now that you are returning to your heritance with great wealth, with abundant livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and with a very large supply of clothing; divide these spoils of your enemies with your allies there." So the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the other Israelites at Shiloh and returned to Gilead, their own land, which they had received by Yahva's command through Moses.
When the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh came to the region of Jordan in Canaan, they built an altar there at Jordan, an impressively large altar. The other Israelites heard the report; "The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the region of the Jordan facing the land of Canaan, across from the Israelites." When the Israelites heard this, they assembled at Shiloh as the entire Israelite community to possibly take military action against them.
The Israelites sent Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead; with ten leaders, each one the head of an ancestral house of the tribes of Israel. When they came to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh, they said to them; "We speak for the whole community of Israel. What act of treachery have you committed against the God of Israel? Today you have rejected Yahva. By building an altar of your own you have rebelled against Yahva. Is the iniquity of Peor not enough? It brought plague to Israel? If you turn away from Yahva and rebel against him, tomorrow he will be angry with all Israel! If you consider the land you now possess unclean, cross Jordan to the land promised by Yahva. The tabernacle of Yahva stands there. Share that with us. Do not rebel against Yahva by building your own altar. Do not involve us in rebellion with an additional altar. When Achan, son of Zerah, violated the ban, did not the wrath fall on the entire community? Though he was only one man, he did not perish alone for his guilt!"
The Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh replied; "Yahva is the God of gods. Yahva knows and Israel shall know: If we have acted out of rebellion or treachery against Yahva, do not try to save us. If we have built an altar of our own to reject Yahva or to sacrifice on it, Yahva himself will exact the penalty. We did it from anxiety that in the future your descendants may say to our descendants; 'What have you to do with Yahva, the God of Israel? For Yahva has placed Jordan as a boundary between us, you Reubenites and Gadites. You have no share in Yahva.' Thus your descendants would prevent ours from revering Yahva. So we thought, 'Let us act for ourselves by building this altar of our own'-not for burnt offerings or sacrifice, but as memorial between us and our descendants, that we have the right to provide for the service of Yahva in his presence with our burnt offerings, sacrifices, and communion sacrifices. In the future your descendants cannot say to ours, 'You have no share in Yahva.' Our thought was that, if in the future they should speak thus to us or to our descendants, we could answer: 'Look at the copy of the altar of Yahva which our ancestors made, not for sacrifices, but to unite us.' Far be it from us to rebel against Yahva or to reject Yahva by building a sacrificial altar in addition to the altar which stands before his tabernacle."
When Phinehas the priest heard what the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the Manassites had to say, he was satisfied. Phinehas said; "Today we know that Yahva is in our midst. Since you have not rebelled against Yahva by an act of treachery, you have delivered the Israelites from the wrath of Yahva."
Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest, and the leaders returned to the Israelites in Canaan and reported to them. The report satisfied the Israelites who blessed God and decided not to take military action against the Reubenites and Gadites nor to ravage the land where they lived.
The Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar its name as a witness among them that Yahva is God.
Many years after Yahva had given the Israelites rest from all their enemies around them, when Joshua was old, he summoned Israel with their elders, leaders, judges and officers. He said to them; "I am advanced in years. You have seen all that Yahva has done for you against all these nations. It has been Yahva who fought for you. I have apportioned among your tribes as their heritage the nations that survive as well as those I destroyed between Jordan and the Great Sea in the west. Yahva will drive them out and dispossess them at your approach. You will take possession of their land as Yahva promised. Be strong and careful to observe everything in the book of the law, never deviating from it or mingling with these nations that survive among you. Do not invoke their gods, swear by them, serve them, or bow to them. Embrace Yahva as you have until now. Yahva has dispossessed great nations; not one has withstood you. One of you puts to flight a thousand, because Yahva fights for you as promised. Take great care to love Yahva. If you ever reject him and join with the remnant of the nations that survive, by intermarrying and intermingling with them, Yahva will no longer dispossess these nations at your approach. Instead they will be a snare and a trap for you, a scourge for your sides and thorns for your eyes, until you perish from this good land.
"Today, as you see, I am going the way of all the earth. So now acknowledge with your whole heart and soul that not one of all the promises Yahva made concerning you has failed. Everyone has come true for you; not one has failed! If you transgress the covenant of Yahva to serve other gods and bow to them, Yahva's anger will flare against you and you will quickly perish from this good land. Just as every promise by Yahva has come true, so will every threat, even to exterminate you from this good land which Yahva has given you."
Joshua summoned all the tribes of Israel to Shechem; elders, leaders, judges, and officers of Israel. When they stood in ranks before Yahva, Joshua addressed all the people; "Yahva, the God of Israel, says; 'In the past your ancestors, until Terah, father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and served other gods. I brought your ancestor Abraham from the region beyond the River and led him through Canaan. I gave him Isaac to made his descendants numerous. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir, while Jacob and his children went to Egypt.
Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and struck Egypt with the plagues and miracles that I did in its midst. Afterward I led your ancestors out of Egypt to the sea. The Egyptians pursued to Sea of Reeds with chariots and warriors. When they cried to Yahva, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians. He brought the sea so that it covered them. You saw what I did to Egypt. After you dwelt a long time in the wilderness, I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of Jordan. They fought against you but I delivered them to you. You possessed of their land while I destroyed them at your approach. Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab, prepared to war against Israel. He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you. I would not listen to Balaam. Instead, he had to bless you so I delivered you from his power. Once you crossed Jordan and came to Jericho, they fought against you but I delivered them also into your power. I sent the hornets ahead of you which drove them-the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites-out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow. I gave you a land you did not till and cities you did not build to dwell in; you ate of vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.'
Fear Yahva and serve him completely and sincerely. Cast out the gods your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve Yahva. If it displease you to serve Yahva, choose today whom you will serve; your ancestors' gods served beyond the River or the Amorites' gods in whose country you dwell. My household and I will serve Yahva." The people answered, "We will never forsake Yahva to serve other gods. Yahva rescued our ancestors from bondage in Egypt. He performed those great miracles and protected us along our journey and among the peoples through whom we passed. At our approach Yahva expelled all the peoples, including the Amorites, who dwelt in the land. We also will serve Yahva for he is our God."
Joshua replied; "It may be difficult to serve Yahva for he is a holy God. He is a passionate God who will not forgive your transgressions. If you forsake Yahva to serve strange gods, he will chastise and destroy you, even after having blessed you."
The people answered Joshua; "No! We will serve Yahva." Joshua then said; "You have sworn against yourselves that you chose to serve Yahva." They replied, "We have sworn!" "Now destroy the foreign gods that are among you and turn your hearts to Yahva." The people promised Joshua; "We will serve Yahva and listen to his voice."
Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and made laws and ordinances for them at Shechem which wrote in the book of the law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the Oak tree that was in the sanctuary of Yahva.
Joshua said to all the people; "This stone is our witness for it has heard the words Yahva spoke to us. It is a witness against you, should you wish to deny your God." Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to their own heritage.
After these events, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of Yahva, died at the age of a hundred and ten. They buried him within the borders of his heritage at Timnath-serah in the mountain region of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. Israel served Yahva during the life of Joshua. Those elders who outlived Joshua knew the work Yahva had done for Israel. The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried in Shechem in the plot of ground Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor, father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of money. This was a heritage of the descendants of Joseph. When Eleazar died, he was buried on the hill which had been given to his son Phinehas in the mountain region of Ephraim.
© Copyright 2015-2017 D E Pauley