Read Joshua 19
Allotment for Simeon
1 The second lot came out for the tribe of Simeon according to its clans. Their inheritance lay within the territory of Judah. 2 It included:
Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah, 3 Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem, 4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5 Ziklag, Beth Markaboth, Hazar Susah, 6 Beth Lebaoth and Sharuhen—thirteen towns and their villages; 7 Ain, Rimmon, Ether and Ashan—four towns and their villages— 8 and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath Beer (Ramah in the Negev). This was the inheritance of the tribe of the Simeonites, according to its clans. 9 The inheritance of the Simeonites was taken from the share of Judah, because Judah’s portion was more than they needed. So the Simeonites received their inheritance within the territory of Judah.
Allotment for Zebulun
10 The third lot came up for Zebulun according to its clans:
The boundary of their inheritance went as far as Sarid. 11 Going west it ran to Maralah, touched Dabbesheth, and extended to the ravine near Jokneam. 12 It turned east from Sarid toward the sunrise to the territory of Kisloth Tabor and went on to Daberath and up to Japhia. 13 Then it continued eastward to Gath Hepherand Eth Kazin; it came out at Rimmon and turned toward Neah. 14 There the boundary went around on the north to Hannathon and ended at the Valley of Iphtah El. 15 Included were Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah and Bethlehem. There were twelve towns and their villages.
16 These towns and their villages were the inheritance of Zebulun, according to its clans.
Allotment for Issachar
17 The fourth lot came out for Issachar according to its clans. 18 Their territory included:
Jezreel, Kesulloth, Shunem, 19 Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21 Remeth, En Gannim, En Haddah and Beth Pazzez. 22 The boundary touched Tabor, Shahazumah and Beth Shemesh, and ended at the Jordan. There were sixteen towns and their villages.
23 These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Issachar, according to its clans.
Allotment for Asher
24 The fifth lot came out for the tribe of Asher according to its clans. 25 Their territory included:
Helkath, Hali, Beten, Akshaph, 26 Allammelek, Amad and Mishal. On the west the boundary touched Carmel and Shihor Libnath. 27 It then turned east toward Beth Dagon, touched Zebulun and the Valley of Iphtah El, and went north to Beth Emek and Neiel, passing Kabulon the left. 28 It went to Abdon, Rehob, Hammon and Kanah, as far as Greater Sidon. 29 The boundary then turned back toward Ramah and went to the fortified city of Tyre, turned toward Hosah and came out at the Mediterranean Sea in the region of Akzib, 30 Ummah, Aphek and Rehob. There were twenty-two towns and their villages.
31 These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Asher, according to its clans.
Allotment for Naphtali32 The sixth lot came out for Naphtali according to its clans:
Allotment for Dan40 The seventh lot came out for the tribe of Dan according to its clans. 41 The territory of their inheritance included:
Allotment for Joshua49 When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, 50 as the Lord had commanded. They gave him the town he asked for—Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he built up the town and settled there. 51 These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel assigned by lot at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And so they finished dividing the land.
In Joshua 19 we see the division and allotment of land for six of the tribes of Israel. It’s hard to imagine what it must have felt like to finally get their land. After years of wandering in the wilderness, God’s people now made their home in the Promised Land and each tribe got its portion. Home, sweet home.
Like any great leader, Joshua went last. In contrast to so many leaders we see around us, whether at work or in politics, Joshua chose to make sure everyone else had their land before he got his own. After finishing the hard work of dividing the land, we see the Israelites give Joshua an inheritance among them. In Chapter 13 we saw that Joshua was now “very old” and now this great leader has been given his own allotment. Amidst a lot of seemingly insignificant details, we see the leader of God’s people finish well and receive a reward for his labor. He doesn’t say his farewell to the people until Joshua 23, but he has run the race and finished the course set before him.
None of us know the number of days before us but we, like Joshua, have an opportunity to finish strong. We get to put the needs of others before our own and serve others as Christ served us (see Philippians 2:3-4, Mark 10:44-45). As always, the Lord proved faithful to fulfill His promises to both Caleb and Joshua. In Numbers 14:30, God told Joshua and Caleb they would enter the Promised Land. In Joshua 14 and 19 we see these two men receive the land and inheritance promised to them.
Be encouraged today by the faithfulness of the Lord to do as He has promised He would do. And take note of the leadership of one of the greatest leaders we read about in the Bible.
- Why do you think we’re given so many seemingly insignificant details about the land allotment?
- When is a time that you’ve received the rewards of your hard work and labor?
- What do you think it felt like for these tribes to finally get their allotment of land, knowing this is where they would work, raise their families, and grow spiritually?
Did You Know?
The land assignments for each tribe was determined by lot (see Joshua 14:2) so any frustrations in their inheritance should have led the tribes to not be jealous but rather to trust the sovereignty of the Lord.