Then the entire congregation of the People of Israel got together at Shiloh. They put up the Tent of Meeting.
but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had yet to receive their inheritance.
Joshua addressed the People of Israel: "How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you?
Pick three men from each tribe so I can commission them. They will survey and map the land, showing the inheritance due each tribe, and report back to me.
They will divide it into seven parts. Judah will stay in its territory in the south and the people of Joseph will keep to their place in the north.
"You are responsible for preparing a survey map showing seven portions. Then bring it to me so that I can cast lots for you here in the presence of our God.
"Only the Levites get no portion among you because the priesthood of God is their inheritance. And Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh already have their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan, given to them by Moses the servant of God."
So the men set out. As they went out to survey the land, Joshua charged them: "Go. Survey the land and map it. Then come back to me and I will cast lots for you here at Shiloh in the presence of God."
So off the men went. They covered the ground and mapped the country by towns in a scroll. Then they reported back to Joshua at the camp at Shiloh.
Joshua cast the lots for them at Shiloh in the presence of God. That's where Joshua divided up the land to the People of Israel, according to their tribal divisions.
The first lot turned up for the tribe of Benjamin with its clans. The border of the allotment went between the peoples of Judah and Joseph.
The northern border began at the Jordan, then went up to the ridge north of Jericho, ascending west into the hill country into the wilderness of Beth Aven.
From there the border went around to Luz, to its southern ridge (that is, Bethel), and then down from Ataroth Addar to the mountain to the south of Lower Beth Horon.
There the border took a turn on the west side and swung south from the mountain to the south of Beth Horon and ended at Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim), a town of the people of Judah. This was the west side.
The southern border began at the edge of Kiriath Jearim on the west, then ran west until it reached the spring, the Waters of Nephtoah.
It then descended to the foot of the mountain opposite the Valley of Ben Hinnom (which flanks the Valley of Rephaim to the north), descended to the Hinnom Valley, just south of the Jebusite ridge, and went on to En Rogel.
From there it curved north to En Shemesh and Geliloth, opposite the Red Pass (Adummim), down to the Stone of Bohan the son of Reuben,
continued toward the north flank of Beth Arabah, then plunged to the Arabah.
It then followed the slope of Beth Hoglah north and came out at the northern bay of the Salt Sea - the south end of the Jordan. This was the southern border.
The east border was formed by the Jordan. This was the inheritance of the people of Benjamin for their clans, marked by these borders on all sides.
The cities of the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, were: Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz,
Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel,
Avvim, Parah, Ophrah,
Kephar Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba - twelve towns with their villages.
Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth,
Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah,
Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah,
Zelah, Haeleph, the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath Jearim - fourteen cities with their villages. This was the inheritance for Benjamin, according to its clans.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)