The allotment for the tribe of Judah, according to its clans, extended down to the territory of Edom, to the Desert of Zin in the extreme south.
2 Their southern boundary started from the bay at the southern end of the Dead Sea, 3 crossed south of Scorpion Pass, continued on to Zin and went over to the south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it ran past Hezron up to Addar and curved around to Karka. 4 It then passed along to Azmon and joined the Wadi of Egypt, ending at the Mediterranean Sea. This is their southern boundary.
5 The eastern boundary is the Dead Sea as far as the mouth of the Jordan.
The northern boundary started from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan, 6 went up to Beth Hoglah and continued north of Beth Arabah to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. 7 The boundary then went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor and turned north to Gilgal, which faces the Pass of Adummim south of the gorge. It continued along to the waters of En Shemesh and came out at En Rogel. 8 Then it ran up the Valley of Ben Hinnom along the southern slope of the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem). From there it climbed to the top of the hill west of the Hinnom Valley at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. 9 From the hilltop the boundary headed toward the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, came out at the towns of Mount Ephron and went down toward Baalah(that is, Kiriath Jearim). 10 Then it curved westward from Baalah to Mount Seir, ran along the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Kesalon), continued down to Beth Shemesh and crossed to Timnah. 11 It went to the northern slope of Ekron, turned toward Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah and reached Jabneel. The boundary ended at the sea.
12 The western boundary is the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
These are the boundaries around the people of Judah by their clans.
13 In accordance with the Lord’s command to him, Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah—Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) 14 From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites—Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, the sons of Anak. 15 From there he marched against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher). 16 And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 17 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.
18 One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?”
19 She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of Judah, according to its clans:
21 The southernmost towns of the tribe of Judah in the Negev toward the boundary of Edom were:
Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet, 28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iyim, Ezem,30 Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon—a total of twenty-nine towns and their villages.
33 In the western foothills:
Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Sokoh,Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim)—fourteen towns and their villages.
37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad, 38 Dilean, Mizpah, Joktheel, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Kabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah and Makkedah—sixteen towns and their villages.
42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Akzib and Mareshah—nine towns and their villages.
45 Ekron, with its surrounding settlements and villages; 46 west of Ekron, all that were in the vicinity of Ashdod, together with their villages; 47 Ashdod, its surrounding settlements and villages; and Gaza, its settlements and villages, as far as the Wadi of Egypt and the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
48 In the hill country:
Shamir, Jattir, Sokoh, 49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim,51 Goshen, Holon and Giloh—eleven towns and their villages.
52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) and Zior—nine towns and their villages.
55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah and Timnah—ten towns and their villages.
58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth Anoth and Eltekon—six towns and their villages.
60 Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim) and Rabbah—two towns and their villages.
61 In the wilderness:
Beth Arabah, Middin, Sekakah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt and En Gedi—six towns and their villages.
63 Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.
A map of the approximate land each tribe was allotted:
The 12 tribes of Israel were founded from the 12 sons of Jacob, who was named Israel by God. His grandfather was Abraham, to whom the blessings were given that some day Abraham’s descendants would inherit the land God would show him. This dividing of the land is the fulfillment of that part of the promise. The second part of the promise was that all people on earth would be blessed through him. So Abraham passed on these blessings to his son Isaac. Isaac then gave the blessing to his son Jacob.
When it came time to pass on the blessing, Jacob gave it to his son Judah, even though he was not the first born:
“The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
On the surface, the blessing is for generation after generation of kings, which was true, but underneath lies the greatest promise: a King will come that will never pass on the scepter. Undoubtedly this is a prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who now is praised and will come again, when nations will bow down to Him. Only God knows why Judah was the heir to that promise, and not the firstborn or even Joseph who became a ruler in Egypt. In confirmation of these promises the first drawing and lot goes to the tribe of Judah. There are no coincidences here, only God, doing His work.
There is a special mention to Caleb, who belonged to the tribe of Judah, to receive his promised inheritance (discussed in chapter 14). Caleb collects his inheritance, but he must first drive out the people of the place, called Hebron. What is most amazing about this feat of driving out the people is that these are the very same inhabitants that the entire Israelite community complained about not wanting to fight for fear of losing. Only Caleb was willing to fight for the land, and now, he is able to take it.
10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
– Psalm 33
- Is there a promise or principle to remember?
God is totally in control. He has planned from before the foundations of the earth what will take place, and who will be doing what.
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:11-14
- Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?
Joshua obeyed God and gave Caleb his share of the land for his obedience to God and Israel. Again I see Caleb as the example here, because he whole heartedly believed that God would not say one thing and do another. When God says something, He means it. He does not change His mind. He cannot lie, because He is all good. When you hear a promise from God, what is your reaction? Do you act upon it, accepting that what He says is truth? We must always remember that whatever God says will not conflict with what He has already revealed in scripture. God cannot contradict Himself.
- Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?
When you read through passages of scripture, are you looking for attributes of God, or are you looking for solutions to your problem? Yes the Bible is full of practical applications, but it is not a self-help book. The Bible is the true story of God, and His mercy to mankind. It is the story of how we fell, and how Christ redeemed us. When we read the scripture, we must not try to find ourselves.. we are not there…but God is. His attributes, attitudes, decisions, and love are on display for us so we will know how to live for Him.
- Is there a sin being revealed?
There are many times when I read my Bible looking for answers to my particular situation. Instead the Bible calls us to look for God. Just as we were saved by grace, we must now live by grace. In all that we do we must look to the Father for assurance that we are following & accepting His will.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:1-10
- Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?
Lord create in me a pure heart. Make my heart chase after yours. I desire nothing more than to be with you, doing as you will, for your glory. Show me, Lord what that looks like. Reveal through your word your great mercies to me, and show to me by your example how to live for you, and you alone.