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The Borders of Judah

15 This was the allotment for the tribe of the descendants of Judah according to their clans. It extended south to the border with Edom and through the Negev to the Wilderness of Zin in the extreme south.

Their border on the south started from the south end of the Dead Sea,[a] from the bay[b] that faces south.

It goes south from the Ascent of Akrabbim and crosses over to Zin and ascends from south of Kadesh Barnea.

Then it crosses over to Hezron and ascends to Adar and curves around to Karka.

Then it crosses over to Azmon and goes out to the Stream of Egypt.[c]

The border ends at the Mediterranean Sea.

This is your southern border.

The border on the east is the Dead Sea,[d] up to the mouth of the Jordan.

The border on the north side starts from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan.

The border ascends to Beth Hoglah and crosses over north of Beth Arabah.

Then the border ascends to the Stone of Bohan, the son of Reuben.

Then the border ascends to Debir from the Valley of Achor and turns north toward Gilgal, which is opposite the Ascent of Adummim, which is south of the streambed.

Then the border crosses over to the waters of En Shemesh, ending at En Rogel.

Then the border ascends through the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the slope of the Jebusites on the south side of Jerusalem.

Then the border ascends to the top of the mountain that is across the Valley of Hinnom on the west side, where Hinnom meets the north end of the Valley of Rephaim.

Then the border bends from the top of the mountain to the spring of the Waters of Nephtoah and goes out to the cities of Mount Ephron.

Then the border bends toward Baalah—that is, Kiriath Jearim.

10 The border curves around from Baalah westward to Mount Seir and crosses over to the slope of Mount Jearim from the north—that is, Kesalon—and descends to Beth Shemesh, then crosses over to Timnah.

11 The border goes out to the slope of Ekron, on the north.

Then the border bends to Shikkeron and crosses over Mount Baalah and goes out to Jabne’el, and the border ends at the sea.

12 The border on the west—the Mediterranean Sea[e] is the border.

This is the border on all sides for the descendants of Judah according to their clans.

An Inheritance for Caleb

13 To Caleb son of Jephunneh, Joshua gave a portion among the people of Judah, in keeping with the word of the Lord to Joshua, namely, the city of Kiriath Arba (Arba was the father of Anak). Kiriath Arba is now called Hebron. 14 Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir was formerly Kiriath Sepher.

16 Caleb said, “If anyone attacks Kiriath Sepher and captures it, I will give my daughter Aksah to him as his wife.” 17 Othniel son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb,[f] captured Kiriath Sepher, and Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him as his wife.

18 When she came to Othniel, she pressured him to ask her father for some pastureland.[g] As she dismounted from the donkey, Caleb said to her, “What do you want?”

19 She said, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me land in the dry Negev, you should also give me springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

The Cities in Judah

20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Judah according to their clans.

21 The cities at the southern edge of the tribe of the people of Judah along the border with Edom in the Negev are:

Kabze’el, 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—twenty-nine cities and their villages.[h]

33 In the Shephelah the cities are:

Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Sokoh, Azekah, 36 Sha’araim, Adithaim, Gederah, and Gederothaim[i]—fourteen cities and their villages.

37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad, 38 Dilan, Mizpah, Jokthe’el, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Kabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Na’amah, and Makkedah—sixteen cities and their villages.

42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Akzib, and Mareshah—nine cities and their villages.

45 Ekron and its surrounding towns[j] and its villages.

46 West of Ekron, all the towns that are near Ashdod and their villages.

47 Also Ashdod with its surrounding towns and its villages.

Gaza with its surrounding towns and its villages, as far as the Stream of Egypt, with the Mediterranean Sea as the boundary.

48 In the hill country the cities were:

Shamir, Jattir, Sokoh, 49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh—eleven cities and their villages.

52 Arab, Rumah, Eshan, 53 Janum, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior—nine cities and their villages.

55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezre’el, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah—ten cities and their villages.

58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor, 59 Ma’arath, Beth Anoth, and Eltekon—six cities and their villages.

⎣Tekoa, Ephrathah (that is, Bethlehem), Peor, Etam, Kolan, Tatem, Shoresh, Kerem, Gallim, Bether and Manoko—eleven cities and their villages.⎦ [k]

60 Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim) and Rabbah—two cities and their villages.

61 In the wilderness:

Beth Arabah, Middin, Sekakah, 62 Nibshan, Ir Melah, and En Gedi—six cities and their villages.

63 But as for the Jebusites, who were the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah were not able to drive them out. The Jebusites have lived with the people of Judah in Jerusalem to this day.


  1. Joshua 15:2 Hebrew Salt Sea
  2. Joshua 15:2 The Hebrew word lashon, translated bay in this verse and in verse 5, means tongue. Tongue might plausibly refer to a tongue-shaped bay, but there are no noticeable bays or peninsulas on the north and south shores of the sea, so the significance of the term in these verses is uncertain. It may simply mean shore or end.
  3. Joshua 15:4 This is not the Nile but one of the seasonal streams in the wilderness, perhaps at Arish. It is also called the Wadi of Egypt or the Brook of Egypt.
  4. Joshua 15:5 Hebrew Salt Sea
  5. Joshua 15:12 Hebrew the Great Sea
  6. Joshua 15:17 It is not certain whether Othniel or Kenaz was Caleb’s brother. It seems most likely that it was Kenaz.
  7. Joshua 15:18 As the text is translated here, Aksah urged her husband to ask her father for the land, but he apparently did not do so, which would account for her making the request herself. See Judges 1:14-15.
  8. Joshua 15:32 There are more than twenty-nine cities listed. In fact, there are thirty-six. Some of the totals given in the lists do not correspond with the number of locations named. Many of the city names also have different spellings in different texts. The footnotes do not cite every variant spelling.
  9. Joshua 15:36 There are fourteen cities without Gederothaim, so it may be an alternate name for Gederah.
  10. Joshua 15:45 Literally her daughters. Here the daughters are the small towns in the territory of the main city.
  11. Joshua 15:59 This list of eleven cities is not present in the Hebrew text, but it is in the Greek Old Testament. It seems unlikely that a list of the cities of Judah would not include Bethlehem.

Allotment for Judah(A)

15 The allotment for the tribe of Judah, according to its clans, extended down to the territory of Edom,(B) to the Desert of Zin(C) in the extreme south.(D)

Their southern boundary started from the bay at the southern end of the Dead Sea,(E) crossed south of Scorpion Pass,(F) continued on to Zin and went over to the south of Kadesh Barnea.(G) Then it ran past Hezron up to Addar and curved around to Karka. It then passed along to Azmon(H) and joined the Wadi of Egypt,(I) ending at the Mediterranean Sea. This is their[a] southern boundary.

The eastern boundary(J) is the Dead Sea(K) as far as the mouth of the Jordan.

The northern boundary(L) started from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan, went up to Beth Hoglah(M) and continued north of Beth Arabah(N) to the Stone of Bohan(O) son of Reuben. The boundary then went up to Debir(P) from the Valley of Achor(Q) and turned north to Gilgal,(R) which faces the Pass of Adummim south of the gorge. It continued along to the waters of En Shemesh(S) and came out at En Rogel.(T) Then it ran up the Valley of Ben Hinnom(U) along the southern slope of the Jebusite(V) city (that is, Jerusalem(W)). From there it climbed to the top of the hill west of the Hinnom Valley(X) at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim.(Y) From the hilltop the boundary headed toward the spring of the waters of Nephtoah,(Z) came out at the towns of Mount Ephron and went down toward Baalah(AA) (that is, Kiriath Jearim).(AB) 10 Then it curved westward from Baalah(AC) to Mount Seir,(AD) ran along the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Kesalon), continued down to Beth Shemesh(AE) and crossed to Timnah.(AF) 11 It went to the northern slope of Ekron,(AG) turned toward Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah(AH) and reached Jabneel.(AI) The boundary ended at the sea.

12 The western boundary is the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.(AJ)

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(AK) son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah—Kiriath Arba(AL), that is, Hebron.(AM) (Arba was the forefather of Anak.)(AN) 14 From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites(AO)—Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai,(AP) the sons of Anak.(AQ) 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(AR) in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 17 Othniel(AS) 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[b] 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,(AT) give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.(AU)

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(AV) toward the boundary of Edom were:

Kabzeel,(AW) Eder,(AX) Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh,(AY) Hazor,(AZ) Ithnan, 24 Ziph,(BA) Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor),(BB) 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah,(BC) 27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet, 28 Hazar Shual,(BD) Beersheba,(BE) Biziothiah, 29 Baalah,(BF) Iyim, Ezem,(BG) 30 Eltolad,(BH) Kesil, Hormah,(BI) 31 Ziklag,(BJ) Madmannah,(BK) Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain(BL) and Rimmon(BM)—a total of twenty-nine towns and their villages.

33 In the western foothills:

Eshtaol,(BN) Zorah,(BO) Ashnah,(BP) 34 Zanoah,(BQ) En Gannim,(BR) Tappuah,(BS) Enam, 35 Jarmuth,(BT) Adullam,(BU) Sokoh,(BV) Azekah,(BW) 36 Shaaraim,(BX) Adithaim and Gederah(BY) (or Gederothaim)[c]—fourteen towns and their villages.

37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad, 38 Dilean, Mizpah,(BZ) Joktheel,(CA) 39 Lachish,(CB) Bozkath,(CC) Eglon,(CD) 40 Kabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish, 41 Gederoth,(CE) Beth Dagon,(CF) Naamah and Makkedah(CG)—sixteen towns and their villages.

42 Libnah,(CH) Ether, Ashan,(CI) 43 Iphtah, Ashnah,(CJ) Nezib, 44 Keilah,(CK) Akzib(CL) and Mareshah(CM)—nine towns and their villages.

45 Ekron,(CN) with its surrounding settlements and villages; 46 west of Ekron, all that were in the vicinity of Ashdod,(CO) together with their villages; 47 Ashdod,(CP) its surrounding settlements and villages; and Gaza, its settlements and villages, as far as the Wadi of Egypt(CQ) and the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.(CR)

48 In the hill country:

Shamir,(CS) Jattir,(CT) Sokoh,(CU) 49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir(CV)), 50 Anab,(CW) Eshtemoh,(CX) Anim, 51 Goshen,(CY) Holon(CZ) and Giloh(DA)—eleven towns and their villages.

52 Arab, Dumah,(DB) Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba(DC) (that is, Hebron) and Zior—nine towns and their villages.

55 Maon,(DD) Carmel,(DE) Ziph,(DF) Juttah,(DG) 56 Jezreel,(DH) Jokdeam, Zanoah,(DI) 57 Kain, Gibeah(DJ) and Timnah(DK)—ten towns and their villages.

58 Halhul, Beth Zur,(DL) Gedor,(DM) 59 Maarath, Beth Anoth and Eltekon—six towns and their villages.[d]

60 Kiriath Baal(DN) (that is, Kiriath Jearim(DO)) and Rabbah(DP)—two towns and their villages.

61 In the wilderness:(DQ)

Beth Arabah,(DR) Middin, Sekakah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt and En Gedi(DS)—six towns and their villages.

63 Judah could not(DT) dislodge the Jebusites(DU), who were living in Jerusalem;(DV) to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.(DW)


  1. Joshua 15:4 Septuagint; Hebrew your
  2. Joshua 15:18 Hebrew and some Septuagint manuscripts; other Septuagint manuscripts (see also note at Judges 1:14) Othniel, he urged her
  3. Joshua 15:36 Or Gederah and Gederothaim
  4. Joshua 15:59 The Septuagint adds another district of eleven towns, including Tekoa and Ephrathah (Bethlehem).

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