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15 The land allotted to the tribe of Judah by its clans reached to the border of Edom, to the wilderness of Zin in the Negev far to the south.[a] Their southern border started at the southern tip of the Salt Sea,[b] extended[c] south of the Scorpion Ascent,[d] crossed to Zin, went up from the south to Kadesh Barnea, crossed to Hezron, went up to Addar, and turned toward Karka. It then crossed to Azmon, extended to the Stream of Egypt,[e] and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. This was their[f] southern border.

The eastern border was the Salt Sea to the mouth[g] of the Jordan River.[h]

The northern border started north of the Salt Sea at the mouth of the Jordan,[i] went up to Beth Hoglah, crossed north of Beth Arabah, and went up to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. It then went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, turning northward to Gilgal (which is opposite the Pass[j] of Adummim south of the valley), crossed to the waters of En Shemesh and extended to En Rogel. It then went up the Valley of Ben Hinnom to the slope of the Jebusites on the south (that is, Jerusalem), going up to the top of the hill opposite the Valley of Ben Hinnom to the west, which is at the end of the Valley of the Rephaites to the north. It then went from the top of the hill to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, extended to the cities of Mount Ephron, and went to Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim). 10 It then turned from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, crossed to the slope of Mount Jearim on the north (that is Kesalon), descended to Beth Shemesh, and crossed to Timnah. 11 It then extended to the slope of Ekron to the north, went toward Shikkeron, crossed to Mount Baalah, extended to Jabneel, and ended at the sea.

12 The western border was the Mediterranean Sea.[k] These were the borders of the tribe of Judah and its clans.[l]

13 Caleb son of Jephunneh was assigned Kiriath Arba (that is Hebron) within the tribe of Judah, according to the Lord’s instructions to Joshua. (Arba was the father of Anak.)[m] 14 Caleb drove out[n] from there three Anakites—Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, descendants of Anak. 15 From there he attacked the people of Debir.[o] (Debir used to be called Kiriath Sepher.) 16 Caleb said, “To the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher I will give my daughter Achsah as a wife.” 17 When Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother,[p] captured it, Caleb[q] gave Achsah his daughter to him as a wife.

18 One time Achsah[r] came and charmed her father[s] so that she could ask him for some land. When she got down from her donkey, Caleb said to her, “What would you like?” 19 She answered, “Please give me a special present.[t] Since you have given me land in the Negev, now give me springs of water.” So he gave her both the upper and lower springs.

20 This is the land assigned to the tribe of Judah by its clans:[u] 21 These cities were located at the southern extremity of Judah’s tribal land near the border of Edom:[v] 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, Heshbon, Beth Pelet, 28 Hazar Shual, Beer Sheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon—a total of twenty-nine cities and their towns.[w]

33 These cities were[x] in the foothills:[y] Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim, and Gederah (or Gederothaim)—a total of fourteen cities and their towns.

37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad, 38 Dilean, Mizpah, Joktheel, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Cabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah—a total of sixteen cities and their towns.

42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah—a total of nine cities and their towns.

45 Ekron and its surrounding towns[z] and settlements; 46 from Ekron westward, all those in the vicinity of Ashdod and their towns; 47 Ashdod with its surrounding towns and settlements, and Gaza with its surrounding towns and settlements, as far as the Stream of Egypt[aa] and the border at the Mediterranean Sea.[ab]

48 These cities were[ac] in the hill country: Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, 49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh—a total of eleven cities and their towns.

52 Arab, Dumah,[ad] Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior—a total of nine cities and their towns.

55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah—a total of ten cities and their towns.

58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth Anoth, and Eltekon—a total of six cities and their towns.

60 Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim) and Rabbah—a total of two cities and their towns.

61 These cities were[ae] in the wilderness: Beth Arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En Gedi—a total of six cities and their towns.

63 The men of Judah were unable to conquer the Jebusites living in Jerusalem. The Jebusites live with the people of Judah in Jerusalem to this very day.[af]


  1. Joshua 15:1 tn Heb “The lot was to the tribe of the sons of Judah by their clans to the border of Edom, the wilderness of Zin toward the south, southward.”
  2. Joshua 15:2 tn Heb “Their southern border was from the end of the Salt Sea, from the tongue that faces to the south.”sn The Salt Sea is another name for the Dead Sea (also in v. 5).
  3. Joshua 15:3 tn Heb “went out.”
  4. Joshua 15:3 tn Or “the Ascent of Akrabbim” (עַקְרַבִּים [ʿaqrabbim] means “scorpions” in Hebrew).
  5. Joshua 15:4 tn Traditionally “the Brook of Egypt,” although a number of recent translations have “the Wadi of Egypt” (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV).
  6. Joshua 15:4 tn The translation follows the LXX at this point. The MT reads, “This will be your southern border.”
  7. Joshua 15:5 tn Heb “end.”
  8. Joshua 15:5 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied for clarity.
  9. Joshua 15:5 tn Heb “the border on the northern side was from the tongue of the sea, from the end of the Jordan.”
  10. Joshua 15:7 tn Or “ascent.”
  11. Joshua 15:12 tn Heb “the Great Sea,” the typical designation for the Mediterranean Sea.
  12. Joshua 15:12 tn Heb “this was the border of the sons of Judah round about, by their clans.”
  13. Joshua 15:13 tn Heb “To Caleb son of Jephunneh he gave a portion in the midst of the sons of Judah according to the mouth [i.e., command] of the Lord to Joshua, Kiriath Arba (the father of Anak), it is Hebron.”
  14. Joshua 15:14 tn Or “dispossessed.”
  15. Joshua 15:15 tn Heb “he went up against the inhabitants of Debir.”
  16. Joshua 15:17 tn “Caleb’s brother” may refer either to Othniel or to Kenaz. If Kenaz was the brother of Caleb, Othniel is Caleb’s nephew.
  17. Joshua 15:17 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Caleb) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  18. Joshua 15:18 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Achsah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  19. Joshua 15:18 tn Heb “him.” The referent of the pronoun could be Othniel, in which case the translation would be “she incited him [Othniel] to ask her father for a field.” This is problematic, however, for Achsah, not Othniel, makes the request in v. 19. The LXX has “he [Othniel] urged her to ask her father for a field.” This appears to be an attempt to reconcile the apparent inconsistency and probably does not reflect the original text. If Caleb is understood as the referent of the pronoun, the problem disappears. For a fuller discussion of the issue, see P. G. Mosca, “Who Seduced Whom? A Note on Joshua 15:18//Judges 1:14, ” CBQ 46 (1984): 18-22. This incident is also recorded in Judg 1:14.
  20. Joshua 15:19 tn Elsewhere this Hebrew word (בְּרָכָה, berakhah) is often translated “blessing,” but here it refers to a gift (as in Gen 33:11; 1 Sam 25:27; 30:26; 2 Kgs 5:15).
  21. Joshua 15:20 tn Heb “This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Judah by their clans.”
  22. Joshua 15:21 tn Heb “and the cities were at the end of the tribe of the sons of Judah, at the border of Edom, to the south.”
  23. Joshua 15:32 tn The total number of names in the list is thirty-six, not twenty-nine. Perhaps (1) some of the names are alternatives (though the text appears to delineate clearly such alternative names here and elsewhere, see vv. 8, 9, 10, 13, 25b) or (2), more likely, later scribes added to a list originally numbering twenty-nine and failed to harmonize the concluding summary statement with the expanded list.
  24. Joshua 15:33 tn The words “these cities were” have been supplied for English stylistic reasons.
  25. Joshua 15:33 tn The foothills (שְׁפֵלָה, shephelah) are the region between the Judean hill country and the Mediterranean coastal plain.
  26. Joshua 15:45 tn Heb “daughters.”
  27. Joshua 15:47 tn See the note on this place name in 15:4.
  28. Joshua 15:47 tn Heb “the Great Sea,” the typical designation for the Mediterranean Sea.
  29. Joshua 15:48 tn The words “These cities were” have been supplied in the translation for English stylistic reasons.
  30. Joshua 15:52 tc Some Hebrew mss and some mss of the LXX read “Rumah” in place of “Dumah.”
  31. Joshua 15:61 tn The words “These cities were” have been supplied for English stylistic reasons.
  32. Joshua 15:63 sn The statement to this very day reflects the perspective of the author, who must have written prior to David’s conquest of the Jebusites (see 2 Sam 5:6-7).

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