Map of the Twelve Tribes of Israel: 1400 BC
Joshua Divides the Land for the Twelve Tribes of Israel
The boundaries of the 12 sons of Jacob.
The six City-state empires of the Amorites and Philistines
A. Here is another satellite image map of the division of the twelve tribes of Joshua in 1399 BC
(click on map for high resolution)
B. The precision of this map of boundaries is probably the most accurate available of any map of its kind.
1. The reason is that we have used the latest satellite technology and GPS tagging to not only create the map but to place the cities and locations.
2. Further, being an archeologist, great care was taken I locating cities with their correct archeological excavation site.
3. Finally, each city, geographic feature and boundary was meticulously studied in Joshua chapters 13-22 to create the borders.
C. Territory of Dan:
1. The Tribe of Dan faithlessly abandoned their land west of Jerusalem and migrated north to Laish in about 1340 BC.
2. This small area, located around the headwaters of the Jordan River, became their self chosen land inheritance.
3. They set up a pagan shrine at Dan which was expanded by Jeroboam and ultimately became the cause of the extinction of ten northern tribes in 723 BC.
D. See also Conquest of Joshua map:
1. The conquest took 6 years from 1406 – 1400 BC.
2. In 1399 BC, the first sabbatical year, Joshua divided up the land by lots and moved the tabernacle from Gilgal to Shiloh where it stood as Israel’s first capital city for 305 years from 1399 -1094 BC.
3. This conquest map can be used in conjunction with this map of the borders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel Joshua divides the land 1400 BC.
E. The six city states of the Amorites and Philistines in 1406 BC:
1. Amorite 15 city state Basham empire
a. King Jabin at Hazor
b. Hazor, Madon, Shimron, Achshaph, Dor
c. Joshua 11:1-3,10; Judges 4:2
2. Amorite 60 city states Bashan empire
a. King Og of Bashan at Ashtaroth
b. Deut 3:4; 4:47; Josh 12:4-5; 13:30-31; Neh 9:22;
3. Shechem/Shiloh city state empire
a. Being Hebrew friendly & joined Joshua is confirmed in Amarna Letters below:
b. Shechem: Amarna Letters: EA246, 254, 244, 289
c. Shiloh: Amarna letter: EA288
4. Amorite city state empire
a. King Shihon at Heshbon
b. Deut 4:47; Josh 12:2; 13:27; Neh 9:22;
5. Amorite Pentapolis of 112 city states
a. Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon
b. In hill country (Jerusalem is capital)
c. Josh 10:5
6. Philistine Pentapolis of city states
a. Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, Ekron
b. in coastal plain
c. Archeology of the Philistine pottery has confirmed that Ashkelon was the production center for the monochrome Canaan Philistine pottery, so it was most likely also the capital of the Pentapolis. Ashkelon is also a huge ancient city that has one of two in situ clay brick arched city gates (the other is at Tel Dan).
d. Ex 13:17-18; Deut 2:23; Josh 11:22; 13:2-3; Judges 1:18-19; 3:1-3
F. Text of Joshua 15:1 - 19:41
"Now the lot for the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families reached the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south. Their south border was from the lower end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that turns to the south. Then it proceeded southward to the ascent of Akrabbim and continued to Zin, then went up by the south of Kadesh-barnea and continued to Hezron, and went up to Addar and turned about to Karka. It continued to Azmon and proceeded to the brook of Egypt, and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your south border. The east border was the Salt Sea, as far as the mouth of the Jordan. And the border of the north side was from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan. Then the border went up to Beth-hoglah, and continued on the north of Beth-arabah, and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. The border went up to Debir from the valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south of the valley; and the border continued to the waters of En-shemesh and it ended at En-rogel. Then the border went up the valley of Ben-hinnom to the slope of the Jebusite on the south (that is, Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the mountain which is before the valley of Hinnom to the west, which is at the end of the valley of Rephaim toward the north. From the top of the mountain the border curved to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah and proceeded to the cities of Mount Ephron, then the border curved to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). The border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and continued to the slope of Mount Jearim on the north (that is, Chesalon), and went down to Beth-shemesh and continued through Timnah. The border proceeded to the side of Ekron northward. Then the border curved to Shikkeron and continued to Mount Baalah and proceeded to Jabneel, and the border ended at the sea. The west border was at the Great Sea, even its coastline. This is the border around the sons of Judah according to their families. Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the Lord to Joshua, namely, Kiriath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron). Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. And Caleb said, “The one who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.” Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it; so he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife. It came about that when she came to him, she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she alighted from the donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” Then she said, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families. Now the cities at the extremity of the tribe of the sons of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were Kabzeel and Eder and Jagur, and Kinah and Dimonah and Adadah, and Kedesh and Hazor and Ithnan, Ziph and Telem and Bealoth, and Hazor-hadattah and Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), Amam and Shema and Moladah, and Hazar-gaddah and Heshmon and Beth-pelet, and Hazar-shual and Beersheba and Biziothiah, Baalah and Iim and Ezem, and Eltolad and Chesil and Hormah, and Ziklag and Madmannah and Sansannah, and Lebaoth and Shilhim and Ain and Rimmon; in all, twenty-nine cities with their villages. In the lowland: Eshtaol and Zorah and Ashnah, and Zanoah and En-gannim, Tappuah and Enam, Jarmuth and Adullam, Socoh and Azekah, and Shaaraim and Adithaim and Gederah and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages. Zenan and Hadashah and Migdal-gad, and Dilean and Mizpeh and Joktheel, Lachish and Bozkath and Eglon, and Cabbon and Lahmas and Chitlish, and Gederoth, Beth-dagon and Naamah and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages. Libnah and Ether and Ashan, and Iphtah and Ashnah and Nezib, and Keilah and Achzib and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages. Ekron, with its towns and its villages; from Ekron even to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, with their villages. Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; as far as the brook of Egypt and the Great Sea, even its coastline. In the hill country: Shamir and Jattir and Socoh, and Dannah and Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), and Anab and Eshtemoh and Anim, and Goshen and Holon and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages. Arab and Dumah and Eshan, and Janum and Beth-tappuah and Aphekah, and Humtah and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior; nine cities with their villages. Maon, Carmel and Ziph and Juttah, and Jezreel and Jokdeam and Zanoah, Kain, Gibeah and Timnah; ten cities with their villages. Halhul, Beth-zur and Gedor, and Maarath and Beth-anoth and Eltekon; six cities with their villages. Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah; two cities with their villages. In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin and Secacah, and Nibshan and the City of Salt and Engedi; six cities with their villages. Now as for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out; so the Jebusites live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day. Then the lot for the sons of Joseph went from the Jordan at Jericho to the waters of Jericho on the east into the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel. It went from Bethel to Luz, and continued to the border of the Archites at Ataroth. It went down westward to the territory of the Japhletites, as far as the territory of lower Beth-horon even to Gezer, and it ended at the sea. The sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received their inheritance. Now this was the territory of the sons of Ephraim according to their families: the border of their inheritance eastward was Ataroth-addar, as far as upper Beth-horon. Then the border went westward at Michmethath on the north, and the border turned about eastward to Taanath-shiloh and continued beyond it to the east of Janoah. It went down from Janoah to Ataroth and to Naarah, then reached Jericho and came out at the Jordan. From Tappuah the border continued westward to the brook of Kanah, and it ended at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Ephraim according to their families, together with the cities which were set apart for the sons of Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages. But they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites live in the midst of Ephraim to this day, and they became forced laborers. Now this was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. To Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a man of war. So the lot was made for the rest of the sons of Manasseh according to their families: for the sons of Abiezer and for the sons of Helek and for the sons of Asriel and for the sons of Shechem and for the sons of Hepher and for the sons of Shemida; these were the male descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families. However, Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They came near before Eleazar the priest and before Joshua the son of Nun and before the leaders, saying, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.” So according to the command of the Lord he gave them an inheritance among their father’s brothers. Thus there fell ten portions to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan, because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons. And the land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh ran from Asher to Michmethath which was east of Shechem; then the border went southward to the inhabitants of En-tappuah. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the sons of Ephraim. The border went down to the brook of Kanah, southward of the brook (these cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh), and the border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook and it ended at the sea. The south side belonged to Ephraim and the north side to Manasseh, and the sea was their border; and they reached to Asher on the north and to Issachar on the east. In Issachar and in Asher, Manasseh had Beth-shean and its towns and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of En-dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns, the third is Napheth. But the sons of Manasseh could not take possession of these cities, because the Canaanites persisted in living in that land. It came about when the sons of Israel became strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely. Then the sons of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me only one lot and one portion for an inheritance, since I am a numerous people whom the Lord has thus far blessed?” Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” The sons of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the valley land have chariots of iron, both those who are in Beth-shean and its towns and those who are in the valley of Jezreel.” Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong.” Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them. There remained among the sons of Israel seven tribes who had not divided their inheritance. So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you? “Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them, and that they may arise and walk through the land and write a description of it according to their inheritance; then they shall return to me. “They shall divide it into seven portions; Judah shall stay in its territory on the south, and the house of Joseph shall stay in their territory on the north. “You shall describe the land in seven divisions, and bring the description here to me. I will cast lots for you here before the Lord our God. “For the Levites have no portion among you, because the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance. Gad and Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh also have received their inheritance eastward beyond the Jordan, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave them.” Then the men arose and went, and Joshua commanded those who went to describe the land, saying, “Go and walk through the land and describe it, and return to me; then I will cast lots for you here before the Lord in Shiloh.” So the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven divisions in a book; and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh. And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord, and there Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions. Now the lot of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin came up according to their families, and the territory of their lot lay between the sons of Judah and the sons of Joseph. Their border on the north side was from the Jordan, then the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up through the hill country westward, and it ended at the wilderness of Beth-aven. From there the border continued to Luz, to the side of Luz (that is, Bethel) southward; and the border went down to Ataroth-addar, near the hill which lies on the south of lower Beth-horon. The border extended from there and turned round on the west side southward, from the hill which lies before Beth-horon southward; and it ended at Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a city of the sons of Judah. This was the west side. Then the south side was from the edge of Kiriath-jearim, and the border went westward and went to the fountain of the waters of Nephtoah. The border went down to the edge of the hill which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is in the valley of Rephaim northward; and it went down to the valley of Hinnom, to the slope of the Jebusite southward, and went down to En-rogel. It extended northward and went to En-shemesh and went to Geliloth, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, and it went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. It continued to the side in front of the Arabah northward and went down to the Arabah. The border continued to the side of Beth-hoglah northward; and the border ended at the north bay of the Salt Sea, at the south end of the Jordan. This was the south border. Moreover, the Jordan was its border on the east side. This was the inheritance of the sons of Benjamin, according to their families and according to its borders all around. Now the cities of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho and Beth-hoglah and Emek-keziz, and Beth-arabah and Zemaraim and Bethel, and Avvim and Parah and Ophrah, and Chephar-ammoni and Ophni and Geba; twelve cities with their villages. Gibeon and Ramah and Beeroth, and Mizpeh and Chephirah and Mozah, and Rekem and Irpeel and Taralah, and Zelah, Haeleph and the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, Kiriath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the sons of Benjamin according to their families. Then the second lot fell to Simeon, to the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families, and their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah. So they had as their inheritance Beersheba or Sheba and Moladah, and Hazar-shual and Balah and Ezem, and Eltolad and Bethul and Hormah, and Ziklag and Beth-marcaboth and Hazar-susah, and Beth-lebaoth and Sharuhen; thirteen cities with their villages; Ain, Rimmon and Ether and Ashan; four cities with their villages; and all the villages which were around these cities as far as Baalath-beer, Ramah of the Negev. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families. The inheritance of the sons of Simeon was taken from the portion of the sons of Judah, for the share of the sons of Judah was too large for them; so the sons of Simeon received an inheritance in the midst of Judah’s inheritance. Now the third lot came up for the sons of Zebulun according to their families. And the territory of their inheritance was as far as Sarid. Then their border went up to the west and to Maralah, it then touched Dabbesheth and reached to the brook that is before Jokneam. Then it turned from Sarid to the east toward the sunrise as far as the border of Chisloth-tabor, and it proceeded to Daberath and up to Japhia. From there it continued eastward toward the sunrise to Gath-hepher, to Eth-kazin, and it proceeded to Rimmon which stretches to Neah. The border circled around it on the north to Hannathon, and it ended at the valley of Iphtahel. Included also were Kattah and Nahalal and Shimron and Idalah and Bethlehem; twelve cities with their villages. This was the inheritance of the sons of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages. The fourth lot fell to Issachar, to the sons of Issachar according to their families. Their territory was to Jezreel and included Chesulloth and Shunem, and Hapharaim and Shion and Anaharath, and Rabbith and Kishion and Ebez, and Remeth and En-gannim and En-haddah and Beth-pazzez. The border reached to Tabor and Shahazumah and Beth-shemesh, and their border ended at the Jordan; sixteen cities with their villages. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages. Now the fifth lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families. Their territory was Helkath and Hali and Beten and Achshaph, and Allammelech and Amad and Mishal; and it reached to Carmel on the west and to Shihor-libnath. It turned toward the east to Beth-dagon and reached to Zebulun, and to the valley of Iphtahel northward to Beth-emek and Neiel; then it proceeded on north to Cabul, and Ebron and Rehob and Hammon and Kanah, as far as Great Sidon. The border turned to Ramah and to the fortified city of Tyre; then the border turned to Hosah, and it ended at the sea by the region of Achzib. Included also were Ummah, and Aphek and Rehob; twenty-two cities with their villages. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages. The sixth lot fell to the sons of Naphtali; to the sons of Naphtali according to their families. Their border was from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim and Adami-nekeb and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and it ended at the Jordan. Then the border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor and proceeded from there to Hukkok; and it reached to Zebulun on the south and touched Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan toward the east. The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer and Hammath, Rakkath and Chinnereth, and Adamah and Ramah and Hazor, and Kedesh and Edrei and En-hazor, and Yiron and Migdal-el, Horem and Beth-anath and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages. The seventh lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families. The territory of their inheritance was Zorah and Eshtaol and Ir-shemesh, and Shaalabbin and Aijalon and Ithlah, and Elon and Timnah and Ekron, and Eltekeh and Gibbethon and Baalath, and Jehud and Bene-berak and Gath-rimmon, and Me-jarkon and Rakkon, with the territory over against Joppa. The territory of the sons of Dan proceeded beyond them; for the sons of Dan went up and fought with Leshem and captured it. Then they struck it with the edge of the sword and possessed it and settled in it; and they called Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their father. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages. When they finished apportioning the land for inheritance by its borders, the sons of Israel gave an inheritance in their midst to Joshua the son of Nun. In accordance with the command of the Lord they gave him the city for which he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built the city and settled in it. These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel distributed by lot in Shiloh before the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land." (Joshua 15–19)
By Steve Rudd. Contact author with comments or questions.