About The Author
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan
Make A Donation
Free Daily Bible Study Library: Download a copy of this entire 6,000+ studies website
Free Sermon Library: Complete 600+ Sermon Index and Download Links
Of all of the tribes of Israel, only Manasseh held land on both sides of The Jordan River (see map below). Coincidentally or not, the Israelite patriarch Manasseh had a native-born connection to that eastern territory. Keeping in mind that nearly all (only Benjamin was born in what became the land of Israel) of the Israelite patriarchs were born in what is today Syria, when Jacob was living with Laban (see Jacob and Laban), the land east of the Jordan was hardly "foreign" to them. Also, long before, Manasseh had a son through a Syrian / Aramean i.e. "The sons of Manasseh: Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she bore Machir the father of Gilead" (1 Chronicles 7:14 RSV) and through him a grandson named Gilead, with the same name as that area east of the Jordan, long before the half-tribe of Manasseh claimed it (although Gilead extended through the areas held by the other two eastern tribes as well, with the north and south boundaries equivalent to the latitudes of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea). Zelophehad's Daughters, who were of Manasseh, also had their inheritance east of the Jordan.
"Then allotment was made to the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the first-born of Joseph. To Machir the first-born of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a man of war. And allotments were made to the rest of the tribe of Manasseh, by their families, Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida; these were the male descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph, by their families.
The western territory of Manasseh was along the border of Ephraim, although in some places (as with some of the other tribes) the tribal lands intertwined.
"The territory of Manasseh reached from Asher to Michmethath, which is east of Shechem; then the boundary goes along southward to the inhabitants of Entappuah. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but the town of Tappuah on the boundary of Manasseh belonged to the sons of Ephraim. Then the boundary went down to the brook Kanah. The cities here, to the south of the brook, among the cities of Manasseh, belong to Ephraim. Then the boundary of Manasseh goes on the north side of the brook and ends at the sea; the land to the south being Ephraim's and that to the north being Manasseh's, with the sea forming its boundary; on the north Asher is reached, and on the east Issachar." (Joshua 17:7-10 RSV)
Joshua Chapter 18
The tribal allotment for Benjamin was in the south, in what would become known as Judea. The Benjamites later became known as "Jews" because of their political choice to be in the southern kingdom of Judah (see Israelite Monarchy - The Division Of Israel and Israelite Monarchy - The Southern Kingdom; also Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite? and Who Was The First Jew?). The northern border of Benjamin was roughly the latitude of Bethel; the southern boundary of Benjamin was "the Jebusite city" that later became more well-known as Jerusalem.
The lot of the tribe of Benjamin according to its families came up, and the territory allotted to it fell between the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Joseph.
Joshua Chapter 19
"The second lot came out for Simeon, for the tribe of Simeon, according to its families; and its inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah." (Joshua 19:1 RSV)
And finally, an allotment for Joshua himself, within his tribal family of Ephraim.
"When they had finished distributing the several territories of the land as inheritances, the people of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun. By command of The Lord they gave him the city which he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim; and he rebuilt the city, and settled in it.
Fact Finder: Where or what is "Zion"?