Sefer Yehoshua-Chapter 15: The lands inherited by Yehudah

Chapter 15: The lands inherited by Yehudah


1. The border of the land of Yehudah/Judea:

  • Their southern border is the land of Edom [i.e. area south of modern day Be’er Sheva]. Their eastern border is the dead sea. Their western border is the Mediterranean. Their northern border is a line made from the area that the Jordan river empties into the dead sea. [Thus, it is found that the tribe of Yehuda received the entire southern portion of Eretz Yisrael, from east to west.[1]]
  • The exact lines of the northern border: The northern border line turns under Yerushalayim, [and hence it is found that Yerushalayim is not within the border of Yehuda, but rather within the tribe of Binyamin[2]]. The border line then turns northwards after Jerusalem and goes over Kiryat Yearim. It then turns south towards Beit Shemesh.

2. The lands inherited by Kalev Ben Yefuneh:

  • Kalev Ben Yefuneh was given the portion of Kiryat Arba, which is Chevron. The portion lied within the land of Yehuda, and was given to Kalev by Yehoshua based on a directive of G-d.
  • [After the death of Yehoshua[3]] Kalev drove out from that land the three sons of the giants; Sheishaiy, Achiman, and Talmaiy [and finally conquered the city of Chevron which was given to him by Yehoshua as an inheritance].
  • Conquering Kiryat Sefer-Achsa marries Asniel: Kalev went from there to the city of Kiryat Sefer and offered his daughter Achsa in marriage to anyone who would conquer the city for him. Asniel Ben Kenaz, the [maternal[4]] brother of Kalev, took him up on his offer and he was given Achsa as a wife.
  • Achsa receives a portion of land from her father:[5] Achsa tried to persuade her husband Asniel to [allow her to[6]] request a portion of land from her father, [but he refused] and thus she fell from her donkey that she was riding [in front of her father Kalev] and Kaleiv asked her as to what is it that she wants. She asked her father to give her a field of land for the sake of her sustenance, as the current land she was given has no water and is desolate. Kalev acquiesced to her request and gave her lands with wellsprings.[7]

3. The cities of Judea:

  • Yehuda inherited 29 cities in the southern region of his territory and 16 cities in the northern area of his territory, and many other cities in other regions.
  • The following are some of the [more famous] cities inherited by Yehuda [partial list]:
    1. Dimona
    2. Chatzor
    3. Bear Sheva
    4. Ashdod
    5. Aza
    6. Kiryas Yearim
    7. Ein Gedi
  • Jerusalem: The Jebusites were living in Jerusalem and the tribe of Yehuda was unable to conquer them [due to the swear the Jewish people made with Avimelech[8]], and they therefore remained there until this very day.


[1] Rashi 15:4

[2] Rashi 15:8

[3] Rashi 15:14

[4] Rashi 15:17

[5] See Sefer Shoftim chapter 1 where this matter is repeated in detail; See Radak Shoftim 1:15

[6] Metzudos David Shoftim 1:14

[7] See Radak and Metzudos David Yehoshua 15:19

[8] Rashi 15:63

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