Cities and Boundaries
It is necessary to return to the Book of Joshua because much of the latter part of the book describes the distribution of the land among the tribes, first in Transjordan (Josh. 13: 8–33 ) and then to the west of the Jordan (Josh. 14–19 ). Special arrangements are made for cities of refuge (Josh. 20 ) and for cities to be allocated to the Levites (Josh. 21 ). In addition to lists of cities there are details of the boundaries of the various tribal territories. There has been much debate, but no real agreement, as to the origins of these city and boundary lists. What is clear is that such lists existed and that there was a concern as to which territory and which cities belonged to which group. In the broad sweep of the Bible's account of Israel's story, the promises made to the ancestors that they would eventually possess a land in which to dwell are seen as fulfilled by the events described in the Book of Joshua. So the interest is doubtless in part geographical but it is also to a great extent theological.