Richard S. Hess, «The Book of Joshua as a Land Grant», Vol. 83 (2002) 493-506
Despite a variety of attempted identifications of the book of Joshua, or portions of it, with other ancient Near Eastern legal documents, the form of the royal land grant remains the closest of those studied in terms of structure and content. In particular, the form of this type of document, as illustrated in the archive of the Middle Bronze Age site of Alalakh, provides an important and useful set of parallels with those found in the sixth book of the Bible. The essay considers the strengths and weaknesses of identifying the book of Joshua in this manner, as well as its implications for the interpretation of the book. In addition, the origin of these documents in the West Semitic world invites consideration of a specific genre or literary type that flourished in those cultures and perhaps provided a link for related documents in the Mesopotamian and Mediterranean worlds.
of Joshua, whose purpose will be noted below in the discussion of lines 19-30. However, these lines may also be compared with Joshua 13-21 insofar as they appear to represent places allotted, at least in part, to Yarimlim.
These towns constitute places acquired and held by different rulers, similar to the town lists of the tribes in Joshua 13–19. Further parallels occur with respect to Joshua 20 and 2111. These chapters contain the towns of refuge and the towns designated for the Levites. The latter are of special interest in two ways. First, the towns are given, each with their "pasture lands" or, more accurately, "their immediate environs; their outlying districts" (Heb. migres]e=hen). This term occurs some fifty-seven times in Joshua 21, designating that each of the towns that the Levites possess also includes this additional area. The same expression occurs in Akkadian in the first line of AT 456, URU i-ma-ar (KI)