“And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.
And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, and Sheba, and Moladah, And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem, And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah, And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.” (Joshua 19:1-9)
The surveyors discovered that the Judah had only occupied the northern portion of the land assigned to them, and concluded they didn’t need as much as they had been given. The entire southern portion of Judah’s land was reassigned to the tribe of Simeon. Because it was largely desert, there were far fewer cities, only about seventeen. Simeon actually received about as much land as Judah. Later Simeon was absorbed by Judah. In Genesis 49, Jacob had said Simeon and Levi were not to be allowed to unite because they would incite each other to do wrong. Placing Simeon at the far southern end, with Judah between them and any of the other tribes minimized that risk, although the lands were assigned by lot.
Taking this piece of land from Judah for Simeon made Ephraim and Manasseh’s lands the largest of any of the tribes, further discrediting their claims that they deserved more.
“And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid: And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam; And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia. And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah; And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel: And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.” (Joshua 19:10-16)
Zebulon was selected next and given a small portion about midway between the Mediterranean and the sea of Galilee. The Kishon river formed the boundary between Zebulon and Manasseh on the south. There were twelve cities or former city states in the region.
"And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.
And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem, And Haphraim, and Shihon, and Anaharath, And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez; And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.” (Joshua 19:17-23)
Issachar was located just to the southeast of Zebulon. They were bordered on the south by Manasseh, while the eastern border was formed by the Jordan River. The northern boundary was just south of the sea of Galilee, extending to the border with Zebulon.
Sixteen major cities or city states were located within the boundaries of Issachar. The Bethlehem mentioned here is not the same city as that mentioned in the land of Judah.
“And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.
And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath; And turneth toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand, And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib: Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.” (Joshua 19:24-31)
Asher was originally given the costal area from the northern border of Manasseh near Dor to the Phoenecian cities of Tyre and Zidon or Sidon, located in present day Lebanon. It extended east to about half way between the Mediteranean and the sea of Galilee along the boundaries of Manasseh and Zebulon. There had been twenty tow city states in the area.