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Israel was divided into twelve tribes according to the twelve sons of Jacob (Genesis 35:22-26). In the division of Canaan, the tribe of Levi received no allotment of its own but was given cities within all the other tribes (Numbers 18:24; Numbers 35:1-8; see LEVITE). Joseph, by contrast, received two tribal allotments, one for each of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. This double portion was the inheritance of the firstborn, an inheritance that Joseph received instead of the eldest son, Reuben (Genesis 48:13-20; Genesis 49:22-26; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Tribes'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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