Skeptics Annotated Bible A Response

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#17 - What tribe was Aijalon from?

Response by Dave Marr

The skeptics dilemma:

The cities of Aijalon and Gathrimmon were given to Dan.
"And out of the tribe of Dan ... Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs." Jos.21:23-24
The cities of Aijalon and Gathrimmon were given to Ephraim.
"The tribe of Ephraim ... Ajalon with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs." 1 Chr.6:66, 69

Aaaah... As a Danite myself, I am pleased to solve this problem. Simply put, the Tribe of Dan lost their inheritance. Apparently, they left Israel sometime shortly after the reign of King David. 1 Chronicles was written a while after his reign (400-450 B.C. is the best estimate of authorship, whereas David reigned around 1000 B.C.), so the book is accounting for the land allotment during that period.

The omission of the tribe in the passage also silently expresses the dishonor that came upon Dan when they lost their portion of the Promised Land. God forced this to happen because of their wicked idolatrous practices. (see my article Micah's Curse )

In 1 Chronicles, the land belongs to Ephraim because that’s who it was appropriated to after the Tribe of Dan’s departure.