12 Tribes of Israel
Map of the 12 Tribes of Israel
The 12 tribes of Israel came from the families of Jacob's 12 sons (Genesis 49:28). Jacob later in life became known as Israel. Each tribe was named after one of Jacob's sons, and they each got a specific chunk of land to call their own.
The tribes were spread out across the land of Canaan, which is modern-day Israel and Palestine. On the east side of the Jordan River, you had the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh. These guys got some wonderful pastoral land, which was great for grazing their animals, such as like the sheep and goats and camels.
West of the Jordan River
As for the other nine tribes, they were situated on the west side of the Jordan. From the north to the south, you had the tribes of Asher, Naphtali, Zebulun, Issachar, Manasseh (the other half, to be exact), Ephraim, Benjamin, Dan, and Simeon. These tribes were given land that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea all the way to the Jordan River.
Oh, and let's not forget about the tribe of Levi. They were the ones who were in charge of the Temple and didn't really get a specific piece of land to call their own. Instead, they were spread throughout the communities of the other 12 tribes.
The geography of the 12 tribes of Israel was quite diverse and spread out across a large swath of land of hills and fields and coastland and river land and desert. But, somehow, they managed to come together as a people and make a name for themselves as a powerful nation.
Then they split in two. But that comes later.