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Joshua 17


Joshua 17 continues the discussion of the land allotments for the descendants of Joseph, focusing specifically on the tribe of Manasseh. This chapter highlights the challenges faced by Manasseh in conquering their territory and the distribution of land among their clans. Key aspects include:
Allotment to Manasseh’s Clans: The chapter begins with the allotment of land to the families of Manasseh, the firstborn of Joseph. This includes Machir, the firstborn of Manasseh and a warrior who received Gilead and Bashan.
Land for the Remaining Manasseh Families: The rest of Manasseh’s descendants (according to their clans) receive land in Canaan. The boundaries of their territory are described, extending to Micmethath on the north side and turning eastward to Taanath Shiloh.
Presence of Canaanites: Like Ephraim, Manasseh did not drive out the Canaanites living in Beth Shean, Dor, Ibleam, and Megiddo. The Canaanites persist in living in that land but are subjected to forced labor.
Inheritance Rights for Daughters: An important aspect of this chapter is the case of Zelophehad’s daughters. As Zelophehad had no sons, his daughters approach Joshua to claim their inheritance. They are granted land among their father’s brothers, upholding the directive given by Moses.
Complaints of the Joseph Tribes: The people of Joseph complain that their allotted territory is too small. Joshua challenges them to clear forested areas in the hill country of Ephraim and to drive out the Canaanites in the valleys, who have iron chariots.
Struggle for Complete Conquest: The chapter reflects the struggle of Manasseh (and Ephraim) to fully conquer and claim their territories, especially against the well-equipped Canaanite inhabitants.
Joshua 17 presents a nuanced view of the Israelite settlement in Canaan, revealing the challenges faced by the tribes in establishing their territories. The episode of Zelophehad’s daughters is particularly significant, as it addresses issues of inheritance rights and the status of women in Israelite society. The chapter underscores the ongoing process of the tribes of Israel taking possession of the land, fulfilling God's promise to their ancestors.

Joshua 17

1  There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan.

2  There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families.

3  But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

4  And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father.

5  And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan;

6  Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh's sons had the land of Gilead.

7  And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah.

8  Now Manasseh had the land of Tappuah: but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim;

9  And the coast descended unto the river Kanah, southward of the river: these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh: the coast of Manasseh also was on the north side of the river, and the outgoings of it were at the sea:

10  Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east.

11  And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries.

12  Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.

13  Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.

14  And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?

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15  And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.
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16  And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.

17  And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only:

18  But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.

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End of Joshua 17

1 Year Plan:  Apr 6 - Josh 16, Josh 17,  Luk 24

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