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The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of SouthPointe Bible Fellowship in Fayetteville, Georgia

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BibleTrack Summary: April 25
<< Josh 15

For New King James text and comment, click here.

Joshua 16-18    Listen Podcast


Joseph's people are assigned real estate (Joshua 16:1-4)

1 And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel,
2 And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth,
3 And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Bethhoron the nether, and to Gezer: and the goings out thereof are at the sea.
4 So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.

We're talkin' Joseph's descendants here. The Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh receive their property inheritance together as descendants of Joseph. Since the Levites get no property inheritance, Joseph's two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) round out an even 12 tribes receiving an inheritance in Canaan.

Property assignments in Canaan are distributed by the lottery; that's what drawing lots means. For a more complete look at the practice of casting lots, click here. It just so happens that Joseph gets a very early drawing and ends up with a huge allotment for Ephraim and Manasseh - not to mention the other half of Manasseh owning real estate on the east side of Jordan (Numbers 32, see notes).

The twelve sons of Jacob and their land assignments in Canaan
Click here to see the map.
12 sons of Jacob
Listed by age
Land assignment in Canaan
Scripture references indicate where assignments were declared
Reuben Reuben - Numbers 32 (see notes) & restated in Joshua 13:15-23 (see notes)
Simeon Simeon - Joshua 19:1-9 (see notes)
Levi Levi - No inheritance according to Joshua 14:3-4 (see notes) & Joshua 18:7 (see below)
Judah Judah - Joshua 15:1-12 (see notes)
Dan Dan - Joshua 19:40-48 (see notes)
Naphtali Naphtali - Joshua 19:32-39 (see notes)
Gad Gad - Numbers 32 (see notes) & restated in Joshua 13:24-28 (see notes)
Asher Asher - Joshua 19:24-31 (see notes)
Issachar Issachar - Joshua 19:17-23 (see notes)
Zebulun Zebulun - Joshua 19:10-16 (see notes)
Joseph Manasseh - Half in Numbers 32 (see notes) & restated in Joshua 13:29-31 (see notes) east of the Jordan River. The other half in Joshua 17:1-18 (see below) west of the Jordan River.
Ephraim - Joshua 16:5-10 (see below)
Benjamin Benjamin - Joshua 18:11-28 (see below)

Ephraim's inheritance (Joshua 16:5-10)

5 And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Atarothaddar, unto Bethhoron the upper;
6 And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanathshiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah;
7 And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan.
8 The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.
9 And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.
10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.

There was a problem though; those Gezerites in Canaan just wouldn't go. Or...was it really that the Tribe of Israel didn't try that hard to get them to go, preferring instead to have the presence of a little slave labor? So, they served Israel - mentioned again in Judges 1:28-30,33,35 (see notes). However, in Judges 2:1-3 (see notes); Judges 3:5-6 (see notes); Judges 10:6 (see notes) we see that the idolatrous practice of these people was, indeed, a problem for Israel. David failed in his attempt to rid the land of them again centuries later (II Samuel 5:25; I Chronicles 14:16, see notes). Finally, Pharaoh comes up out of Egypt during Solomon's reign and takes Gezer as a wedding present for Solomon, who was married to Pharaoh's daughter (I Kings 9:10-28; II Chronicles 8:1-18 - see notes).

Now it's Manasseh's turn (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?
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.
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.

Now for the other descendants of Joseph, the Tribe of Manasseh gets their allocations. The daughters of Zelophehad are at it again - want their fair share since their family had no male heirs. This issue first came up back with Moses in Numbers 26:33; 27:1-11 (see notes) and again in Numbers 36:1-13 (see notes). The issue was already settled back in Numbers on both occasions. It appears that they just wanted to be persistent in their know...just to make sure that Joshua does right by them. Now look at verses 12-13; more problem Canaanites - they just won't leave! This is mentioned again in Judges 1:27 (see notes). Joshua had defeated the kings of Taanach, Megiddo, and Dor (Joshua 12:21-23, see notes), but a permanent Hebrew occupation did not follow. Verse 13 tells us that later on they did make slaves of them.

But Joseph's people (Tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim) still aren't satisfied (verses 14-18). They want even more land. Joshua suggests his own solution (and God's) to the matter. Head for the hills; conquer it, and it's yours. Note Joshua's sarcastic reply (verse 15) to their assertion in verse 14 that they are a "great people" and thus, need more land. He said, "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." Oh well, I guess they thought it was worth a try to see if Joshua would give them more prime real estate.

Another spy assignment (Joshua 18:1-10)

1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance.
3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?
4 Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me.
5 And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.
6 Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.
8 And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh.
9 And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.
10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.

Since Joshua 4:19 (see notes), the camp of Israel had been at Gilgal. Now Israel sets up the Tabernacle at Shiloh, a secluded spot where it stays for over 200 years, until the ark was captured by the Philistines in the time of Eli the priest (I Samuel 4:1-11, see notes). Joshua demonstrates a little frustration with his people in verse 3, "How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?" So here's an interim solution: Seven tribes have not been given an allotment. Let's let each tribe pick 3 reps (spies) to go into the land, look around and bring back a report. Once done, the lottery continues. Oh, and there's that Levite reference again in verse 7, "...Levites have no part among you." I wonder if they ever got tired of hearing that?

Now it's Benjamin's turn (Joshua 18:11-28)

11 And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.
12 And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven.
13 And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron.
14 And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Bethhoron southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter.
15 And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjathjearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah:
16 And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to Enrogel,
17 And was drawn from the north, and went forth to Enshemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben,
18 And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah:
19 And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast.
20 And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families.
21 Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz,
22 And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel,
23 And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah,
24 And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages:
25 Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth,
26 And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah,
27 And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah,
28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.

It's time to record your deed. Oh...and Benjamin gets Jerusalem (verse 28), which was inhabited by the Jebusites. It may not have seemed like that big of a deal then, but later on King David would make it the capital city of Israel (II Samuel 5:6-10; I Chronicles 11:4-9, see notes). These verses include great detail concerning Benjamin's borders.

It should be noted, however, that Jerusalem seemed to be shared by the Tribes of Benjamin and Judah. Note the following scriptures:

Joshua 18:28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.

Joshua 15:63 As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.

Judges 1:8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

Judges 1:21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

Based upon these verses, obviously Jerusalem was a shared city between the two tribes. Although, technically, Jerusalem was within the borders of the Tribe of Benjamin.

For commentary on another passage, click here.

Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner