Joshua chapter 17

The portion for Manasseh. Ephraim and Manasseh complain.





VERSE 1. This was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. As for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan.

the tribe of Manasseh. The powerful house of Joseph is made up of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. They are sometimes referred to as “the half-tribes.”

Machir the firstborn of Manasseh. They settled in the Gilead and Bashan. Those were in the Transjordan.


VERSE 2. So this was for the rest of the children of Manasseh according to their families: for the children of Abiezer, for the children of Helek, for the children of Asriel, for the children of Shechem, for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida. These were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families.


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

Zelophehad, the son of Hepher. He was a great-great grandson of Manasseh.

the names of his daughters. The text gives special mention to the five daughters of Zelophehad.


VERSE 4. They came to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the princes, saying, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.” Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brothers of their father.

give us an inheritance among our brothers. Their father Zelophehad died without sons. So they should receive the inheritance, as dictated in Numbers chapter 27.


VERSE 5. Ten parts fell to Manasseh, in addition to the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan;


VERSE 6. because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh.


VERSE 7. The border of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethath, which is before Shechem. The border went along to the right hand, to the inhabitants of En Tappuah.


VERSE 8. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh; but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim.


VERSE 9. The border went down to the brook of Kanah, southward of the brook. These cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook, and ended at the sea.


VERSE 10. Southward it was Ephraim’s, and northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea was his border. They reached to Asher on the north, and to Issachar on the east.


VERSE 11. Manasseh had three heights in Issachar, in Asher Beth Shean and its towns, and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns.

Manasseh received several Canaanite fortresses:

  • Beth Shan
  • Ibleam
  • Dor, also known as Naphoth
  • Endor
  • Taanach
  • Megiddo


VERSE 12. Yet the children of Manasseh couldn’t drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.

Manasseh couldn’t drive out the inhabitants. Manasseh, like Ephraim and Judah, did not completely drive out the Canaanites from their region.


VERSE 13. When the children of Israel had grown strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, and didn’t utterly drive them out.

they put the Canaanites to forced labor. Manasseh chose to get rich by turning the Canaanites into slaves. This is a terrible mistake.




VERSE 14. The children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me just one lot and one part for an inheritance, since we are a numerous people, because the LORD has blessed us so far?”

The children of Joseph spoke to Joshua. They complain to Joshua that their portion is too small.


VERSE 15. Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest, and clear land for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim; since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.”

clear land for yourself. Joshua challenges them to clear the trees and settle in the forested hill country.


VERSE 16. The children of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. All the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are in Beth Shean and its towns, and those who are in the valley of Jezreel.”

The hill country is not enough for us. They insist that the hill country is not sufficient for them.

chariots of iron. They complain that the Canaanites in the region have iron chariots.


VERSE 17. Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, that is, to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, “You are a numerous people, and have great power. You shall not have one lot only;

You are a numerous people, and have great power. Joshua reminds they that they are numerous and very powerful.

They are fully capable of expanding their territory by clearing the hill country and driving out the enemy Canaanites.

But they must act with courageous faith if they are to possess the Promised Land fully.


VERSE 18. but the hill country shall be yours. Although it is a forest, you shall cut it down, and it’s farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.”

the hill country shall be yours. Joshua does not change their portion.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

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