Lot of Manasseh.
1-6. There was also a lot for the tribe of
Manasseh—Ephraim was mentioned, as the more numerous and
powerful branch of the family of Joseph (Ge 48:19, 20); but Manasseh still retained the right
of primogeniture and had a separate inheritance assigned.
the father of Gilead—Though he had a
son of that name (Nu 26:29; 27:1), yet, as is evident from the use of the
Hebrew article, reference is made, not to the person, but the province
of Gilead. "Father" here means lord or possessor of Gilead. This view
is confirmed by the fact that it was not Machir, but his descendants,
who subdued Gilead and Bashan (Nu 32:41; De 3:13-15). These Machirites had their
portion on the east side of Jordan. The western portion of land,
allotted to the tribe of Manasseh, was divided into ten portions
because the male descendants who had sons consisted of five families,
to which, consequently, five shares were given; and the sixth family,
namely, the posterity of Hepher, being all women, the five daughters of
Zelophehad were, on application to the valuators, endowed each with an
inheritance in land (see on Nu 27:4).
Jos 17:7-11. This
7-11. the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to
Michmethah—The southern boundary is here traced from the
east. Asher (now Yasir), the starting point, was a town fifteen Roman
miles east of Shechem, and anciently a place of importance.
9. the coast descended unto the river Kanah,
southward of the river—The line which separated the
possessions of the two brothers from each other ran to the south of the
stream. Thus the river was in the territory of Manasseh; but the cities
which were upon the river, though all were within the limits of
Manasseh's possessions, were assigned partly to Ephraim, and partly to
Manasseh; those on the south side being given to the former; those upon
the north to the latter [Keil]. It
appears (Jos 17:10)
that Manasseh was still further interlaced with other neighboring
11. Beth-shean and her
towns—Greek, "Scythopolis" (now Beisan), in the valley
of the Jordan, towards the east end of the plain of Jezreel.
"Beth-shean" means "house of rest," so called from its being the
halting place for caravans travelling between Syria or Midian, and
Egypt, and the great station for the commerce between these countries
for many centuries.
Ibleam and her towns—in the
neighborhood of Megiddo (2Ki 9:27).
the inhabitants of Dor and her
towns—(now Tantoura), anciently a strong fortress; a wall of
wild precipitous rock defended the shore fortifications against attack
from the land side.
En-dor and her towns—situated on a
rocky eminence, four Roman miles south of Tabor.
Taanach and … Megiddo—These were
near to each other, and they are generally mentioned in Scripture
together. They were both royal and strongly fortified places (see on Jud 1:27).
three countries—districts or
provinces. It is computed that Manasseh possessed in Asher and Issachar
portions of ground to the extent of more than two hundred square
Jos 17:12, 13. Canaanites Not
12, 13. Yet the children of Manasseh could not
drive out those cities—probably due to indolence, a love of
ease. Perhaps a mistaken humanity, arising from a disregard or
forgetfulness of the divine command, and a decreasing principle of
faith and zeal in the service of God, were the causes of their
Jos 17:14-18. The Children of
Joseph Ask for Another Lot.
14-18. the children of Joseph spake unto
Joshua—The two tribes join in laying a complaint before the
leader, as to the narrow boundaries of their allotment and its
insufficiency to be the residence of tribes so vastly increased. But
Joshua's answer was full of wisdom as well as patriotism. Knowing their
character, he treated them accordingly, and sarcastically turned all
their arguments against themselves. Thus he rebuked their unbelief and
15. mount Ephraim—called so here by
anticipation. The Gilboa range between Beth-shean and the plain of
Jezreel is meant, anciently covered with an extensive forest.
16. chariots of iron—unusually
strengthened with that metal, and perhaps armed with projecting