JOSHUA 17 Introduction In this chapter Manasseh’s allotment is described, as part of the allotment to the tribe of Joseph.

Ephraim and Manasseh then complain that there is not sufficient room for them and are told to use their initiative and cut down the forests so that they have more land on which they could live. The Other Half-Tribe of Manasseh (West) (a) Their ten shares ( !1-")

1 There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph: namely for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war therefore he was !iven Gilead and "ashan. 2 #nd there was a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh accordin! to their families: for the children of #bie$er, the children of %ele&, the children of #sriel, the children of 'hechem, the children of %epher, and the children of 'hemida these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph accordin! to their families. 3 "ut (elophehad the son of %epher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but only dau!hters. #nd these are the names of his dau!hters: Mahlah, )oah, %o!lah, Milcah, and Tir$ah. 4 #nd they came near before Elea$ar the priest, before Joshua the son of )un, and before the rulers, sayin!, *The +,-. commanded Moses to !ive us an inheritance amon! our brothers./ Therefore, accordin! to the commandment of the +,-., he !ave them an inheritance amon! their father’s brothers. 5 Ten shares fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and "ashan, which were on the other side of the Jordan, 6 because the dau!hters of Manasseh received an inheritance amon! his sons and the rest of Manasseh’s sons had the land of Gilead. a! There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh... 0v.12:  Manasseh3s territory was immediately north of Ephraim, spreadin! from the Jordan to the Mediterranean 'ea  Manasseh means *for!ettin!*. %e was the first4born but the meanin! of his name teaches us that we are to for!et what we were in our first life because our first life is not spiritual, but natural or carnal.  Therefore, we must learn to put behind us all that is merely to the credit of the flesh but loo& forward to the upward call of God.  This reminds us of the words of 5aul in 5hp. 6:16417 0...for!ettin! those thin!s which are behind and reachin! forward to those thin!s which are ahead, I press toward the !oal for the pri$e of the upward call of God in 8hrist Jesus2. b! Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war; therefore he was gi en Gilead and !ashan. 0v.12: 1

 Machir, the firstborn of Manasseh, is a man of war.  "ecause Manasseh had died lon! before Israel3s deliverance from E!ypt, Machir succeeded to the place of his father.  %e was !iven Gilead and "ashan, which were on the east side of Jordan. c! "nd there was a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh according to their families 0v.92:  They were: #bie$er, %ele&, #sriel, 'hechem, %epher, and 'hemida they were also called sons of Gilead 0)um. 9::6;4692.  #nd the father of Gilead is Machir, the first4born son of Manasseh. d! !ut #elo$hehad the son of %e$her...had no sons, but onl& daughters' Mahlah, (oah, %oglah, Milcah, and Tir)ah. "nd the& came *near+ before ,lea)ar the $riest, before -oshua the son of (un, and before the rulers, sa&ing, .The /012 commanded Moses to gi e us an inheritance among our brothers.3 0v.6472:  "ecause the inheritance was passed to the firstborn son in every family, the death of (elophehad would mean that his dau!hters won3t !et any inheritance.  They3ve brou!ht this issue durin! the time of Moses and they were promised inheritance amon! their brothers 0)um. 9<:14112 and in boldness of faith they were now claimin! it.  "elievin! women should learn from this, because it shows that they are as fully entitled to spiritual inheritance in heaven as are men. e! Ten shares fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and !ashan 0v.=2:  There were si> sons of Gilead, five of these sons had each of them their portion.  The si>th son, which was %epher, had his male line cut off in his son (elophehad, who left five dau!hters only.  #nd these five had each of them a portion e?ual to one of the portions of the five sons, for it is said in v.:, @The dau!hters of Manasseh received an inheritance amon! his sons@. (b) Their territor# ( !7-1$)

4 #nd the territory of Manasseh was from #sher to Michmethath, that lies east of 'hechem and the border went alon! south to the inhabitants of En Tappuah. 5 Manasseh had the land of Tappuah, but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belon!ed to the children of Ephraim. 6 #nd the border descended to the "roo& Aanah, southward to the broo&. These cities of Ephraim are amon! the cities of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh was on the north side of the broo& and it ended at the sea. 17 'outhward it was Ephraim’s, northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea was its border. Manasseh’s territory was adBoinin! #sher on the north and Issachar on the east.


f! "nd the territor& of Manasseh was... 0v.<2:  Ce now have Manasseh3s borders, only one side is really defined, and that is the south, where it touches Ephraim3s boundaries. ,n the other sides, there are no lines !iven at all, simply the statement that it touched #sher on the north, and Issachar on the east.  The southern border is traced from east to west the startin!4point is from #sher, not the tribe, but a place with the same meanin!, @happy@ 4man3s ori!inal condition.  Then it passes to Michmethah, @the corruption of the dead,@ which is opposite to 'hechem, @shoulder,@ 4 as the type of obedience therefore, man disobeyed and turns away from God.  "ut there is a chan!e: and the border went alon! south or literally, @to the ri!ht hand,@ 4 the place of e>altation and honor.  #nd then came to the inhabitants of En4tappuah, a word &nown as @new creation@ and the prefi> @En,@ means @sprin!,@ therefore it is the livin! water that waters the new creation4life.  This reminds of 5aul3s words in Eph. 9:1; that we are @8reated in 8hrist Jesus unto !ood wor&s, which God prepared beforehand that we should wal& in them.@ (c) Their to%ns ( !11-1&)

11 #nd in Issachar and in #sher, Manasseh had "eth 'hean and its towns, Ibleam and its towns, the inhabitants of .or and its towns, the inhabitants of En .or and its towns, the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Me!iddo and its townsDthree hilly re!ions. 12 Eet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the 8anaanites were determined to dwell in that land. 13 #nd it happened, when the children of Israel !rew stron!, that they put the 8anaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out. More 'and for ()hrai* and Manasseh (a) The )rotest ( !1+)

14 Then the children of Joseph spo&e to Joshua, sayin!, *Chy have you !iven us only one lot and one share to inherit, since we are a !reat people, inasmuch as the +,-. has blessed us until nowF/  %ow would you describe this behavior of the children of Joseph hereF  They seemed arro!ant and full of pride demandin! more land and yet in v.19 they failed to destroy the 8anaanites from the land they already possessed.  5eople tend to be li&e these and sometimes they would say *I should have more responsibility. I should have !reater authority. I should have a bi!!er role to play in the ministry. I’m a !reat !uy. I’m a !reat person. I’ve !ot !reat talent, !reat ability, etc/. 3


The )ro)osal (


15 'o Joshua answered them, *If you are a !reat people, then !o up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the 5eri$$ites and the !iants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you./  If you thin& you deserve more, if you thin& you should have a lar!er role because you3re a !reat !uy, Joshua said, *Go to the mountain. Go where the wood is./  #nd where is that mountain where there is woodF  It is the mountain called 8alvary where stood the wooden 8ross of 8hrist.  'pend time with the +ord for there’s no hi!her place than that there’s no !reater ministry than bowin! down at the +ord’s feet, pourin! out our praise, and !ivin! %im honor also followin! %im, carryin! our own cross, and wor& with %im. 16 "ut the children of Joseph said, *The mountain country is not enou!h for us and all the 8anaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of "eth 'hean and its towns and those who are of the Galley of Je$reel./ 14 #nd Joshua spo&e to the house of JosephDto Ephraim and ManassehDsayin!, *Eou are a !reat people and have !reat power you shall not have only one lot, 15 but the mountain country shall be yours. #lthou!h it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest e>tent shall be yours for you shall drive out the 8anaanites, thou!h they have iron chariots and are stron!./  Joshua was tellin! them that they would have more if they would only wor& and fi!ht. "ut men tend to e>cuse themselves from labour !ivin! reasons of different sort Bust to avoid it.  Eet Joshua understood that encoura!in! these men to ma&e the best of them is better than Bust !ivin! what they want.  They have to wor&, for it is commanded: @If anyone will not wor&, neither shall he eat@ 09Thess. 6:1;2.  #nd many of our @cannots@ are only the lan!ua!e of idleness, which ma!nifies every difficulty and dan!er especially in our spiritual wor& and warfare.  The "ible said, @Cithout 8hrist we can do nothin!@ therefore, if we really belon! to %im, %is +ordship should stir us up to do our best and to cry to %im for help.  Then our boundary will be enlar!ed and our complainin!s will be turned into Boyful than&s!ivin!s. .onclusion Inasmuch as the tribes of Israel treasured their inheritances, we should 4

treasure our everlastin! possessions, which our +ord Jesus has purchased by his precious blood. +et the %oly 'pirit enter our lives for %e will be with us in an everlastin! covenant. Just li&e the dau!hters of Joseph who made their petition, let us as& for Jesus himself for %e will brin! with him all temporal, spiritual, and eternal blessin!s. #nd while the sons of Joseph complain because they have but one portion, teach our heart not to see& for more. +et the +ord be our portion for in %im we have more than enou!h.


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