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Jos 17:1-6. 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
(Ge 48:19, 20);
but Manasseh still retained the right of primogeniture and had a
separate inheritance assigned.
Jos 17:7-11. THIS COAST.
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 tribes.
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.
Jos 17:12, 13. CANAANITES NOT DRIVEN OUT.
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 failure.
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 cowardice.
16. chariots of iron--unusually strengthened with that metal, and perhaps armed with projecting scythes.