Saturday, October 02, 2004

Joshua 16-17

The theme of the 12 becoming 11 and then 12 again is seen in the disciples of Jesus in the New Testament. Here it plays out in the tribe of Levi being dispersed among the nations as the children of Joseph receive a double inheritance. In Genesis 48: 16-19, Jacob blessed the younger grandchild Ephraim above Manasseh.

Manasseh's land lay north of Judah's, between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. Ephraim's was just south of that, but not reaching to the sea. Note that Manasseh also received a portion west of the Jordan and further north (Joshua 1:12-15). (

It is noted that Ephraim failed to dislodge the Canaanites. Later on, we are told, the Ephraimites subjected the Canaanites to corvee labor, but did not wipe them out.

Both the Ephraimites and the tribe of Manasseh complain that their allotments are too small for their populations, but that they aren't strong enough to challenge the chariots of the Canaanites on the plains. Joshua advises them to clear the forests of the hill country.

There are some interesting points here:
  • The firstborn of Manasseh is said to have sired a clan of great soldiers
  • Five daughters claim a right, through Mosaic decree, to receive inheritance
  • The city of Megiddo, where the battle of Armageddon is to be fought, belongs to Manasseh
  • Manasseh possessed cities inside other tribal areas
  • Endor, where Saul consulted a medium, is one of these isolated cities, as is Megiddo


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