Joshua 16:10: The Lot of Ephraim, Part 3

Verse 10:[1] (Judg. 1:29; see 1 Kings 9:16) And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.

[He was dwelling in Gezer] Note that these Canaanites, especially near the shore of the sea, fortified themselves to such an extent that by the Judahites, although they were especially willing, they were not able to be conquered. For an example may this Gezer be, that David was not able to make his own: But Pharaoh finally took it, 1 King 9:16. Which narration the Septuagint has in this place (Tirinus). Now, this came to pass from the Ephraimites’ idleness, and impiety (Masius), and from avarice (Tirinus). For these cities were perpetually thronged by diverse nations for the purpose of conducting trade (Masius). And for the sake of filthy lucre they were tolerated by the Ephraimites, who nevertheless were contaminated with their wickedness. And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich:[2] that is to say, I care nothing for the wickedness, as long as I grow rich on their tribute (Tirinus). See what things are on Judges 1:29 (Bonfrerius).

The Canaanites were not driven out until Solomon’s time, 1 Kings 9:16.

[Unto this day] Namely, unto the times of Solomon [as has already been said (Malvenda)]. Moreover, this clause was added, not by Joshua, but by another; since this happened after the death of Joshua (Bonfrerius).

[As a tributary] So also in Joshua 17:13; 1 Kings 9:16. It is likely that the laws imposed on them were ascribed to Adam and Noah (Grotius).

Under tribute, as Joshua 17:13; 1 Kings 9:16.

[1] Hebrew: וְלֹ֣א הוֹרִ֔ישׁוּ אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י הַיּוֹשֵׁ֣ב בְּגָ֑זֶר וַיֵּ֙שֶׁב הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֜י בְּקֶ֤רֶב אֶפְרַ֙יִם֙ עַד־הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה וַיְהִ֖י לְמַס־עֹבֵֽד׃

[2] Hosea 12:8.

Joshua 16:9: The Lot of Ephraim, Part 2

Verse 9:[1] And (Josh. 17:9) the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.

[And cities were separated to the children of Ephraim in the midst of the possession of the children of Manasseh] Some thus take it: The line that was dividing these two Tribes sometimes sometimes invaded the borders of Manasseh, sometimes withdrew: and hence it happened that there were certain towns of Ephraim that with the line drawn straight were in the tribe of Manasseh (Lyra, Salazar[2] in Menochius). Others thus: To the Ephraimites were given certain cities (with their villages [Estius, Osiander]), situated within the borders of the Manassites (Masius, thus Lapide, Bonfrerius). For to them less populous cities had fallen by lot (Lapide, Bonfrerius). Because the lots were fixed as equal, but Ephraim was much greater than Manasseh, it was fitting that some part of the lot of Manasseh be separated for Ephraim, so that that inequality might be eliminated (Estius, Menochius, similarly Masius).

[And cities were separated, וְהֶעָרִ֗ים הַמִּבְדָּלוֹת֙[3]] They translate it, separating, or distinguishing (certain interpreters in Malvenda), bordering (Junius and Tremellius), separated (Munster, Tigurinus, Vatablus, similarly Pagnine). And the cities were designated separately to the children of Ephraim (certain interpreters in Malvenda). But this will be said more plainly in the next chapter (Malvenda). The sense: In addition to the described inheritance this Tribe also has other cities within the limits of the Tribe of Manasseh: not that the Tribes were mixed together, but that sometimes in the limits there were recesses, entering into the other tribe outside of a straight line. In הַמִּבְדָּלוֹת Hireq (ִ) is written in the place of Sureq (וּ)[4] (Munster).

The separate cities, that is, besides those cities which were within Ephraim’s bounds, he had some other cities, to which all their territories were annexed out of Manasseh’s portion, because his tribe was all here, and was larger than Manasseh’s.

[1] Hebrew: וְהֶעָרִ֗ים הַמִּבְדָּלוֹת֙ לִבְנֵ֣י אֶפְרַ֔יִם בְּת֖וֹךְ נַחֲלַ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה כָּֽל־הֶעָרִ֖ים וְחַצְרֵיהֶֽן׃

[2] Ferdinand Chirinos de Salazar (1576-1646) was a Jesuit exegete. He wrote commentaries on Proverbs and the Song of Solomon.

[3] מִבְדָּלָה signifies a separate place.

[4] A Sureq (וּ) in the place of a Hireq (ִ) would change the noun הַמִּבְדָּלוֹת, separate places, into a Hophal participle, הַמֻּבְדָּלוֹת/separated.

Joshua 16:5-8: The Lot of Ephraim, Part 1

Verse 5:[1] And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was (Josh. 18:13) Ataroth-addar, (2 Chron. 8:5) unto Beth-horon the upper…

[And the border was made, etc.] These and the following things are more involved (Bonfrerius), and obscured with overmuch brevity (Masius). But yet it is not doubtful that the descriptions of the places at that time were especially perspicuous: yet, because that region, almost completely ravaged by the Romans and Barbarians, has a far different face than formerly, it is not the case that those studious of Theology trouble themselves much in tracking down the situation of the places (Osiander on Joshua 15:12). Masius alone appears to have aptly distinguished the places of this chapter; but Adrichomius errs in many things (Bonfrerius). [Concerning which consult the Author, if there is time: For I undertake the explication of matters, not the censure or defense of persons.] In this verse is not described some extreme limit, but the entire breadth in that part in which it has the greatest breadth Eastward, while concerning the rest farther toward Jordan and the East it is forced by degrees into a narrow space (Bonfrerius). Therefore, the Manassites were insinuating themselves in a certain measure between the Ephraimites and the Jordan Eastward, just as likewise the children of Issachar between the Manassites and the Jordan, Joshua 17:10 (Bonfrerius on verse 6). And so the greatest breadth is here placed between Ataroth-addar on the South, and Beth-horon the upper on the North. Moreover, it is evident that no extreme limit is here designated, because in what follows other extreme limits Eastward, Northward, Westward, are described; although one ought to have more discrimination, aptly distinguishing all things (Bonfrerius almost out of Masius).

[Over against the east, מִזְרָחָה] Toward (or, unto) the east (Junius and Tremellius). On the side of the rising of the sun, that is, he beginson the eastern side. The breadth of Ephraim is described where it looks toward the East (Vatablus). Nevertheless, it does not designate the farthest coast of the East. For there from Jordan Jericho was first occurring, then Bethel, etc. (Masius).

On the east side, that is, the north-east side. It is no wonder, if some of these descriptions are dark and doubtful to us at this distance of time and place; there having been so many alterations made in places, and so many circumstances being now altogether undiscoverable. But this is evident to every man of common sense, that this and all the descriptions here mentioned were then certain and evident to the Israelites, because these were the foundation of their present practice, and of all the possessions which then they took and peaceably possessed in succeeding ages.


Verse 6:[2] And the border went out toward the sea to (Josh. 17:7) Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanath-shiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah…

[They went out…unto the sea] Namely, from Beth-horon the upper (Bonfrerius). Now, the only describes vaguely the Northern Border, inasmuch as it is to be described more precisely in verse 8 (Bonfrerius almost out of Masius). Its length is described from the West, verging toward the East (Vatablus).

Toward the sea; the midland sea, towards the west.

[And it skirts the borders: It is a defect in our text, and is to be read, and the border skirts, out of the Hebrew (Bonfrerius, Serarius); וְנָסַ֧ב הַגְּב֛וּל[3]] And the border turns itself, that is, the line marking the border and boundaries (Vatablus). The border was turned toward the east, from that Beth-horon (Masius), where the line is bent, and he describes the eastern borders obliquely by proceeding toward Jericho. Now, it is sufficiently evident that the eastern borders are not enclosed on both ends [that is, both on the South and on the North] by Jordan, for the Scripture would have indicated that; neither in describing those would it have been necessary to enumerate so many places and cities, through which these borders pass (Bonfrerius).

[In Thanath-selo, תַּאֲנַ֣ת שִׁלֹ֑ה] Taanath-Shiloh (Montanus, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius); unto the fig tree of Shiloh[4] (Jonathan).

[On the east of Janohah (thus certain Hebrews in Vatablus)] On the east to Janohah (Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus).


Verse 7:[5] And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, (1 Chron. 7:28) and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan.

Came to Jericho: Not to the city of Jericho, which belonged to Benjamin’s lot, Joshua 18:21, but to its territory.


Verse 8:[6] The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the (Josh. 17:9) river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.

[From Tappuah, etc.] He returns, as far as I am able to see, to complete the limits of the Northern length, from Michmethah unto the Mediterranean Sea. For, that Tappuah was there, but not near Jordan, it is certain from the description of the borders of Manasseh[7] (Masius). The return of the length toward the West is described. The border proceeds, that is, the line tracing the border and boundaries returns westward, that is, whence it had come (Vatablus).

[Over against the sea unto the valley of reeds, יָ֙מָּה֙ נַ֣חַל קָנָ֔ה[8]] [Not in one way do they render it.] Toward the sea (Pagnine, Montanus, Septuagint) (from the sea [Jonathan], over against the sea [Tigurinus]) the torrent of Kanah (Montanus), unto the torrent of Kanah (Tigurinus), or of the reed (Pagnine), in Chelcana (Septuagint). [In the place of נַחַל קָנָה, the river of Kanah, they appear to have read בְּחַלְקָנָה, in Chelcana.] Others thus: Westward to the torrent, or river, of Kanah (Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, English, Dutch, Castalio, Munster). To the torren full of rushes, or reedy (Masius), where the thicket of reeds, or reed-bed, was dense. Yet to others [as we saw] Kanah is a proper name (Malvenda). Some suppose that is valley, or torrent, is that כְּרִית/Cherith, concerning which 1 Kings 17. But it hinders that Cherith is Eastward, and near Jordan; but this place is Westward, and near the sea, as it shall soon be evident (Bonfrerius).

[Unto the saltiest sea[9]] That is, the Dead Sea (Lyra, Lapide); as it is evident in Joshua 18:19;[10] Numbers 34:3[11] (Lapide). But the borders of Ephraim nowhere reach unto the Dead Sea. This is also refuted by that description of the borders of Manasseh (Masius) [concerning which in the next chapter]. Therefore, in this place the Sea is the Mediterranean (Vatablus, Masius, Bonfrerius, Menochius, Malvenda). That word, saltiest, is not present in the Hebrew, Chaldean, or Septuagint (Bonfrerius). Moreover, there is no need to describe the Southern limits of Ephraim separately, nor the western: for they are those that we said belong to Joseph all together (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֛י גְּב֥וּל בְּנֵֽי־אֶפְרַ֖יִם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֑ם וַיְהִ֞י גְּב֤וּל נַחֲלָתָם֙ מִזְרָ֔חָה עַטְר֣וֹת אַדָּ֔ר עַד־בֵּ֥ית חוֹרֹ֖ן עֶלְיֽוֹן׃

[2] Hebrew: וְיָצָ֙א הַגְּב֜וּל הַיָּ֗מָּה הַֽמִּכְמְתָת֙ מִצָּפ֔וֹן וְנָסַ֧ב הַגְּב֛וּל מִזְרָ֖חָה תַּאֲנַ֣ת שִׁלֹ֑ה וְעָבַ֣ר אוֹת֔וֹ מִמִּזְרַ֖ח יָנֽוֹחָה׃

[3] Joshua 16:6b:  “…and the border went about (וְנָסַ֧ב הַגְּב֛וּל) eastward unto Taanath-shiloh…”

[4] תְּאֵנָה signifies fig tree.

[5] Hebrew: וְיָרַ֥ד מִיָּנ֖וֹחָה עֲטָר֣וֹת וְנַעֲרָ֑תָה וּפָגַע֙ בִּֽירִיח֔וֹ וְיָצָ֖א הַיַּרְדֵּֽן׃

[6] Hebrew: מִתַּפּ֜וּחַ יֵלֵ֙ךְ הַגְּב֥וּל יָ֙מָּה֙ נַ֣חַל קָנָ֔ה וְהָי֥וּ תֹצְאֹתָ֖יו הַיָּ֑מָּה זֹ֗את נַחֲלַ֛ת מַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵי־אֶפְרַ֖יִם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָֽם׃

[7] Joshua 17:7-9.

[8] קָנֶה signifies reed.

[9] Thus the Vulgate.

[10] Joshua 18:19:  “And the border passed along to the side of Beth-hoglah northward:  and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea (יָם־הַמֶּלַח; maris salsissimi, in the Vulgate) at the south end of Jordan:  this was the south coast.”

[11] Numbers 34:3:  “Then your south quarter shall be from the wilderness of Zin along by the coast of Edom, and your south border shall be the outmost coast of the salt sea (יָם־הַמֶּלַח; mare salsissimum, in the Vulgate) eastward…”

Joshua 16:2-4: The Lot of Joseph, Part 2

Verse 2:[1] And goeth out from Beth-el to (Josh. 18:13; Judg. 1:26) Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth…

[And it went forth] That is, the measuring line (Menochius).

[From Bethel-Luzah[2]] From Beth-el to Luz, or, toward Luz (Drusius, Masius). לוּזָה, to Luz[3] (Drusius). But the same place that was formerly called Luz, was afterwards called Beth-el, Genesis 28:19 (Masius, Bonfrerius). Response 1: There were two Beth-els; the one in Genesis 28, and the other not very far off, built by some Bethelite, concerning which Judges 1:26 (Junius). This does not satisfy (Bonfrerius, Malvenda). For that other Luz was farther away (Malvenda). See what things we have on Genesis 28:19 (Bonfrerius). Response 2: In ancient times Beth-el was a different place from Luz, yet near it. Jacob says, Genesis 48:3, that in Luz the vision appeared to him, although it is altogether certain that, not in a town, but in a field, that appeared to him while sleeping (Masius). Luz and Beth-el were at first two towns, but were afterwards conjoined together; yet in such a way that they retained their proper names (Lyra). Response 3: Luz is set down here by way of apposition, and is a cognomen of Beth-el. Hebrew: from Bethel-Luz; that is, from Beth-el, which was formerly called Luz, or Luzah (Malvenda nearly out of Bonfrerius). Unot Bethel-Luzah (Septuagint). [Nevertheless, the rest translate it, from Beth-el unto, or towards, Luz (thus Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine, Montanus, Tigurinus, English).]

From Beth-el to Luz, or, from Bethel-luzah, as the Septuagint here join the words; for Beth-el was anciently called Luz, Genesis 28:19; 48:3; though some think this was another Luz, spoken of Judges 1:26. Others make Beth-el and Luz two neighbouring towns, which afterwards being more built and inhabited, became one, as oft hath happened.

[And it passes the border of Archi, Ataroth, הָאַרְכִּ֖י עֲטָרֽוֹת׃] Some divide these words, as signifying two places (Malvenda). Of Archi (or of Archæus [Junius and Tremellius, Dutch], of the Archæites [Vatablus]) unto, or toward, Ataroth (Jonathan, Munster, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, English, Dutch). The Tipha accent (֖) under הָאַרְכִּ֖י/Archi appears to favor these[4] (Masius, Malvenda). The former place is Erec, whence Hushai is called the Archite, or Erecæus, 2 Samuel 16:16. But Ataroth was a field situated on the border of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Judah. For which reason, according to the reckoning of the border, it was distinguished with various names, Joshua 16:5, 7; 1 Chronicles 2:54 (Junius). But others conjoin these words, Archihataroth (thus Pagnine, Montanus, Castalio, Septuagint, and the Latin according to Masius). It is one place, which is here called Archi-Ataroth (that is to say, long Ataroth[5] [Bonfrerius]), and in verse 5; and also in Joshua 18:13 Ataroth-Adar (Bonfrerius, Masius) (that is to say, Ataroth the illustrious[6]). This is evident from the fact that the Southern border of Ephraim here passes through Archi-Ataroth; but the Northern border of Benjamin, which is the same as the Southern border of Ephraim, passes through Ataroth-Adar, Joshua 18 (Bonfrerius). The name Ataroth signifies crown;[7] and is applied to several cities in Scripture (Masius). To it an epithet is added, so that it might be distinguished from the other Ataroth, concerning which verse 7 (Bonfrerius).


Verse 3:[8] And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, (Josh. 18:13; 2 Chron. 8:5) unto the coast of Beth-horon the nether, and to (1 Chron. 7:28; 1 Kings 9:15) Gezer: and the goings out thereof are at the sea.

[Near the border of Japhletites[9]] Who are Pelethites,[10] 2 Samuel 8:18; 15:18 (Grotius), with the ט/Teth/t changed into a ת/Tau/t (Malvenda out of Junius). To some it is a family name, from Japhlet, a descendant of Asher, 1 Chronicles 7:32. But here it is placed in the tribe of Joseph, not of Asher (Malvenda). Of the Japhletite (Junius and Tremellius), that is, of the Japhletites (Piscator).

[Unto the borders of lower Beth-horon, עַ֣ד גְּב֧וּל בֵּית־חוֹרֹ֛ן תַּחְתּ֖וֹן] Toward the lower border of Beth-horon (Pagnine, Montanus, Arabic). Others: toward the border of the lower Beth-horon (Jonathan, Syriac, Junius and Tremellius, Munster, Tigurinus, similarly the Septuagint, Masius). Concerning both Beth-horons, both the upper and the lower, see on Joshua 10:10 (Bonfrerius, Malvenda).

Of the two Beth-horons, see Joshua 10:10, 11.


Verse 4:[11] (Josh. 17:14) So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.

[And they possessed, etc., וַיִּנְחֲלוּ וגו״] And their inheritance, or possession, they received (Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Syriac, Junius and Tremellius). They possessed, namely, that region (Bonfrerius). They divided the inheritance, etc., because of course Ephraim and Manasseh were two different Tribes. It is not of great concern whether immediately, or after the casting of lots for the rest of the tribes, they divided privately among themselves the inheritance that they had received in the one common lot, as I said: The latter is more probable. It is not of the greatest moment whether the lots themselves were cast privately, or indeed, as it is more credible, that matter was also conducted by the twelve men. But this is to be observed, by right Ephraim was set before Manasseh by Jacob, Genesis 48, while also Ephraim drew the lot earlier, and was closer to the Temple (Masius).

Manasseh, that is, half Manasseh, by a synecdoche. Their inheritance, that is, their several portions which here follow. Some think that they had but one lot between them; and therefore they are now said to take their inheritance, to wit, by dividing it between them according to the direction of Joshua and Eleazar, etc.; for that phrase being used of them, and not to my remembrance of any other tribes, may seem to have some peculiar signification, which doth not agree to the other tribes. But there being mention of a peculiar lot taken out for Manasseh, Joshua 17:1, shows that their several inheritances fell to them, as the rest did to the other tribes, even by several lots; and it is said of them, that they took their inheritance, which also Judah had done before them, because the tribes of Judah and Joseph did take their inheritances before the rest; and it was fit they should do so, for the security of the main camp, and the body of the people which were at Gilgal. See Joshua 18:5.

[1] Hebrew: וְיָצָ֥א מִבֵּֽית־אֵ֖ל ל֑וּזָה וְעָבַ֛ר אֶל־גְּב֥וּל הָאַרְכִּ֖י עֲטָרֽוֹת׃

[2] Hebrew: מִבֵּֽית־אֵ֖ל ל֑וּזָה.

[3] The ה is the old accusative ending, used to indicate motion towards.

[4] The Tipha is a disjunctive accent; however, based on context, its disjunctive force can be exceedingly weak or non-existent.

[5] אָרַךְ signifies to be long.

[6] אָדַר signifies to be great.

[7] עָטַר signifies to surround.

[8] Hebrew: וְיָֽרַד־יָ֜מָּה אֶל־גְּב֣וּל הַיַּפְלֵטִ֗י עַ֣ד גְּב֧וּל בֵּית־חוֹרֹ֛ן תַּחְתּ֖וֹן וְעַד־גָּ֑זֶר וְהָי֥וּ תֹצְאֹתָ֖ו יָֽמָּה׃

[9] Hebrew: אֶל־גְּב֣וּל הַיַּפְלֵטִ֗י.

[10] Hebrew: פְּלֵתִי.

[11] Hebrew: וַיִּנְחֲל֥וּ בְנֵי־יוֹסֵ֖ף מְנַשֶּׁ֥ה וְאֶפְרָֽיִם׃

Joshua 16:1: The Lot of Joseph, Part 1

Verse 1:[1] And the lot of the children of Joseph fell (Heb. went forth[2]) from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Beth-el…

[And also the lot of the children of Joseph fell, etc.] That is, of Ephraim and the half Tribe of Manasseh (Lapide). For one was the lot of the two brothers, Manasseh and Ephraim, in that casting of lots, as was explained above by us (Malvenda). Therefore, these Tribes had conjoined possessions. For which reason it happens that the Southern border of these conjoined together is here described; although actually it is only the border of Ephraim, which toward the south had the tribe of Benjamin, toward the North Manasseh. Now, since Jericho was in Benjamin, it is evident that the Southern borders are described; for it is sufficiently apparent that the tribe of Benjamin was shut up between Ephraim and Judah (Bonfrerius). That וַיֵּצֵא they translate, it[3] went forth (Junius and Tremellius), or, went out, namely, extracted from the urn (Piscator); or, it went forth, or extended (certain interpreters in Vatablus).

Of Joseph, that is, of Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manasseh, which are here put together in one; not because they had but one lot, for Ephraim had one here, Joshua 16:5, and Manasseh another, Joshua 17:1; but because in these first verses he speaks of them in common, and of the south border, which seems to be the same, either wholly or in a great part; and then he comes to the particular description of their several portions. It is here further remarkable, that God so disposed of these lots, that they came forth in decent and due order; Judah’s first, to whom the sovereignty was promised; and then Joseph’s, who succeeded Reuben in the other privilege of the birth-right, the double portion, 1 Chronicles 5:1, 2.

[From Jordan over against Jericho] Hebrew: from Jordan Jericho[4] (Malvenda); from Jordan opposite to Jericho (Junius and Tremellius); in which part it flowed near Jericho (Vatablus).

[And the waters thereof on the east: the wilderness that ascends from Jericho to mount Beth-el, לְמֵ֥י יְרִיח֖וֹ מִזְרָ֑חָה הַמִּדְבָּ֗ר עֹלֶ֧ה מִירִיח֛וֹ בָּהָ֖ר בֵּֽית־אֵֽל׃] [They render it variously:] To the waters of Jericho eastward, and the desert that ascends from Jericho through mount Beth-el (Munster, Tigurinus). To the waters of Jericho eastward: the desert ascending from Jericho into mount Beth-el (Montanus, Pagnine, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Dutch, Osiander, Syriac). Unto mount Beth-el, not of Beth-el; for הָר/mountain is marked with a Qametz (ָ)[5] (Drusius, similarly Masius). Hence it is evident that that mountain was called Beth-el after the city (Malvenda, Masius). Or, through the mountain unto Beth-el (Dutch); or, through mountainous Beth-el (Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus). And also to that tribe pertains the wilderness that ascends from Jericho unto the mountain that was near the city of Beth-el (Osiander). [To all these the desert is said to ascend (so also the Chaldean in Masius, Syriac), that is, to extend upwards.] Now, this is the desert of Beth-aven, which he relates in Joshua 18 was west of Jericho (Masius). Others in the place of and the desert, etc., read to the desert that ascends, etc. (thus Pagnine, English). To others it is not the desert, but the lot, that is said to ascend, and they connect עֹלֶה, going up, with הַגּוֹרָל, the lot (thus Masius out of Rabbi Salomon, Bonfrerius, Malvenda). The lot went forth…by ascending, etc. (Arabic). For these things are explained in this way in Joshua 18:12 (Masius). Moreover, the waters of it, that is, of Jericho (Bonfrerius, Masius), are distinguished from the waters of Jordan of Jericho, and are those waters that flow from the spring of Elisha, from which the dry ground of Jericho is irrigated by trenches and pools. What is here said, to the waters of Jericho, that is plainly what in Joshua 18 is written, to the side of Jericho on the north: for that Spring was toward the North and West (Masius). Or, מֵי יְרִיחוֹ, the waters of Jericho, Me-Jericho, is the name of a place (Vatablus). I translate מִזְרָחָה, from the east: the letter ה in this place is a note of movement from a place, not toward a place, as it is wont. For by this word this only is signified, that this designation of boundaries is begun from the East, that is, from Jordan (Masius). This is to be observed by us elsewhere, נֶגְבָּה, from the south, יָמָּה, from the sea/west (Drusius). Moreover, it is rightly said to ascend from Jericho into the mountain; for that city, or, more accurately, that plain (which I would prefer to be signified here) was surrounded on all sides by mountains as by a theater (Masius).

The water of Jericho; of which see 2 Kings 2:19-22. The wilderness that goeth up from Jericho; the wilderness of Beth-aven, as appears by comparing Joshua 18:12, which speaks of the very same border which was on the south of Ephraim, and on the north of Benjamin.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֵּצֵ֙א הַגּוֹרָ֜ל לִבְנֵ֤י יוֹסֵף֙ מִיַּרְדֵּ֣ן יְרִיח֔וֹ לְמֵ֥י יְרִיח֖וֹ מִזְרָ֑חָה הַמִּדְבָּ֗ר עֹלֶ֧ה מִירִיח֛וֹ בָּהָ֖ר בֵּֽית־אֵֽל׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיֵּצֵא.

[3] That is, the lot.

[4] A woodenly literalistic rendering.  Hebrew: מִיַּרְדֵּ֣ן יְרִיח֔וֹ.

[5] Rather than with a Patah (ַ), indicating that it is in the absolute, not construct, state.

Joshua 16 Outline

The general borders of the sons of Joseph, 1-4. The borders of Ephraim, 5-9. Some of the Canaanites not expelled, but made tributary, 10.


This chapter is indeed brief, but obscure, and somewhat more confused in order (Bonfrerius).