Joshua 17:17, 18: Joshua Reiterates God’s Requirement and Promise

Verse 17:[1] And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only

Not…one lot only: Thou needest and deservest more than that lot, of which thou art actually possessed, and thou hast power to get more; which if thou endeavourest to do, God will bless thee, and give thee more.


Verse 18:[2] But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, (Deut. 20:1) though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.

[But thou shalt pass over to the mountain, כִּ֣י הַ֤ר יִֽהְיֶה־לָּךְ֙ וגו״] [In this verse the particle כִּי occurs five times; in the rendering of which interpreters vary.] The first כִּי they translate, but (because [Montanus], for [Pagnine, Vatablus], for which reason [Munster]) the mountain shall be to thee, or, thine (Jonathan, Arabic, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus).

[And thou shalt cut down, etc., כִּֽי־יַ֣עַר ה֔וּא וּבֵ֣רֵאת֔וֹ] Because (for [Jonathan]) that is a wood (Montanus, Pagnine, Vatablus). For it is a wood: that is to say, It is useless to thy brother, for it is full of trees: therefore, cut it down; that is, clear it of trees (Vatablus). On which is a wood (Tigurinus). And thou shalt cut down the wood on it (Munster). If it is a wood, yet thou shalt cut it down, so that its outgoings may be thine (Junius and Tremellius). Which [namely, the mountain], although it is a wood, nevertheless thou shalt clear it (Arabic).

[And thou shalt be able to advance further, וְהָיָ֥ה לְךָ֖ תֹּֽצְאֹתָ֑יו] And its outgoing shall be (outgoings shall be [Pagnine, Vatablus]) to thee (Jonathan, Montanus, Malvenda), that is, any of its outlets. Outgoings here are, either, valleys and plains into which one descends and departs from the mountains (Masius, certain interpreters in Malvenda); or, all the approaches to invade the enemy, and to receive thine own; or, the fruit and produce from the cultivation of the mountain; or, its borders (Malvenda). And its borders also shall be thine (Munster, similarly Tigurinus). In this manner thou shalt be able to proceed further (Vatablus).

The outgoings of it; either, 1. The productions or of that land, when it is cleared from the wood, and purged; or rather, 2. The valleys and fields belonging or adjoining to it, for there the Canaanites were, verse 16.

[When thou hast turned out the Canaanite, כִּֽי־תוֹרִ֣ישׁ אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֗י וגו״] Because (for [Junius and Tremellius]) thou shalt drive out (Pagnine, Montanus); if, or supposing, thou cast out (Tigurinus, similarly Munster). When thou drivest out (Vatablus, similarly Jonathan), understanding, seeing that otherwise they will be able to harm thee (Vatablus). Then it follows, because they have iron chariots, and because they are strong, that is, because they have chariots armed with scythes; who thou sayest have chariots armed with scythes, and they are strong (Vatablus).

[Who thou wilt say have iron chariots, כִּ֣י רֶ֤כֶב בַּרְזֶל֙ ל֔וֹ] Because, or seeing that, he has iron chariots (Jonathan, Arabic, Montanus). The reason is signified why those places are allotted to Manasseh, namely, because they are difficult; but the Manassites are powerful in might and number. Thus Rabbi Salomon and Nahmanides (Masius). Others: although they have chariots of iron (Masius, certain interpreters in Malvenda, similarly Pagnine, Tigurinus). Who have chariots of iron (Munster).

[And that he is exceedingly powerful, כִּ֥י חָזָ֖ק הֽוּא׃] Because (for [Jonathan], and [Arabic, Munster, Tigurinus]) he is strong (Montanus, similarly Jonathan, Arabic, Munster, Tigurinus).

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית יוֹסֵ֔ף לְאֶפְרַ֥יִם וְלִמְנַשֶּׁ֖ה לֵאמֹ֑ר עַם־רַ֣ב אַתָּ֗ה וְכֹ֤חַ גָּדוֹל֙ לָ֔ךְ לֹֽא־יִהְיֶ֥ה לְךָ֖ גּוֹרָ֥ל אֶחָֽד׃

[2] Hebrew: כִּ֣י הַ֤ר יִֽהְיֶה־לָּךְ֙ כִּֽי־יַ֣עַר ה֔וּא וּבֵ֣רֵאת֔וֹ וְהָיָ֥ה לְךָ֖ תֹּֽצְאֹתָ֑יו כִּֽי־תוֹרִ֣ישׁ אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֗י כִּ֣י רֶ֤כֶב בַּרְזֶל֙ ל֔וֹ כִּ֥י חָזָ֖ק הֽוּא׃

Joshua 17:16: The Sons of Joseph Fail to Meet Joshua’s Challenge

Verse 16:[1] And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have (Judg. 1:19; 4:3) chariots of iron, both they who are of Beth-shean and her towns, and they who are (Josh. 19:18; 1 Kings 4:12) of the valley of Jezreel.

[We shall not be able to go up to the mountain, לֹֽא־יִמָּ֥צֵא לָ֖נוּ הָהָ֑ר] That mountain does not, or will not, suffice for us (Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine, Vatablus, similarly the Septuagint, Junius and Tremellius), understanding, to inhabit (Vatablus): that is to say, There is by no means enough space for us on mount Ephraim. To no purpose are we sent back to the Perizzites and Rephaims, equipped with chariots, etc. But I prefer to translate it, That hill will not be obtained by us: that is to say, Thou commandest us to cultivate the wooded places: But those places, if they be mountainous, will be defended more easily by our enemies; but if they be plain, those that inhabit them are equipped with chariots armed with scythes. For the verb מָצָא, to find, while it is used in expressions permission, or, as the Grammarians say, while without qualification it generally signifies to be in readiness, or, to be in the nature of things, and altogether περιγίνεσθαι, to prevail over: it both signifies the action, and to be that which exhibits, presents, etc. (Masius). Others: it will not be found (Montanus, Piscator). Thus Numbers 11:22;[2] Judges 21:14;[3] Hosea 12:8[4] (Piscator).

The hill is not enough for us; if we should invade and conquer it, and cut down both wood and men, yet it would not be sufficient for us. Hebrew: The hill will not be found, that is, obtained, by us; those fierce and strong people the Perizzites and the giants will easily defend themselves, and frustrate our attempts, having the advantage of the woods and mountains. The Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley, that is, And if thou sayest, as we know thou wilt reply, that if the hill either cannot be conquered, or be not sufficient for us, we may go down and take more land out of the pleasant and fruitful valleys, we shall meet with no less difficulty there than in the mountains. Or thus, In going to the hills to which thou directest us, we must pass through valleys, where we shall be waylaid by powerful and armed enemies.

[Iron chariots] These were chariots armed with scythes, which, armed with scythes and swords, cut through men and whatever was in the way, and mowed them down, as it were (Lapide). [See the description of these in Bonfrerius, who in addition relates what great slaughters they were causing, and what remedies were contrived against them.]

Chariots of iron; not all made of iron but armed with iron, not only for defence, but for offence also, having as it were scythes and swords fastened to them, to cut down all that stood in their way.

[And Jezreel] But this valley is situated in the tribe of Issachar, Joshua 19:18. Therefore, either it was in the tribe of Issachar, or on the extreme Northern borders of Manasseh near Issachar (Bonfrerius).

The valley of Jezreel; which was either in the tribe of Issachar, or upon the borders of it, Joshua 19:18.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יוֹסֵ֔ף לֹֽא־יִמָּ֥צֵא לָ֖נוּ הָהָ֑ר וְרֶ֣כֶב בַּרְזֶ֗ל בְּכָל־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ הַיֹּשֵׁ֣ב בְּאֶֽרֶץ־הָעֵ֔מֶק לַֽאֲשֶׁ֤ר בְּבֵית־שְׁאָן֙ וּבְנוֹתֶ֔יהָ וְלַֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּעֵ֥מֶק יִזְרְעֶֽאל׃

[2] Numbers 11:22:  “Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them (וּמָצָ֣א לָהֶ֑ם)? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them (וּמָצָ֥א לָהֶֽם)?”

[3] Judges 21:14:  “And Benjamin came again at that time; and they gave them wives which they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead:  and yet so they sufficed them not (וְלֹֽא־מָצְא֥וּ לָהֶ֖ם כֵּֽן׃).”

[4] Hosea 12:8:  “And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance (מָצָ֥אתִי א֖וֹן לִ֑י): in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in meלֹ֥א) יִמְצְאוּ־לִ֖י עָוֹ֥ן) that were sin.”

Joshua 17:15: Joshua’s Challenge to the Sons of Joseph

Verse 15:[1] And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants (or, Rephaims,[2] Gen. 14:5; 15:20), if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.

[If thou be a great people, etc.] He retorts the argument (Bonfrerius): that is to say, Ye have abounded in the number of men, and so also in power (Masius). Question: How is it that for them he places the hope of victory in the great abundance of them, but does not direct them to fix all confidence in the help of God? Response: Joshua wanted to refute them in their own words, and to show at the same time that with the hand to the plow, as it is said, fortune, that is, the benignity of God, ought to be prayed for (Masius on verse 18).

If thou be a great people, etc.: He retorts their own argument: Seeing thou art a great and numerous people, turn thy complaints into actions and valiant exploits, and enlarge thy borders by thy own hand, to which thou mayst confidently expect God’s assistance.

[Go up into the forest, and cut down] Some take this properly, of clearing wooded places (Bonfrerius, thus Lyra). That is to say, Ascend into mount Ephraim, and cut down the woods there, and establish for thyself cities and farms (Kimchi in Masius). Go up into the wood country, that is, unto the mountain, which is full of forests: and cut down for thyself there, understanding, trees, so that thou mightest build there (Junius).

[וּבֵרֵאתָ֤ לְךָ֙[3]] And thou shalt choose (Montanus, similarly Syriac); cleanse for thyself a place (Arabic); cut down, or cut back (Septuagint, Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius); that is, make for thyself a habitable place with the forest cut down (Junius). And prepare for thyself (Munster, Tigurinus, Vatablus, Jonathan), understanding, a place of habitation (Vatablus, Osiander, Jonathan). Others maintain that this is to be explained allegorically; that is to say, make the places occupied by barbarians, with the same cut down/off, suitable for habitation; as they are wont to render wilderness places easier to cultivate with the woods cut down (thus Bonfrerius).

To the wood country; to the mountain, as it, is called, verse 18, where among some towns there is much wood land, which thou mayst without much difficulty possess, and so get the more room. Cut down, that is, the wood, verse 18, for thy own advantage and use; partly in building more cities and towns; and partly for preparing the land for the use of pasture and tillage.

[In the land of the Perizzites] These were a rustic sort of men, dwelling far from cities (for the Jews also call places not enclosed by walls פְּרָזוֹת/ perazoth), and robbers, who were living on plunder; for the Greeks render פרז by ἐνισχύειν, to be strong (Malvenda).

The Perizzites; supposed to be a savage and brutish kind of people, that lived in woods and mountains.

[And the Rephaim] These were of the race of giants, who dwelt in caves, as mentioned in Joshua 11:21; 12:4 (Masius). Those that complain of the straitness of their borders, ought to expel not their own people but enemies, or to occupy and cultivate vacant places (Grotius).

Of the giants, who lived in caves and mountains, now especially when they were driven out of their cities.

[Because it is narrow, כִּֽי־אָ֥ץ לְךָ֖ וגו״] Because (or, if [Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus]) it is narrow (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic); if the mountain appear narrow to thee (Vatablus). Because it is narrower, that is, if it presseth and confineth thee (certain interpreters in Malvenda). If it is quite distant, if thou think that mountain to be removed farther from thee, then cast out the Perizzites, etc., and occupy their places (Kimchi in Masius). Moreover, it is called Mount Ephraim κατὰ πρόληψιν, proleptically; for it did not yet belong to Ephraim any more than to Manasseh (Masius). [But Bonfrerius denies this:] For Ephraim and Manasseh had already taken their possessions. Moreover, mount Ephraim here signifies the entire land of Ephriam, which was mountainous. See Joshua 19:50; 20:7; 21:21; 24:30; Judges 4:5 (Bonfrerius).

If Mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee, or, seeing Mount Ephraim is too narrow for thee, as thou complainest, take to thyself the rest of that hilly and wood country. Mount Ephraim was a particular and eminent portion of the land, belonging to the tribe of Ephraim, as appears from Joshua 19:50; 20:7; 21:21; Judges 4:5. And this seems to be here mentioned synecdochically, for all the portion allotted to Ephraim and Manasseh, as appears from their complaint, which was not that this part, but that their whole portion, was too strait for them.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֜ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ אִם־עַם־רַ֤ב אַתָּה֙ עֲלֵ֣ה לְךָ֣ הַיַּ֔עְרָה וּבֵרֵאתָ֤ לְךָ֙ שָׁ֔ם בְּאֶ֥רֶץ הַפְּרִזִּ֖י וְהָֽרְפָאִ֑ים כִּֽי־אָ֥ץ לְךָ֖ הַר־אֶפְרָֽיִם׃

[2] Hebrew: וְהָרְפָאִים.

[3] בָּרָא in the Qal signifies to create; in the Piel, to cut down.

Joshua 17:14: Joseph’s Complain about His Inheritance

Verse 14:[1] (Josh. 16:4) And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but (Gen. 48:22) one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am (Gen. 48:19; Num. 26:34, 37) a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?

[And the children of Joseph spoke] Question 1: Who then are these? Response 1: the Manassites (Munster, Vatablus, Hebrews in Masius). For these were greatly increased after the exodus out of Egypt (Munster). Compare Numbers 2:21, etc., with Numbers 26:34, etc. (Bonfrerius). And, that the movers of this inquiry were the Manassites, I do not deny: for no Tribe was encumbered with more difficulties, and none had more cities in the power of the Canaanites, than Manasseh: And that, as the Lord hath blessed me, appears to have regard to the Manassites, who were greatly increased in numbers, while the Ephraimites were diminished[2] (Masius). Response 2: the Manassites and Ephraimites (Junius, Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius); as it is apparent from verses 15-17 (Junius). Question 2: When did they say this? Response: After the rest of Canaan was divided into seven parts by those measuring, and by that event their inheritance was defined in the North. For they were not able to know previously that their dominion was confined (Masius).

The children of Joseph, that is, of Ephraim and Manasseh, as is manifest, partly from verse 17, where it is so explained; and partly because they mention it as an unreasonable thing, that they, being two, should have out one lot. Spake unto Joshua, that is, expostulated with him, when they went and saw that portion which was allotted to them, and found it much short of their expectation.

[Why hast thou given to me possession of one lot and line?] Question: How is it that they say that one lot was given to them? Responses: 1. They call that one portion, for the possessiong of which one Tribe would be sufficient (Junius, Malvenda, Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius). 2. Among the children of Joseph the inheritance was not yet divided, which they had received in the drawing of one lot; and so they were pleading that cause together, since they were yet in the like case (Masius). Now, understand this complaint in this way, not that they had actually received a possession smaller than what was due, since we do not read that afterwards their spaces were expanded; but that had received a region in which the Canaanites yet occupied many places (Bonfrerius out of Lapide). These were hoping that they were going to obtain from Joshua, their fellow tribesman, that some peaceful region out of the other tribes might be assigned to them. But Joshua yielded nothing to flesh and blood, but all to righteousness; and he was unwilling to take from other tribes what he might allot to his own (Lapide).

One lot, and one portion; either, 1. Because they really had but one lot, which was afterwards divided by the arbitrators between them. Or, 2. Because the land severally allotted to them was no more than was little enough for one of them. A great people, or numerous; for so the Hebrew word oft signifies.

[And the Lord has blessed me, עַ֥ד אֲשֶׁר־עַד־כֹּ֖ה בֵּֽרְכַ֥נִי יְהוָֽה׃] To such an extent (and thus far [Munster], in such a way thus far [Tigurinus Notes], to such an extent that thus far [Junius and Tremellius], to such an extent hitherto [Vatablus]) He has blessed me (Osiander), that is, to such a number He has been pleased to increase me (Malvenda out of Junius).

[1] Hebrew: וַֽיְדַבְּרוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יוֹסֵ֔ף אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ לֵאמֹ֑ר מַדּוּעַ֩ נָתַ֙תָּה לִּ֜י נַחֲלָ֗ה גּוֹרָ֤ל אֶחָד֙ וְחֶ֣בֶל אֶחָ֔ד וַֽאֲנִ֣י עַם־רָ֔ב עַ֥ד אֲשֶׁר־עַד־כֹּ֖ה בֵּֽרְכַ֥נִי יְהוָֽה׃

[2] Compare Numbers 2:19 with Numbers 26:37.

Joshua 17:12, 13: Manasseh’s Disobedience with Regard to the Canaanites

Verse 12:[1] Yet (Judg. 1:27, 28) the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.

[They were not able] Understanding, in the beginning, or, at that time (Vatablus). Either, they were not able at all, or, except with great difficulty (Bonfrerius).

Could not drive out: See on Joshua 15:63.

[The inhabitants/citizens[2]] The name of cities by Hypallage[3] was used in the place of the citizens themselves (Masius, similarly Piscator, Bonfrerius).

[But the Canaanite began to dwell in his land (thus the Septuagint, Pagnine)] Not as if they were not previously inhabiting, but that at that time they began to dwell in the midst of the Israelites (Bonfrerius).

[וַיּ֙וֹאֶל֙ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֔י לָשֶׁ֖בֶת[4]] And (or but [Munster, Vatablus, Pagnine], for [Junius and Tremellius], hence [Vatablus]) he willed (chose [Vatablus], presumed [Munster, similarly Castalio]) to dwell (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus), even with the Israelites being unwilling (Osiander). Because they had consented to dwell (Syriac). [Others otherwise:] While the Canaanite had despaired of inhabiting this land (Tigurinus).

Would dwell; were resolved to fight, rather than be turned out of their ancient habitations.


Verse 13:[5] Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to (Josh. 16:10) tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.

[And they made them tributaries] In which they sinned against the precept in Deuteronomy 20:16 (Menochius). The Israelites sinned, not because delayed the driving out of the Canaanites until they so increased that they might be able to occupy the whole land; but because, when they were increased with strength, and were able to wipe them out, they preserved them alive under condition of tribute (Bonfrerius on verses 12 and 13). Note that these things in verses 12 and 13 are said proleptically, for their expulsion was not attempted while Joshua was alive, still less that subjection, or servitude of tribue, imposed (Bonfrerius out of Masius). From which you may again gather that, if the writer of this book is Joshua, this was here inserted afterwards by another (Bonfrerius).

Did not utterly drive them out: Which they were obliged to, now they were strong and numerous enough to possess those places.

[1] Hebrew: וְלֹ֤א יָכְלוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה לְהוֹרִ֖ישׁ אֶת־הֶֽעָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וַיּ֙וֹאֶל֙ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֔י לָשֶׁ֖בֶת בָּאָ֥רֶץ הַזֹּֽאת׃

[2] Joshua 17:12a:  “Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out those cities (לְהוֹרִ֖ישׁ אֶת־הֶֽעָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה; has civitates subvertere, to overthrow these citizens, in the Vulgate)…”

[3] That is, a reversal of an expected syntactical relationship between two words.

[4] יָאַל in the Hiphil signifies to show willingness, or to determine.

[5] Hebrew: וַֽיְהִ֗י כִּ֤י חָֽזְקוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיִּתְּנ֥וּ אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י לָמַ֑ס וְהוֹרֵ֖שׁ לֹ֥א הוֹרִישֽׁוֹ׃

Joshua 17:11: The Lot of Manasseh, Part 3

Verse 11:[1] (1 Chron. 7:29) And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher (1 Sam. 31:10; 1 Kings 4:12) Beth-shean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of En-dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries.

[And Manasseh had inheritance in Issachar and Asher] Hebrew: And there was to Manasseh in Issachar and in Asher Beth-shean,[2] etc. (Pagnine, similarly Munster, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda). He had in the two bordering tribes mentioned the following cities and villages (Menochius). Or, in Issachar, etc., is in the place of, near Issachar, etc.; or, on the border of the tribes of Issachar and Asher (Lapide, Bonfrerius). Just as the golden pot and the rod of Aaron are said to be in the ark, that is, by the Ark. See what things are on Hebrews 9:4 (Lapide).

In Issachar and in Asher; either, 1. Bordering upon them, as in Asher is taken, verse 10, and as Aaron’s rod is said to be in the ark, that is, close by it, Hebrews 9:4; or, 2. Properly in them, as Ephraim had some cities in the tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 16:9, and as it was not unusual, when the places allotted to any tribe was too narrow for it, and the next too large, to give away part from the larger to the less portion; nay, sometimes one whole tribe was taken into another, as Simeon was into Judah’s portion, when it was found too large for Judah, Joshua 19:9.

[Beth-shean] A celebrated city, afterwards called Scythopolis[3] (Bonfrerius, Lapide, Junius), not far from Gennesaret[4] (Masius, Bonfrerius).

[And the inhabitants of Dor] And the citizens, that is, and the city (Vatablus).

The inhabitants of Dor; not the places only, but the people; whom, contrary to God’s command, they spared and used for servants, whom therefore they are said to have or possess.

[En-dor, עֵין־דֹּר] That is, the Spring of Dor (Masius). It could seem near to Dor; but the matter is far otherwise, since Dor was maritime, but En-dor near mount Tabor[5] (Malvenda).

[And a third part of the city of Nopheth[6] (thus the Septuagint in Bonfrerius)] Elsewhere נֶפֶת signifies a region; here it is name of a city. Moreover, while a third part of the city is said to be in this tribe, he indicates that this city was on the border of two tribes, and that two other thirds of the city pertained to another tribe; just as part of Jerusalem was in the tribe of Benjamin, and part in the tribe of Judah. I add that it is likely that this Nopheth pertains to Napheth Dor, or the province of Dor, which was toward the sea[7] (Bonfrerius).

[שְׁלֹ֖שֶׁת הַנָּֽפֶת׃] They translate it, three regions (Jonathan, Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus); that is, three corners (Syriac); those three tracts (Junius and Tremellius); three plots (Montanus, Vatablus), that is, of Dor (Vatablus). I think that those three cities are thus mentioned, En-dor, Taanach, and Megiddo, because they are as three regions in that tract of Dor pertaining to the Manassites. For, even if נֶפֶת signifies any tract of land, it is sometimes used peculiarly of that region alone in which the municipalities of Dor stand; but sometimes it is also used a little more broadly concerning the entire tract of Dor. Symmachus translates it, and three coasts of the sea. I myself translate it, a third part of the region (Masius). [Most correctly, as it appears; and it is strange that the rest of the interpreters do not consider that נֶפֶת here is singular.]

Three countries: this may be referred either to some, to wit, the three last places, or to all the places named in this verse, which are here said either to have three countries or tracts of land belonging to them, or to be in three several countries or portions, as they seem to have been, some in Issachar, and some in Asher, and yet both belonging to Manasseh. Or, the words may be rendered the third part of that country; for the Hebrew word is of the singular number, and the article seems emphatical; and so the meaning may be, that the cities and towns here mentioned are a third part of that country, that is, of that part of Issachar’s and Asher’s portion, in which those places lay.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֙י לִמְנַשֶּׁ֜ה בְּיִשָּׂשכָ֣ר וּבְאָשֵׁ֗ר בֵּית־שְׁאָ֣ן וּ֠בְנוֹתֶיהָ וְיִבְלְעָ֙ם וּבְנוֹתֶ֜יהָ וְֽאֶת־יֹשְׁבֵ֧י דֹ֣אר וּבְנוֹתֶ֗יהָ וְיֹשְׁבֵ֤י עֵֽין־דֹּר֙ וּבְנֹתֶ֔יהָ וְיֹשְׁבֵ֤י תַעְנַךְ֙ וּבְנֹתֶ֔יהָ וְיֹשְׁבֵ֥י מְגִדּ֖וֹ וּבְנוֹתֶ֑יהָ שְׁלֹ֖שֶׁת הַנָּֽפֶת׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֙י לִמְנַשֶּׁ֜ה בְּיִשָּׂשכָ֣ר וּבְאָשֵׁ֗ר בֵּית־שְׁאָ֣ן.

[3] It is said that during the Hellenistic period the city was settled by Scythian veterans, and hence the name.

[4] Beth-shean was about fifteen miles south of the Sea of Galilee, in the Jordan River valley.

[5] Mount Tabor was just south-west of the Sea of Galilee.

[6] Hebrew: שְׁלֹ֖שֶׁת הַנָּֽפֶת׃.

[7] Joshua 12:23:  “The king of Dor in the coast of Dor (לְנָפַ֥ת דּ֖וֹר, in Napheth Dor), one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one…”

Joshua 17:10: The Lot of Manasseh, Part 2

Verse 10:[1] Southward it was Ephraim’s, and northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east.

His border; either, 1. Manasseh’s, whose portion is here described, and whose name was last mentioned. Or, 2. Ephraim’s and Manasseh’s, both expressed in the foregoing words, and implied in the following, they.

[And they met together in the tribe of Asher,[2] וּבְאָשֵׁר֙ יִפְגְּע֣וּן מִצָּפ֔וֹן] And in Asher they meet (touch [Jonathan, Tigurinus], run together [Munster], extend into [Vatablus]) on the north. Question: How are these two Tribes able to be said to be connected to the Tribe of Asher, since both are shut up by the western sea? Responses: 1. Into Asher they extend, that is, the children of Manasseh (Vatablus). 2. The verb, they meet, has regard to all those Josephites (Masius). Either of these Tribes, or that entire possession taken as one (inasmuch as both are of the children of Joseph), touches the tribe of Asher. Now, that sibi, to each other, in our version appears to be superfluous, and, in the tribe is put for to the tribe (Bonfrerius). Moreover, in what manner the Manassites are bordering on the Asherites on the North, and the Issacharites on the East, Wolfgang Wissenburg portrayed on his table;[3] from whom, nevertheless, all other dissent, and with Josephus interpose Issachar and Zebulon between Manasseh and Asher. Issachar and Zebulon will be treated at length later. In the meantime, it is certain that the Manassites meet with the Asherites near Dor, since there they border on mount Carmel, to which the Asherites also extend, Joshua 19:26. Thus the Nephthalim border on the Judahites on the East, Joshua 19:34, because Jordan is common to both Tribes; although otherwise they were separated by the great distance of the places (Masius). Moreover, that the Manassites bordered upon the Asherites in no small part of his inheritance, is evident from verse 11, the inheritance of Manasseh was…in Asher; and from this, that the city of Dor of the Manassites stood near Carmel, as Josephus testifies in his Antiquities 5:1. Therefore, Adrichomius errs here, in whose work Manasseh in no way touches upon Asher (Bonfrerius). [But concerning these things see Bonfrerius himself.] Furthermore, the borders of Asher and of Issachar are here named κατὰ πρόληψιν, proleptically: for borders were not yet assigned to those tribes (Masius, Bonfrerius).

In Asher, that is, upon the tribe of Asher; for though Zebulun came between Asher and them for the greatest part of their land, yet it seems there were some necks or parcels of land, both of Ephraim’s and of Manasseh’s, which jutted out farther than the rest, and touched the borders of Asher. And it is certain there were many such incursions of the land of one tribe upon some parcels of another, although they were otherwise considerably distant one from the other. See Joshua 19:34. And you must not judge of these things by the present maps, which are drawn according to the opinions of late authors, which many times are false; and they are to be judged by the Scripture, and not the Scripture by them: but that part of Manasseh did reach to Asher, appears from hence, that Dor, a city of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11, was, as Josephus witnesseth, near Carmel, which belonged to Asher, Joshua 19:26.

[1] Hebrew: נֶ֣גְבָּה לְאֶפְרַ֗יִם וְצָפוֹ֙נָה֙ לִמְנַשֶּׁ֔ה וַיְהִ֥י הַיָּ֖ם גְּבוּל֑וֹ וּבְאָשֵׁר֙ יִפְגְּע֣וּן מִצָּפ֔וֹן וּבְיִשָּׂשכָ֖ר מִמִּזְרָֽח׃

[2] Thus the Vulgate: et conjungantur sibi in tribu Aser ab aquilone.

[3] Wolfgang Wissenburg (1496-1575) was a Pastor and Theologian, and one of the pioneers of the Reformation at Basel.  He wrote Terræ Sanctæ Descriptio.

Joshua 17:7-9: The Lot of Manasseh, Part 1

Verse 7:[1] And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to (Josh. 16:6) Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of En-tappuah.

[From Asher, Michmethah] From Asher, toward Michmethah (Masius). Ziegler reads, Asher-Michmethah; and the Septuagint, ἀπὸ Ἀσὴρ τῆς Μαχθὼθ, from Asher of Machthoth, that is, from Asher, which looks toward Machthoth. But certainly those two names are disjoined by a great pause, since the Zaqeph accent is above Asher.[2] Therefore, Kimchi here explains אָשֵׁר as Asher, or the inheritance of Asher, which was bordering on the Manassites on the North. But I prefer to take it of the city of Asher, which Eusebius places between Shechem and Beth-shan, and hence to begin the description of the Souther borders of Manasseh (Masius). There is a description (here) of the situation of the inheritance of the Tribe of Manasseh on its Southern side. Now, the border, that is, the boundary line, was, that is, extends, or stretches, from that part where it has the tribe of Asher adjoining it: And the border proceeds, or departs, to the Southern side (Vatablus). From Asher to Michmethah is from the North to the South (Masius).

[Tappuah] The Northern limits of the Ephraimites[3] were evidently the same as the Southern limits of the Manassites [in this place].


Verse 8:[4] Now Manasseh had the land of Tappuah: but (Josh. 16:8) Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim…

[In the lot of Manasseh had fallen the land of Tappuah, etc.] From the Hebrew you would thus translate it clearly; to Manasseh belonged the land of Tappuah, but Tappuah on the border (or, near the border [Montanus, Pagnine], but I translate אֶל as on, as it is sometimes taken[5] [Bonfrerius]) of Manasseh belonged to the sons of Ephraim (Lapide, Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda, Bonfrerius). The field of Tappuah, evidently with its municipalities and villages, was in the domain of the Manassites: but the city of Tappuah itself, although it was situated within the confines of Manasseh was nevertheless in the inheritance of Ephraim (Masius, Bonfrerius). See what things are on Joshua 16:9 (Bonfrerius). I translate אֶל־גְּבוּל, near the borders of Manasseh, that is, conterminous with the Tribe of Manasseh (Vatablus).


Verse 9:[6] And the coast descended (Josh. 16:8) unto the river Kanah (or, brook of reeds[7]), southward of the river: (Josh. 16:9) these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh: the coast of Manasseh also was on the north side of the river, and the outgoings of it were at the sea…

[And the border descended] Namely, from Tappuah; that is, it descended by reversing, that is, by returning when it had come (Vatablus).

[Unto the south of the torrent of the cities,[8] etc.] But the Rebia (֗) on נַחַל/ river distinguishes this word from the following עָרִים/cities (Masius). עָרִ֤ים הָאֵ֙לֶּה֙, those cities, that is, which are from Tappuah unto the torrent of reeds (Vatablus).

These cities of Ephrain; Tappuah, and the cities upon the coast descending to the river, etc., last mentioned. Are among the cities of Manasseh, that is, are intermixed with their cities, which was not strange nor unfit, these two being linked together by a nearer alliance than the rest.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֤י גְבוּל־מְנַשֶּׁה֙ מֵֽאָשֵׁ֔ר הַֽמִּכְמְתָ֔ת אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֣י שְׁכֶ֑ם וְהָלַ֤ךְ הַגְּבוּל֙ אֶל־הַיָּמִ֔ין אֶל־יֹשְׁבֵ֖י עֵ֥ין תַּפּֽוּחַ׃

[2] Note the Zaqeph parvum ֔ in מֵֽאָשֵׁ֔ר הַֽמִּכְמְתָ֔ת, which is a relatively strong disjunctive accent.

[3] See Joshua 16:6, 8.

[4] Hebrew: לִמְנַשֶּׁ֕ה הָיְתָ֖ה אֶ֣רֶץ תַּפּ֑וּחַ וְתַפּ֛וּחַ אֶל־גְּב֥וּל מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה לִבְנֵ֥י אֶפְרָֽיִם׃

[5] אֶל commonly expresses motion toward a spot, but sometimes presence at a spot.

[6] Hebrew: וְיָרַ֣ד הַגְּבוּל֩ נַ֙חַל קָנָ֜ה נֶ֣גְבָּה לַנַּ֗חַל עָרִ֤ים הָאֵ֙לֶּה֙ לְאֶפְרַ֔יִם בְּת֖וֹךְ עָרֵ֣י מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה וּגְב֤וּל מְנַשֶּׁה֙ מִצְּפ֣וֹן לַנַּ֔חַל וַיְהִ֥י תֹצְאֹתָ֖יו הַיָּֽמָּה׃

[7] Hebrew: נַ֙חַל קָנָ֜ה.

[8] Hebrew: נֶ֣גְבָּה לַנַּ֗חַל עָרִ֤ים הָאֵ֙לֶּה֙.

Joshua 17:2-6: The Families of Manasseh, Part 2

Verse 2:[1] There was also a lot for (Num. 26:29-32) the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; (1 Chron. 7:18) for the children of Abiezer[2] (Jeezer[3] in Num. 26:30), and for the children of Helek, (Num. 26:31) and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, (Num. 26:32) and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families.

[And to the rest, etc.] Who did not receive a possession on the other side of Jordan (Junius, Malvenda). Concerning these his sons and families, see Numbers 26:29, etc. (Bonfrerius).

A lot, or, a portion, or distinct inheritance. The rest of the children of Manasseh, to wit, those of them which had not received their possessions beyond Jordan, Numbers 26:29, etc.

[The males] It is a παρασκευὴ/preface to the following digression concerning the daughters of Zelophehad. Otherwise it was sufficiently well-known that only males were wont to be enumerated when the speech concerning the distribution of inheritance (Masius).

These were the male children: this expression is used to bring in what follows, concerning his female children.


Verse 3:[4] But (Num. 26:33; 27:1; 36:2) Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

[Daughters] Concerning these see Numbers 27:1, etc. (Malvenda). This history is related, so that it might be indicated that what was enjoined by God in Numbers 27:1, was here fulfilled (Bonfrerius).

No sons, but daughters; of whom see on Numbers 26:33; 27:1.


Verse 4:[5] And they came near before (Josh. 14:1) Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, (Num. 27:6, 7) The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father.

[He gave to them] Who gave? Either, Joshua (Junius); or, the Eldership of the twelve men; or, it is to be interpreted passively, in the place of it, it was given to them (Masius).

He gave them, that is, Eleazar, or Joshua, with the consent of the princes appointed for that work.


Verse 5:[6] And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan…

[Ten lines[7]] That is, ten portions measured by lines (Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius). But how ten? Those six families mentioned above received six portions; and the daughters of Zelophehad, four (Hebrews in Vatablus). But there were five girls; and so, not ten, but eleven, parts were to be made. Response: I reckon that the children of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, and Shemida received their own portions; but that there were no children of Hepher besides those five daughters of Zelophehad, who was the only son of Hepher (Masius, Lapide, Menochius, Malvenda). But note that the five portions of the daughters taken together were only equal to one portion of the men (Menochius out of Bonfrerius). It is likely that the division into lesser portions was left to each Tribe, so that those might decide among themselves by lot: Nevertheless, because concerning these it had been determined by God in a special manner, etc., Numbers 27, especially because women were less able to bring to completion this measuring among themselves, therefore the twelve men completed the measuring into individual heads (Bonfrerius).

Ten portions; either, 1. Six portions for the six sons, whereof one was Hepher; and because he had no sons, his part was subdivided into five equal parts, for each of the daughters. Or, 2. Ten portions, five for the sons, and five for the daughters; for as for Hepher, both he and his son Zelophehad were dead, and that without sons, and therefore he had no portion; but his daughters had several portions allotted to them.


Verse 6:[8] Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh’s sons had the land of Gilead.

Among his sons, that is, no less than the sons; so their sex was no bar to their inheritance.

[That were left] That is, that were not of the stock of these six families: for this ought to be referred to these, not to the women alone, from whom he had just advanced (Bonfrerius).

[1] Hebrew: וַ֠יְהִי לִבְנֵ֙י מְנַשֶּׁ֥ה הַנּוֹתָרִים֮ לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם֒ לִבְנֵ֙י אֲבִיעֶ֜זֶר וְלִבְנֵי־חֵ֗לֶק וְלִבְנֵ֤י אַשְׂרִיאֵל֙ וְלִבְנֵי־שֶׁ֔כֶם וְלִבְנֵי־חֵ֖פֶר וְלִבְנֵ֣י שְׁמִידָ֑ע אֵ֠לֶּה בְּנֵ֙י מְנַשֶּׁ֧ה בֶּן־יוֹסֵ֛ף הַזְּכָרִ֖ים לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָֽם׃

[2] Hebrew: אֲבִיעֶזֶר.

[3] Hebrew: אִיעֶזֶר.

[4] Hebrew: וְלִצְלָפְחָד֩ בֶּן־חֵ֙פֶר בֶּן־גִּלְעָ֜ד בֶּן־מָכִ֣יר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁ֗ה לֹא־הָ֥יוּ ל֛וֹ בָּנִ֖ים כִּ֣י אִם־בָּנ֑וֹת וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ שְׁמ֣וֹת בְּנֹתָ֔יו מַחְלָ֣ה וְנֹעָ֔ה חָגְלָ֥ה מִלְכָּ֖ה וְתִרְצָֽה׃

[5] Hebrew: וַתִּקְרַ֡בְנָה לִפְנֵי֩ אֶלְעָזָ֙ר הַכֹּהֵ֜ן וְלִפְנֵ֣י׀ יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן וְלִפְנֵ֤י הַנְּשִׂיאִים֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יְהוָה֙ צִוָּ֣ה אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֔ה לָֽתֶת־לָ֥נוּ נַחֲלָ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ אַחֵ֑ינוּ וַיִּתֵּ֙ן לָהֶ֜ם אֶל־פִּ֤י יְהוָה֙ נַֽחֲלָ֔ה בְּת֖וֹךְ אֲחֵ֥י אֲבִיהֶֽן׃

[6] Hebrew: וַיִּפְּל֥וּ חַבְלֵֽי־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה עֲשָׂרָ֑ה לְבַ֞ד מֵאֶ֤רֶץ הַגִּלְעָד֙ וְהַבָּשָׁ֔ן אֲשֶׁ֖ר מֵעֵ֥בֶר לַיַּרְדֵּֽן׃

[7] Hebrew: חַבְלֵֽי־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה עֲשָׂרָ֑ה. חֶבֶל signifies a cord, or a portion.

[8] Hebrew: כִּ֚י בְּנ֣וֹת מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה נָחֲל֥וּ נַחֲלָ֖ה בְּת֣וֹךְ בָּנָ֑יו וְאֶ֙רֶץ֙ הַגִּלְעָ֔ד הָיְתָ֥ה לִבְנֵֽי־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה הַנּֽוֹתָרִֽים׃

Joshua 17:1: The Families of Manasseh, Part 1

Verse 1:[1] There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the (Gen. 41:51; 46:20; 48:18) firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for (Gen. 50:23; Num. 26:29; 32:39, 40; 1 Chron. 7:14) Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had (Deut. 3:15) Gilead and Bashan.

[A lot fell to the tribe of Manasseh (for he is the first-born of Joseph)] A lot, that is, an inheritance assigned by the casting of lots (Vatablus). Question: To what end are these last words added? Responses: 1. Either, 1. as the reason why two parts were allotted to Manasseh, because he was the first-born. See Deuteronomy 21:17. For, that in Genesis 48:18 Ephraim was set before Manasseh, is not to be understood as a transfer of the primogeniture, but as a prophetic blessing of the offspring (Junius). Jacob did indeed prophesy greater things for Ephraim eventually, Genesis 48:19, but he did not take the right of the first-born from Manasseh: neither did Manasseh deserve that (Grotius). If you wish the כִּי/for[2] to be a note of cause, rightly, if I am not mistaken, you would be saying that the condition of his birth is recalled as the cause of the wealth of Manasseh, and of the possessions received on both sides of Jordan (Masius). To others this reason is not satisfying: For it is not likely that in Genesis 48 Jacob wanted to ascribe three portions to Joseph, but only two, in such a way that Joseph enjoys the right of primogeniture, not Manasseh; and that the sons of Joseph come into possession of Canaan with the rest of the sons with an equal share only: And Manasseh was indeed the first-born with respect to Ephraim, but not in comparison with the other sons of Jacob, among whom the division was made. Moreover, there appears to have been no other reason for the division of this Tribe into two parts, than that the region on the other side of Jordan was not sufficient for all those, and so a possession was to be sought for the other part on this side of Jordan (Bonfrerius). Or, 2. this clause was added, so that the reader might observe that by that outcome of the lot was illustriously ratified the judgment of Jacob in Genesis 48:14, which I was just saying. The כִּי is to be translated in this way, now, Now, he was the first-born, etc. (Masius). Or, 3. he gives the reason why Manasseh, who was not of the sons of Jacob, nevertheless came into a portion of Canaan with the other sons; namely, because he was a son of Joseph (Bonfrerius out of Lapide), and also the firstborn. The same was able to be said concerning the lot of Ephraim; but the Scripture, passing over it there in silence, expressed it here, leaving the one to be gathered from the other (Bonfrerius).

He was the first-born of Joseph: the sense is, though Ephraim was to be more potent and numerous, yet Manasseh was the first-born, and had the privilege of the first-born, which was translated to Joseph, to wit, a double portion; and therefore though this were but half the tribe of Manasseh, yet they are not made inmates to Ephraim, but have a distinct lot of their own, as their brethren or other half tribe had beyond Jordan.

[To Machir, the first-born of Manasseh] Nay, he was an only child (Lapide, Menochius). But Scripture is wont to call even those that have no brothers the first-born. Thus Christ, in Matthew 1, is the first-born (Menochius).

Machir; the only son of Manasseh, who therefore is here, and Judges 5:14, put for the whole tribe. The first-born; so even only sons are sometimes called, as Matthew 1:25: see on Exodus 4:22.

[The father of Gilead[3]] [They vary:] The founder of Gilead (Junius and Tremellius). Some explain father as the Acquirer; for he begat, as it were, or gave birth to, that is, he acquired, that land. Now, Gilead here is a region, by ellipsis of the word אָרֶץ/land, which is expressed in Numbers 32:1. Although it appears simpler and closer to the truth to take each name properly here, from verse 3 (Piscator). Therefore, others translate it, and the father of Gilead (Munster, Tigurinus, similarly the Septuagint, Syriac, Pagnine, Castalio). All the families of the Manassites, on both sides of Jordan, are descended from Gilead, as it is evident from this place, and from Numbers 26:29, etc. But the name of Gilead stuck to the lands on the other side of Jordan (Bonfrerius on verses 1 and 2).

The father of Gilead; or, and the father, or who was also the father of Gilead; not of the land of Gilead, but of the man Gilead, who was Machir’s son, Numbers 26:29.

[Who was a fighter] Hebrew: man of war.[4] But where did he put forth that martial spirit and skill? For, since Gilead was born with his grandfather Joseph yet living, Genesis 50:22, it certainly appears that he died either in Egypt, or in the desert; otherwise in the exodus he must be one hundred and forty years old, in the entrance into Canaan one hundred and eighty years old (Lapide, Bonfrerius); which age no one was attaining at that time (Bonfrerius). Therefore, he was a man of war in Egypt, and under the Kings of Egypt, before the persecution began against the Hebrews, Exodus 1, in the battles of the Ephraimites (against the Philistines [Bonfrerius]), who are related to have been slain, 1 Chronicles 7:21 (Lapide, Bonfrerius).

He was a man of war; he, that is, Machir, had given great proof of his valour in his generation, (though the particular history be not mentioned,) and his posterity were no degenerate sons, but had his valiant blood still running in their veins.

[And he had possession of Gilead and Bashan] Gilead was both a man, and a mountain or region; but neither took its name from the other: not the mountain, etc., from the man, for before the birth of Gilead thus the mountain was called, Genesis 31:48; nor the man from the mountain, etc., for this Gilead was born in Egypt; unless one should attribute this name to the inspiration of God, because his posterity was going to inhabit the region of Gilead. Moreover, the region of Gilead is taken either broadly, for that entire region on the other side of Jordan, especially for that part which fell to the Gadites and Manassites; or strictly, for that part of it which is closer to mount Gilead Eastward. But that part is called Bashan which is closer to Jordan (Bonfrerius). Gilead and Bashan; that is, partly; it is a Synecdoche (Junius and Malvenda): for the other part of Gilead had fallen to the Gadites, and the other part of Bashan had fallen to the Reubenites, as it is shown from Joshua 13:30, 31 (Malvenda). Now, Gilead is said to have had this possession, not because he himself held it, but rather his sons and grandsons (Menochius). He obtained this inheritance, because he was the first-born, and a man of war (Munster).

Gilead and Bashan, that is, part of those countries; for part of them was also given to the Reubenites, and part to the Gadites, as appears from Joshua 13:30, 31. This may be added as a reason, either, 1. Why he got those places from the Amorites; or, 2. Why they were allotted to him or his posterity, because this was a frontier country, and the outworks to the land of Canaan, and therefore required such valiant persons to defend it.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֤י הַגּוֹרָל֙ לְמַטֵּ֣ה מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה כִּי־ה֖וּא בְּכ֣וֹר יוֹסֵ֑ף לְמָכִיר֩ בְּכ֙וֹר מְנַשֶּׁ֜ה אֲבִ֣י הַגִּלְעָ֗ד כִּ֣י ה֤וּא הָיָה֙ אִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֔ה וַֽיְהִי־ל֖וֹ הַגִּלְעָ֥ד וְהַבָּשָֽׁן׃

[2] Joshua 17:1a:  “There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for (כִּי) he was the firstborn of Joseph…”

[3] Hebrew: אֲבִ֣י הַגִּלְעָ֗ד.

[4] Hebrew: אִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֔ה.