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.

1 thought on “Joshua 17:10: The Lot of Manasseh, Part 2

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘We have here a short account of the lot of this half tribe. It reached from Jordan on the east to the great sea on the west; on the south it lay all along contiguous to Ephraim, but on the north it abutted upon Asher and Issachar. Asher lay northwest, and Issachar northeast, which seems to be the meaning of that (Joshua 17:10), that they (that is, Manasseh and Ephraim, as related to it, both together making the tribe of Joseph) met in Asher on the north and Issachar on the east, for Ephraim itself reached not those tribes.’

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