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.

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

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘[T]here was great communication between this tribe and that of Ephraim. The city of Tappuah belonged to Ephraim, but the country adjoining to Manasseh (Joshua 17:8); there were likewise many cities of Ephraim that lay within the border of Manasseh (Joshua 17:9), of which before, Joshua 16:9.’

    How pleasant and agreeable it is indeed, when brethren dwell together in such unity that they freely share their material goods!

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