March 22nd Joshua, 16
16v1-17v18 Ephraim & Manasseh’s portion
1: And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel, 2: And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth, 3: And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Beth-horon the nether, and to Gezer: and the goings out thereof are at the sea. 4: So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance. 5: 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 Ataroth-addar, unto Beth-horon the upper; 6: And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanath-shiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah; 7: And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan. 8: The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the 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. 9: And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages. 10: 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.
1: There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan. 2: There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, 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. 3: But 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. 4: And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, 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. 5: And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan; 6: Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh's sons had the land of Gilead. 7: And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of En-tappuah. 8: Now Manasseh had the land of Tappuah: but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim; 9: And the coast descended unto the river Kanah, southward of the river: 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: 10: 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. 11: And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Beth-shean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries. 12: Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. 13: Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out. 14: And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto? 15: 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, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. 16: 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 chariots of iron, both they who are of Beth-shean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. 17: 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: 18: 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, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.
18v1-10 The remaining land divided
1: And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them. 2: And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. 3: And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? 4: Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me. 5: And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north. 6: Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. 7: But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them. 8: And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh. 9: And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh. 10: And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.
18v11-28 Benjamin’s portion
11: And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. 12: And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Beth-aven. 13: And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Ataroth-adar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Beth-horon. 14: And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Beth-horon southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjath-baal, which is Kirjath-jearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter. 15: And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjath-jearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah: 16: And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to En-rogel, 17: And was drawn from the north, and went forth to En-shemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, 18: And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah: 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 at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast. 20: And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families. 21: Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Beth-hoglah, and the valley of Keziz, 22: And Beth-arabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, 23: And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah, 24: And Chephar-haammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages: 25: Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, 26: And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah, 27: And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, 28: And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.
In todays Bible reading we have further detailed descriptions of the borders of the land of three more tribes. Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin. In the inheritance of the firstborn three priveledges were seen. There was authority, the priestly function and a double portion of the blessing. These firstborn rights were lost by Reuben and given to others. Judah had the authority, Levi had the priestly ministry and Ephraim and Manasseh had together the double portion of blessing on behalf of their father Joseph. When looking at the map previously we can see the extent of the territory of the tribes of Ephraim. They had the whole central portion of the land from the Mediteranean sea on the west to the river Jordan on the east from nearly Jerusalem in the south to nearly Shechem in the north. About 50 miles wide and 25 miles from top to bottom. The tribe of Manasseh had an area twice the size. It was immediately north of Ephraim and extended from the Mediteranean Sea in the west right over the river Jordan right on into the eastern mountains and into the desert. It extended from Shechem in the south to Meggido in the north. An area 100 miles wide and 35 miles from top to bottom. The tribe of Ephraim drove out the Canaanites from their territory but a small number of Cannanites still remained to serve them under tribute. The tribe of Manasseh had a portion twice as big as his brother because he was the firstborn. They had a double portion because the daughters had possessions as well as the sons. They were unable to drive out all of the Cannanites from the land but they ruled the Canannites causing them to pay tribute. The tribe of Ephraim complained that there was not enough room for all their families and the enemy had chariots of Iron but Joshua replied that they were to conquer the land and cut down some of the woods for grazing. Joshua encouraged them, calling them a great people and great in power and that they were to have courage and drive out the Canannites even though they had iron chariots and were a strong force. The children of Israel pitched the Tabernacle at Shiloh and assembled there. All the land of Canan was overcome in the main only pockets of resistence remained. However seven of the tribes had still not entered into their inheritence. Joshua said to these tribes, why are you slack to enter into your inheritance? and he chose three men from each tribe to go in and view the land that remained unconquered. They were to go and walk through the land and describe it, dividing it into seven parts. They went and did as Joshua had said and wrote it in a book. And then they came back to Joshua. Then Joshua cast lots for it before the Lord. The tribe of Benjamin had a small area just below Ephraim about 20 miles wide and ten miles from top to bottom. They were near to Judah who along with them would form the southern kingdom of Judah. Referred to today as ‘the Jews’.