Joshua 16

The Word Made Fresh

1Here is the inheritance given to Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh): Their boundary ran from the Jordan river by Jericho into the hill country through the wilderness to Bethel, 2then to Luz, then to Ataroth in the country of the Archites. 3From there it goes westward to the land of the Japhletites all the way to lower Beth-Horon, then to Gezer, and finally to the sea. 4The sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, were given separate allotments.

4The Ephraimites inherited the following: on the east from Ataroth-Addarall the way to upper Beth-Horon, 6and from there to the sea. Michmethath is on the north and on the east the boundary turns toward Taanath-Shiloh and continues eastward to Janoah. 7Then it continues from Janoah to Ataroth and Naarah to Jericho and ends at the Jordan. 8Then from Tappuah the line goes west to the Kanah streambed and ends at the sea. That is what Ephraim inherited, 9including the towns that were originally set apart for Manasseh. 10The Ephraimites did not, however, dispossess the Canaanites at Gezer. The Canaanites have lived there in Ephraim’s territory to this day, but they were subjected to forced labor.


Ephraim and Manasseh were the two sons of Joseph born in Egypt. They were given status as individual tribes early in the exodus, perhaps as a way of preserving the number 12 in the allotment of land in the Promised Land, since Levi was set apart for religious service. Manasseh settled east of the Jordan. Ephraim’s territory was between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, north of Judah. The last verse is another clue that the Israelites did not, after all, commit genocide against the people of the land.


After the reign of Solomon centuries later, the nation of Israel split north and south. The southern country was known as the kingdom of Judah and included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The northern country was known as the kingdom of Israel and included the tribes that settled between the Jordan and the Mediterranean north of Judah’s territory. We’ll get to that in due time. Suffice it to say that God saw to it that the descendants of Abraham were settled in the “promised land.” God’s promises never go unfulfilled; not even the promise of eternal life.