Joshua 16-17 & Psalm 148

Joshua 16-17

    The allotment of the people of Joseph went from the Jordan by Jericho, east of the waters of Jericho, into the wilderness, going up from Jericho into the hill country to Bethel. Then going from Bethel to Luz, it passes along to Ataroth, the territory of the Archites. Then it goes down westward to the territory of the Japhletites, as far as the territory of Lower Beth-horon, then to Gezer, and it ends at the sea.

    The people of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received their inheritance.

    The territory of the people of Ephraim by their clans was as follows: the boundary of their inheritance on the east was Ataroth-addar as far as Upper Beth-horon, and the boundary goes from there to the sea. On the north is Michmethath. Then on the east the boundary turns around toward Taanath-shiloh and passes along beyond it on the east to Janoah, then it goes down from Janoah to Ataroth and to Naarah, and touches Jericho, ending at the Jordan. From Tappuah the boundary goes westward to the brook Kanah and ends at the sea. Such is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Ephraim by their clans, together with the towns that were set apart for the people of Ephraim within the inheritance of the Manassites, all those towns with their villages. However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.

    Then allotment was made to the people of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. To Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a man of war. And allotments were made to the rest of the people of Manasseh by their clans, Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. These were the male descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph, by their clans.

    Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, had no sons, but only daughters, and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They approached Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the leaders and said, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance along with our brothers.” So according to the mouth of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brothers of their father. Thus there fell to Manasseh ten portions, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is on the other side of the Jordan, because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance along with his sons. The land of Gilead was allotted to the rest of the people of Manasseh.

    The territory of Manasseh reached from Asher to Michmethath, which is east of Shechem. Then the boundary goes along southward to the inhabitants of En-tappuah. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but the town of Tappuah on the boundary of Manasseh belonged to the people of Ephraim. Then the boundary went down to the brook Kanah. These cities, to the south of the brook, among the cities of Manasseh, belong to Ephraim. Then the boundary of Manasseh goes on the north side of the brook and ends at the sea, the land to the south being Ephraim's and that to the north being Manasseh's, with the sea forming its boundary. On the north Asher is reached, and on the east Issachar. Also in Issachar and in Asher Manasseh had Beth-shean and its villages, and Ibleam and its villages, and the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, and the inhabitants of En-dor and its villages, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its villages, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; the third is Naphath. Yet the people of Manasseh could not take possession of those cities, but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. Now when the people of Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.

    Then the people of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, although I am a numerous people, since all along the LORD has blessed me?” And Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up by yourselves to the forest, and there clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.”

(Joshua 16-17 ESV)

Psalm 148

    Praise the LORD!
    Praise the LORD from the heavens;
        praise him in the heights!
    Praise him, all his angels;
        praise him, all his hosts!
    
    Praise him, sun and moon,
        praise him, all you shining stars!
    Praise him, you highest heavens,
        and you waters above the heavens!
    
    Let them praise the name of the LORD!
        For he commanded and they were created.
    And he established them forever and ever;
        he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
    
    Praise the LORD from the earth,
        you great sea creatures and all deeps,
    fire and hail, snow and mist,
        stormy wind fulfilling his word!
    
    Mountains and all hills,
        fruit trees and all cedars!
    Beasts and all livestock,
        creeping things and flying birds!
    
    Kings of the earth and all peoples,
        princes and all rulers of the earth!
    Young men and maidens together,
        old men and children!
    
    Let them praise the name of the LORD,
        for his name alone is exalted;
        his majesty is above earth and heaven.
    He has raised up a horn for his people,
        praise for all his saints,
        for the people of Israel who are near to him.
    Praise the LORD!

(Psalm 148 ESV)

Something to Consider

Joshua 17: As Joshua is distributing the inheritance of the land among the twelve tribes of Israel, he now distributes land to the two half-tribes of Joseph - Ephraim (Joshua 16) and Manasseh (Joshua 17). However, immediately following the receiving of their inheritance the two half-tribes of Joseph begin to complain that the land they’ve been given is not enough to accommodate their size and population. Therefore, they come to Joshua in hope to receive extra favor and military support in securing more of the land that was currently being occupied by the Canaanites.

How often do we seek to have others fight our battles for us when the Lord might have already supplied all the strength we need to secure what we’re hoping to obtain? How often do we look to our pastors and those in “full-time ministry” to help us win the hearts of those we wish to see added to the kingdom? Often times, we look to others to fulfill a task that our Lord Himself has already equipped us to do ourselves. 

Despite his common heritage with the half-tribes of Joseph, Joshua shows no special favor towards his own people (Numbers 13). Instead, he encourages them and assures them that what has been given to them would prove to be sufficient for them if they would simply trust the way God has empowered them to secure for themselves what they're hoping to obtain. Without our Lord, we can do nothing, but many of us are often tempted to remain still and attempt nothing because our fear in what we lack begins to subdue our faith in what God has already supplied.