Joshua, CHAPTER 17
Now as for the lot that fell to the tribe of Manasseh as the firstborn of Joseph: since Manasseh’s eldest son, Machir, the father of Gilead, was a warrior, who had already obtained Gilead and Bashan,
the allotment was now made to the rest of the Manassites by their clans: the descendants of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida; these are the other male children of Manasseh, son of Joseph, by their clans.
Furthermore, Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, had no sons, but only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
These presented themselves to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua, son of Nun, and to the leaders, saying, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us a heritage among our relatives.” So in accordance with the command of the LORD a heritage was given them among their father’s relatives.
Thus ten shares fell to Manasseh apart from the land of Gilead and Bashan beyond the Jordan,
since these female descendants of Manasseh received each a portion among his sons. The land of Gilead fell to the rest of the Manassites.
Manasseh bordered on Asher. From Michmethath, near Shechem, another boundary ran southward to include the inhabitants of En-Tappuah,
because the district of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, although Tappuah itself was an Ephraimite city on the border of Manasseh.
This same boundary continued down to the Wadi Kanah. The cities that belonged to Ephraim from among the cities in Manasseh were those to the south of that wadi; thus the territory of Manasseh ran north of the wadi and ended at the sea.
The land on the south belonged to Ephraim and that on the north to Manasseh; with the sea as their common boundary, they reached Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.
Moreover, in Issachar and in Asher Manasseh was awarded Beth-shean and its towns, Ibleam and its towns, the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns (the third is Naphath-dor).
Since the Manassites were not able to dispossess these cities, the Canaanites continued to inhabit this region.
When the Israelites grew stronger they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not dispossess them.
Protest of Joseph Tribes.
The descendants of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you given us only one lot and one share as our heritage? Our people are too many, because of the extent to which the LORD has blessed us.”
Joshua answered them, “If you are too many, go up to the forest and clear out a place for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaim, since the mountain regions of Ephraim are so narrow.”
For the Josephites said, “Our mountain regions are not enough for us; on the other hand, the Canaanites living in the valley region all have iron chariots, in particular those in Beth-shean and its towns, and those in the valley of Jezreel.”
Joshua therefore said to Ephraim and Manasseh, the house of Joseph, “You are a numerous people and very strong. You shall not have merely one share.
for the mountain region which is now forest shall be yours when you clear it. Its adjacent land shall also be yours if, despite their strength and iron chariots, you dispossess the Canaanites.”