The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Joshua 16

Jos 16:1

Jos 16: "The record continues the listing of inheritances, as Joshua sets out the landmarks that constitute the gift of Yahweh to His people. This chapter sets out the inheritance of Joseph who has two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and consequently stood as recipient of the divine firstborn, receiving a double portion of inheritance. Joseph was elevated to the firstborn instead of Reuben (1Ch 5:1). So Joshua sets out: [1] The general borders: vv 1-4. [2] Ephraim's border: vv 5-9. [3] Ephraim's failure: v 10. The rest of the inheritance of Joseph's sons continues in Jos 17.

"As with the other tribes, so with Ephraim: they failed to fulfil the instruction of their commander: see Jos 16:10. It seems that although Joshua ejected the main power of the Canaanites, they returned to their former cities, whilst he completed the campaign elsewhere. This required that each tribe make its own effort to obtain its individual holding, although the land as a whole had been won for Israel. In like manner Christ has opened the way to life eternal, but we each must conquer our individual inheritance" (GEM).

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