|New International Version (©2011)|
The people of Joseph said to Joshua, "Why have you given us only one allotment and one portion for an inheritance? We are a numerous people, and the LORD has blessed us abundantly."
New Living Translation (©2007)
The descendants of Joseph came to Joshua and asked, "Why have you given us only one portion of land as our homeland when the LORD has blessed us with so many people?"
English Standard Version (©2001)
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?”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Then the sons of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, "Why have you given me only one lot and one portion for an inheritance, since I am a numerous people whom the LORD has thus far blessed?"
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
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?
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Joseph's descendants said to Joshua, "Why did you give us only one tribal allotment as an inheritance? We have many people, because the LORD has been blessing us greatly.""
International Standard Version (©2012)
At that time, the descendants of Joseph asked Joshua, "Why did you give us only one allotment and portion for an inheritance, since we're numerous and the LORD has blessed us all along?"
NET Bible (©2006)
The descendants of Joseph said to Joshua, "Why have you assigned us only one tribal allotment? After all, we have many people, for until now the LORD has enabled us to increase in number."
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Joseph's descendants asked Joshua, "Why did you give us only one region for an inheritance? We have a lot of people because the LORD has blessed us."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And the children of Joseph spoke unto Joshua, saying, Why have you given us only one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing we are a great people, since the LORD has blessed us until now?
American King James Version
And the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, Why have you given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, for as much as the LORD has blessed me till now?
American Standard Version
And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one part for an inheritance, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as hitherto Jehovah hath blessed me?
And the children of Joseph spoke to Josue, and said: Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to possess, whereas I am of so great a multitude, and the Lord hath blessed me?
Darby Bible Translation
And the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me as inheritance one lot and one portion, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as Jehovah has blessed me hitherto?
English Revised Version
And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one part for an inheritance, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as hitherto the LORD hath blessed me?
Webster's Bible Translation
And the children of Joseph spoke to 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 hitherto blessed me?
World English Bible
The children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, "Why have you given me just one lot and one part for an inheritance, since I am a great people, because Yahweh has blessed me so far?"
Young's Literal Translation
And the sons of Joseph speak with Joshua, saying, 'Wherefore hast thou given to me an inheritance -- one lot and one portion, and I a numerous people? hitherto hath Jehovah blessed me.'
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:14-18 Joshua, as a public person, had no more regard to his own tribe than to any other, but would govern without favour or affection; wherein he has left a good example to all in public trusts. Joshua tells them, that what was fallen to their share would be a sufficient lot for them, if they would but work and fight. Men excuse themselves from labour by any pretence; and nothing serves the purpose better than having rich and powerful relations, able to provide for them; and they are apt to desire a partial and unfaithful disposal of what is intrusted to those they think able to give such help. But there is more real kindness in pointing out the advantages within reach, and in encouraging men to make the best of them, than in granting indulgences to sloth and extravagance. True religion gives no countenance to these evils. The rule is, They shall not eat who will not work; and many of our cannots are only the language of idleness, which magnifies every difficulty and danger. This is especially the case in our spiritual work and warfare. Without Christ we can do nothing, but we are apt to sit still and attempt nothing. if we belong to Him, he will stir us up to our best endeavours, and to cry to him for help. Then our coast will be enlarged, 1Ch 4:9,10, and complainings silenced, or rather, turned into joyful thanksgivings.
Verse 14. - And the children of Joseph. The attitude of the children of Joseph throughout the history of the twelve tribes is in precise accordance with the hint given here. They were proud of their numerical preponderance over the remaining tribes. Thus they, and they only, ventured to remonstrate with Joshua about the inadequacy of the portion allotted to them. Such a sensitiveness was likely to degenerate into insolence when the authority of the great leader was removed. And the history of Gideon (Judges 8:1-3) and of Jephthah (Judges 12:6) shows that this was actually the case. Here, again, we have a sign of that deep undercurrent of consistency which underlies our history, and is a guarantee of its authenticity. Seeing I am a great people. The tribe of Joseph, at the census described in Numbers 1, outnumbered every tribe but that of Judah. At the census in the plains of Moab (Numbers 26.) the tribe of Joseph outnumbered them all, though the relative proportions of Ephraim and Manasseh were altered, the latter being now considerably the larger of the two tribes. The whole number of the fighting men of Israel underwent a slight diminution during the passage through the wilderness. But the demand of the tribe of Joseph seems to have been a little unbecoming, since Joseph had obtained two lots and two portions, since half the tribe of Manasseh had settled on the east of Jordan. Hence no doubt the covert sarcasm of Joshua's reply, for, as Delitzsch shows, Judah, and even Dan, considerably outnumbered Ephraim and the half tribe of Manasseh. Part, however, of their complaint was no doubt caused by the idea that Joshua, as one of themselves, ought to have taken more care of the interests of his own tribe. Joshua, however, as a true servant of God ought to be, was above such petty considerations, though many who live under a higher dispensation find it impossible to emancipate themselves from such bondage. Forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto. Or, hath blessed me to this extent (but see Exodus 7:16). There is doubtless here an allusion to Jacob's blessing (Genesis 48:20; Genesis 44:22-26), the fulfilment of which would naturally make a deep impression on the minds of the children of Joseph. Blessing was the word reiterated over and over again by the dying patriarch as he gazed upon the children of his best-beloved son. Here, again, we have one of those delicate touches, impossible to a writer of fiction, which show that we have here an authentic record of facts. No doubt the consciousness of the enthusiastic language of Jacob, reiterated upon an almost equally solemn occasion by Moses (Deuteronomy 33:13-17), coupled with the obvious fulfilment of these predictions, led the tribe of Joseph to demand as a right the leadership in Israel, and no doubt predisposed the other tribes to concede it. The rivalry of Judah, to which reference has already been made, and which culminated in the sovereignty of David, was calculated to produce a beach which it required the utmost tact to heal. Pity it was that the Ephraimites and Manassites forgot the fact that the blessing was conditional, and neglected to lay to heart the terrible warnings in Deuteronomy 28. But it is too often so with men. They expect the fulfilment of prophecies which predict their aggrandisement, and too often strive themselves to hasten the hand of God, while the warnings of God's Word, since they are less pleasant to the natural man, are permitted to pass by unheeded (see vers. 12, 13, which was the first step on the downward road).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua,.... Which some understand of the children of Manasseh only; and, indeed, the complaint and arguments used, as well as some circumstances in the account, best agree with them; yet certain it is, that the children of Ephraim accompanied the children of Manasseh, and were present at this interview, as appears from Joshua 17:17; and if they did not join with them in the request and complaint expressly, they countenanced and encouraged the same by their presence:
saying, why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit: this seems to suit better with one than both; for there was a lot for the tribe of Manasseh also, as well as for Ephraim, Joshua 17:1; by which it should seem that there were two, and if both made this expostulation, it was not fact; but it may be, that the inheritance which came to them by lot was not as yet divided, and so they called it one lot and one portion, and then it might with propriety be said by them both; and their sense be, that the lot or portion assigned them was only sufficient for one of them, and not for both:
seeing I am a great people; as especially both tribes put together were:
forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto? this best agrees with the tribe of Manasseh, which, since their coming out of Egypt, was increased twenty thousand five hundred, whereas the tribe of Ephraim was decreased; compare Numbers 1:33 with Numbers 26:34. Now it might have been expected by them, that as Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim, that he would have favoured their cause on that account, and that they should have obtained the grant of an addition by that means; but Joshua was impartial in his administration, and showed no favour and affection on that score, as appears by what follows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jos 17:14-18. The Children of Joseph Ask for Another Lot.
14-18. the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua—The two tribes join in laying a complaint before the leader, as to the narrow boundaries of their allotment and its insufficiency to be the residence of tribes so vastly increased. But Joshua's answer was full of wisdom as well as patriotism. Knowing their character, he treated them accordingly, and sarcastically turned all their arguments against themselves. Thus he rebuked their unbelief and cowardice.
Joshua 17:14 Parallel Commentaries
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The Territory of Manasseh
…13Yet 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. 14And the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, Why have you given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, for as much as the LORD has blessed me till now? 15And Joshua answered them, If you be a great people, then get you up to the wood country, and cut down for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for you. …
from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;
So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance.
"If you are so numerous," Joshua answered, "and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites."
"Ephraim will have one portion; it will border the territory of Manasseh from east to west.