Joshua 16:1
And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, to the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goes up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XVI.

INHERITANCE OF JOSEPH—i.e., of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joshua 16:1 to Joshua 18:1, inclusive).

(1) The lot of the children of Joseph.—The order of precedence among the tribes of Israel was always Judah first and the sons of Joseph second. In the words of 1Chronicles 5:2, “Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s.” Accordingly in the division of the land of Canaan under Joshua, there are three successive stages: first, the settlement of the tribe of Judah in the strongholds of the south of Palestine; secondly, the establishment of Ephraim and Manasseh in the centre of the country, and in some strong positions towards the north; thirdly, the settlement of the remaining tribes, so as to fill up the gaps left between Judah and Joseph, and also upon the outskirts of their territory, so as to be, as it were, under the shadow of their wings.

In the inheritance of Ephraim and Manasseh we observe some features which distinguish this description from that of Judah’s inheritance in Joshua 15. The boundaries of the territory are given, but there is no catalogue of cities. There is also another peculiarity: the tribe of Ephraim is interlocked with the tribe of Manasseh, and the tribe of Manasseh again with Issachar and Asher, by the possession of cities in the territory of these other tribes.

(1-3) Comp. Joshua 18:12-14. The south border of Joseph was the north border of Benjamin. (See Conder’s Bible Handbook, p. 260, and Ordnance Map, sheets 14, 15, and 18)

Archi is ’Ain ’Arîk (sheet 14).

Ataroth is Ed-Dârieh (sheet 18).

Japhleti is not identified.

Beth-horon is Beit ’Ur.

Gezer is Tell Jezer.

Joshua 16:1. The lot of the children of Joseph — That is, of Ephraim, and that half of the tribe of Manasseh which was not yet provided for, Joshua 16:4. One cannot but observe the providence of God in bringing up their lot next to Judah’s. For as he had the prerogative of being made the chief of all Jacob’s children, (Genesis 49:10,) so Joseph had that privilege of the firstborn, a double portion, transferred to his family. And therefore they have their inheritance assigned them before any of the other tribes except Judah.16:20-63 Here is a list of the cities of Judah. But we do not here find Bethlehem, afterwards the city of David, and ennobled by the birth of our Lord Jesus in it. That city, which, at the best, was but little among the thousands of Judah, Mic 5:2, except that it was thus honoured, was now so little as not to be accounted one of the cities.To the wilderness - Strike out "to," for the word is in apposition to "lot." The wilderness is Joshua 18:12 "the wilderness of Bethaven." CHAPTER 16

Jos 16:1-4. The General Borders of the Sons of Joseph.

1. the lot of the children of Joseph fell—Hebrew, "went forth," referring either to the lot as drawn out of the urn, or to the tract of land thereby assigned. The first four verses describe the territory allotted to the family of Joseph in the rich domains of central Palestine. It was drawn in one lot, that the brethren might be contiguously situated; but it was afterwards divided. The southern boundary only is described here; that on the north being irregular and less defined (Jos 17:10, 11), is not mentioned.

water of Jericho—(2Ki 2:19), at the joint of its junction with the Jordan.

mount Beth-el—the ridge south of Beth-el. Having described the position of Joseph's family generally the historian proceeds to define the territory; first, that of Ephraim.The general borders of the sons of Joseph, Joshua 16:1-4. The borders of Ephraim, Joshua 16:5-9. Some of the Canaanites not expelled, but made tributary, Joshua 16:10.

Of Joseph, i.e. of Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manasseh, which are here put together in one; not because they had but one lot, for Ephraim had one here, Joshua 16:5, and Manasseh another, Joshua 17:1; but because in these first verses he speaks of them in common, and of the south border, which seems to be the same, either wholly or in a great part; and then he comes to the particular description of their several portions. It is here further remarkable, that God so disposed of these lots, that they came forth in decent and due order; Judah’s first, to whom the sovereignty was promised; and then Joseph’s, who succeeded Reuben in the other privilege of the birth-right, the double portion, 1 Chronicles 5:1,2.

The water of Jericho; of which see 2 Kings 2:19-22. The wilderness that goeth up from Jericho; the wilderness of Beth-aven, as appears by comparing Joshua 18:12, which speaks of the very same border which was on the south of Ephraim, and on the north of Benjamin.

And the lot of the children of Joseph fell,.... Or, "went out" (a); of the pot or urn, this being the next lot that was drawn to that of Judah, the government being Judah's, and the birthright Joseph's, 1 Chronicles 5:2; and by his children are here meant the tribe of Ephraim, and the tribe of Manasseh: or the line and border according to the lot went forth

from Jordan by Jericho unto the water of Jericho on the east; by which it appears, that this was the southern border of the lot; for the tribe of Benjamin, in which Jericho was, lay between Judah and Ephraim, and the border began at Jordan, where it flowed near Jericho, and proceeded to a water which belonged to that city, and is generally thought to be the waters Elisha healed, 2 Kings 2:19,

to the wilderness that goeth up throughout Mount Bethel; this was the wilderness of Bethaven, Joshua 18:12; Jarchi interprets it of the border that went up through Mount Bethel; which is true, and so might the wilderness also, for which the Targum is express; mention is made of a mountain on the east of Bethel, Genesis 12:8.

(a) "et egressa est", Pagninus, Montanus; "exivit", Piscator.

And the lot of the {a} children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel,

(a) That is, to Ephraim and his children: for Manasseh's portion follows.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ch. Joshua 16:1-4. The Lot of the Children of Joseph

1. the lot of the children of Joseph] Having described the inheritance of the royal tribe of Judah, the Author proceeds to relate the distribution of the descendants of the great house of Joseph.

fell] Heb. went forth, i.e. “came out of the urn or chest.” See above, ch. Joshua 7:16, and Joshua 14:2.

from Jordan by Jericho] We have first the southern boundary, which coincided for part of its length with the northern boundary of Benjamin. It began at the Jordan, at the port, or reach, exactly opposite to Jericho. Compare for the expression, above ch. Joshua 13:32, and below Joshua 20:8.

unto the water of Jericho] From this point it ran to “the water of Jericho,” i.e. to the one brook, which is found in the neighbourhood of Jericho. It rises at the fountain Ain es Sultân, the waters of which were healed by Elisha (2 Kings 2:19), and flows into the Jordan.

to the wilderness that goeth up] i.e. by one of the ravines, the Wâdy Harith or Wâdy Suweinît, to the wilderness or uncultivated waste hills (Midbah), to the mountains in the vicinity of Bethel.Verse 1. - Fell. Literally came forth, i.e., out of the urn. The water of Jericho. "This is the present fountain of es Sultan, half an hour to the west of Ribs, the only large fountain in the neighbourhood of Jericho, whose waters spread over the plain and form a small brook" (or small stream, according to Von Schubert)," which flows in the rainy season through the Wady Kelt into the Jordan" (Keil and Delitzsch). This spring, which rises amid the nebek trees and the wheat fields, "springs from the earth at the eastern base of a little knoll; the water is sweet, clear, and agreeable, neither cold nor warm" (Ritter). It flows, he adds, into a basin nine feet broad, in which many fish may be seen playing. This border coincides with the northern border of Benjamin (see Joshua 18:11-20). Ritter mentions another spring, nearer to the Kuruntul or Quarantania range, and adds that, "under the wise management of an efficient government, and with the security of the district from the depredations of predatory savages, the oasis of Jericho might unquestionably resume the paradisaical aspect it once bore." To the wilderness. Or, by or along the wilderness. The Hebrew requires some preposition to be supplied. This wilderness is the same as that spoken of as the wilderness of Bethaven in Joshua 18:12. Throughout Mount Bethel. The Vulgate has, "to Mount Bethel." The LXX. renders, "unto the hill country unto Bethel." The Hebrew may be rendered, "along the hill country unto Bethel" (see Joshua 18:12). The Syriac renders, "up to the mountain which goeth unto Bethel;" but we must understand this of a range of mountains, and then we can identify the border with the double rocky ridge which stretches from the Mons quarantania, of which we have already heard (ch. 2.), and from the pool of Ain es Sultan, just mentioned, as far as Bethel. The fourth group of six towns, on the north of Hebron or of the last two groups. - Halhul, according to the Onom. (s. v. Elul) a place near Hebron named Alula, has been preserved in the ruins of Halhl, an hour and a half to the north of Hebron (Rob. i. p. 319, ii. p. 186, and Bibl. Res. p. 281). Beth-zur, which was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:7), and is frequently mentioned in the time of the Maccabees as a border defence against the Idumaeans (1 Macc. 4:29, 61, etc.), was twenty (? fifteen) Roman miles from Jerusalem, according to the Onom. (s. v. Beth-zur), on the road to Hebron. It is the present heap of ruins called Beit-zur on the north-west of Halhl (Rob. Bibl. Res. pp. 276-7; Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 236, 267-8). Gedor, the ruins of Jedr, an hour and a half to the north-west (Rob. ii. p. 338; Bibl. Res. pp. 282-3).
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