Joshua 17:12
Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
17:7-13 There was great communication between Manasseh and Ephraim. Though each tribe had its inheritance, yet they should intermix one with another, to do good offices one to another, as became those, who, though of different tribes, were all one Israel, and were bound to love as brethren. But they suffered the Canaanites to live among them, against the command of God, to serve their own ends.Perhaps Beth-shean (in Issachar) and the other five towns (in Asher) were given to the Manassites in compensation for towns in the Manassite territory allotted to the Ephraimites. (See Joshua 17:9. Compare Joshua 21:9.) To the wall of Beth-shean, or Bethshah ("Beisan," about 5 miles west of the Jordan), the bodies of Saul and his sons were fastened by the Philistines after the battle on Mount Gilboa. After the exile it received the Greek name of Scythopolis, perhaps because it was principally tenanted by a rude and pagan population, styled in contempt Scythians. It was a border city of Galilee, and the chief town of the Decapolis. In Christian times it was the see of a bishop, who is enumerated as present at Nicaea and other Councils of the Church.

Ibleam (Bileam, 1 Chronicles 6:70), perhaps "Jelameh," was a Levitical town (Joshua 21:25 note). Near this place Ahaziah was mortally wounded by Jehu (2 Kings 9:27), and fled to Megiddo, which was no doubt not far distant.

Three countries - Rather "the three hills." The district belonging to the last-mentioned three towns had a common name, derived no doubt from its natural features, and was called "the three hills." Compare Decapolis, Tripolis, etc.

Jos 17:12, 13. Canaanites Not Driven Out.

12, 13. Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out those cities—probably due to indolence, a love of ease. Perhaps a mistaken humanity, arising from a disregard or forgetfulness of the divine command, and a decreasing principle of faith and zeal in the service of God, were the causes of their failure.

See Poole "Joshua 15:63".

Would dwell; were resolved to fight, rather than be turned out of their ancient habitations. Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of these cities,.... Mentioned in Joshua 17:11; they had not strength at first to do it, or either were negligent and slothful, and suffered them to dwell among them, and did not take the advantage they might have done; and afterwards it was too late, they became too strong and numerous for them, at least for a time:

but the Canaanites would dwell in the land; whether they would or not.

Yet the children of Manasseh {g} could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.

(g) For at first they lacked courage, and later agreed with them on condition, contrary to God's commandment.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. Yet the children of Manasseh] Comp. Jdg 1:27-28.Verse 12. - Would dwell. The LXX. and Vulgate translate, "began to dwell," an obvious mistake here, though the word sometimes has this signification. They willed to dwell there, in spite of their defeats, and their purpose was not frustrated. Among the six families of Manasseh (Joshua 17:2), Zelophehad, a descendant of Hepher, left no son; but he had five daughters, whose names are given in Joshua 17:3 (as in Numbers 26:33; Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:10). These daughters had petitioned Moses for a separate portion in the promised land, and their request had been granted (Numbers 27:2., compared with Joshua 36). They therefore came before the committee appointed for dividing the land and repeated this promised, which as at once fulfilled. Consequently there were ten families of Manasseh who had received portions by the side of Ephraim, five male and five female. "And (Joshua 17:5) there fell the measurements of Manasseh (as) ten," i.e., ten portions were assigned to the Manassites (on the west of the Jordan), beside the land of Gilead, because (as is again observed in Joshua 17:6) the daughters of Manasseh, i.e., of Zelophehad the Manassite, received an inheritance among his sons (i.e., the rest of the Manassites).
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