Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

Joshua 16

Verse 1

JOSHUA CHAPTER 16

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.

Verse 2

From Beth-el to Luz, or, from Bethel-luzah, as the LXX. here join the words; for Beth-el was anciently called Luz, Genesis 28:19 48:3; though some think this was another Luz, spoken of Jude 1:26. Others make Beth-el and Luz two neighbouring towns, which afterwards being more built and inhabited, became one, as oft hath happened.

Verse 3

Of the two

Beth-horons, see Joshua 10:10,11.

Verse 4

Manasseh, i.e. half Manasseh, by a synecdoche. Their inheritance, i.e. their several portions which here follow. Some think that they had but one lot between them; and therefore they are now said

to take their inheritance, to wit, by dividing it between them according to the direction of Joshua and Eleazar, &c.; for that phrase being used of them, and not to my remembrance of any other tribes, may seem to have some peculiar signification, which doth not agree to the other tribes. But there being mention of a peculiar lot taken out for Manasseh, Joshua 17:1, shows that their several inheritances fell to them, as the rest did to the other tribes, even by several lots; and it is said of them, that

they took their inheritance, which also Judah had done before them, because the tribes of Judah and Joseph did take their inheritances before the rest; and it was fit they should do so, for the security of the main camp, and the body of the people which were at Gilgal. See Joshua 18:5.

Verse 5

On the east side, i.e. the north-east side. It is no wonder, if some of these descriptions are dark and doubtful to us at this distance of time and place; there having been so many alterations made in places, and so many circumstances being now altogether undiscoverable. But this is evident to every man of common sense, that this and all the descriptions here mentioned were then certain and evident to the Israelites, because these were the foundation of their present practice, and of all the possessions which then they took and peaceably possessed in succeeding ages.

Verse 6

Toward the sea; the midland sea, towards the west.

Verse 7

Not to the city of Jericho, which belonged to Benjamin’s lot, Joshua 18:21, but to its territory.

Verse 9

The separate cities, i.e. besides those cities which were within Ephraim’s bounds, he had some other cities, to which all their territories were annexed out of Manasseh’s portion, because his tribe was all here, and was larger than Manasseh’s.

Verse 10

The Canaanites were not driven out until Solomon’s time, 1 Kings 9:16.

Under tribute, as Joshua 17:13 1 Kings 9:16.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://pro.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/joshua-16.html. 1685.