The Message

Joshua 17

11-2 This is the lot that fell to the people of Manasseh, Joseph’s firstborn. (Gilead and Bashan had already been given to Makir, Manasseh’s firstborn and father of Gilead, because he was an outstanding fighter.) So the lot that follows went to the rest of the people of Manasseh and their clans, the clans of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. These are the male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph by their clans.

3-4 Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters. Their names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They went to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders and said, “God commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our kinsmen.” And Joshua did it; he gave them, as God commanded, an inheritance amid their father’s brothers.

5-6 Manasseh’s lot came to ten portions, in addition to the land of Gilead and Bashan on the other side of the Jordan, because Manasseh’s daughters got an inheritance along with his sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the people of Manasseh.

7-10 The boundary of Manasseh went from Asher all the way to Micmethath, just opposite Shechem, then ran southward to the people living at En Tappuah. (The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuah itself on the border of Manasseh belonged to the Ephraimites.) The boundary continued south to the Brook Kanah. (The cities there belonged to Ephraim although they lay among the cities of Manasseh.) The boundary of Manasseh ran north of the brook and ended at the Sea. The land to the south belonged to Ephraim; the land to the north to Manasseh, with the Sea as their western border; they meet Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.

11 Within Issachar and Asher, Manasseh also held Beth Shan, Ibleam, and the people of Dor, Endor, Taanach, and Megiddo, together with their villages, and the third in the list is Naphoth.

12-13 The people of Manasseh never were able to take over these towns—the Canaanites wouldn’t budge. But later, when the Israelites got stronger, they put the Canaanites to forced labor. But they never did get rid of them.

14 The people of Joseph spoke to Joshua: “Why did you give us just one allotment, one solitary share? There are a lot of us, and growing—God has extravagantly blessed us.”

15 Joshua responded, “Since there are so many of you, and you find the hill country of Ephraim too confining, climb into the forest and clear ground there for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim.”

16 But the people of Joseph said, “There’s not enough hill country for us; and the Canaanites who live down in the plain, both those in Beth Shan and its villages and in the Valley of Jezreel, have iron chariots.”

17-18 Joshua said to the family of Joseph (to Ephraim and Manasseh): “Yes, there are a lot of you, and you are very strong. One lot is not enough for you. You also get the hill country. It’s nothing but trees now, but you will clear the land and make it your own from one end to the other. The powerful Canaanites, even with their iron chariots, won’t stand a chance against you.”

Amplified Bible

Joshua 17

Territory of Manasseh

1Now this was the lot (allotment) for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. To Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a man of war. So the lot was also made for the rest of the sons of Manasseh according to their families—for the sons of Abiezer and for the sons of Helek and for the sons of Asriel and for the sons of Shechem and for the sons of Hepher and for the sons of Shemida; these were the male descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families (clans).

But Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They came before Eleazar the priest and before Joshua the son of Nun and before the leaders and said, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.” So according to the command of the Lord Joshua gave them an inheritance among their father’s brothers. So ten portions fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan [on the east side of the river], because the daughters of [Zelophehad, a descendant of] Manasseh had received an inheritance among his [other] sons [whose inheritance went to their male descendants]. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh.

The territory of Manasseh reached from Asher to Michmethath which was east of Shechem; then the border went southward to the inhabitants of En-tappuah. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but [the city of] Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the sons of Ephraim. Then the border went down to the brook of Kanah, south of the brook (these cities belonged to Ephraim, among the cities of Manasseh), and Manasseh’s border was on the north side of the brook and it ended at the sea. 10 The land on the south side belonged to Ephraim and that on the north side was Manasseh’s, and the sea was their border; they reached to [the territory of] Asher on the north and to [the territory of] Issachar on the east. 11 Also, in Issachar and in Asher, Manasseh had Beth-shean and its towns and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of En-dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns; the third is Napheth. 12 But the sons of Manasseh were not able to [drive out the inhabitants and] take possession of these cities, because the Canaanites persisted in living in that land. 13 When the Israelites became strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely.

14 The sons of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given us only one lot and one portion as an inheritance, when we are a numerous people whom the Lord has so far blessed?” 15 Then Joshua replied, “If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest and clear ground for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” 16 The sons of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the valley have iron chariots, both those who are in Beth-shean and its towns and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” 17 Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and to Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, 18 but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have iron chariots and though they are strong.”