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Manasseh. 1a Now as for the lot that fell to the tribe of Manassehb as the firstborn of Joseph: since Manasseh’s eldest son, Machir, the father of Gilead, was a warrior, who had already obtained Gilead and Bashan, 2the allotment was now made to the rest of the Manassites by their clans: the descendants of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida; these are the other male children of Manasseh, son of Joseph, by their clans.
3c Furthermore, Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, had no sons, but only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4These presented themselves to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua, son of Nun, and to the leaders, saying, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us a heritage among our relatives.” So in accordance with the command of the LORD a heritage was given them among their father’s relatives. 5Thus ten shares fell to Manasseh apart from the land of Gilead and Bashan beyond the Jordan,d 6since these female descendants of Manasseh received each a portion among his sons. The land of Gilead fell to the rest of the Manassites.
7Manasseh bordered on Asher.* From Michmethath, near Shechem, another boundary ran southward to include the inhabitants of En-Tappuah, 8because the district of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, although Tappuah itself was an Ephraimite city on the border of Manasseh. 9This same boundary continued down to the Wadi Kanah.e The cities that belonged to Ephraim from among the cities in Manasseh were those to the south of that wadi; thus the territory of Manasseh ran north of the wadi and ended at the sea. 10The land on the south belonged to Ephraim and that on the north to Manasseh; with the sea as their common boundary, they reached Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.
11f Moreover, in Issachar and in Asher Manasseh was awarded Beth-shean and its towns, Ibleam and its towns, the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns (the third is Naphath-dor). 12Since the Manassites were not able to dispossess these cities, the Canaanites continued to inhabit this region. 13When the Israelites grew stronger they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not dispossess them.
Protest of Joseph Tribes. 14The descendants of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you given us only one lot and one share as our heritage?g Our people are too many, because of the extent to which the LORD has blessed us.” 15Joshua answered them, “If you are too many, go up to the forest and clear out a place for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaim, since the mountain regions of Ephraim are so narrow.” 16For the Josephites said, “Our mountain regions are not enough for us; on the other hand, the Canaanites living in the valley region all have iron chariots, in particular those in Beth-shean and its towns, and those in the valley of Jezreel.” 17Joshua therefore said to Ephraim and Manasseh, the house of Joseph, “You are a numerous people and very strong. You shall not have merely one share, 18for the mountain region which is now forest shall be yours when you clear it. Its adjacent land shall also be yours if, despite their strength and iron chariots, you dispossess the Canaanites.”
* [17:7] Manasseh bordered on Asher: only at the extreme northwestern section of Manasseh’s territory. The boundary given in the following sentences (vv. 7–10) is a more detailed description of the one already mentioned in 16:5–7, as separating Manasseh from Ephraim.
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