And Joshua answered them
By retorting their own argument upon them:
if thou [be] a great people;
which he does not deny, as they were for numbers and power:
[then] get thee up to the wood [country];
which was near them, and within their borders, and lay on hills and mountains, perhaps the mountains of Gilboa, and therefore are bid to go up:
and cut down for thyself there;
cut down the trees of the wood, clear the ground of them, and so make it habitable, and by that means enlarge the places of their habitation:
in the land of the Perizzites, and of the giants;
or Rephaim; the former of these were one of the seven nations of the Canaanites, who from their name seem to have dwelt not in the cities, and walled towns, but in villages, and scattered houses, in desert places, and among the woods, where also the giants had retired and dwelt after Joshua had driven them out of the cities; and by driving these out of their present habitations, they would gain more room to dwell in, and would find their lot sufficient for them:
if Mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee;
either meaning all Ephraim, and even the whole lot of the sons of Joseph, or rattler the mount particularly so called; for the words may be rendered, "for Mount Ephraim hastens for thee" F17; was clear or open for thee; ready to be delivered to thee, and thou mayest possess it at once.
F17 Vid Gusset. Ebr. Comment, p. 21.