Joshua 16

Allotment for Ephraim and Manasseh

1 The allotment for Joseph began at the Jordan, east of the springs of Jericho, and went up from there through the desert into the hill country of Bethel.
2 It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz),[a] crossed over to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth,
3 descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the Mediterranean Sea.
4 So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance.
5 This was the territory of Ephraim, according to its clans: The boundary of their inheritance went from Ataroth Addar in the east to Upper Beth Horon
6 and continued to the Mediterranean Sea. From Mikmethath on the north it curved eastward to Taanath Shiloh, passing by it to Janoah on the east.
7 Then it went down from Janoah to Ataroth and Naarah, touched Jericho and came out at the Jordan.
8 From Tappuah the border went west to the Kanah Ravine and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the Ephraimites, according to its clans.
9 It also included all the towns and their villages that were set aside for the Ephraimites within the inheritance of the Manassites.
10 They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.

Joshua 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

The sons of Joseph.

- This and the following chapter should not be separated. They give the lots of Ephraim and Manasseh, the children of Joseph, who, next to Judah, were to have the post of honour, and therefore had the first and best portion in the northern part of Canaan, as Judah in the southern part. God's people now, as of old, suffer his enemies to remain. Blessed Lord, when will all ( 1 Corinthians. 15:26 ) thou alone canst do it. These settled boundaries may remind us, that our situation and provision in this life, as well as our future inheritance, are appointed by the only wise and righteous God, and we should be content with our portion, since he knows what is best for us, and all we have is more than we deserve.

Cross References 18

  • 1. S Joshua 8:15; Joshua 18:12
  • 2. S Joshua 12:9
  • 3. S Genesis 28:19; Joshua 18:13
  • 4. 2 Samuel 15:32
  • 5. S ver 5; S Numbers 32:3
  • 6. S Joshua 10:10; 2 Chronicles 8:5
  • 7. S Joshua 10:33; 1 Kings 9:15
  • 8. Joshua 18:5; Joshua 17:14
  • 9. ver 2; Joshua 18:13
  • 10. S Joshua 10:10
  • 11. Joshua 17:7
  • 12. ver 7; 2 Kings 15:29
  • 13. S ver 6
  • 14. S Numbers 32:3; 1 Chronicles 7:28
  • 15. S Joshua 12:17
  • 16. Joshua 17:9; Joshua 19:28
  • 17. Ezekiel 48:5
  • 18. S Joshua 15:63; Joshua 17:13; Judges 1:28-29; 1 Kings 9:16

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Septuagint; Hebrew "Bethel to Luz"

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives us an account of the lot of the children of Joseph, Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manasseh, one half having settled on the other side Jordan; and first the borders of the whole lot in general are given, Jos 16:1-4; and then the borders of the tribe of Ephraim in particular, Jos 16:4-8; and it is observed, that this tribe had besides separate cities among the children of Manasseh, and that there were some Canaanites, particularly in Gezer, not driven out by the Ephraimites, Jos 16:9,10.

Joshua 16 Commentaries

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