The Book of Joshua is an integral part of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. It chronicles the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua, the successor of Moses. Chapter 16 of the Book of Joshua sheds light on the inheritance received by the children of Joseph, specifically the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. This chapter tells us about the extent of their inheritance, the demarcations of their borders, and the various cities and villages that fell under their possession. This article dives deeper into the Book of Joshua Chapter 16 of the New King James Version (NKJV), and presents a detailed analysis of its contents.
The Inheritance of Manasseh and Ephraim
The chapter starts by explaining how the lot of the children of Joseph fell between the Jordan and the sea, and how Manasseh and Ephraim inherited this land (Joshua 16:1). The inheritance of Manasseh is described first, stating that it was on the east side of the Jordan River, and that the tribe obtained possession of Gilead and Bashan. The chapter then goes on to describe how the inheritance of Ephraim was obtained.
The Extent of the Inheritance
The book of Joshua 16:2–4 describes the boundaries of the land of the children of Ephraim. The inheritance extended from the Jordan by Jericho to the waters of Jericho on the east, and from there went through the wilderness to Bethel. From Bethel, it went down to Ataroth Addar, then to Upper Beth Horon. The border then went out from Tappuah westward to the brook Cana and ended at the sea. The east border was ataroth Ada as far as Upper Beth Horan.
Separate Cities Inherited by Ephraim
The Bible explains that the tribe of the children of Ephraim inherited the separate cities, among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, with their villages. These cities were Shechem, which is also called Sychem (Joshua 16:9), and Gezer, one of the old royal cities of Canaan (Joshua 16:10).
Canaanites Among the Ephraimites
One thing that is worth noting is that even though the children of Ephraim had taken their inheritance, the Canaanites still dwelt among them as forced laborers (Joshua 16:10). This indicates that the children of Ephraim had not fully driven out the Canaanites from their land.
Canaanites not Driven out of Giza
Another interesting aspect of Chapter 16 in the Bible is that the tribe of Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites from Giza (Joshua 16:10). This lack of decisive action against the Canaanites would have untold consequences for the Israelites.
Lessons from Joshua 16
The New King James Version’s Chapter 16 of Joshua in the Bible teaches several valuable lessons. Firstly, it teaches us how important it is to follow God’s plan for our lives. The land was distributed by lot, which meant that the distribution of the inheritance was left in God’s hands. Secondly, it is an indication that obedience to God’s instructions should always be our top priority. When God says to take certain actions, we should obey without fail.
In conclusion, Chapter 16 of Joshua gives us a detailed account of the inheritance of the children of Joseph and what has been distributed to the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. We learn that they took their inheritance from the Jordan to the sea, with the exception of Giza, where the Canaanites still lived. Also, we see that Ephraim inherited separate cities, which included Gezer and Shechem. It is essential that we draw lessons from the book of Joshua chapter 16, and apply them to our daily lives to live according to God’s will.