Joshua 16:9
And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) The separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh; and Joshua 17:10-11 : Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher, Beth-shean,” &c. This fact would manifestly tend to produce a solidarity among the several tribes, and to prevent disunion by creating common interests. The interest of the stronger tribes would be served by completing the conquest of the territory assigned to the weaker. And the general formation thus produced would resemble that which was known by the name of the testudo, or tortoise, in Roman warfare. When a body of soldiers approached the wall of a town which it was intended to assault, they sometimes held their shields over them, overlapping like scales, each man’s shield partly sheltering his own, and partly his neighbour’s body, so that no missile could penetrate. Thus it may be said not only of Jerusalem, but of all the tribes in the land of their possession, that they were built as a city that is compact together, and at unity in itself: united by joints and bands, so that if one member of the body politic should suffer, all the members must suffer with it. For a further illustration of the same topic, see on the inheritance of Benjamin (Joshua 18:11) and of Simeon (Joshua 19:1).

Joshua 16:9. The separate cities — That is, besides those cities which were within Ephraim’s bounds, he had some other cities out of Manasseh’s portion, because his tribe was all here, and was larger than Manasseh’s.16:20-63 Here is a list of the cities of Judah. But we do not here find Bethlehem, afterwards the city of David, and ennobled by the birth of our Lord Jesus in it. That city, which, at the best, was but little among the thousands of Judah, Mic 5:2, except that it was thus honoured, was now so little as not to be accounted one of the cities.The verb "were," introduced by the King James Version in this verse should be omitted; and the full stop after Joshua 16:8 replaced by a colon. The purport of Joshua 16:9 is simply to add to the inheritance of Ephraim, defined by the preceding context, "the separate cities" or more properly "single cities" which were allotted to them in addition within the borders of Manasseh. The reasons for granting these additional cities to the Ephraimites can only be conjectured. Perhaps the territory assigned to this numerous tribe proved on experiment to be too small; and therefore some towns, which are named in 1 Chronicles 7:29, were given to them from the kindred Manassites, the latter being recompensed (Joshua 17:11 note) at the expense of Issachar and Asher. 9. separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of Manasseh—(Jos 17:9), because it was found that the tract allotted to Ephraim was too small in proportion to its population and power. The separate cities, i.e. besides those cities which were within Ephraim’s bounds, he had some other cities, to which all their territories were annexed out of Manasseh’s portion, because his tribe was all here, and was larger than Manasseh’s. And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim,.... The tribe of Ephraim, being much larger than the half tribe of Manasseh, besides the lot that fell to it, described before by its boundaries, had several particular and distinct cities given to it: which

were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh; some that were upon the borders of Ephraim, and within the territory of Manasseh, and it may be where it jetted out in a nook or corner, see Joshua 17:8,

all the cities with their villages; not the separate cities only, but the little towns adjacent to them.

And the {e} separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.

(e) Because Ephraim's tribe was far greater than Manasseh, therefore he had more cities.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. And the separate cities] Or, the places which were portioned off.

were] This verb, introduced into our Version, should be omitted, and the full stop at the end of Joshua 16:8 should be replaced by a colon. The author intended us to add to “the inheritance of the children of Ephraim” the “separate” or “single” cities allotted to the tribe within the borders of Manasseh. It is supposed that after their relative boundaries had been fixed—though the subdivision of the territory assigned to the two brother tribes does not seem to have been very definite—it was found that the territory of Ephraim was too small in proportion to its strength.Verse 9. - And the separate cities. Literally, and the cities divided off. The word "were," in our version, is misplaced. It should be read thus: "And there were cities divided off and assigned to the tribe of Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Manasseh" (see note on ver. 5). This fact, together with the compensation given to Manasseh, may serve to explain the cohesion of the ten tribes in opposition to Judah. The boundaries of the latter tribe were more strictly defined, her attitude more exclusive. We may almost discern this in the prominence given to Judah in the present book. Ephraim, already enraged at the passing away of the pre-eminence from itself, which had not merely been predicted, but, as Judges 8:1-3 and Judges 12:1 show, had been actually enjoyed, was closely allied to Manasseh, and Manasseh to Issachar and Zebulun, by the arrangement we are considering. It would naturally be able, by its position and these circumstances, to combine together the rest of the tribe against the somewhat overbearing attitude of the tribe of Judah (see 2 Samuel 19:43). From this point "it went down westward to the territory of the Japhletites to the territory of lower Beth-horon," or, according to Joshua 18:13, "to the mountain (or range) which is on the south by lower Beth-horon." The Japhletite is altogether unknown as the Asherite of this name cannot possibly be thought of (1 Chronicles 7:32-33). Lower Beth-horon is the present Beit-Ur Tachta, a village upon a low ridge. It is separated from Upper Beth-horon, which lies farther east, by a deep wady (see at Joshua 10:10, and Rob. iii. p. 59). "And to Gezer," which was probably situated near the village of el Kubab (see at Joshua 10:33). "And the goings out thereof are at the sea" (the Mediterranean), probably running towards the north-west, and following the Wady Muzeireh to the north of Japho, which was assigned to the Danites, according to Joshua 19:46.
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