Joshua 17:10
Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 17:10. The sea is his border — Manasseh’s, whose portion is here described, and whose name was last mentioned. In Asher — That is, upon the tribe of Asher; for though Zebulun came between Asher and them for the greatest part of their land; yet it seems there were some necks of land, both of Ephraim’s and of Manasseh’s, which jutted out farther than the rest, and touched the borders of Asher.17:7-13 There was great communication between Manasseh and Ephraim. Though each tribe had its inheritance, yet they should intermix one with another, to do good offices one to another, as became those, who, though of different tribes, were all one Israel, and were bound to love as brethren. But they suffered the Canaanites to live among them, against the command of God, to serve their own ends.Southward - i. e. of the river Kanah.

Render, "they (i. e. the two kindred tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the northern border being treated here as common to the two) reached unto Asher." (See the map.) The northern border is only indicated in general terms, perhaps because the Israelites were not yet completely masters of this part of the country, and so had not precisely determined it.

9. the coast descended unto the river Kanah, southward of the river—The line which separated the possessions of the two brothers from each other ran to the south of the stream. Thus the river was in the territory of Manasseh; but the cities which were upon the river, though all were within the limits of Manasseh's possessions, were assigned partly to Ephraim, and partly to Manasseh; those on the south side being given to the former; those upon the north to the latter [Keil]. It appears (Jos 17:10) that Manasseh was still further interlaced with other neighboring tribes. His border; either,

1. Manasseh’s, whose portion is here described, and whose name was last mentioned. Or,

2. Ephraim’s and Manasseh’s, both expressed in the foregoing words, and implied in the following,

they.

In Asher, i.e. upon the tribe of Asher; for though Zebulun came between Asher and them for the greatest part of their land, yet it seems there were some necks or parcels of land, both of Ephraim’s and of Manasseh’s, which jutted out farther than the rest, and touched the borders of Asher. And it is certain there were many such incursions of the land of one tribe upon some parcels of another, although they were otherwise considerably distant one from the other. See Joshua 19:34. And you must not judge of these things by the present maps, which are drawn according to the opinions of late authors, which many times are false; and they are to be judged by the Scripture, and not the Scripture by them: but that part of Manasseh did reach to Asher, appears from hence, that Dor, a city of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11, was, as Josephus witnesseth, near Carmel, which belonged to Asher, Joshua 19:26. Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's,.... As Ephraim lay to the south of Manasseh, Manasseh lay to the north of Ephraim:

and the sea is his border; the Mediterranean sea was their boundary on the west:

and they met together in Asher on the north; that is, on the northwest towards the Mediterranean sea, as, at Mount Carmel:

and in Issachar on the east; towards Jordan.

Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea is his border; and they met together in {f} Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east.

(f) In the tribe of Asher, and tribe of Issachar.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. southward] Southward of the brook the land belonged to Ephraim, northward of the same it belonged to Manasseh, and the sea constituted the western border.

they met] or “struck upon” Asher in the north and on Issachar in the east. Thus the two tribes were bounded (a) on the east by Issachar; (b) on the north by Asher; (c) on the west by the sea; (d) and on the south by Benjamin and Dan.Verse 10. - And they met together. Rather, they (i.e., the Manassites) impinged (this is the very same word as the Hebrew יִפְגְעוּ), i.e., "touched upon." There has been great discussion concerning this passage. The literal meaning is clearly that Manasseh was bordered by Asher on the north, and Issachar on the east. The idea of an Asher-ham-Michmethah must be given up if we take this rendering of the Hebrew. Its only justification is the fact that if Michmethah be at once the northern border of Ephraim and Manasseh, the territory of Manasseh is cut almost in half. And, in fact, such a supposition makes confusion worse confounded. Is it probable that in vers. 7 and 10 Asher-ham-Michmethah is meant; that the town Asher is mentioned in similar terms to the tribe Issachar in the latter verse; and that in ver. 11, without a single intimation of the change of meaning, the tribes Issachar and Asher are mentioned? Again: if Dor - considerably to the south of Mount Carmel - was within the territory of Asher (ver. 11), how can we possibly, as Conder's 'Handbook' does, place the limits of Asher at Accho, and bring Zebulun to the sea (which it never reaches, for "toward the sea," in Joshua 19:11 clearly means "westward"), interposing a large strip of territory between Manasseh and Asher, placing Dor, in spite of ver. 11, far within the limits of Manasseh, and giving this last tribe, or rather half tribe, an extraordinarily disproportioned share of the land? (See the complaint in ver. 16). Zebulun, too, was on the eastern border of Asher (Joshua 19:27), and it is by no means certain that Shihor Libnath (see Joshua 19:26) is not the Wady Zerka, south of Dor. This is the view of Knobel, a commentator by no means void of acuteness. This contraction of Manasseh's territory explains why cities had to be given to it out of Asher and Issachar, as well as the complaint in the latter part of this chapter. Issachar, too, must have stretched considerably southward. But the vagueness of the description of Manasseh's border, especially on the north, prevents us from assigning any limits to Issachar in this direction; while it is impossible, with a writer in the Quarterly Papers of the Palestine Exploration Fund, to suppose that it extended from Jezreel and Shunem and Endor on the north as far as Jericho to the south. Among the six families of Manasseh (Joshua 17:2), Zelophehad, a descendant of Hepher, left no son; but he had five daughters, whose names are given in Joshua 17:3 (as in Numbers 26:33; Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:10). These daughters had petitioned Moses for a separate portion in the promised land, and their request had been granted (Numbers 27:2., compared with Joshua 36). They therefore came before the committee appointed for dividing the land and repeated this promised, which as at once fulfilled. Consequently there were ten families of Manasseh who had received portions by the side of Ephraim, five male and five female. "And (Joshua 17:5) there fell the measurements of Manasseh (as) ten," i.e., ten portions were assigned to the Manassites (on the west of the Jordan), beside the land of Gilead, because (as is again observed in Joshua 17:6) the daughters of Manasseh, i.e., of Zelophehad the Manassite, received an inheritance among his sons (i.e., the rest of the Manassites).
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