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Adam Clarke Commentary

Joshua 16


Borders of the children of Joseph, Joshua 16:1 -4. The borders of the Ephraimites, Joshua 16:5 -9. The Canaanites dwell tributary among them, Joshua 16:10 .

Verse 1

The children of Joseph - Ephraim and Manasseh, and their descendants. The limits of the tribe of Ephraim extended along the borders of Benjamin and Dan, from Jordan on the east to the Mediterranean on the west.

Verse 2

From Bethel to Luz - From Genesis 28:19 (note) it appears that the place which Jacob called Beth-el was formerly called Luz; see the note there: but here they seem to be two distinct places. It is very likely that the place where Jacob had the vision was not in Luz, but in some place within a small distance of that city or village, (see the note on Genesis 28:12 , and that sometimes the whole place was called Beth-el, at other times Luz, and sometimes, as in the case above, the two places were distinguished. As we find the term London comprises, not only London, but also the city of Westminster and the borough of Southwark; though at other times all three are distinctly mentioned.Archi to Ataroth - Archi was the country of Hushai, the friend of David, 2 Samuel 15:32 , who is called Hushai the Archite. Ataroth, called Ataroth-addar, Ataroth the illustrious, Joshua 16:5 , and simply Ataroth, Joshua 16:7 , is supposed to have been about fifteen miles from Jerusalem.

Verse 3

Beth-horon the nether - This city was about twelve miles from Jerusalem, on the side of Nicopolis, formerly Emmaus. - Calmet. See the note on Joshua 10:10 .

Verse 5

Ataroth-addar - See the note on Joshua 16:2 .Beth-horon the upper - The situation of this town is little known. It was eastward of Beth-horon the nether, and consequently not far from it.

Verse 8

Tappuah - This was a city in the tribe of Manasseh, and gave name to a certain district called the land of Tappuah. See Joshua 17:8 .The sea - The Mediterranean, as before.

Verse 9

And the separate cities - That is, the cities that were separated from the tribe of Manasseh to be given to Ephraim; see Joshua 17:9 .

Verse 10

The Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer - It appears that the Canaanites were not expelled from this city till the days of Solomon, when it was taken by the king of Egypt his father-in-law, who made it a present to his daughter, Solomon's queen. See 1 Kings 9:16 . And see the note on Joshua 10:33 . The Ephraimites, however, had so far succeeded in subjecting these people as to oblige them to pay tribute, though they could not, or at least did not, totally expel them.Of the names and places in this chapter, we may say the same as of others already mentioned. See the note on Joshua 15:1 . Many of those towns were small, and, we may rationally conclude, slightly built, and consequently have perished perhaps more than a thousand years ago. It would be therefore useless to look for such places now. Several of the towns in England, a land not exposed to such revolutions as that of Palestine has ever been, mentioned by Caesar and other ancient writers, are no longer discernible. Several have changed their names, and not a few their situation. Tradition states that the city of Norwich anciently stood some miles from its present situation; and we have the fullest proof that this was the case with the city of Salisbury. Such changes do not affect the truth of the ancient geography of our own country; nor can they impeach that of the sacred historian before us.

Joshua 16

  1 And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel.
  2 And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth,
  3 And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Bethhoron the nether, and to Gezer: and the goings out thereof are at the sea.
  4 So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.
  5 And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Atarothaddar, unto Bethhoron the upper;
  6 And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanathshiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah;
  7 And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan.
  8 The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.
  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.
  10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.

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