Joshua 17

Land for Manasseh's tribe

1 This is the land that Manasseh's tribe received. Manasseh was Joseph's firstborn son. Manasseh's firstborn son was Makir. He was the father of Gilead. Makir's descendants were brave soldiers. Because of that, Moses had already given Gilead and Bashan to them, east of the Jordan River. 2 The other families of Manasseh received land on the west side of the Jordan. They were the descendants of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher and Shemida. They were all sons of Manasseh, and leaders of their clans.

3 Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, had no sons. He had only daughters. Their names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. 4 They went to see Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders. They said, ‘The Lord told Moses to give us part of the land. We must have land like the sons of other families.’ Joshua agreed and he gave land to them, like the other families. 5 That is why Manasseh's tribe received ten parts of the land, as well as Gilead and Bashan on the east side of the Jordan. 6 The daughters of Manasseh received some land, as well as his sons. They gave the land of Gilead to the other families of Manasseh.

7 The border of Manasseh's land went from Asher to Micmethath, east of Shechem. It went south to include En Tappuah. 8 Manasseh received the land near Tappuah, but the town of Tappuah belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. 9 The border of Manasseh's land went down to Kanah valley and along its north side to the Mediterranean Sea. Some towns on the south of that valley belonged to Ephraim, but they were in Manasseh's land. 10 Ephraim's land was south of the river, and Manasseh's land was to the north. Manasseh's west border was the Mediterranean Sea. Asher's land was on the north side of Manasseh's land. Issachar's land was on the east side. 11 Some towns that were in the lands of Issachar and Asher belonged to Manasseh. They were Beth Shan, Ibleam and the people who lived in Dor, Endor, Taanach, and Megiddo. They included the villages near those towns. 12 But the men of Manasseh could not chase out the people who lived in those cities. So the Canaanite people continued to live there. 13 When the Israelites became stronger, they made the Canaanites work for them as slaves. But they never completely chased the Canaanites out from those towns.

Joseph's descendants ask for more land

14 Joseph's descendants asked Joshua, ‘Why have you given only one part of the land for us to live in? The Lord has blessed us with many children, so there are many people in our tribe.’

15 Joshua said to them, ‘Because there are so many of you, you may take more land. If the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, move into the forest that belongs to the Perizzites and the Rephaites. Cut down trees there to make a place to live.’

16 They replied, ‘The hill country is certainly not big enough for us. But the Canaanites who live in Beth Shan and its villages, and in the valley of Jezreel, have iron chariots.’

17 Joshua said to the men from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, ‘You have very many strong men who can fight. I will give you more land than the part that you have already received. 18 You may take the whole of the hill country as your land. You can cut down the trees of the forests and live there. It is true that the Canaanites are strong fighters and they have iron chariots. But you will be strong enough to chase them out.’