Joshua 16 Commentary
Chapter 16 is about land allocation to the two tribes of Joseph. The blessing of fruitfulness for Joseph meant that the one had become two. The name Joseph itself means addition. The two portions for Joseph is the fulfilment of the blessing of increase and fruitfulness.
While details in this chapter may suggest much smaller portions of land for Joseph, the fact is that Joseph’s sons inherited a much bigger portion of land comparable with Judah’s massive blessing.
They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor. Joshua 16 verse 10. We saw this statement with Judah and here we see it again. The victory that we are celebrating carried with it seeds of failure. Indeed the instruction was to drive out (destroy completely) the Canaanite peoples and then settle. It hasn’t happened. This is human failure with huge consequences but that is the story for the Book of Judges.
Salvation in Jesus Christ is a great point of rest. The enemy to drive out completely is greediness or lying, immorality or stubbornness, pride or selfishness, drunkenness or simply stupidity. Each time the saint has ‘settled’ in their salvation with any of these neighbors, the results have always been pain and suffering – a joyless existence. This is not part of the spec! If only the saint knew that the same Commander of the armies of the LORD still stands ready – now as the Holy Spirit within the saint. These battles are winnable.
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