Add parallel Print Page Options

Manasseh’s Allocation

17 The territorial allotment for the tribe of Manasseh, the firstborn of Joseph, was allocated first[a] to Machir the firstborn of Manasseh and father of Gilead. Since he had been a man of war, Gilead and Bashan were allocated to him.[b]

Now allotments were made[c] with respect to the remaining descendants of Manasseh according to their families: for the descendants of Abiezer, the descendants of Helek, the descendants of Asriel, the descendants of Shechem, the descendants of Hepher, and the descendants of Shemida—the male descendants of Joseph’s son Manasseh, according to their families.

Hepher’s son Zelophehad, grandson of Gilead and great-grandson of Manasseh’s son Machir had no sons, only daughters. These are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They appeared before Eleazar the priest and Nun’s son Joshua and declared, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our relatives.” So in keeping what the Lord had commanded, he gave them an inheritance among their ancestor’s relatives. That is why ten allotments fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan beyond the Jordan River, since the granddaughters of Manasseh received an inheritance along with his sons. (The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the descendants of Manasseh.)

The border of Manasseh proceeded from Asher to Michmethath east of Shechem, then turned south to include the inhabitants of En-tappuach. (The territory of Tappuach belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuach itself,[d] on the border of Manasseh, was allocated[e] to the descendants of Ephraim.) The border proceeded to the Kanah brook and proceeded south. These cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh, with the border of Manasseh on the north of the brook, terminating at the Mediterranean[f] Sea.

10 The southern area was allocated to Ephraim and the northern area to Manasseh. The Mediterranean[g] Sea was the border, extending to Asher on the North and to Issachar on the east. 11 In Issachar and Asher, Manasseh held Beth-shean and its towns, Ibleam and its towns, the inhabitants of En-dor and its towns, the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns, and the three coastal districts.[h] 12 The descendants of Manasseh did not take possession of these cities, because the Canaanites predominated in that territory. 13 Later on, when the Israelis had become strong, they forced the Canaanites to work for them, but they never did expel them completely.

Protests by the Tribe of Joseph

14 At that time, the descendants of Joseph asked Joshua, “Why did you give us[i] only one allotment and portion for an inheritance, since we’re numerous and the Lord has blessed us all along?”

15 So Joshua replied to them, “Since you’re so numerous, go up to the forest and clear ground there for yourselves in the territory where the Perizzites and Rephaim[j] are, because the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.”

16 The descendants of Joseph replied, “The hill country isn’t sufficient for us, but all the Canaanites who live on the plain have iron chariots, both those in Beth-shean and its villages as well as the inhabitants of the Jezreel Valley.”

17 So Joshua told the tribes of Joseph, which were Ephraim and Manasseh, “You’re truly a numerous group, and you have great power. You are not to have only one allotment, 18 but the hill country will also belong to you. Even though it’s a forest, you will clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. You’ll drive out the Canaanites, even though they have iron chariots and even though they’re strong.”


  1. Joshua 17:1 The Heb. lacks was allocated first
  2. Joshua 17:1 The Heb. lacks were allocated to him
  3. Joshua 17:2 The Heb. lacks allotments were made
  4. Joshua 17:8 The Heb. lacks itself
  5. Joshua 17:8 The Heb. lacks was allocated
  6. Joshua 17:9 The Heb. lacks Mediterranean
  7. Joshua 17:10 The Heb. lacks Mediterranean
  8. Joshua 17:11 Or the third is Napheth
  9. Joshua 17:14 Lit. me
  10. Joshua 17:15 I.e. a race of giants that formerly populated Canaan; cf. Num 13:22, 33; Deut 9:2