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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 16

Verses 1-10

Joshua 16:1 . The water of Jericho. These waters being bitter, Elisha obtained by his prayers the power to heal them by a handful of salt. 2 Kings 2:21.

Joshua 16:2 . Beth-el to Luz. Luz was the town, Beth-el a place of trees adjoining, where Jacob saw the vision. Genesis 28:19.

Joshua 16:8 . The sea, or the salt sea, the Mediterranean: the sea of Sodom was Asphaltic.

Joshua 16:9 . Among the inheritance of Manasseh. Ephraim’s possessions indented into the district of Manasseh. To divide possessions was difficult.


The conduct of Ephraim in this chapter brands his character with everlasting reproach, and furnishes instruction to us. Joseph’s children were almost the only tribe that made complaint concerning the deficiency of their lot, Joshua 17:14; and yet, strange as it may appear, Ephraim made a league with the Canaanites in Gezer, and received their tribute. Hereby he transgressed the law so often repeated, that Israel was to make no covenant with them or their gods. So they remained till the king of Egypt drove them out, and gave the district as a portion to his daughter, on her marriage with Solomon. This is not the worst. Ephraim, long corrupted by those ungodly neighbours, was the first to forsake the true religion, and to worship the calf in Beth-el. Let the christian world receive instruction from this sad case. That man, who, instead of crucifying the flesh, and executing on his sins the required vengeance of God; that man who shall basely make a covenant with his sins, will find them awful to his soul at a future day. The dallying with but one sin, (and the sacred writings abound with examples) may give him in the hour of temptation an awful wound. And what can he expect but Ephraim’s punishment, when he turns coward in the warfare with the flesh, and basely accepts a tribute of pleasure or of profit from his sins.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 16". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.