Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 17:11

In Issachar and in Asher, Manasseh had Beth-shean and its towns and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of En-dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns, the third is Napheth.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beth-Shean;   Bileam;   Dor;   En-Dor;   Ibleam;   Issachar;   Manasseh;   Megiddo;   Taanach;   Thompson Chain Reference - En-Dor;   Megiddo;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Manasseh, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Beth-Shean, or Beth-Shan;   Dor;   Endor;   Megiddo;   Taanach;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Bethshan (bethshean);   City;   Manasseh, tribe of;   Megiddo;   Palestine;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Endor;   Ibleam;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Asher;   Bethshean;   Bileam;   Dor;   Endor;   Gath-Rimmon;   Ibleam;   Joshua, the Book of;   Manasseh (1);   Megiddo;   Palestine;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Dor;   Endor;   Fountain;   Ibleam;   Megiddo;   Taanach;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asher;   Beth-Shean, Beth-Shan;   Bileam;   Dor;   En-Dor;   Government;   Ibleam;   Israel;   Joshua;   Manasseh;   Megiddo;   Taanach;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Asher ;   Lots;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethshan, Bethshean ;   Bileam ;   Dor;   Endor ;   Ibleam ;   Megiddo, Megiddon ;   Taanach, Tanach ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Taanach;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Beth-shean;   Dor;   Endor;   Manasseh;   Taanach;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ash'er,;   Beth-She'an;   Bil'eam;   Dor;   En'-Dor;   Ib'le-Am;   Ta'anach;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Endor;   Megiddo;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beth-Shean;   Bileam;   Country;   Dor;   En-Dor;   Height;   Ibleam;   Issachar;   Manasseh (2);   Megiddo;   Palestine;   Palestine (Recent Exploration, I.e. as of 1915);   Taanach;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Beth-shan;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Asher, Tribe and Territory;   Endor;   Government;   Megiddo;   Palestine;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Beth-shean - Called afterwards Scythopolis; the city of the Scythians or Cuthites, those who were sent into the different Samaritan cities by the kings of Assyria.

Dor - On the Mediterranean Sea, about eight miles from Caesarea, on the road to Tyre.

En-dor - The well or fountain of Dor, the place where Saul went to consult the witch; 1 Samuel 28:7, etc.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Perhaps Beth-shean (in Issachar) and the other five towns (in Asher) were given to the Manassites in compensation for towns in the Manassite territory allotted to the Ephraimites. (See Joshua 17:9. Compare Joshua 21:9.) To the wall of Beth-shean, or Bethshah (“Beisan,” about 5 miles west of the Jordan), the bodies of Saul and his sons were fastened by the Philistines after the battle on Mount Gilboa. After the exile it received the Greek name of Scythopolis, perhaps because it was principally tenanted by a rude and pagan population, styled in contempt Scythians. It was a border city of Galilee, and the chief town of the Decapolis. In Christian times it was the see of a bishop, who is enumerated as present at Nicaea and other Councils of the Church.

Ibleam (Bileam, 1 Chronicles 6:70), perhaps “Jelameh,” was a Levitical town (Joshua 21:25 note). Near this place Ahaziah was mortally wounded by Jehu (2 Kings 9:27), and fled to Megiddo, which was no doubt not far distant.

Three countries - Rather “the three hills.” The district belonging to the last-mentioned three towns had a common name, derived no doubt from its natural features, and was called “the three hills.” Compare Decapolis, Tripolis, etc.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-17.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Manasseh had in Issachar, and in Asher, Bethshean, and her towns,.... As Ephraim had cities in Manasseh, so had Manasseh cities in these two tribes, which in some parts bordered on it, before described, even the cities following, and the first that is named is Bethshean: this lay in the tribe of Issachar, and was the uttermost border of Manasseh that way; it was, as JosephusF13Antiqu l. 12. c. 8. sect. 5. says, called Scythopolis; but not from the Scythians, as PlinyF14Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 18. suggests, but from Succoth, a place where Jacob resided, and which was not far from it, Genesis 33:17; it lay before the great plain of Jezreel, and was at the entrance into it,"After this went they over Jordan into the great plain before Bethsan.' (1 Maccabees 5:52)and was six hundred furlongs, or seventy five miles, from Jerusalem, according to:"From thence they departed to Scythopolis, which lieth six hundred furlongs from Jerusalem,' (2 Maccabees 12:29)and was one of the cities of Decapolis, from whence our Lord had hearers, Matthew 4:25. It was such a pleasant place, that it is said in the TalmudF15T. Bab. Eruvin, fol. 19. 1. , that if the garden of Eden was in the land of Israel, Bethshean was the gate of it; on which the gloss says, that its fruits were the sweetest in the land of Israel:

and Ibleam and her towns; it seems to be the same with Bileam, by a transposition of the two first letters, 1 Chronicles 6:70; and was a place not far from Megiddo, after mentioned, as appears from 2 Kings 9:27,

and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns; this had been a royal city; see Gill on Joshua 11:2 and See Gill on Joshua 12:23,

and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns; this place became famous for a witch there in the times of Saul, 1 Samuel 28:7; in the times of JeromF16De loc. Heb. fol. 88. L. it was a large village near Mount Tabor, four miles to the south, which he calls Aeudor, of or in Jezreel; and elsewhereF17lbid. fol. 91. E. he speaks of Endor, as near the town of Nain, where our Lord raised the widow's son the dead, and is about: Scythopolis:

and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns; this had been a royal city; see Gill on Joshua 12:22,

and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: this was another royal city mentioned with the former; See Gill on Joshua 12:21; there

even three countries; the three last cities, with their towns, that are mentioned, Endor, Taanach, and Megiddo; all which perhaps belonged to Dor, and may be the Naphothdor spoken of Joshua 11:2; where the same word is used as here; so Jarchi interprets it.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-17.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Beth-shean and her townsGreek, “Scythopolis” (now Beisan), in the valley of the Jordan, towards the east end of the plain of Jezreel. “Beth-shean” means “house of rest,” so called from its being the halting place for caravans travelling between Syria or Midian, and Egypt, and the great station for the commerce between these countries for many centuries.

Ibleam and her towns — in the neighborhood of Megiddo (2 Kings 9:27).

the inhabitants of Dor and her towns — (now Tantoura), anciently a strong fortress; a wall of wild precipitous rock defended the shore fortifications against attack from the land side.

En-dor and her towns — situated on a rocky eminence, four Roman miles south of Tabor.

Taanach and  …  Megiddo — These were near to each other, and they are generally mentioned in Scripture together. They were both royal and strongly fortified places (see on Judges 1:27).

three countries — districts or provinces. It is computed that Manasseh possessed in Asher and Issachar portions of ground to the extent of more than two hundred square miles.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-17.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries.

Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher — As Ephraim had some cities in the tribe of Manasseh, and as it was not unusual, when the place allotted to any tribe was too narrow for it, and the next too large, to give away part from the larger to the less portion; nay, sometimes one whole tribe was taken into another; as Simeon's was into Judah's portion, when it was found too large for Judah.

Inhabitants of Dor — Not the places only, but the people; whom they spared and used for servants.

Three countries — The words may be rendered, the third part of that country; and so the meaning may be, that the cities and towns here mentioned are a third part of that country, that is, of that part of Issachar's and Asher's portion, in which those places lay.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-17.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 17:11 And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, [even] three countries.

Ver. 11. Bethshean.] Afterwards called Scythopolis. { 2Ma 12:29}

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-17.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In Issachar and in Asher; either,

1. Bordering upon them, as in Asher is taken, Joshua 17:10, and as Aaron’s rod is said to be in the ark, i.e. close by it, Hebrews 9:4; or,

2. Properly in them, as Ephraim had some cities in the tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 16:9, and as it was not unusual, when the places allotted to any tribe was too narrow for it, and the next too large, to give away part from the larger to the less portion; nay, sometimes one whole tribe was taken into another, as Simeon was into Judah’s portion, when it was found too large for Judah, Joshua 19:9.

The inhabitants of Dor; not the places only, but the people; whom, contrary to God’s command, they spared and used for servants, whom therefore they are said to have or possess.

Three countries: this may be referred either to some, to wit, the three last places, or to all the places named in this verse, which are here said either to have three countries or tracts of land belonging to them, or to be in three several countries or portions, as they seem to have been, some in Issachar, and some in Asher, and yet both belonging to Manasseh. Or, the words may be rendered the third part of that country; for the Hebrew word is of the singular number, and the article seems emphatical; and so the meaning may be, that the cities and towns here mentioned are a third part of that country, i.e. of that part of Issachar’s and Asher’s portion, in which those places lay.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-17.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.Beth-shean House of rest; the halting place for caravans from Syria or Midian to Egypt, and the emporium for the commerce of these countries. It afterwards was called in the Greek, Scythopolis, and is identified with the modern Beisan, at the east end of the plain of Esdraelon, five miles west of the Jordan. “The site of the ancient city, as of the modern village, was a splendid one, in this vast area of plain and mountain, in the midst of abundant waters and of exuberant fertility. It must have been a city of temples.” — Robinson. Ibleam was near Megiddo, (2 Kings 9:27,) but its exact site is unknown.

Dor — See on Joshua 11:2.

Endor, the abode of the necromancer consulted by Saul, (1 Samuel 28:7, note,) is now a village of the same name, nearly four miles south of Mount Tabor. For Taanach and Megiddo see on Joshua 12:21. [It is noticeable that after the mention of Ibleam and her towns, in this verse, the inhabitants of the next four cities are named as a possession of Manasseh. This sudden transition, and the introduction of the accusative sign את before inhabitants, have greatly perplexed critics. It seems best, with Knobel, to suppose that the idea of possession conveyed by the English version, (Manasseh had, ) and also by ויהי ל at the beginning of the verse in the Hebrew, is carried over in the writer’s mind, and applied to the inhabitants of these towns as being Manasseh’s possession, and tendering a tribute service.

Three countries — Or, a triple province, having a. sort of political combination. Others render three heights, and understand that the last three cities stood on hills, “a tripolis of mountain cities, in distinction from the places on the plain.” — Fay. ]

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-17.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And Manasseh had to Issachar, and to Asher, Beth-shean and her towns (daughters), and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of En-dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even the three heights.’

This probably signifies that these cities with their surrounding towns, making up regions, were on the border, and were seen as belonging to Manasseh while the connecting lands belonged to Issachar and Asher, with the borders not too clear. They were in territory which was dangerous to enter in order to survey it accurately. Dor and her towns formed a region which must have reached to Carmel (Joshua 19:26).

Beth-shean and her towns were situated at the important junction of the Valley of Jezreel with the Jordan Valley. It is at Tell el-Husn. Two 14th century BC royal stelae of Sethos I were found there, one recording that he had a clash with the ‘pr.w (Hapiru). Thus at this time it had come back into Egyptian control. The 13th century BC level contained a temple in which a stela was found depicting a goddess with a two-horned headdress. A similar temple and a statue of Raamses III were found in the 12th century level together with anthropoid clay coffins reminiscent of the Philistines. It would seem that it was controlled by the Philistines as vassals of Egypt.

“Ibleam and her towns.” Ibleam is now Khirbet Bil‘ameh, about sixteen kilometres south east of Meggido on the road from Beth-shean (2 Kings 9:27). It occurs in Egyptian lists as Ybr‘m.

“And the inhabitants of Dor and her towns.” Dor was the important seaport on the Mediterranean coast south of Carmel mentioned by Raamses II and later conquered by the Sea Peoples (the Tjeker). Its towns seemingly stretched up to Carmel.

“And the inhabitants of En-dor and her towns.” This was modern ‘En-dur, six kilometres south of Mount Tabor. It lay outside the chain of fortified towns from Beth-shean to Dor described here which prevented Manasseh’s advance on the plains.

“And the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns.” This was one of the major cities of Canaan, situated at one side of the Plain of Esdraelon, having a large population in the tens of thousands. It was an important city on the main trade route through Canaan. Excavations in Taanach produced fourteen tablets written in Akkadian cuneiform demonstrating that the language was used even between local officials. In the debris of a late bronze age destruction a tablet was found in the Canaanite cuneiform alphabet. Taanach is mentioned by Thothmes III, by Shishak, and in the Amarna letters for raiding Megiddo which was loyal to Egypt.

“And the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even the three heights.” This was the second of the two major cities of Canaan, situated on either side of the Plain of Esdraelon, again having a large population in the tens of thousands. Megiddo was the largest of the two, controlling the pass that led onto the Plain. It also was an important city on the main trade route through Canaan, and for this reason was a main target for Egypt when Egypt was strong. It also had connections with Mesopotmia, and a fragment of the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh was found on the site.

Megiddo was destroyed in about 1150 BC, well after the time of Joshua and before the time of Deborah. This may have been the work of Israel, but it could in fact have had any number of causes. Israel were not the only predators. The small settlement then built on the site may well have been an Israelite village. But Megiddo was shortly to be rebuilt by Egypt.

“Even the three heights.” It will be noted that the line from Beth-shean to Dor is covered by the first three towns, then the further three were added on, out of order. This may be because the latter were known as ‘the three heights’. This chain of fortified towns (excluding En-dor, slightly further to the north) protected the valley through which the trade routes passed. ‘With their towns’ demonstrates how towns proliferated in the plains making it difficult for Israel to make inroads there.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-17.html. 2013.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 17:11. Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher, &c. — In like manner as Ephraim had some cities in the tribe of Manasseh; and, as it was not unusual, when the place allotted to any tribe was too narrow for it, and the next too large, to give away part from the larger to the less portion. Inhabitants of Dor — Not the places only, but the people; whom they spared and used for servants. Three countries — The words may be rendered, the third part of that country; and so the meaning may be, that the cities and towns here mentioned were a third part of that country; that is, of that part of Issachar’s and Asher’s portion, in which those places lay.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

In Aser. The following towns were upon the frontiers of these two tribes, (Menochius) or they properly belonged to them respectively. But the children of Manasses took possession of them, after conquering by degrees, the former inhabitants, who were suffered to live among them, as the Jebusites were for some time, at Jerusalem, chap. xv. 63. (Haydock) --- Bethsan, or Scythopolis, as it was called by the Greeks, after the Scythians had invaded those countries, (Herodotus l. 105,) in the year of the world 3391, almost 100 years from the destruction of the kingdom of Israel. Unless these Scythians may rather be the Cutheans, who were sent to people the kingdom of Samaria, most of whom embraced the Jewish religion, while those of Bethsan adhered to their ancient idolatry, and therefore retained their name. Even in the days of Josephus, most of the inhabitants were heathens: the kings of Juda were not able to subdue them entirely. Bethsan was situated to the south of the sea of Tiberias, 600 stadia from Jerusalem; (2 Machabees xii. 29,) that is, about 37 leagues, (Calmet) or 111 miles. (Haydock) --- Dor, nine miles north of Cæsarea. --- Endor, "the fountain of Dor," four miles south of Mount Thabor. (Eusebius) --- Here Saul consulted the witch, 1 Kings xxxviii. 7. --- Thenac, near Legion, and the torrent of Cisson, where Barac gained a victory, Judges v. --- Nopheth, means "a canton," and thus Manasses may have had three portions of land round the three aforesaid cities, in which sense it is translated, chap. xi. 2. (Calmet; Masius) --- But Serarius takes Nopheth to mean a city, (Menochius) agreeably to the Septuagint, "the third part of Naphetha, and its villages." (Haydock) --- The other two parts of the city might be occupied by Zabulon. (Bonfrere) --- No mention is made of Nopheth, Judges i. 27. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

towns Hebrew daughters. Figure of speech Prosopopoeia (App-6) = villages.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries.

Beth-shean and her towns - Greek, Scythopolis (now Beisan), in the valley of the Jordan, toward the east end of the plain of Jezreel. "Beth-shean" means 'house of rest;' so called from its being the halting-place for caravans traveling between Syria or Midian and Egypt, and the great station for the commerce between these countries for many centuries. Beth-san, the Hamitic name = the house of the sun [Septuagint, Baithsan].

Ibleam and her towns - in the neighbourhood of Megiddo (2 Kings 9:27).

The inhabitants of Dor and her towns - now Tantoura; anciently a strong fortress. A wall of wild precipitous rock defended the shore fortifications against attack from the land side.

En-dor and her towns - situated on a rocky eminence, 4 Roman miles south of Tabor.

Taanach ... and Megiddo. These were near to each other, and they are generally mentioned in Scripture together. They were both royal and strongly fortified places (see the note at Judges 1:27).

Three countries - districts or provinces. It is computed that Manasseh possessed in Asher and Issachar portions of ground to the extent of more than 200 square miles.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-17.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries.
Manasseh
16:9; 1 Chronicles 7:29; Beth-shean, the Scythopolis of the Greek and Roman writers, was situated in the plain of Jordan, west of that river, 120; furlongs (south) from Tiberias, according to Josephus, and 600; furlongs (north) from Jerusalem. (2; 12:29.); hours or 24; miles from Tiberias; and described by Dr. Richardson, exclusive of its ruins, as a "collection of miserable hovels, containing 200; inhabitants."; 1 Samuel 31:10,12
Beth-shan
1 Kings 4:12
Ibleam
2 Kings 9:27; 1 Chronicles 6:70
Bileam
Dor
Dor, according to Eusebius, was situated on the Mediterranean, nine miles from Cæsarea Palestine, towards Carmel. The village of Tortura, four leagues north of Cæsarea, is supposed to nearly occupy it site.
12:23; Judges 1:27; 1 Kings 4:11
Endor
1 Samuel 28:7; Psalms 83:10
Taanach
12:21; Judges 5:19
Megiddo
Judges 1:27; 5:19; 1 Kings 4:12; 9:15; 2 Kings 9:27; 23:29,30; 2 Chronicles 35:22; Zechariah 12:11
Reciprocal: Joshua 11:2 - Dor;  Joshua 17:16 - Bethshean;  Joshua 21:25 - Tanach;  2 Samuel 21:12 - Bethshan

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-17.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11.And Manasseh had in Issachar, etc How they were so mingled as to possess some cities in the lot of Asher and Issachar, while the tribe of Ephraim dwelt between their limits, it is not easy to divine, unless, perhaps, it was perceived that a more commodious habitation would not be liable to many complaints, (156) or, perhaps, after the whole country had become more certainly known, some change was made on principles of equity in the former partition. This, therefore, seems to have been a new acquisition after it was discovered that the children of Manasseh might occupy a wider extent without loss to others. Nor was the habitation given to them a subjugated one, which they might immediately enjoy, but it was an inheritance treasured up in hope, and founded more upon heavenly promise than on actual possession. And yet their not gaining possession of those cities is attributed to their fault, because the lot assigning it to them was an indubitable pledge of victory. The reason, therefore, why they could not expel the inhabitants was, because they were not fully persuaded in their minds that God is true, and stifled his agency by their own sluggishness. But another crime still less pardonable was committed when, having it in their power easily to destroy all, they not only were slothful in executing the command of God, but, induced by filthy lucre, (157) they preserved those alive whom God had doomed to destruction. For persons, on whom we impose tribute, we in a manner take under our faith and protection. God had appointed them the ministers of his vengeance, and he supplies them with strength to execute it: they not only delay, but deprive themselves of the liberty of acting rightly. It is not strange, therefore, that God severely punished this perverse heartlessness, by making those nations whom they had pardoned in the face of a clear prohibition, to become like thorns to pierce their eyes and pricks to gall their sides.

Here, again, a question arises, How were cities granted to them in the tribe of Asher and Issachar, when the portions of both were as yet unknown? Here, therefore, that which had not yet taken place is related by way of anticipation. Be this as it may, we gather that from ignorance of the localities, single portions were not divided so exactly as not to make it necessary afterwards to correct what had been more or less decided. (158) And we must hold in general, with regard both to the tribe of Ephraim and the others, that many of the cities which they gained were of no account because of the devastation. I doubt not that many ruins here lie buried. On the other hand, we must conclude that in fertile spots, or spots possessed of other advantages, where petty villages only existed, their famous cities were founded. It is certain that Sichem was of sufficient importance to hold both a name and rank, and yet there is no mention of it here. The same is the case with Samaria, which, as is well known, belonged to the same tribe of Ephraim when it was the metropolis of the kingdom of Israel. It is plain, therefore, that each tribe possessed several cities, which are here passed over in silence.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 17:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-17.html. 1840-57.