Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 17:7

The border of Manasseh ran from Asher to Michmethath which was east of Shechem; then the border went southward to the inhabitants of En-tappuah.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Asher;   En-Tappuah;   Manasseh;   Michmethah;   Noah;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Manasseh, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Manasseh, tribe of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Michmethah;   Tappuah;   Yeshebi;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Asher;   Ashurites;   Entappuah;   Manasseh (1);   Michmethah;   Tappuah (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Asher;   En-Tappuah;   Fountain;   Jashub;   Michmethah;   Shechem;   Tappuah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asher;   En-Tappuah;   Joshua;   Manasseh;   Michmethah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Lots;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - EnTappuah ;   Michmethah ;   Tappuah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Bethlehem;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Asher;   Manasseh;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ash'er,;   En-Tap'puah;   Mich'methah;   Tap'push;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Asher (2);   En-Tappuah;   Manasseh (2);   Michmethah;   Shechem;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Apple;   Menahem;   Tappuah;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Asher - Not the tribe so called, but a place somewhere toward the eastern end of the boundary line here drawn: perhaps “Teyasir,” on the road from Sichem to Beth-shean.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And the border of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethath, which is before Shechem; and the border went along to the right hand, unto the inhabitants of Entappuah. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh; but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim. And the border went down unto the brook of Kanah, southward of the brook: these cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh: and the border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook, and the goings out thereof were at the sea: southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea was his border; and they reached to Asher on the north, and to Isaachar on the east. And Manasseh had in Isaachar and in Asher Beth-shean and its towns, and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns, even the three heights. Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. And it came to pass that when the children of Israel were waxed strong, that they put the Canaanites to taskwork, and did not utterly drive them out."

"From Asher to Michmethath ..." Philbeck tells us that these cities marked "the northern and southern extremities of Manasseh's territory,"[6] but the trouble with that is that, "This place has not been identified. All that we know is that it is opposite Shechem!"[7]

Due to textual problems the meaning of Joshua 17:9 may be somewhat conjectural. Cook's understanding of the place is as good as any:

"The intention seems to be to state that the cities lying south of the river, though within the limits of Manasseh were, in fact, made over to Ephraim, and were among the `separate cities' of Joshua 16:9. On the contrary, the north bank of the river, both land and towns, belonged to Manasseh exclusively."[8]

"Beth-shean ..." (Joshua 17:11). It was to the wall of this city that the bodies of Saul and his sons were fastened by the victorious Philistines following the battle on Mount Gilboa. Later, it was the border town of Galilee and the chief town of the Decapolis.[9]

"Ibleam ..." (Joshua 17:11). "The site of Ibleam is now Khirbet Bilameh, some ten miles southeast of Megiddo on the road from Beth-shean, probably the same as the Bileam of 1 Chronicles 6:70, a Levitical city."[10]

"Dor ..." (Joshua 17:11) "This place is identified with the modern El-Burj, north of Tanturah. In Roman times it was called Dora (Josephus); it is located on the Mediterranean coast near Mount Carmel."[11]

"En-dor ..." (Joshua 17:11). "En-dor is the modern Endur 4 miles south of Mount Tabor. Assigned to Manasseh, it was never wrested from the Canaanites. The witch of En-dor, of whom Saul inquired before his last battle (1 Samuel 28:3-7) was probably of this Canaanite stock, for the Hebrews had tried to do away with such practices.[12]

"Taanach, the modern Tel Taannak, guards a pass over Mount Carmel. Israel defeated the king of this place; but Manasseh, the tribe to which it was assigned, was not able to occupy it. It was one of the Levitical cities (Joshua 21:25), and finally occupied by Isaachar. The mention of Taanach ahead of Megiddo here may indicate that at this time Megiddo was of less importance."[13]

"Megiddo ..." (Joshua 17:11). "This was an important O.T. city that lay in the Carmel range some 20 miles south-southeast of the modern Haifa. It commanded the most important pass from the coastal plain to the valley of Esdraelon ... The city was destroyed near the end of the 12th century."[14] It could have been at that time that Israel was able to reduce the inhabitants to slavery, IN A PERIOD LONG BEFORE THE MONARCHY. The frequent mention here that Israel "could not drive them out" indicates a period that soon ended when Israel "waxed strong," at a time long before the monarchy.

"Even the three heights ..." (Joshua 17:11). "This reference is to En-dor, Taanach, and Megiddo."[15]

"They put the Canaanites to taskwork, and did not utterly drive them out ..." (Joshua 17:13). The efforts of critics to make it appear that Israel did not put the Canaanites to taskwork until the days of the monarchy have been frustrated by archeological discoveries showing that, "Canaanite Megiddo fell to Israel in the latter half of the twelfth century B.C., roughly a century after the main conquest."[16] This was centuries prior to the events of 1 Kings 9.

Why did not Israel drive out the Canaanites? Jamieson gave his opinion of the failure as follows:

"Indolence, a love of ease; perhaps a mistaken humanity, arising from a disregard or forgetfulness of the Divine command, a decreasing principle of faith and zeal in the service of God were the causes of their failure."[17]

Despite opinions such as that of Jamieson, however, we believe that there were other very important factors that went into Israel's accommodation with the Canaanites. There is the great possibility, yes, even the CERTAINTY that like Demas of the N.T., "Israel loved this present age." They simply fell in love with the SUPERIOR culture and the sensuous gods that appealed to the gratification of their lusts. Thompson tells us that the differences in the Canaanite and the Israelite cultures were "extraordinary." The towns that Israel destroyed possessed beautiful palaces, magnificent temples, and many evidences of wealth, prosperity, and artistic development. There was an over-all superiority of the Canaanite towns; their diet was supplemented by the maritime trade through the Philistines with Egypt; whereas the towns with which Israel replaced the ones which they destroyed were far inferior to those burned and looted. In fact, the whole Israelitish culture was far more primitive and impoverished.[18]

In addition, an extensive pantheon of pagan gods was the ornament of the Canaanite polytheistic religion. Oh yes, they offered the same kinds of sacrifices as did the Israelites; and the ceremonies were even similar, but the religion was highly sensuous, with great emphasis on fertility rites. Hundreds of male and female prostitutes were available EVERYWHERE the shrines and high places of the pagan gods were located, and, "Even during the days of the Judges the worship of these gods was already finding favor in the eyes of many of the Israelites. The writer of the Book of Judges makes the point that, it was because Israel served the Baalim and forsook the Lord, that they were delivered into the hands of oppressors (Judges 2:11-13), etc."[19]

In this we can see that unbelief and disobedience of Divine commands is now, as it always has been, not an intellectual thing at all, but a moral one:

"The Son of man came into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. And herein is the condemnation, that men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:18-19).

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher,.... Not from the border of the tribe of Asher, as Kimchi, in which he is followed by Vatablus; for that was at too great a distance; but a city of the tribe of Manasseh; and in Jerom'sF12De loc. Heb. fol. 88. G. time a village of this name was shown fifteen miles from Neapolis or Shechem, as you go from thence to Scythopolis, near the public road:

to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; the same place mentioned in the description of the border of Ephraim; see Gill on Joshua 16:6,

and the border went along on the right hand, unto the inhabitants of Entappuah; that is, leaving this place, and its inhabitants to the right, which was a place in the land of that name, next mentioned; and seems to be so called from a fountain in it, or near it, as well as from a multitude of apples growing there, and with which perhaps the country abounded, of which in Joshua 17:8.

Copyright Statement
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-17.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 17:7 And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that [lieth] before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah.

Ver. 7. And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher.] Which was a town, say some, seated at the south-east end of Manasseh’s lot.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-17.html. 1865-1868.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.Coast of Manasseh — The southern boundary from east to west. “The author gives the boundary again from east to west, as in the case of Judah, (Joshua 15:2, ff,) the sons of Joseph (Joshua 16:1, ff,) and Benjamin, Joshua 18:12, ff. So the author of the Apocalypse, also, names the gates of the New Jerusalem, beginning from the east, (Revelation 21:13,) and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 48:1, ff) designates the several tribe divisions in the like manner from east to west.” — Fay. ] Asher is here not the portion of the tribe, which could not constitute a starting point for a line, but a city, probably the modern Yasir, about half way between Shechem and Beth-shean, or about fifteen miles northeast of the former city. For Michmethah and river Kanah, see on Joshua 16:6-8. Shechem is a very ancient city, called Neapolis, corrupted to Nabulus and Nablus, in the narrow valley between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim. See note and cuts at John 4:5. “The streets are narrow; the houses high and in general well built, all of stone, with domes upon the roofs, as at Jerusalem.” — Robinson. En-tappuah some understand of a fountain near the city of Tappuah, (Joshua 16:8;) others, as another name of the city itself. The land of Tappuah mentioned in the next verse must mean the country in the neighbourhood of Tappuah.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-17.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Aser was contiguous to Machmethath, 15 miles from Sichem, towards Scythopolis. (St. Jerome) (Calmet) --- The limits of Manasses are described from the south, where he joins Ephraim, chap. xvi. 6. (Calmet)

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-17.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah.

The coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethath ... the border went along on the right hand -

i.e., the south. The southern boundary is here traced from the east. Asher (now Yasir), the starting-point, was a town fifteen Roman miles east of Shechem, and anciently a place of importance.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". "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 the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah.
Asher
Eusebius says this was a town in his time not far from Neapolis, towards Scythopolis or Bethshan; between which towns it is also placed by the old Jerusalem Itinerary.
Michmethah
Situated, probably, east of Shechem, though its precise situation, as well as that of many others, cannot, at this distance of time, be ascertained. Many of these towns were small, and we may rationally conclude, slightly built; and consequently have perished more than two thousand years ago. It would therefore be useless now to look for such places; though in many instances, their ancient names have been preserved, and their sites identified. Several towns even in England, mentioned by C├Žsar and other ancient writers, are no longer discernible; several have changed their names, and not a few their situation.
16:6-8
Shechem
20:7; 21:21; 24:1,32; Genesis 34:2; 37:12,14; Judges 9:1; 1 Kings 12:1,25; 1 Chronicles 6:67
Reciprocal: 1 Chronicles 7:29 - Manasseh;  Psalm 108:7 - Shechem

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 17:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-17.html.