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Joshua 17:14-18

Context

17:14 The descendants of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you assigned us only one tribal allotment? After all, we have many people, for until now the Lord has enabled us to increase in number.” 1  17:15 Joshua replied to them, “Since you have so many people, 2  go up into the forest and clear out a place to live in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites, for the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you.” 17:16 The descendants of Joseph said, “The whole hill country 3  is inadequate for us, and the Canaanites living down in the valley in Beth Shean and its surrounding towns and in the Valley of Jezreel have chariots with iron-rimmed wheels.” 4  17:17 Joshua said to the family 5  of Joseph – to both Ephraim and Manasseh: “You have many people and great military strength. You will not have just one tribal allotment. 17:18 The whole hill country 6  will be yours; though it is a forest, you can clear it and it will be entirely yours. 7  You can conquer the Canaanites, though they have chariots with iron-rimmed wheels and are strong.”

1 tn Heb “Why have you given me as an inheritance one lot and one portion, though I am a great people until [the time] which, until now the Lord has blessed me?” The construction עַד אֲשֶׁר־עַד־כֹּה (’ad-asher-ad-koh, “until [the time] which, until now”) is extremely awkward. An emendation of the first עַד (’ad) to עַל (’al) yields a more likely reading: “for until now” (see HALOT 2:787).

2 tn Heb “If you are a great people.”

3 tn The Hebrew text has simply “the hill country,” which must here include the hill country of Ephraim and the forest regions mentioned in v. 15.

4 tn Heb “and there are iron chariots among all the Canaanites who live in the land of the valley, to those who are in Beth Shean and its daughters and to those who are in the Valley of Jezreel.” Regarding the translation “chariots with iron-rimmed wheels” see Y. Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands, 255 and R. Drews, “The ‘Chariots of Iron’ of Joshua and Judges,” JSOT 45 (1989): 15-23.

5 tn Heb “house.”

6 tn The Hebrew text has simply “the hill country,” which must here include the hill country of Ephraim and the forest regions mentioned in v. 15.

7 tn Heb “and its limits will be yours.”



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