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Jos 17:1 This was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. As for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan-
The giving of land by "lot" was clearly overruled. Because it is here noted that Gilead and Bashan, wild territory inhabited by wild people, was given to a warlike man to inherit. The nature of our calling to service in this life, and the nature of our eternal inheritance in the Kingdom, is personally tailored to suit our unique personality. We shall be given a name written which nobody knows apart from our Lord and ourselves (Rev. 2:17).

Jos 17:2 So this was for the rest of the children of Manasseh according to their families: for the children of Abiezer, for the children of Helek, for the children of Asriel, for the children of Shechem, for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families-
The children of Manasseh through Machir inherited east of Jordan (:1), and the rest of his clans listed here inherited west of Jordan.

Jos 17:3 But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah-
The fact God allows His children to live His truth on different levels needs to be grasped firmly by us, lest we become discouraged that others live on an apparently lower level than we do in some aspects of life. Being surrounded by ‘lower levels’ ought to inspire us to the higher levels. Zelophehad had only daughters; usually, in his context, a man would have taken concubines in order to produce sons. The record of his only having daughters is presented in the context of genealogies which show that many Israelite men had more than one wife (1 Chron. 7:15). But Zelophehad wasn’t dragged down by this; God inspired him to maintain the higher level which he had chosen to live by. He didn't use the principle of Jephthah's vow. And his daughters likewise refused to be limited by their status as females, but obtained an inheritance amongst their brethren (Num. 27:1-7)

Jos 17:4 They came near before Eleazar the priest and before Joshua the son of Nun and before the princes, saying, Yahweh commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers-
Examples of spiritual ambition are inspirational; just as soldiers inspire each other by their acts of bravery. Achsah followed her father Caleb’s spiritual ambition in specifically asking for an inheritance in the Kingdom (Josh. 14:12; 15:18); and this in turn inspired the daughters of Zelophehad to ask for an inheritance soon afterwards (Josh. 17:4). And so it ought to be in any healthy congregation of believers. Ponder the parallel between Is. 51:1 and 7: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord… hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness”. To know God’s righteousness is to seek / follow it; of itself, it inspires us to ambitiously seeking to attain it.

Therefore according to the commandment of Yahweh he gave them an inheritance among the brothers of their father- Joshua was very good at obedience to clear commandments (Josh. 4:10,17; 8:27; 10:40). But when he had to articulate his faith in God in unexpected situations, e.g. when the ambassadors from Gibeon arrived, or when the first attack on Ai failed, he seems to have performed poorly. Legalistic obedience is no use in those cases when principles need to be applied. Josh. 5:13,14 can be read as a rebuke of Joshua, wanting to boil everything down to black and white, wanting to see God as either personally for him or against him; when the essence is to seek to discern and do God’s will. He very strictly adhered to God’s commandments with legalistic obedience, e.g., about how to approach and deal with Jericho, or how to cross the flooded Jordan and build an altar; and time and again, we read in Joshua of how he strictly relayed and obeyed the Divine commandments given by Moses (Josh. 8:31,33,35; 11:12,15,20; 14:2,5; 17:4; 21:2,8).  Yet as with any literalistic or legally minded person, it was hard for Joshua to apply the principles behind the laws to situations which weren’t specifically addressed by Divine revelation, where legalistic obedience wasn't what was required.

Jos 17:5 Ten parts fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan-
These ten parts may refer to specific inheritances defined for each family within the tribes. They are the reference of the frequent comment that the tribes received an inheritance "according to their families". The law of Moses reasons as if each family of Israel had a specific inheritance which was not to be sold or moved outside the family. Hence the sin of Ahab in obtaining Naboth's vineyard. It would seem that there was some unrecorded list made of each family and which land they were to be given. This looks forward to our very personal and unique inheritance in God's Kingdom, possibly based around spiritual family units.

Jos 17:6 because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh-
Manasseh's inheritance was split into ten parts (:5); five for the five sons of Gilead (Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem and Shemida); and five for the five daughters of Zelophehad.

Jos 17:7 The border of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethath, which is before Shechem. The border went along to the right hand, to the inhabitants of En Tappuah-
Asher doesn't refer to the tribe of Asher but to a town east of Shechem.

Jos 17:8 The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh; but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim-
The latter "Tappuah" must refer to the town of that name.

Jos 17:9 The border went down to the brook of Kanah, southward of the brook. These cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook, and ended at the sea-
This is another example of where the inheritances were recalculated. This could have been for many reasons. The lack of living room perceived by some of the tribes was unnecessary- had they driven out the Canaanites and cleared the land. But God makes concessions to human weakness, and allowed them to inherit in other areas. He is similarly flexible with His people today.

Jos 17:10 Southward it was Ephraim’s, and northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea was his border. They reached to Asher on the north, and to Issachar on the east-
"The sea" is the Mediterranean.

Jos 17:11 Within the territories of Issachar and Asher, Manasseh possessed Beth Shan and Ibleam, along with their surrounding towns, as well as Dor (the one on the coast), Endor, Taanach, Megiddo, and their surrounding towns-
Dor was in Asher (Josh. 11:1,2; 12:23; 17:11; Jud. 1:27,28). Taanach was within either Issachar or Asher (Josh. 17:11,12,25; Jud. 5:19). But these towns were also given to Ephraim (1 Chron. 7:29). As each Israelite was promised some personal inheritance in the land, rather than some blanket reward which the while nation received, so we too have a personal reward prepared. But the precise nature of that reward is as it were negotiable by us now, according to our spiritual ambition. Just as Caleb chose Hebron and secured it for himself.

Jos 17:12 Yet the children of Manasseh couldn’t drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites continued to dwell in that land-
"Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.

Jos 17:13 It happened that when the children of Israel had grown strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labour, and didn’t utterly drive them out-
One reason why Israel failed to drive out the tribes, and thereby lost the Kingdom, was simply because they wanted to take tribute from them (Josh. 17:13). Ez. 7:19 defines “silver and gold” as Israel’s stumblingblock- moreso than idols. They just so loved wealth. The men of Bethshemesh looked into the ark to see if there were any more jewels left in it (1 Sam. 6:19 cp. 6,15); they trampled upon the supreme holiness of God in their crazed fascination with wealth.

Jos 17:14 The children of Joseph spoke to Joshua saying, Why have you given me just one lot and one part for an inheritance, since I am a great people, because Yahweh has blessed me so far?-
Ephraim and Manasseh demanded more land at the time of Josh. 17:14, but their argument was weak because they had been given ample land, but they refused to drive out the Canaanites or clear the forests (Josh 17:15). Their combined population was about that of the single tribe of Judah according to the census of Num. 26. The amount of land they had per head of population was roughly that of the other tribes, and much of it was exceptionally fertile. They claimed they deserved it because they had been "blessed". By saying this they were twisting scriptures which speak of their blessing (Gen. 48:20; 49:25,26; Dt. 33:13), and therefore demanding more territory which was easier to live in. But the promised "blessing" didn't require they be given more land, and the other tribes were also "blessed". This is typical of how people take one verse here or there to justify their own secular claims.

Jos 17:15 Joshua said to them, If you are a great people, go up to the forest, and clear land for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim; since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you-
Joshua himself was from Ephraim, so he was careful not to show any bias towards them. "If you are a great people" could sound sarcastic, as if he didn't rate the spirituality of his own tribe. As explained on :14, he could have answered them with statistics, proving their claim wrong. But as so often in the Bible, men are answered out of their own mouths (Lk. 19:22). The wrong ideas and claims of men are for a moment accepted as true, and then turned against them. 

When "the children of Joseph" complained that they didn't have enough territory, Joshua could've told them to go and drive out Canaanites and take their territory- this was clearly God's ideal intention. Instead, Joshua said they could go to some virgin forest and cut down trees to provide more territory for themselves. This was itself a concession to human weakness.

Jos 17:16 The children of Joseph said, The hill country is not enough for us. All the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are in Beth Shean and its towns, and those who are in the valley of Jezreel-
They are presented as typical of so many who complain they need more, when arrogance, lack of faith and laziness are their real problem. They had not tried clearing the hill country, but they complain it was in any case not enough for them. And they have evaluated at great length the obstacles, the nature of the chariots, and where the Canaanites were located.

Jos 17:17 Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh saying, You are a great people, and have great power. You shall not have one lot only-
This appears almost sarcastic, in response to their insistence that they are such a great people. "The hill country" was not an additional lot; they had already been given it. They are being told to make it "yours" (:18) in practice by cutting down the trees there. Again we see the difference between actual possession, and merely being assigned territory.

Jos 17:18 but the hill country shall be yours. Although it is a forest, you shall cut it down, and it shall be yours from one end to the other; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong-
The closer one looks, the more conditional prophecies and Divine statements there are. “You shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they are strong” was in fact conditional on their effort and faith- although it doesn’t sound like that in the positive way it is spoken. Daniel understood that after 70 years Jerusalem must be restored; but he earnestly prayed for their forgiveness so that this would happen (Dan. 9:2 cp. 19). Perhaps he opened his window and prayed towards Jerusalem exactly because he wanted to fulfil 2 Chron. 6:37,38: “If they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn, and pray unto thee… toward their land… and toward the city which thou hast chosen”. He knew that repentance was a precondition for the promised restoration to occur.

The "iron chariots" could be burned with fire (Josh. 11:6) because they were wooden but with iron wheels or perhaps scythes fitted to the wheels. If they cleared the wooded area of the hill country, they could live there without fear of chariots, as chariots could only operate in flat areas.