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Thread: Joshua 16 Forced Labor

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    Joshua 16 Forced Labor

    Joshua 16:1 The allotment for Joseph began at the Jordan, east of the springs of Jericho, and went up from there through the desert into the hill country of Bethel. 2 It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz),[a] crossed over to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth, 3 descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the Mediterranean Sea.

    4 So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance.

    5 This was the territory of Ephraim, according to its clans:

    The boundary of their inheritance went from Ataroth Addar in the east to Upper Beth Horon 6 and continued to the Mediterranean Sea. From Mikmethath on the north it curved eastward to Taanath Shiloh, passing by it to Janoah on the east. 7 Then it went down from Janoah to Ataroth and Naarah, touched Jericho and came out at the Jordan. 8 From Tappuah the border went west to the Kanah Ravine and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the Ephraimites, according to its clans. 9 It also included all the towns and their villages that were set aside for the Ephraimites within the inheritance of the Manassites.

    10 They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.


    a. Joshua 16:2 Septuagint; Hebrew Bethel to Luz

    I am surprised that there is not more commentary on verse 10 at this point.

    This is from the blueletterbible.org site.

    The Israelites did not fully conquer for two reasons. First, they wanted peace at any cost. Second, they wanted wealth. For the sake of ease and money, they disobeyed God and fell short of what He had for them - as we do today also.

    It just occurred to me.... Ephraim's family was over on the east side of the Jordan River, waiting for the conquest to stop so their father, sons, and husbands could come back to them. Only the soldiers went into the Promised Land, right? The general population of the Israelites numbered around 2 million people [men, women, and children]. According to Numbers 26:51 [yep from the boring stuff].... the number of warriors was a little over 600,000.

    I saw back in Joshua 12:9-24 that they murdered 31 kings. To me that says there were hundreds of others put to the sword as well. Would you take your family to a slaughter like that? So the argument that they were tired of war makes perfect sense.

    Then there is the issue of forced labor. IMHO The way they got the forced labor was through terror and taxes. Word gets around when a king is hung on a pole in front of the town for the day. I figure the Canaanites living near Gezer were given the chance to stay, provided they pay a high tax. When they couldn't pay the tax, they were put to work. So the Israelites wanted to bring their families home and the Canaanites wanted to live. Sounds reasonable, right?

    I found this map while reading commentary.

    Name:  new jersey.gif
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    There were about 2 million people waiting to get into a place about the size of New Jersey. By today's standards... 2 million people is still huge. In 2017 the population of New Jersey was a little over 8 million people. Those Canaanites were lucky the Israelites were tired of war and needed the forced labor.

    I thought I was done but then I realized.... those Canaanites weren't ready for a theocracy. They still worshiped their little idols. They still kept little idols in their homes.... where the Israelites would see them.... and cherish them.... humans are such magpies.


    Last edited by seekeroftruth; 10-29-2017 at 08:30 AM.
    seekeroftruth = hotcoffee

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