Sefer Yehoshua-Chapter 17: The inheritance of Menashe

Chapter 17: The inheritance of Menashe:


1. The portion of Menashe:

  • The portion of Machir: Machir, the Bechor of Menasheh, received the portion of the Gilead and Bashan.
  • The verse lists the remining sons of Menasheh, six in total, and the daughters of Tzelafchad.
  • Inheritance of Bnos Tzelafchad: The daughters of Tzelafchad approached Elazar Hakohen and Yehoshua and asked them to receive a portion in the land as they were promised by Moshe. They were thus given a portion amongst the tribe of Menashe.
  • Total number of portions divided: There was a total of ten portions inherited to the tribe of Menasheh, aside for the portion of Gilead and Bashan which was given to Machir the Bechor. [Six of these portions were given to each of the six sons of Menashe, or their descendants, while the other four were given to the daughters of Tzelafchad.[1]]
  • The borders of the territory of Menashe: Menashe received a portion north of Ephraim, and hence the southern border of Menashe was the northern border of Ephraim. The Mediterranean was the western border of Menashe. Their northern border met with the southern border of Asher, and they shared an eastern border with Yissachar
  • Of the cities included in the territory of Menashe was: Beit Shean; Taneich.
  • Unconquered cities within the territory: Menashe was unable to conquer certain cities within their territory from the Canaanites, and they therefore remain there until this day. They were forced, however, to pay a tax to the Jewish people.

2. Bnei Menashe complain to Yehoshua for more land:

  • The tribe of Menashe complained to Yehoshua for receiving only one [small] portion despite being a very large population. Yehoshua told them that since they are so populated, they can go ahead and chop down the Perizi and Refaim forests and make room for more cities. They replied to Yehoshua that the Perizi nation is too powerful for them to conquer. Yehoshua reinforced them that they indeed have the strength to conquer the forests and extend their territories.


[1] See Rashi 17:5

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