Today we read about the towns given to the tribe of Judah. However, “As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.”
The tribe of Ephriam, Joseph’s youngest son, is also allotted their land inheritance. “And they did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day and have become forced laborers.”
Lastly, the tribe of Manasseh, Joseph’s eldest son, receives their inheritance, including the daughters of Zelophehad as the Lord instructed back in Numbers 27. However, the tribe of Manasseh also failed to drive out the inhabitants of the land – “Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land. And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.”
We end the reading with Ephriam and Manasseh complaining to Joshua about not having enough land for all of their people. So Joshua tells them to go and fight for the land in the mountains and clear the land of the trees for their people and livestock to dwell. Basically Joshua is saying that they need to work for what they want. God doesn’t expect us to just passively sit around expecting things to be given to us. The Lord wants His people to trust what He has said and live boldly obeying His Word and walking in light of His promises. That’s why Joshua says to the children of Joseph, “You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.”
So we see today that all three tribes, Judah, Ephriam, and Manasseh, failed to drive all the inhabitants out of the land. This is not looking good for the Israelites. Tomorrow the remaining tribes receive their land inheritance. Keep reading to see the influence the Canaanites, people steeped in sexual sin and idolatry, will have on the children of Israel.