Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Joseph. The double portion is given to him, as Ruben forfeited his birth-right. (Chaldean) (Worthington) — Waters; or the celebrated fountain, which renders the territory so fruitful, and which was made sweet, by Eliseus casting salt into it, 4 Kings ii. 19. — Wilderness of Bethaven, chap. xviii. 12., and viii. 14. (Calmet) — Which, is not to be referred to wilderness, but to the word lot. (Masius; Menochius)
Ver. 2. To Luza. The Vulgate reads Bethel Luza, which may be supposed to be two names, (chap. xviii. 13.; Haydock) for the same city. (Menochius) (Genesis xxviii. 29.) — Bethel was probably the country, (Calmet) or mountain, (Haydock) to the east of Luza, on the frontiers of Benjamin and of Ephraim; for which reason it is sometimes attributed to both. — To Atharoth. This city, and Archi, are supposed by some to be the same city. Archi seems, however, to have been a distinct place, where Chusai ws born, 2 Kings xv. 32. Atharoth is styled Addar, “the illustrious,” ver. 5. It was 15 miles from Jericho.
Ver. 3. Nether. See chap. x. 11. The upper Bethoron was of much less note, near the Jordan. — Gazer was in the vicinity of Azotus, 1 Machabees xiv. 34., chap. x. 33. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Possessed it, or divided the country between them. The territories of Ephraim are henceforward described, to the end of the chapter. (Menochius)
Ver. 6. Looketh to the north, &c. The meaning is, that the border went towards the north, by Machmethath; and then turned eastward to Thanathselo. (Challoner) — Borders. It should be terminus. “The border turneth eastward,” Septuagint. (Bonfrere) — Janoe, twelve miles east of Sichem. (Eusebius) (4 Kings xv. 29.)
Ver. 8. Reeds. Septuagint, “of Cana.” The vale belonged to Manasses, but the cities were ceded to Ephraim, ver. 9., chap. xvii. 19. The limits of these two tribes are very confused. (Calmet) — Most salt. This is the title generally applied to the lake of Sodom. But here the Mediterranean is meant, which, compared with many of the seas of Palestine, is certainly most salt. (Menochius) — The epithet is not, however, found in Hebrew or Septuagint (Calmet) and Serarius thinks it has crept in here by mistake. (Menochius)
Ver. 10. Gazer. It is not certain when the Ephraimites rendered this city tributary, or when it threw off the yoke. The king of Egypt afterwards conquered it, and gave it with his daughter to Solomon, chap. x. 33. (Calmet) See Judges i. 29. — The negligence of Ephraim was contrary to God’s order, Exodus xx. (Menochius) — The Alexandrian Septuagint here inserts after day, “till Pharao, king of Egypt, went up and took the city, and burnt it with fire, and the Chanaanites and Pherezites, and the inhabitants of Gazer, he slew; and Pharao gave it as a dowry to his daughter.” Grabe adds what seems deficient, “and they became tributary slaves.” (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The lot of the sons of Joseph. The borders of the tribe of Ephraim.
1 And *the lot of the sons of Joseph fell from the Jordan over-against Jericho, and the waters thereof, on the east: the wilderness which goeth up from Jericho to the mountain of Bethel:
2 And goeth out from Bethel to Luza: and passeth the border of Archi, to Atharoth:
3 And goeth down westward, by the border of Jephleti, unto the borders of Bethoron the nether, and to Gazer: and the countries of it are ended by the great sea:
4 And Manasses and Ephraim, the children of Joseph, possessed it.
5 And the border of the children of Ephraim was according to their kindreds: and their possession towards the east was Atharoth-addar unto Bethoron the upper.
6 And the confines go out unto the sea: but Machmethath looketh to the north, and it goeth round the borders eastward into Thanath-selo; and passeth along on the east side to Janoe.
7 And it goeth down from Janoe into Atharoth and Naaratha: and it cometh to Jericho, and goeth out to the Jordan.
8 From Taphua it passeth on towards the sea into the valley of reeds, and the goings out thereof are at the most salt sea. This is the possession of the tribe of the children of Ephraim, by their families.
9 And there were cities with their villages, separated for the children of Ephraim, in the midst of the possession of the children of Manasses.
10 And the children of Ephraim slew not the Chanaanite, who dwelt in Gazer: and the Chanaanite dwelt in the midst of Ephraim until this day, paying tribute.
1: Year of the World 2560