Joshua 16 (Listen)
16:1 The allotment of the people of Joseph went from the Jordan by Jericho, east of the waters of Jericho, into the wilderness, going up from Jericho into the hill country to Bethel. 2 Then going from Bethel to Luz, it passes along to Ataroth, the territory of the Archites. 3 Then it goes down westward to the territory of the Japhletites, as far as the territory of Lower Beth-horon, then to Gezer, and it ends at the sea.
4 The people of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received their inheritance.
5 The territory of the people of Ephraim by their clans was as follows: the boundary of their inheritance on the east was Ataroth-addar as far as Upper Beth-horon, 6 and the boundary goes from there to the sea. On the north is Michmethath. Then on the east the boundary turns around toward Taanath-shiloh and passes along beyond it on the east to Janoah, 7 then it goes down from Janoah to Ataroth and to Naarah, and touches Jericho, ending at the Jordan. 8 From Tappuah the boundary goes westward to the brook Kanah and ends at the sea. Such is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Ephraim by their clans, 9 together with the towns that were set apart for the people of Ephraim within the inheritance of the Manassites, all those towns with their villages. 10 However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.
However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor (Joshua 16:10).
The total destruction of the people that Israel fought often seems like overkill. Apparently, the people of Israel must have thought so too, because they didn’t destroy the Canaanites in Gezer. Big deal, right? Wrong. These Canaanites served false gods, which in turn, the Israelites often adopted as their own. This tendency toward idolatry would plague Israel throughout history and ultimately cost them the land they now called home. Sometimes God’s commands don’t make sense to us. Sometimes things that are bad for us don’t seem too bad. God’s way is always the best way. Disobedience to God’s commands may have consequences that last for generations. God is always faithful. Are we?