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Territory of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joshua 16-17) August 25

Ephraim was given the next allotment of land, north of Jerusalem in the southern part of what will later be the Kingdom of Israel. Cities in their territory included Bethel in the south, Shiloh in the middle, and Shechem in the north.

Manasseh received the land just north of Ephraim, which together formed the lot for Joseph. It was actually adjacent to the other half of their territory east of the Jordan, which effectively put the river in the midst of their land instead of on the border. Cities included Tirzah (used as a capital city of the northern kingdom, see 1 Kings 15:33), Megiddo (see 2 Kings 23:29; Revelation 16:16), Endor (1 Samuel 28:7), and Shunem (2 Kings 4:8).

When the tribe of Joseph complained that they thought they should have more land, Joshua had a simple solution—conquer the northern parts still occupied by the Canaanites. They fell back into their more fearful attitudes, but Joshua reminded them that since they were such a great people in need of more land, they should have no trouble (Joshua 17:14-18).

It is interesting to note the amount of land occupied by Ephraim and Manasseh in the Promised Land. Manasseh had much more than Ephraim, particularly when we consider the area east of the Jordan. Yet the greater national blessings had been prophesied to fall upon Ephraim (see Genesis 48). How do we reconcile this? Simple. The prophecies regarding Ephraim and Manasseh were not fulfilled in the land of Canaan. They would be fulfilled much later, following Israelite migrations to future settlements in Northwest Europe and beyond (see our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy). In later world history, while Manasseh, as the United States of America, will occupy a much larger country, Ephraim, as the British Empire, will rule more territory than any other people ever has.

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