And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel,
2 And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth,
3 And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Bethhoron the nether, and to Gezer; and the goings out thereof are at the sea.
4 So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.
5 And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Atarothaddar, unto Bethhoron the upper;
6 And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanathshiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah;
7 And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan.
8 The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.
9 And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.
10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.
Joshua gave Caleb Hebron, the city that had so frightened the ten spies because of the giant Anakites. Trusting in the Lord, 85 year-old Caleb drove out the Anakites and then marched against Kiriath Sepher. Othniel, his nephew, conquered it, and then claimed Caleb's daughter Acsah as his reward.
Sadly many others in Israel did not share Caleb’s faith. The Judahites could not dislodge the Jebusites from Jerusalem, and 16:10 says the Ephramites did not dislodge the Canaanites. By letting these foreigners stay in their midst, the Ephraimites were endangering themselves spiritually. Their future shows them lapsing into idolatry until the Lord was forced to say through His prophet, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone" (Hosea 4:17). In the chapters that follow we read that the Manassites were not able to occupy some of their towns, for the Canaanites “were determined to live in that region;” and the Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory.
If they would have had faith to make the effort, the Lord would have given them the victory as He did Caleb. Thus the way was prepared for future apostasy. Will our faith stand against the world around us?
Retired Professor and Missionary