Judah Ephraim and Manasseh Joseph and his wife Asenath, had two sons named Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel), was given two portions of land, which were handed down to the tribes of his two sons.
Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Joshua 15:20-17:18
(1399 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (Joshua 15:63): This is the second time I have seen a passage that says the Israelites could not drive out some of the people.  What is the purpose of God allowing this?

A. These other nations appear to be a test of the people’s resolve, and their ability to follow God’s orders.  Much like the 10 spies who came back proclaiming, “giants” to scare all the people, we will see the Israelites fear the iron weapons that some of the tribes possess, and they will make decisions that go against what God has told them to do.  God has made His will clear: all the tribes in the land are to be removed by force.  But Israel has, with the Gibeonites, and will continue to violate this requirement by making more treaties, or not trusting in God and losing the subsequent battle (we will see this in Judges).  So basically, what is happening is not what God desires, which could be the definition of sin in that sense.  Even today, God often allows us to make bad decisions, and then live with the consequences in the hope that we will learn from our failures.  That appears to be why God is allowing these other nations to continue.  Much like our bad decisions, the decisions that Israel is making in this period will be costly.

Overall, even with the land “conquered,” there will still be many battles to fight, because many of the tribes that Israel will face are powerful and will not surrender easily.  David will achieve great victories over some of these nations, including victory at Jerusalem where he will establish his capital, but that’s a long way off.

For further study
Twelve things you may not know about Judah: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/12-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-tribe-of-judah.html
— There are difficulties with some of the land allocations, or rather the people who inhabit them. https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/27-the-israelites-move-into-canaan/canaan-is-divided-among-the-twelve-tribes/
— A few summary points for dividing the land, https://enterthebible.org/passage/joshua-13-21-distribution-of-the-land

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Tomorrow’s reading: Joshua 18:1-19:48