a fair allotment
Joshua 17:1-13 (JDV)
Joshua 17:1 This was the allotment for the tribe of Manasseh as Joseph’s firstborn. Gilead and Bashan were given to Machir, the firstborn of Manasseh and the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war.
Joshua 17:2 So the allotment was for the rest of Manasseh’s descendants by their clans, for the sons of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. These are the male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph, by their clans.
Joshua 17:3 Now Zelophehad son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters. These are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
Joshua 17:4 They came in front of the priest Eleazar, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders, saying, “Yahveh commanded Moses to give us an inheritance along with our male relatives.” So they gave them an inheritance among their father’s brothers, in keeping with Yahveh’s instruction.
Joshua 17:5 As a result, ten tracts fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which are beyond the Jordan,
Joshua 17:6 because Manasseh’s daughters received an inheritance among his sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of Manasseh’s sons.
Joshua 17:7 The border of Manasseh went from Asher to Michmethath near Shechem. It then went southward toward the inhabitants of En-tappuah.
Joshua 17:8 The region of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuah itself on Manasseh’s border belonged to the descendants of Ephraim.
Joshua 17:9 From there the border went down to the Brook of Kanah; south of the brook, cities belonged to Ephraim among Manasseh’s cities. Manasseh’s border was on the north side of the brook and ended at the Mediterranean Sea.
Joshua 17:10 Ephraim’s territory was to the south and Manasseh’s to the north, with the Sea as its border. They reached Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.
Joshua 17:11 Beth-shean, Ibleam, and the inhabitants of Dor with their surrounding villages; the inhabitants of En-dor, Taanach, and Megiddo – the three cities of Naphath – with their surrounding villages.
Joshua 17:12 The descendants of Manasseh were not able to possess these cities, because the Canaanites were determined to stay in this land.
Joshua 17:13 However, when the Israelites grew stronger, they imposed forced labor on the Canaanites but did not drive them out completely.
a fair allotment
Two groups pled for a fair allotment among the lands divvied out after the conquest. The daughters of Zelophehad sought the land promised by the LORD during the time of Moses. The sons of Joseph needed more land because of their number. Behind these requests was more than a mere collective selfishness. Possession and protection of the land was a divine responsibility and mission.
As the church of the living God, we each have been gifted with special abilities which enable us to carry out our responsibilities. It is only fair that those gifted with certain gifts should have more responsibilities, and those gifted in other areas should have less. In some churches, leadership and responsibility is passed along on another basis. Popularity and doctrinal agreement are two criteria often used to bypass fair allotment.
LORD, help us to keep your mission in mind when choosing those who lead us.