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Joshua 16:1–17:18 (LEB)

The Allotment of Ephraim and Manasseh

16 The allotment of the descendants of Joseph went from the Jordan by Jericho, at the waters of Jericho to the east, into the wilderness, going up from Jericho into the hill country to Bethel; it continues from Bethel to Luz, and it passes along to the territory of the Arkites at Ataroth. Then it goes down, to the west, to the territory of the Japhletites, up to the territory of Lower Beth-horon, then to Gezer, and it ends at the sea.

And the descendants of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received their inheritance. This was the border of the descendants of Ephraim according to their families: the border of their inheritance to the east was Ataroth Addar, up to Upper Beth-horon. The border continues to the sea; from Micmethath to the north, the border turns to the east to Taanath Shiloh, and it passes along it from the east to Janoah. Then it goes down from Janoah to Ataroth and to Naarah; it touches Jericho and ends at the Jordan; from Tappuah the border goes to the west, to the wadi of Kanah, and it ends at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the descendants of Ephraim according to their families, with the cities that were set apart for the descendants of Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the descendants of Manasseh, all the cities and their villages. 10 But they did not drive out the Canananites who were dwelling in Gezer, and so the Canaanites live in the midst of Ephraim to this day, but they became forced laborers.

The Allotment of the Other Half-Tribe of Manasseh

17 Then the allotment was made for the tribe of Manasseh, because he was the firstborn of Joseph. To Makir, the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a warrior. An allotment was made for the remaining descendants of Manasseh, according to their families: For the children of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida—these were the male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph according to their families.

But Zelophehad son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, had no sons, only daughters. These are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They came before Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders, saying, “Yahweh commanded Moses to give an inheritance to us among our kinsmen.” Therefore, according to the command of Yahweh he gave them an inheritance among the kinsmen of their father. Thus ten shares fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which is beyond the Jordan, because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons. And the land of Gilead was allotted to the remaining descendants of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh was from Asher to Micmethath, which is opposite Shechem; then the border goes to the south, to the inhabitants of En Tappuah. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tuppuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the descendants of Ephraim. Then the border goes down to the wadi of Kanah to the south of the wadi. These cities belong to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh is north of the wadi, and it ends at the sea. 10 The south is Ephraim’s, and the north is Manasseh’s; the sea is their border; Asher touches the north and on the east Issachar. 11 In Issachar and Asher, Manasseh had Beth-shean and its villages, Ibleam and its villages, the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, the inhabitants of En-dor and its villages, the inhabitants of Taanach and its villages, the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; the third is Napheth. 12 But the descendants of Manasseh were not able to take possession of these towns; the Canaanites were determined to live in this land. 13 And it happened, when the Israelites grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor but never drove them out completely.

The Tribes of Joseph Object

14 The descendants of Joseph spoke with Joshua, saying, “Why have you given us one allotment and one share as an inheritance? We are many people, which Yahweh has blessed.” 15 And Joshua said to them, “If you are many people, go up to the forest and clear a place there for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” 16 And the descendants of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all of the Canaanites living in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, those in Beth-shean and its villages, and those in the Jezreel Valley.” 17 And Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are many people and have great power; you will not have one allotment only; 18 the hill country will be yours. Even though it is a forest, you will clear it, and it will be yours to its farthest borders. You will drive out the Canaanites, even though they have iron chariots and are strong.”

2 Corinthians 11:24–33 (LEB)

24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. A day and a night I have spent in the deep water. 26 I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own people, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers because of false brothers, 27 with toil and hardship, often in sleepless nights, with hunger and thirst, often going hungry, in cold and poorly clothed. 28 Apart from these external things, there is the pressure on me every day of the anxiety about all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to sin, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If it is necessary to boast, I will boast about the things related to my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to take me into custody, 33 and I was lowered through a window through the wall in a rope-basket, and I escaped his hands.

Psalm 55:1–23 (LEB)

Give ear, O God, to my prayer,

and do not hide yourself from my plea.

Attend to me and answer me.

I am restless in my lamenting and I groan,

because of the voice of an enemy,

because of the oppression of the wicked,

because they bring down evil on me,

and in anger they hold a grudge against me.

My heart trembles within me,

and deathly terrors fall on me.

Fear and trembling come on me,

and horror overwhelms me.

So I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove.

I would fly away and be at rest.

Look, I would flee far away.

I would dwell in the wilderness. Selah

I would hurry to my refuge

from the raging wind and storm.”

Confuse, O Lord; divide their speech,

because I see violence and strife in the city.

10 Day and night they go around it on its walls,

and iniquity and trouble are in its midst.

11 Destruction is within it,

and oppression and deceit

do not depart from its public square.

12 For it is not an enemy that taunts me,

or I could bear it.

It is not one who hates me that magnifies himself over me,

or I could hide myself from him.

13 But it is you, a man my equal,

my friend and confidant.

14 We who would take sweet counsel together;

in the house of God

we would walk with the throng.

15 Let death deceive them. May they descend to Sheol alive,

because evil is in their home and heart.

16 As for me, I will call to God,

and Yahweh will save me.

17 Morning, noon and night I will lament and groan loudly,

and he will hear my voice.

18 He safely redeems my life from the battle against me,

because those standing against me are among many.

19 God will hear and answer them,

he who is enthroned from of old, Selah

Because they do not change,

and they do not fear God.

20 He has put forth his hands against his friends;

he has defiled his covenant.

21 The buttery words of his mouth were smooth,

but there was battle in his heart.

His words were smoother than oil,

but they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on Yahweh,

and he will sustain you.

He will never allow the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, you will bring them down to the pit of corruption.

The men of bloodshed and deceit will not live half their days,

but I will trust you.

April 26: Bitter and Betrayed (Rebecca Van Noord)

April 26

The betrayal of a loved one can shake our world. It can make us feel vulnerable and used, and if we’re not careful, it can cause us to be bitter and suspicious toward others. The psalmist in Psalm 55 experiences such a betrayal from a friend who feared God: “We would take sweet counsel together in the house of God” (Psa 55:14).

The psalmist agonizes over how he was deceived: “The buttery words of his mouth were smooth, but there was battle in his heart. His words were smoother than oil, but they were drawn swords” (Psa 55:21). How does someone move beyond a violation of trust? Instead of growing bitter, the psalmist puts his trust in Yahweh: “Cast your burden on Yahweh, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be moved” (Psa 55:22).

Similarly, in 2 Corinthians, Paul tells the church in Corinth about his sufferings. Among Paul’s lashings, stonings, shipwrecks (three of them), and robbings, he also lists “dangers because of false brothers” (2 Cor 11:26). He suffered anxiety because of the churches (2 Cor 11:28).

Paul adds to this list by discussing a force of oppression over him. He states that he prayed for his “thorn” to be taken from him (2 Cor 12:8). However, the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, because the power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). This reshapes Paul’s perspective on suffering: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in calamities, in persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). By submitting to Christ, Paul relied less on himself and more heavily on God. As a result, God’s grace and power was manifested within him.

Betrayal causes bitterness that can poison our hearts. But, like Paul, we should use trials as an opportunity to submit more fully to God, and to show others His work in us.

How are you holding onto bitterness? What would God have you do instead?

Rebecca Van Noord is editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.