104-1017-Joshua Chapter 16
To the sons of Joseph the territory was double in size. Manasseh and Ephraim had for their inheritance land stretching over a large portions of the central area in the Promised Land.
Not all of the Promised Land was conquered in the campaigns of Joshua and the remaining Canaanites were to be driven out by the individual tribes of the Israelite nation. The failure of the tribes of Israel to do this was typical of all the tribes. Throughout the Promised there remained work to do and battles to be fought and won.
The tribe of Ephraimites compromised and most likely because they wanted to use the Canaanite people in forced labor. Even so this is not a good excuse for their disobedience to the command of God. If the Ephraimites had the power to force the people of Gezer into hard labor, then they certainly had the power to completely defeat them. To add to this certainty is the fact that Joshua had already conquered Gezer. (Joshua 10:33 Joshua 12:12) This may seem as a justifiable compromise but the long term effect was the immoral worship that resulted within the Israelite people. This fault was the foundation for the struggles we see in the days of the Judges.
There may be two reasons that the Israelite people did not fully conquer the Promised Land. One is that they were war weary and wanted peace at all cost. The other reason may be the lure of easy wealth. With the uses of forced labor they would be able to profit much better for their efforts. For these reasons they disobeyed the command of God and allowed the pagan Canaanites to remain in their land. Are we not also guilty in our own way to the commands of God?