“And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: but the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.” Joshua 17:16-18 (KJV)
Dividing the land was no easy task for the people of Israel. Some of the divisions of land remained unconquered, and it was up to the tribe inheriting the land to conquer it. Some of the inhabitants of Canaan were not driven out as God had commanded (vv. 12 – 13), but later came under tribute or a tax burden.
The Canaanites that lived in the valley they spoke of had great iron chariots; one of the most feared military vehicles of the day. The horses alone could trample, stomp and kill the enemy; and that does not even match what was on the wheels of the chariots. Whirling, spinning knife like blades slicing, killing, maiming anything that was too close.
Joshua’s message to to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh was “You are a great people with great power. You shall have the mountain, and you will be able to drive out the Canaanites of the valley, even though they have chariots of iron.” Encouragement is powerful when the person receiving it takes it to heart.
For you and I today; we can see that for the Christian there is no enemy of God that cannot and will not be stopped and destroyed (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are a great and strong people. Not because of our own doing, but because of Jesus Christ and His cross. No enemy within or without can defeat us.