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by Wayne Blank
"the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns"
Taanach is listed among the many Canaanite cities (even Jerusalem was then under Canaanite occupation; see below) that found themselves in the path of the Israelite onslaught, not because the Israelites were stronger or more intelligent, but because they were then yet obedient to The Lord who gave them the "air support" that guaranteed their victory (see also "Strong Is He Who Has Come Down"). It was only when the people of Israel became corrupt to His Word that He left them to fight their enemies alone - and it was then that they, more often than not, became losers in battle.
"And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel [i.e. Children of Jacob] smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions; In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country; the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites:
Taanach became a near-the-border town between the Israelite tribal territories.
"Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east. And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries." (Joshua 17:10-11 KJV)
The Israelites' ancient, and modern, mistake is that they disobeyed The Lord's command to take absolute control of the land that He gave to them. See the Fact Finder question below for what happened, and happens, when The Lord's command was, and is, disobeyed.
"Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land." (Judges 1:27 KJV)
Fact Finder: What did The Lord warn the people of Israel about "pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides"?