Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
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Gregory The Dialogist
For “the stars of this night” are “overshadowed with darkness,” when even they that already shine with great virtues still bear something of the dimness of sin, while they struggle against it, so that they even shine with great luster of life and yet still draw along unwillingly some remains of the night. Which as we have said is done with this view, that the mind in advancing to the eminence of its righteousness, may through weakness be better strengthened and may in a more genuine manner shine in goodness by the same cause by which, to its humbling, little defects overcloud it even against its will. Hence, when the land of promise now won was to be divided to the people of Israel, the Gentile people of Canaan are not said to be slain but to be made subject to the tribe of Ephraim, as it is written: “The Canaanites dwelt in the midst of Ephraim under taxation.” For what does the Canaanite, a Gentile people, denote, if not a fault? And oftentimes we enter the land of promise with great virtues because we are strengthened by the inward hope of eternity. But while, amid sublime deeds, we retain certain small faults, we as it were permit the Canaanite to dwell in our land. Yet he is taxed in that this same fault, which we cannot make subject, we force back by humility to our own well-being, so that the mind may think poorly of itself even in its highest virtues, as it fails to master by its own strength even the small things to which it aspires. - "Morals on the Book of Job 4.24"