Joshua 14


Joshua 14:1–15

Caleb Requests and Receives the Hill Country

Outline of Chapter 14:

       vv.   1–5      Joshua prepares to distribute the land

       vv.   6–12    Caleb petitions to live in the hill country

       vv.  13–15    Joshua agrees to honor Caleb’s petition


       v.     6          The Racial Background of Caleb

       v.    15          A Summary of the Doctrine of Hebron

Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To





I ntroduction: The first tribe to receive a portion of the land was the tribe of Judah. However, Caleb, one of the few survivors of Gen X and one of the few men of great nobility and character of that generation, came forward and made a special request. He asked for a particular plot of land for him and his family. There is nothing arrogant or presumptuous about Caleb’s request. God had already promised him special consideration and Caleb was standing on God’s promises. There is something that we need to get out of this. Because of our culture, we often think everyone is equal or that everyone should be made equal or that some sort of modified equalization process should occur. That is not God’s plan. Caleb was not equal. He got first choice. He followed God fully and he was rewarded by God for that. Furthermore, his reward on earth was essentially symbolic of his greater reward in eternity. God does not distribute to everyone the exact same thing. For believers out of fellowship, He gives pain and suffering to turn them around. For believers who are growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, He gives gracious gifts and blessings. We are not equal here and we will not be equal in eternity. We far too often forget that our time here on earth is very short and what we have and what we see all around us is very temporary. Our bodies will only function for so long in this life before falling to the decay which is the curse of this earth. When we enter into eternity, we will see extreme inequality. Caleb will have a major stake in that life, which will be eternal. One of the reasons we are so confused is that our focus is not on the eternal, but on what we have, what we are, and how other people behave or what they have. Caleb focused on God and on what God chose for him to do with his life. As a result, Caleb received special consideration both here on earth and in eternity. Everyone from the very generation with whom he grew up all suffered horrible and painful deaths because they insisted in turning away from God’s plan for their lives (Num. 13–15). You are not going to get out of this world alive; you are not taking your body nor are you taking your possessions with you. You will take with you God’s Word which has been imprinted on your soul. I believe Thieme referred to it as the coin of the realm. Everything else is a detail. Our focus should be readjusted to reflect that. Our life and our choices and our focus have eternal repercussions. Caleb received great earthly blessings and he was delivered after seven years of war. But his focus was not on his personal safety, nor was his focus on the land that he desired. Caleb’s focus was on God and God’s plan for his life. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t always get what you want by pursuing it. Remember Achan? He desired a few trinkets and a nice coat so he took them. He never enjoyed those things and he was executed, dying in shame, and taking his family with him. Recall the generation of Caleb. They were afraid for their personal safety and would not take the land which God gave them; as a result, they died decades earlier than they should have under the painful sin unto death. Only one man out of two million was given his choice of the plot of land where he and his family would settle. The remainder received their land by lots. And this is all representative of the great blessing which we will receive in the eternal state.


Joshua Prepares to Distribute the Land



Smoother English rendering:

And these which sons of Israel inherited in a land of Canaan which Eleazar the priest and Joshua ben Nun and heads of fathers of the tribes distributed to them to sons of Israel.



And these were the lands which the sons of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan. Eleazar the priest, Joshua ben Nun and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of Israel distributed these lands to the sons of Israel.

This is a rather difficult verse to unravel, so let me show you what others have done:


The Emphasized Bible      And these are the inheritances which the sons of Israel received in the land of Canaan,—which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the ancestral heads of the tribes of the sons of Israel gave them to inherit.

NASB                                Now these are the territories which the sons of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel apportioned to them for an inheritance.

NIV                                    Now these are the areas the Israelites received as an inheritance in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribabl clans of Israel allotted to them.

The Septuagint                  And these are they of the children of Israel, that received their inheritance in the land of Chanaan, to whom Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Naue, and the heads of the families of the tribes of the children of Israel, gave inheritance.

Young's Lit. Translation     And these are they of the sons of Israel who inherited in the land of Canaan, whom Eleazar the priest, and Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the sons of Israel, caused to inherit;


This verse begins with the wâw conjunction and the plural demonstrative adjective êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronounced EEHL-leh], which means these, these things. Strong's #428 BDB #41. This refers to the land or to the territories which are about to be distributed to all of Israel in the next half dozen chapters. The NIV and the NASB make it most clear as to what is the subject of what. The first verb is the 3rd person plural, Qal perfect of nâchal (ל ַחָנ) [pronounced naw-KHAHL], which means, to receive anything as a possession, to possess (as wealth or glory). Strong’s #5157 BDB #635. Sons of Israel is the subject of that verb.


The second verb is the 3rd person plural, Piel perfect of nâcha again. In the Piel, it means to cause something to be inherited, to distribute. This is followed by the generally untranslated notation of a direct object and a 3rdperson masculine plural suffix, which I rendered to them. The subject of the verb is Joshua, Eleazar and the heads of Israel. We first have the masculine plural construct of rô’sh (ש אֹר) [pronounced roshe], which means head, top, chief. Strong's #7218 BDB #910. This is followed by the masculine plural construct of âbv (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv], which means father, both as the head of a household or the head of a clan. Strong’s #1 BDB #3. The is followed by the definite article and the masculine plural of maţţeh (ה  ַמ) [pronounced mah-TEH], which means staff, branch, tribe. The connection is obvious—a staff is made from a branch and the tribe is like the branch from a tree. Strong’s #4294 BDB #641. This is followed by the lâmed preposition and sons of Israel, which makes that a part of the object of the verb. Therefore, the subject of the second verb is Joshua, Eleazar and the heads of the fathers of the tribes; the object is the sons of Israel.

We have not heard from Eleazar the priest for some time. Eleazar was the third son of Aaron (Ex. 6:23). Aaron’s first two songs died for treating the rituals of the tent casually (Lev. 10:1–3). Eleazar was a bit more serious about his position. Aaron was his father and Moses his uncle. Aaron died after the forty years out in the wilderness, leaving Eleazar to be to priest to enter into the land. He was probably close to the age of Caleb. He, like Caleb, will disappear into history.

God had already been very specific about who would carry out the distribution of the land. Then Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, “These are the names of the men who will apportion the land to you for an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua ben Nun. And you will take one leader of every tribe to apportion the land for an inheritance. And these are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb, son of Jephunneh; and from the tribe of the son of Simeon, Samuel, the son of Ammihud;of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad, the son of Chislon; and of the tribe of the sons of Dan, a leader, Bukki, the son of Jogli; of the sons of Joseph: of the tribe of the sons of Manasseh, a leader, Hanniel, the son of Ephod; and of the tribe of the sons of Ephraim, a leader, Kemuel, the son of Shiptan; and of the tribe of the sons of Zebulun, a leader, Elizaphan, the son of Parnach; and of the tribe of the sons of Issachar, a leader, Paltiel, the son of Azzan; and of the tribe of the sons of Asher, a leader, Ahihud, the son of Shelomi; and of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali, a leader, Pedahel, the son of Ammihud.” These are those whom Jehovah commanded to apportion the inheritance to the sons of Israel in the land of Canaan (Num. 34:16–29). We have twelve men mentioned here, but only ten tribes are mentioned. Notice that there are two representatives from the tribe of Judah: Joshua and Caleb. Joshua is the national leader and Caleb is the one who represents his tribe. Notice that the tribe of Reuben and Gad are missing. This is because they have already chosen their inheritance so they do not need to take part in this land distribution. Eleazar is there, but not as a representative of the tribe of Levi, but as a man of God. The Levites are not represented specifically because they are not given a contiguous, eternal piece of property. What this tells us is that these ten men here represent the nine and a half tribes still to receive their inheritance. They are not involved in the administration and the distribution of the land, but they will receive on behalf of their tribe or half tribe the portion of land as the lots determine (this will be discussed more fully at the beginning of Joshua 15).

By lot their inheritance as which commanded Yehowah by a hand of Moses to [give to] Footnote nine of the tribes and half of the tribe.



Their inheritance was distributed by lots as Jehovah had commanded through Moses to the nine and a half tribes.

The manner in which they received these lots was fascinating, which we will cover at the beginning of the next chapter, as the primary focus of Joshua 14 is the gracious giving of a particular plot of land to Caleb and his family. Vv. 1–2 essentially act as a title for the second section of the book.

For Moses had given an inheritance to two of the tribes and half of the tribe beyond the Jordan; and to the Levites, he did not give an inheritance in [or, among] them.



For Moses had already given an inheritance to two and a half of the tribes on the other side of the Jordan; furthermore, the Levites were not given a land inheritance.

Now and again Joshua gets rather repetitious, as he does here. For the 20th time, he has pointed out that the Levites had not been given a land inheritance and that the other two and a half tribes had already received their inheritance (e.g., Joshua 13:8, 14, 32–33). This repetition makes me wonder if Joshua 13 and 14 were written at different times with at least a month or two in between. This is all in accordance with what God had commanded Moses: “Command the sons of Israel that they give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possession, cities to live in; and you will give to the Levites pasture lands around the cities. And the cities will be theirs to live in; and their pasture lands will be for their cattle and for their herds and for all their animals.” Joshua 21 will specifically assign which cities will go to the Levites.

For [the] sons of Joseph were two of tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim—and they did not give an allotment to the Levites in the land except cities to dwell in and their pastures for their cattle and their acquisition.



For the sons of Joseph had become two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and the land allotment council did not give an allotment of contiguous land to the Levites; instead, they only gave them cities in which to dwell and the surrounding pastures for their cattle and as their acquisition.

The short version of this is that the Levites would not receive a portion of the land as the other tribes did. However, a double portion would go to the tribe of Joseph, who fathered the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. You may or may not recall that of the 12 sons of Jacob, Joseph was the only man of grace and of doctrine. We don’t know enough about Benjamin, but the rest of the sons of Jacob were lame individuals. When you see the kind of men that God uses, then you should be able to conclude that He is able to use you. This double portion is also in conjunction with the adoption of Joseph’s son by his father in Gen. 48:5–6: “And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. But your offspring that have been born after them will be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.” I Chron. 5:1–2 confirms the double portion which fell upon the tribe of Joseph: Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; so that he is not enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright. Though Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him the leader, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph).


The verb in the middle of the verse is the 3rd person plural, Qal perfect of the often found verb nâthan (ן ַת ָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN], which means give, grant, place, put, set. Strong's #5414 BDB #678. They does not refer to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh but to Eleazar, Joshua and the heads of the fathers of the tribes. What they did not give was the masculine singular of chêleq (ק ל ֵח) [pronounced KHAY-lek], which means portion, tract, territory, share, allotment. Strong’s #2506 (and #2511) BDB #324. This is followed literally by to the Levites in the land because. Then we should reiterate the verb.


Then we have the compound preposition kîy îm (ם ̣א י ̣) [pronounced kee-EEM], which literally is because if; however, together they act as a limitation on the preceding thought, and therefore should be rendered but, except. Strong’s #3588 & 518 BDB #474. This would give us: For sons of Joseph became two tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim—and they did not give an allotment to the Levites in the land except [they gave them] cities... After cities, we have the lamed preposition and the Qal infinitive construct of to dwell, to sit, to remain. This is followed by the wâw conjunction and the masculine plural of migerâsh (ש ָר  ׃ג  ̣מ) [pronounced mige-RAWSH], which means common, common-land, open land. It apparently is land not owned by anyone in specific. Strong’s #4054 BDB #177. This common land is given them for their cattle and for the masculine singular of qineyân (ן ָי  ׃נ  ̣ק) [pronounced kine-YAWN], which is translated getting, substance, possession, purchase, riches, goods in the KJV (this word only occurs 10 times, by the way). BDB gives its meaning as a thing got or acquired, acquisition. Strong’s #7075 BDB #889.

As which Yehowah commanded Moses, so sons of Israel did; and so they set apart the land.



as Jehovah had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did. Therefore, they allotted the land.


God had commanded Moses concerning the Levites and this was followed through by Joshua. The last verb is the 3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect of châlats (ץ ַל ָח) [pronounced khaw-LAHTZ] and BDB indicates that this is two different words, both spelled the same. In a way this is true, in the English language, but the two uses mean basically the same thing in the Hebrew. In the Qal or the Niphal stems, châlats means to remove, withdraw (Lev. 14:40 Deut. 25:9–10 Hos. 5:6), yet, throughout this chapter (vv. 21, 27, 29–30, 32) it is rendered armed for war. However, these men were removed from the rest of Israel and set apart for war by arming them. Here, it means to remove, withdraw, to partition out or to set aside. Therefore, they have set aside the land as per the commandment of Moses who received his direction from God. Strong's #2502 BDB #323.

God had already commanded Moses back in Num. 35:2: “Command the sons of Israel that they give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possession, cities to live in; and you will give to the Levites pasture lands around the cities.” Just as Caleb will come forward and claim his land, as God had promised him, the Levites will do the same. Then the heads of the households of the Levites approached Eleazar the priest and Joshua ben Nun and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel, and they spoke to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, “Jehovah commanded through Moses to give us cities to live in, with their pasture lands for out cattle.” (Joshua 21:1–2).

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Caleb Petitions to Live in the Hill Country

 And so sons of Judah came near unto Joshua in Gilgal and so Caleb ben Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, said to him, “You know the word which Yehowah spoke unto Moses, a man of the God concerning my circumstances and concerning your circumstances in Kadesh-barnea.



And so the sons of Judah approached Joshua in Gilgal and Caleb ben Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, said to him, “You know the word which Jehovah spoke to Moses, the man of God, concerning me and you in Kadesh-barnea.


The first verb is the 3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect of nâgash (ש ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GASH], which means to come near, to draw near, to approach, to come hither. Strong's #5066 BDB #620. Caleb does not just approach Joshua alone, but he is accompanied by other sons of Judah. Barnes suggests: These came before Joshua with Caleb, in order to make it manifest that they supported his claim, to be secured in the possessions promised him by Moses before the general allotment should be made to the tribes. Footnote


Near the end of this verse, we have the preposition ׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ahl ] and it means, primarily, upon, against, above, concerning. Strong's #5920, #5921 BDB #752. It is followed by the feminine plural ôdôth (תֹדא) [pronounced oh-DOHTH], and the BDB definition is cause. The KJV renders it because, concerning, sake, cause. Gesenius tells us that it properly means turnings, and therefore causes, circumstances. This phrase is found twice, first with the 1st person suffix and then with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix. We will render this concerning my circumstances and concerning your circumstances. Strong’s #182 BDB #15.

Pretty much every author I have read seems to have a different take on Caleb’s background and racial makeup. Possibly there was some intermarrying, but it is not clear who intermarried with who. Edersheim tells us that Caleb was simply came down the line of Judah through Pharez (Judah’s grandson), through Hezron (Judah’s great grandson) through Kenaz. And he quotes I Chron. 2:5, 18. Another sources said that Caleb was a product of intermarriage which involved the tribe of Judah and the Edomites.

These different viewpoints should lead you to think that we will not come to a consensus. Therefore, let’s examine the racial background of Caleb point by point.

The Racial Background of Caleb

1.    The short version is that Caleb was a representative of the tribe of Judah, the tribe which was to receive the first distribution of land on this side of the Jordan. This is affirmed in Num. 13:6 34:19.

2.    The long version is that Judah’s son by Tamar, his daughter-in-law and his wife or mistress was Perez (Gen. 38 I Chron. 2:3–4). Perez fathered Hezron (Gen. 46:12 Num. 26:21 Ruth 4:18 I Chron. 2:5). Hezron appeared to have two lives. Early on in life he had the sons Jerahmeel, Ram and Chelubai (I Chron. 2:9). He remarried at age 60 to a daughter of Machir (the son of Manasseh and the father of Gilead) and fathered Segub (I Chron. 2:21). Caleb appears to have been in his first line, as he is a descendant (or, son) of Hezron (I Chron. 2:18). However, this is a different Caleb—he is one of the first generations of Jews born in Egypt. This Caleb had a wife Azubah and some unnamed sons; he had a mistress Jerioth with sons Jersher, Shobab and Ardon; and then later married Ephrath (after the death of Azubah) and had a son, Hur (I Chron. 2:18–20). Caleb ben Jephunneh in I Chron. 4:15 had the sons Iru, Elah and Naam. Certainly, these could have been his sons by Azubah. The point I am trying to make here is that Caleb’s tie to the tribe of Judah is probably the most nebulous. In Joshua 15:13, we read: Now Joshua gave to Caleb ben Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of Jehovah to Joshua: the city of Arba, father of Anak (that is, Hebron). We continually have this unmistakable tie to the tribe of Judah, but, apart from the reference in I Chron. 2:18, we are not certain that this tie is by birth.

3.    Caleb’s father is Jephunneh (Num. 13:6 14:6 26:65 Joshua 14:13) and Jephunneh is a Kenizzite (Num. 32:12 Joshua 14:6, 14). These facts are undeniable.

4.    Kenaz is an Edomite tribe (I Chron. 1:35–36); furthermore, Kenaz is am important branch in the lineage of Esau (Edom) (I Chron. 1:53). Kenaz is mentioned again in I Chron. 4:13 in close proximity with the line of Judah (I Chron. 4:1) and to the line of Caleb (I Chron. 4:15), but the link is not clear. However, Caleb’s son names his son Kenaz (I Chron. 4:15) and his younger brother’s name was Kenaz (Judges 1:13). Obviously, the family of Caleb, although a part of the tribe of Judah, would not let go of their other family roots.

5.    So there is no confusion, there is no interaction between Israel and Edom in the march to the land prior to Num. 13–14, meaning that Caleb’s relation to the tribe of Kenaz and his assimilation into the tribe of Judah had to have occurred in Egypt. We can only speculate, but reasonably so, that he and his father were slaves to Egypt, thrown in with the Israelites and adopted by the tribe of Judah.

6.    Therefore, we can conclude that Caleb is definitely in the line of Kenaz, grandson of Esau, father of the Edomites. We do not know the exact tie that Caleb has to the tribe of Judah—whether he or an ancestor was a slave from Edomites and adopted into the tribe of Judah or whether there was intermarrying which occurred. In any case, every time one encounters the name Kenaz as a member of the family of Caleb, what should register in their minds is grace. All those with positive volition are taken in by God into the royal family of God.

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If for any reason you do not clearly remember Num. 13–14 when Moses sent twelve spies into the land in order to determine the best means of action to take the land, then it would be a good idea to go back and re-read these two chapters. Joshua and Caleb were the only two of the twelve spies who were ready to go into the land and take it from the peoples who occupied it. The other ten spies were afraid for their lives and convinced the other Israelites to not attack the land. As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congregation grumble against Him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land, even those men who brought out the very bad report of the land died by a plague before Jehovah. But Joshua ben Nun and Caleb ben Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land (Num. 14:36–38). Moses recounted it like this: “So Jehovah’s anger burned in that day, and He swore, saying, ‘None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, will see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; for they did not follow Me fully, except Caleb ben Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua ben Nun, for they followed Jehovah fully.’ ” (Num. 32:10–12; see also Deut. 1:34–36). The sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness until all the nation, the men of war who had come out of Egypt, perished, because they did not listen to the voice of Jehovah, to whom Jehovah had sworn that He would not let them see the land which Jehovah had sworn to their fathers to give us—the land flowing with milk and honey (Joshua 5:6).

What we have are two distinct generations who left Egypt. There was gen X, who were stiff-necked and constantly opposed Jehovah, the God Who had delivered them from Egypt. These were the ones who, when standing on the brink of the land two years after leaving Egypt, refused to go in and war against the inhabitants. These were the men who were twenty years and older at that time. Those who were twenty years and younger at that time were kept alive through God’s graciousness. “Indeed, forty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want. Their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet swell.” (Neh. 9:21). But, these suffered for forty years in the desert, eating manna day after day, having no permanent home, having no land which would produce a decent crop. When you belong to an immoral generation or if you follow an immoral generation, you often share their hardship and difficulties. Because of gen X, the generation of promise spent an additional forty years in the desert.

Now, in terms of eternal salvation, there are no works involved whatsoever. If you have trusted in Jesus Christ for your salvation—if your faith and reliance for salvation is upon His finished work on the cross, then no matter what kind of a life you are leading now, you are eternally saved and you cannot lose that salvation. However, for those who, after salvation, fully follow God, both in His Word and in His Spirit, there is so much more for them in this life and in the next.

In this verse, Moses is referred to as a man of God. This actually is a reference to his gift of prophecy, as man of God throughout Scripture often refers to a prophet (see also I Sam. 2:27 I Kings 13:1, 6–8 17:18, 24 II Kings 4:7). What we actually have with Moses and Aaron are two family lines, if you will—one fraternal and one spiritual; and each line was to report God’s truth to Israel. We do not read anything of Moses’ descendants after his death. However, there are references throughout Scripture to his spiritual descendants; namely, those men of God. These were God’s prophets. Moses was the first prophet and the prophets who followed him were like his spiritual children. Although there were very few of them at first, they eventually supplanted the priests in the realm of speaking the truth. The priests were the actual descendants of Aaron (it is ironic that, in the Catholic Church today, priests are never descendants of priests). The priests were to disseminate God’s Word and God’s truth, but they became corrupt to the point of even persecuting the Lord of Glory, Whose very nature it was their job to reveal. Now, although there were overlaps, the function of the prophet and the priest was essentially different—the prophet represented God to man. God had a message to relay and He did so through a prophet. However, the priest represented man to God. The priest would offer the sacrifices of men before God in order to atone for their sins.

Allow me another tangent. In His incarnation, Jesus was both prophet and priest. He spoke the truth of God directly to man, as would a prophet (He also made many prophetic statements); yet, in His intercessory prayers, Jesus represented man to God. Therefore, these two great offices which had their start in brothers Aaron and Moses, both find their culmination in our Lord.

“A son of forty years I [am] in a sending of Moses, servant of Yehowah, me out from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land and so I brought back to Him a word as which [was] with my heart;



I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of Jehovah, sent me out from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land. I later brought back to him the divine viewpoint thinking which was in my heart;

The last verb in the verse is the Hiphil imperfect of shûwbv (בש) [pronounced shoobv]; which means to return, to turn, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to recover something, the make restitution. Strong's #7725 BDB #996. The twelve spies were sent into the land, not to determine if Israel could take it or not, but to gather information (1) to confirm that this is the Land of Promise as God had said; and, (2) to determine the best method of attack. Moses did not send them into the land with the idea that they would come out and take a vote on whether or not they should enter into the land. The ten spies stirred up the people of Israel in fear. But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land which we spied out is a land which would devour its inhabitants and all the people living there were men a great stature.” (Num. 13:31–32). Moses later recalls: “Yet you were not willing to go up, but you rebelled against the command of Jehovah your God and you grumbled in your tents and you said, ‘Because Jehovah hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go up? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, “They people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.” ’ ” (Deut. 1:26–28). The Israelites became so afraid that they went to Moses and Aaron and demanded that a leader be appointed to lead them back to Egypt (Num. 14:4). McGee: They wanted to go back to the land and wanted to return to Egypt. They wanted to go back to slavery, brickyards, the lash of the taskmasters, chains, shackles, and groaning under burdens. The Lord Jesus said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Footnote Moses and Aaron were not believing this and fell on their faces before the congregation. And Joshua ben Nun and Caleb ben Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes, and they spoke to all of the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If Jehovah is pleased with us then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land flowing with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against Jehovah, and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them and Jehovah is with us. Do not fear them (Num. 14:6–9).

“And my brothers who went up with me cause to melt heart of the people; and I completely followed after Yehowah, my God.



“However, my brothers who went up with me caused the people to go into a state of panic and despair; although I completely followed after Jehovah my God.


The first verb is the Qal perfect of ׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH], which means to go up, to ascend, to rise. Strong's #5927 BDB #748. The second verb is the Hiphil perfect of mâçâh (ה ָס ָמ) [pronounced maw-SAWH], which means to melt. In the Hiphil, it means to cause to melt. Strong’s #4529 BDB #587. The spies did not want to go into battle against the people of the land, so they campaigned vigorously against going into the land, causing the rest of the people to become demoralized and as well as afraid. The final verb is the Piel perfect of mâlê (א ̤ל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAY], which means to fill, to make full, to be full. This is followed by the preposition achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR] and it means after, behind. Together, the words means to completely follow after, to fully follow Yehowah, to completely and fully follow where one is being led. Strong's #4390 BDB #569.

You might wonder why Caleb is saying all of this. After all, it was he and Joshua who had the unpopular opinion that God had given them the land and that they should go and take it. So Joshua knows all of this. However, Caleb is going to make a special request and this request is being made in the presence of several others. Therefore, he has to justify this request. Only he, Joshua and Eleazar remain from that time. Only they know about what Caleb is making public (except for anyone who has read the writings of Moses inscribed on the rock and for those who listened to Moses in Deut. 1). So Caleb is getting it on record why he is making a special request.

“And so Moses swore in the day the that, to say, ‘If not the land which your foot has trodden in her to you [masculine singular] she is for an inheritance; and for your sons unto perpetuity because you have completely followed Yehowah my God.’



“Furthermore, Moses swore in that day, saying, ‘Is not the land over which your foot has trodden your inheritance? And the inheritance for your sons forever because you have completely followed Jehovah my God?’


The quote from Moses begins with the hypothetical particle îm (ם  ̣א) [pronounced eem], which means if (Strong’s #518 BDB #49). When it is followed by the negative particle lô (אֹל) [pronounced low] (Strong’s #3808 BDB #518), they mean unless. However, when followed by lô, it can become an emphatic affirmative. Young translated this as if not; NASB, KJV, Rotherham and Owen as surely; and the NIV does not even translate these words. The best analogy I can come up with in English is a lawyer grilling a suspect on the stand, and he says, “Isn’t it true that you are the one who stole Charlie Brown’s purse?” The lawyer is not asking if something is not true; by throwing in the not he is expecting or desirous of a the affirmative answer, “Yes, it is true.” In fact, he is looking more for an affirmative answer with that question than with the question, “Is it true that you stole Charlie Brown’s purse?” These two together are often a part of the formula of swearing; together they form a strong affirmation and asservation (Job 1:11 2:5 22:20 Isa. 5:9).


The feminine singulars found throughout go with the substantive land. After for [or, to] you sons we have the preposition ׳ad (ד ַע) [pronounced ģad] which means as far as, until. Strong’s #5704 BDB #723. It is followed by the masculine singular noun ׳ôwlâm (ם ָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM], a word indicating long duration, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity (Strong’s #5769 BDB #761). Together, these words have been rendered to the age (Young), unto times age-abiding (Rotherham), and forever (The Amplified Bible, Owen, NASB).

Caleb was listening carefully to Moses when he spoke the Word of God to the people. In Deut. 1:35–36, Moses said: “Not one of these men of this unbelieving generation [gen X] will see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, except Caleb ben Jephunneh—he will see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he followed Jehovah fully.” That was roughly eight years ago, but Caleb kept track. There is nothing wrong with asking for a spiritual blessing which has been promised to you by God’s Word. What Moses was speaking throughout the book of Deuteronomy was God’s Word.

“And now, behold, Yehowah has caused me to live, as which he said, these forty and five years since Yehowah spoke the word the this unto Moses when walked Israel in the wilderness; and now, behold, I [am] the day a son of five and eighty years.



“And now, observe, that Jehovah has kept me alive, as He had promised for these 45 years since He had spoken this word to Moses when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, observe, I am 85 years old.

From the exodus to the southern border of the Land of Promise, less than two years had elapsed. God had taken Israel out of Egypt, He had given her the Law, and then He led her directly to the Land of Promise. The time frame from the exodus to the border of the land of promise was around 18 months. The Israelites left Sinai fourteen months after the exodus (Num. 9:1 10:11). To move two million people from Sinai to the southern border of Israel, I am guessing took about four or five months (Num. 11–12). Given another 40 days for the spies to check out the Land of Promise puts us at around 18 months (Num. 13:25).

So then , Israel stood on the brink of the land. Moses sent the twelve spies in, which included Caleb and Joshua. Moses gave them very specific instructions: “Go up there into the Negev; then go up into the hill country and see what the land is like, and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many; and how is the land in which they live—is it good or bad? And how are the cities in which they live—are they like open camps or with fortifications? And how is the land, is it fat or lean? Are there trees in it or not? Make an effort then to get some of the fruit of the land.” (Num. 13:17b–20a). When they returned and ten of the spies turned the people against God, God was ready to destroy all of Israel and begin anew with only Moses. Moses, arguing from divine viewpoint (and keep in mind, Moses did not have to convince God, Whose mind was made up in eternity past; Moses had to convince the angels and convince us), made the argument that God had to take these people into the land—otherwise, He would look foolish and impotent (Num. 14:11–19). One of the things which appears to tremendously please God is for someone to argue with Him from divine viewpoint; to argue placing God’s reputation and character at stake. God tells Moses that they will go into the land and take it, but first God would wipe out the entire generation of men who were twenty years and older—the ones who acted like babies and would not go into the land—gen X. There would be exceptions: “But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring him into the land which he entered, and his descendants will take possession of it.” (Num. 14:24). This is when Jehovah spoke the word to Moses concerning Caleb which Moses recounted in Deut. 1. God kept Caleb alive for 45 years after that. They wandered or camped in the desert for an additional 38¼ years and then made war upon the land. This means that Caleb was 40 when he acted as a spy for Moses. He was 78 when they stood at the brink of the Jordan, ready to attack. Therefore, seven years have passed since then, making Caleb 85, making the war against the land 6–7 years long. Personally, I like to think it as six years long and they rested during the seventh (although you would think that this would have been pointed out had it been the case).

Speaking of those forty years in the dessert, McGee wrote: During those forty years I suppose that often someone would say to Caleb, “Oh, brother Caleb, isn’t it terrible out here in this wilderness! It is so hot—it’s 118 today!” Caleb would say, “I really hadn’t noticed. I guess it is pretty warm, but I was thinking about those grapes of Eschol that I saw. And I was thinking about the city of Hebron. Our father Abraham liked that place, and I like it. That’s where I am going.” Caleb, even in the wilderness, could think of the future. He had a great hope. It kept him young. Those forty years in the wilderness killed off the rest of the crowd, but they didn’t do a thing to him but make him healthy. They grew old and he grew young. The giants n the Promised Land made the others tremble—they thought of themselves as grasshoppers. But Caleb thought of God. There was freedom from fear in the heart of this man. As Martin Luther said, “One with God is a majority.” God was bigger than the giants. Caleb reminds me of Adoniram Judson, the missionary who spent twelve years in Burma without a convert. The board that sent him out didn’t sense the situation nor what a tremendous missionary they had in Judson; so they wrote him a very diplomatic letter, suggesting that he should come home. They asked him what the prospects in Burma were for the future. His replay was, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.” His confidence in God was the reason he could stay in the wilderness of Burma all those years. Although he suffered a great deal and it took a long time for revival to break out, it finally did. His time was well spent. Footnote

“Still I [am] the day strong as that in a day of Moses sending me; as my strength [or, power] then and as my strength now to the war and to go out and to come in.



“I am still today as strong as I was in that day that Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so it is now, either to war, or in any activity.


This verse begins with the adverb ׳ôwd (דע) [pronounced ģohd] (it is also written דֹע), which means still, yet, again, besides, in addition to, even yet. Strong’s #5750 BDB #728. This is attached to the personal pronoun, which acts sort of like a subject for the implied verb to be. This is followed by the phrase the day and the adjective for strong, which is châzâq (ק ָז ָח) [pronounced khaw-ZAWK]. Strong’s #2389 BDB #305. Literally, we have “Still I the day strong...” which would be smoother if rendered, “Still I am this day strong...” This is followed by the preposition as and the relative pronoun ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER], which generally means that, which, when or who. Strong's #834 BDB #81. This is followed, literally, by in a day of sending me of Moses. Changing the order somewhat, we get “I [am] still today as strong as in the day Moses sent me...”


We then have as...and as. When we find this repeated, the two kaph’s signify completeness of correspondence between two objects. Gesenius suggests; how...thus; as No Strong’s # BDB #453. Between we have the noun  kôach ( ַחֹכ) [pronounced KOE-ahkh], which means strength, power, ability. Strong’s #3581 BDB #470. There is a personal suffix affixed to the noun strength and the adverb then. After the second kaph, we have my strength now. The Joshua indicates that he is more than just a spry old man. He uses the lâmed preposition (to, for) and the feminine substantive milechâmâh (ה ָמ ָח  ׃ל  ̣מ) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW], which means battle, war, warfare. Strong’s #4421 BDB #536. War is preceded by a definite article. This is followed by two more wâw conjunctions, two more lâmed’s, and the Qal infinite constructs of going out and coming in. This encompasses pretty much any activity that needs to be done.

One of the marvelous things which we see in Scripture is God’s preservation of the physical body of some believers. Caleb is 85—he has spent forty years living in a tent in a desert, seven years in warfare, and all of his early life as a slave to the Egyptians. If need be, he was ready to go out and kick some more Anakim butt. There is no indication that he needed a rest. Moses was vigorous until his final days. So Moses the servant of Jehovah died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of Jehovah. And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day. Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated (Deut. 34:5–7). After a hundred and twenty years, much of it spent in deserts under a large sun, you would think that Moses would have developed cataracts, but he did not. Now, Joshua does speak of himself as old at the end of the campaign against the Land of Canaan, but he is probably between 90 and 100 years of age. In any case, he will live to age 110. God has a plan for all of our lives. If we make a reasonable attempt to be filled with the Spirit and to learn His Word, God will keep us alive and give us the strength to fulfill His purpose.

“And now give to me the hill country the this which spoke Yehowah in the day the that for you [even] you heard in the day the that Anakim [were] there and cities, great, fortified; but Yehowah with me and I caused them to be driven out as which spoke Yehowah.”



“And now give me this hill country which Jehovah spoke of in that day; that day when you heard that there were Anakim there with great, fortified cities; however, Jehovah was with me and I drove them out, as Jehovah had promised.”

Gilgal is in the Jordan valley. Directly west of Gilgal are mountains which extend from almost the bottom of the Salt Sea on up to Lebanon. The first area which the Israelites conquered west of the Jordan was Jericho and Ai, which are both located in those hills. When Caleb and Joshua brought back their minority report, they were south of these hills; so my thinking is that Caleb was requesting the hill country which is along side the Salt Sea. Although some commentators suggest that there are more Anakim living in this area and that Caleb is asking for it in order to drive them out, I believe that Caleb led the attack on Hebron and removed the Anakim already and is now asking for this land, over which he tread 45 years ago.

The first view is that there are still people, Anakim in fact, living in the hill country and in Hebron. Expositors hold this view because in the next chapter, after giving a rundown of the boundaries of the territory of Judah, there is a passage which deals with Caleb’s defeat of the Anakim in his area. Now he gave to Caleb ben Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of Jehovah to Joshua: Kiriath-arba [or, the city of Arba] father of Anak (that is, Hebron). And Caleb dispossessed from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshari and Ahiman and Talmain, the children of Anak. Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir was formerly Kiriath-sepher. And Caleb said, “The one who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.” And Othniel ben Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it, so he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife (Joshua 15:13–17). If the book of Joshua were in chronological order, then this view would prevail—that Caleb returned to this land and killed the remaining inhabitants. Recall that in Joshua 10:36–37: Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and they fought against it. And they captured it and struck it and its king and all its cities and all the persons who were in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor, according to all that he had done to Eglon. And he utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it. The explanation for how they got there after the attack in Joshua 10 is fairly simple: Israel spent an additional five or six years at war in the north and the scattered population came back and tried to make the best of it. Barnes explains: The Anakim had in the course of Joshua’s campaigns in the south been expelled from “this mountain,” i.e., the mountain country round Hebron, but they had only withdrawn to the neighbouring cities of Philistia (xi. 22). Thence they had, as must be inferred from the text here, returned and reoccupied Hebron, probably when Joshua and the main force of the Israelites had marched northward to deal with Jabin and his confederates. Caleb finally drove out this formidable race and occupied Hebron and its dependent towns and district permanently. Footnote The assumption that Barnes is operating under is that Caleb in this verse has requested Hebron in order to drive out the infestation of the Anakim and that Joshua 9–15 is in essentially chronological order.


The second view is that the battle mentioned in Joshua 10 and in Joshua 15 are identical. In the verse we are studying, Joshua uses the Hiphil perfect of yârash (ש ַר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAHSH] means to possess, to take possession of, to occupy [all] geographical area—by driving out the previous occupants], to inherit, to dispossess. Strong’s #3423 BDB #439. The Hiphil means that Caleb caused this to happen and the perfect tense is the completed tense. At the time of speaking to Joshua, Caleb was speaking of this battle as being completed. Joshua 15:13–17 gives some additional details about this battle. If you would re-read Joshua 10, you would see that the insertion of the details would have seemed out of place. This second view also seems to be more in keeping with Joshua 11:21–22, which reads: Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain. Furthermore, the last verse of this chapter makes more sense: And the land rested from war. (Joshua 14:15b; see also Joshua 11:23b as well). This would make Judges 1:10 as retrospective.

The people of the land that Joshua and Caleb invaded were large, warlike people who lived in great, fortified cities. Israel did have the advantage when it came to population, but the size of Israel was not the deciding factor. The deciding factor was the fact that Jesus Christ was on their side. He trains my hands for battle so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given to me the shield of Your salvation and Your right hand upholds me and Your grace makes me great (Psalm 18:34–35). Through God, we will do valiantly; and it is He Who will tread down our adversaries (Psalm 60:12). If God is for us, who can stand against us? (Rom. 8:31b).

Return to Outline


Joshua Agrees to Honor Caleb’s Petition

And so blessed him Joshua and so he gave Hebron to Caleb ben Jephunneh for an inheritance.



And so Joshua blessed him and he gave Hebron to Caleb ben Jephunneh as his inheritance.

Hebron was one of the places which the spies checked out (Num. 13:22). It is high up in the midst of the hill countryof Judah, midway up the Salt Sea, 25 miles south of Jerusalem. When the emotionally-charged Israel attacked the people of the hill country, they were likely attacking Hebron. The people of the hill country soundly trounced them, beating them back down the hills as far as Hormah (Num. 14:40–45).

The general Hebron area will be given to Caleb; however, Hebron proper will actually go to the sons of Aaron, the priests and it will become a city of refuge. The surrounding area and villages will go to Caleb and his family (Joshua 21:11–13 I Chron. 5:55–56).

Therefore, Hebron was to Caleb ben Jephunneh the Kenizzite for an inheritance unto the day the this because he completely followed Yehowah God of Israel.



Therefore, Hebron was allotted to Caleb ben Jephunneh the Kenizzite as his inheritance down to this day because he completely followed after Jehovah, the God of Israel.


This verse begins with the preposition ׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ahl ], which means, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to. [Strong’s #5920 & #5921 BDB #752]. This is followed by the adverb kên  ֵ) [pronounced kane] is generally rendered so. Together, ׳al and kên take on a meaning of their own. They mean upon the ground of such conditions, therefore, on this account, on account. It is an idiom used in conversation replying to an objection, which states the ground upon which the answer is made. [Strong's #3651 BDB #485].

(And a name of Hebron formerly Kiriath-arba, the man the great in the Anakim he [was]). And the land rested from war.



(Hebron was formerly called Kiriath-arba, after the great man of the Anakim). And the land rested from war.

Now would be a good time to examine the Doctrine of Hebron—half finished!! A portion of the doctrine is found below; the complete doctrine covers this city in greater detail.

The Doctrine of Hebron Summarized


1.    Hebron is transliterated from the word Cheberôwn (ןר  ׃ב ח) [pronounced khebv-ROHN], which means association, league, joined. McGee suggests that it means fellowship, communion; as Hebron was a place of fellowship with God, as we will see when we examine its history. Strong’s #2275 BDB #289.

2.    We find the name Hebron in Gen. 13:18 23:2, 19 35:27 37:14 Num. 13:22 Joshua 10:3, 5, 23, 36, 39 11:21 12:10 14:13–15 15:13, 54 20:7 21:11, 13 Judges 1:10, 10, 20 16:3 I Sam. 30:31 II Sam. 2:1, 3, 11, 32 3:2, 5, 19, 20, 22, 27, 32 4:1, 8, 12 5:1, 3, 5, 13 15:7, 9, 10 I Kings 2:11 I Chron. 3:1, 4 6:55, 57 11:1, 2, 3 12:23, 38 29:27 II Chron. 11:10 (this bypasses the references to people named Hebron).

3.    It appears as though Hebron went by several names:

       a.    Hebron was also called Kiriath-arba (Joshua 14:15). Kiriath is actually the word qireyath (ת ַי  ׃ר  ̣ק) [pronounced kir-YAHTH], which comes from the Hebrew feminine substantive qireyâth (ת ָי  ׃ר  ̣ק) [pronounced kir-YAWTH], which simply means city, town. Strong’s #7151 BDB #900. This is followed by the word arebba׳ (ע ַ  ׃ר ַא) [pronounced ahreb-BAH or ahreb-BAHG], which is related to the Hebrew word to lie in wait, to ambush (Strong’s #693 BDB #70). Strong’s #7153 BDB #900. Footnote BDB suggests that it might mean fourfold-city with the suffix arba.

              b.    It appears that there is the occasional name of this as the oaks of Mamre or simply Mamre. We find this in Gen. 13:18 14:13 18:1 23:17, 19 25:9 35:27 49:30 50:13. I have left out the references to people with that name.

              c.    That the oaks of Mamre is in Hebron and that Mamre and Hebron are interchangeable we find in Gen. 13:18 23:19. That Hebron is called Kiriath-arba is found in Gen. 23:2 Joshua 14:15. That they are all interchangeable is found in Gen. 35:27.

              d.    Hebron is called the city of Arba in Joshua 14:15 15:13 21:11 and the city of Arbah in Gen. 35:27. It is called Kirjath-arba in Gen. 23:2 35:27 Joshua 14:15 15:54 20:7 Judges 1:10 Neh. 11:25.

              e.    When the city was called what, and why the name changed is all covered in the complete doctrine.

4.    Hebron is found about 20 miles west from the midpoint of the Dead Sea in the hill country of Judah, 25 miles south-southwest of Jerusalem. Mamre is traditionally located 2 miles north of Hebron, making them so close as to be interchangeable.

5.    Hebron has an elevation of approximately 2800 ft. It is situated in a valley between two ridges. Hebron is an area which would certainly be populated. It has several natural springs and wells and there are two large pools with cut stone walls within the city limits today. There are apple, plum, fig, pomegranate, apricot and nut trees; and grapes, melons and other produce are grown in the rich soil of the valley and terrace. Footnote

6.    The Biblical history of Hebron (in the complete doctrine, I cover the archelogical history of Hebron; in this doctrine, I will only cover a few passages which are found in Scripture):

       a.    Hebron is where most of the Patriarchs lived and where most of them were buried.

       b.    We first hear about Hebron immediately after the separation of Abram and Lot somewhere in the early the mid 20th century b.c. Lot settles in around Sodom, a particularly horrid city and God takes Abram up to a hill and has him look in all directions and tells him that this land would belong to his descendants forever. God tells Abram to walk through the land to get a feel for it (it is like you have just gotten your son this great Christmas gift and you want to show him how to play with it). Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to Jehovah (Gen. 13:18). Abram and Sarai apparently lived there for awhile (Gen. 14:13).

       c.    It was here that God appeared to Abram and promised him a son through Sarai (Gen. 18:1ff).

       d.    Several decades after the birth of Isaac, Sarah dies at the age of 127 and is buried in Hebron, also called Kiriath-arba (Gen. 23:2).

       e.    Abraham is also buried there by Isaac at age 175 (Gen. 25:7–10).

       f.     You may recall the story of Jacob and his twin Esau. Jacob defrauded Esau several times and eventually had to leave. However, Isaac remained living in Hebron and Jacob returned to his father near to the time of his death. Isaac lived 180 years and Esau and Jacob buried him apparently in the same place (Gen. 35:27–29).

       g.    Apparently Jacob also chose to live in Hebron. Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan (Gen. 37:1). Jacob sends Joseph, his favorite son, out to his brothers tending their flocks in Shechem. So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem (Gen. 37:14b).

       h.    Jacob asked his sons to bury him with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah and Leah (Gen. 49:29–33 50:13), which would have been Hebron.

       i.     We don’t hear about Hebron for a long time, as Joseph and his family move to Egypt; after he dies, his family is enslaved by the Egyptians. Moses does not go anywhere near Hebron until the book of Numbers. When the spies viewed the land, one of the cities that they went through was Hebron. We are told that Hebron was built seven years before Zoan (Num. 13:22). This was circa 1445 b.c. This mention implies that it was within recent history that both Hebron and Zoan were built up. It is likely that Hebron was just a place, not built up at all, during the time of the Patriarchs. However, when the descendants of Anak moved into that area, they likely built up the city. This is all by implication and not by direct statement, all taken from Num. 13:22.

       j.     Again, we don’t hear about the city of Hebron for a long time until we get to the book of Joshua and Joshua’s invasion of the Land of Promise. If you will recall in Joshua 9, the Gibeonites use deceit in order to attain an alliance with Joshua and then five kings allied themselves and attacked the Gibeonites. These five kings were from the hill country, one of them being the king of Hebron (Joshua 10:3, 5, 23). Joshua destroyed the armies of those kings and executed the kings as well (Joshua 10:22–26).

       k.    Joshua went through a half dozen cities and destroyed the people in the cities. One of the last ones was Hebron and he left no survivors (Joshua 10:36–39). What this means is that Joshua and his men killed everyone that they found. They took no prisoners. This does not mean that some people did not escape. It is affirmed, however, in Joshua 11:21–22 that Joshua removed the Anakim from the hill country, including Hebron, and that some remained near the more western and coastal towns of Gaza, Gath and Ashdod. In terms of the kings killed by Joshua and his men, the king of Hebron is on that list (Joshua 12:10).

       l.     Caleb, who took his army in to remove the Anakim, requested Hebron and that area from Joshua in Joshua 14.

       m.   Hebron proper will actually go to the tribe of Aaron as a Levitical city and as a city of refuge. The surrounding area and villages will go the Caleb and his family (Joshua 21:11–13 I Chron. 5:55–56). In Joshua 14:12 and in great detail in Judges 1:10, we will discuss in more detail the chronological sequence involved.


The fact that the land rested from war lends more credence to the idea that Caleb had already driven out the Anakim and that this was not something for him to do in the future. It is interesting that we rarely, if ever, have the phrase, and the land was at peace. We associate the word peace with lack of war. However, the phrase which God uses is the land rested from war (Joshua 11:23 Judges 3:11 I Kings 4:24). The reason I mention this is that every time you find the word peace in the Bible, you should not be thinking peace as the opposite of war, but peace in terms of prosperity or as a condition between two people.

Caleb, Joshua and Eleazar carried their generation and the next. I would even like to set up an analogy to the trinity, but that dog won’t hunt. Caleb would seem to be the Holy Spirit, as he is rarely seen and he works behind the scenes and gets very little credit. Joshua would certainly be paired with the Son of God, as they share the same name and he took the people into the Land of Promise, whereas Moses, representative of the Law, could not. However, that leaves Eleazar, who I can see as possibly the Holy Spirit, but certainly not as God the Father, as it was not his plan or purpose throughout. Nevertheless, the generation which followed, the Generation of Promise, owes their simple existence to the intercessory prayers of Moses as well as to the spiritual maturity of these three men. As we will see in the book of Judges, there is no one who can really take their places in terms of leadership. Only Joshua could possibly even remotely be seen as a replacement for Moses and there is no one in the subsequent generation to take the leadership position in the realm of their politics and spiritual growth. The book of Judges, soon to follow, will carry the names of a lot of okay leaders, almost near-great’s, etc., but no one to lead the country as a whole.

To sum up, Caleb was one of the three great men of gen X. He had operated primarily in the background, taking the orders of Joshua, who, as commander-in-chief of the armies of Israel, often received the credit for things which Caleb had done (compare Joshua 10:36–37 with 14:12). Caleb remained faithful to Joshua and to God, from his mission 45 years ago to this time. Because of his faithfulness, Caleb would receive the first choice over all the land of where he would park his family. Caleb receives this choice even before any of the tribes make their choice. In heaven, we have waiting for us a tremendous butt-load of blessings. However, God also gives us great blessing here on earth. Sometimes we don’t recognize them and sometimes, because we are self-righteous embarrassments to the plan of God, we don’t receive much. However, for those who are faithful, God gives us both here on earth and in heaven.

Over the past several books, we have seen the Israelites go from extreme failure, to great discipline, to 38 very long years in the desert, to war and now they will enjoy peace and prosperity in the land. McGee: Are you enjoying all the spiritual blessings that God has for you today? You say, “I have lots of trouble.” I know that Christians have many troubles n the course of their lives. My heart goes out to them. But I always think of the testimony of a Negro man who said his favorite Bible verse was, “It came to pass.” When puzzled people asked him what he meant by that, he replied, “When I get into trouble and problems pile up, I turn to my verse and know my troubles have not come to stay; they have come to pass.” There are a lot of things you can complain about, friend, and I do my share also, but what about your hope? What about the future? Caleb for forty years in that wilderness was enjoying all the spiritual blessings that were his in Christ!  Footnote

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Exegetical Studies in Joshua