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Joshua 14:6-15

13 09 18 - 23:22

God's Promise to Caleb

Joshua 14:6-15
6  Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea. 7  Forty years old [was] I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as [it was] in mine heart. 8  Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God. 9  And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God. 10  And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while [the children of] Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I [am] this day fourscore and five years old. 11  As yet I [am as] strong this day as [I was] in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength [was] then, even so [is] my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. 12  Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims [were] there, and [that] the cities [were] great [and] fenced: if so be the LORD [will be] with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. 13  And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14  Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel. 15  And the name of Hebron before [was] Kirjatharba; [which Arba was] a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.

Caleb was of the tribe of Judah and one of the only two of the twelve spies who encouraged Israel to enter the promised land from the south. The other ten spies gave a report that spread fear of the Anakim giants and showed a lack of faith. It was due to their report that the children of Israel refused to enter the land and were forced to wander in the desert for 40 years. Only Joshua and Caleb had the faith to say that the LORD would deliver the Anakims into their hands.
The reason that Caleb is listed as a Kenezite is explained by T.C. Butler, "The Kenizzites are related to the Edomites through the genealogy of Esau in Gen 36:11, 15, 42, but both Caleb and Kenaz are connected to the tribe of Judah in 1 Chr 4:11 (LXX 13, 15). The importance of the Calebite-Keneizzite tradition appears also in the fact that the first judge comes from this line (Judg 3:9-11)." (Butler, Trent C.; Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 7, p. 173; Word Inc. 1983)
Before any lots were drawn for the distribution of the lands, Caleb and the children of Judah came to Joshua with their request. Because of Caleb's faithful service in the matter of the spies, Moses had promised him the land into which he had gone as a spy. That was the area around Mt. Hebron.
Hebron was part of the territory that had not yet been captured by Joshua. Israel had been in the land for five years, and Caleb told Joshua that, although he was eighty-five years old, he was still able to lead his people to defeat the Anakims. He did not request any help from the other tribes.
Instead, Caleb said, "Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims [were] there, and [that] the cities [were] great [and] fenced: if so be the LORD [will be] with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said." Forty-five years after the spying of the land Caleb was physically as strong as ever, and his faith had not been weakened. He had no doubt that the LORD would be with him and drive out the enemy.
Joshua then blessed Caleb in the same manner as the patriarchal fathers had blessed their children. It was a demonstration of Joshua's love for this faithful patriot and also of his God given authority. Caleb would be encouraged by the blessing as it assured his success.
After Caleb took Hebron from the Anakims, the land had rest from war. Caleb waited forty-five years for the LORD to fulfill His promise. God does things in His own time and in His own way. However, we should never doubt that He will keep His word. "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
Before The Throne:
Never doubt the Lord's resolve to keep His word. If you have prayed for His will to be done in any matter, wait... just wait. Be importunate in your prayer ministry, but never waver in your faith. We serve an omnipotent and faithful God who will never leave us nor fail.
For Further Study:
(v.6) * Gilgal. Josh 4:19; Josh 10:43; * Caleb. Num 13:6; Num 14:6; * Kenezite.  Josh 15:17; Num 32:12; * Thou knowest. Num 14:24, 30; Deut 1:36-38; * the man. Num 12:7-8; Deut 33:1; Deut 34:5, 10; Judg 13:6-8; 1Kgs 13:1, 14; 2Kgs 4:9, 16, 42; 2Kgs 8:7, 11; Ps 90:1; 1Tim 6:11; 2Tim 3:17; * Kadesh-barnea. Nu 13:26;
(v.7) * sent me. Num 13:6, 16-20; * I brought. Num 13:26-33; Num 14:6-10;
(v.8) * wholly. Deut 1:36; Rev 14:4;
(v.9) * Josh 1:3; Num 13:22; Num 14:22-24;
(v.10) * forty. Josh 11:18; Num 14:33-34;
(v.11) * Deut 31:2; Deut 34:7; Ps 90:10; Ps 103:5;
(v.12) * the Anakims. Josh 11:21-22; Num 13:28, 33; * if so be. Num 14:8-9; Num 21:34; 1Sam 14:6; 2Chr 14:11; Ps 18:32-34; Ps 27:1-3; Ps 44:3; Ps 60:12; Ps 118:10-12; Rom 8:31; Phil 4:13; Heb 11:33; * I shall. Josh 15:14; Judg 1:20;
(v.13) * blessed. Josh 22:6; Gen 47:7, 10; 1Sam 1:17; Song 6:9; * gave unto. Josh 10:36-37; Josh 15:13; Josh 21:11- 12; Judg 1:20; 1Chr 6:55-5:6
(v.14) * because. 1Cor 15:58;
(v.15) * And the name. Josh 15:13; Gen 23:2; * And the land. Josh 11:23; Judg 3:11, 30; Judg 5:31; Judg 8:28;


Author David Roth has been the Multihousing and Community Outreach Director for the York Baptist Association in Rock Hill, S.C. for nearly 20 years. He is the founder and pastor of Midtown Ministries, an inner city ministry to over 50 children and is presently pastoring My Radical Church, a new church plant that is focusing on reaching the homeless and poorest of the city. He has written over 3,000 daily bible studies and is in the process of posting them on this website.

The image in the header is © Andreas Reinhold.

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