Categories: Joshua, Men in the Old Testament, Moses
- Caleb is from the tribe of Judah, and the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite.
- Most scholars think the Kenizzites evolved from Esau’s grandson, Kenaz.
- The span of time between Genesis and Caleb is roughly 400 years.
- Scholars cannot definitively trace Jephunneh the Kenizzite to Genesis.
- However, if there is a connection, then Caleb’s father would have been a Gentile.
- Nonetheless, at some point, Caleb becomes a leader of the tribe of Judah.
- Scholars point out the Israelites had provisions for non-native people to be included in Israel.
- How or if this happens with Caleb is unknown.
- Traditionally, scholars think Caleb’s name means “dog.”
- Actually, the name is a compound word. The first means “all or whole.” The second means “heart.” Therefore, it could mean “wholehearted.”
- God uses the term, “wholehearted,” to commend Caleb’s unwavering devotion in Numbers 14.
- Yet, there is no definitive answer regarding the meaning of his name.
- The first mention of Caleb occurs in Numbers 13.
- The tribe of Judah sends him as their representative when Moses sends a leader from each tribe to spy out the land of Canaan.
- Caleb is forty years old.
- The 12 leaders are told to “See what the land is like, and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak.”
- They are also told to bring some “fruit of the land.”
- They bring back a cluster of grapes, pomegranates, and figs.
- When they return after forty days, they tell the congregation that the people are strong and the towns are fortified.
- Caleb says, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”
- The other leaders disagree and give an unfavorable report.
- The people raise a loud cry and weep all night.
- In the morning, they want to replace Moses and Aaron.
- Caleb and Joshua tear their clothes and say, “The land that we went through as spies is an exceedingly good land.”
- Caleb and Joshua believe that if the Lord is pleased with them, “He will bring us into this land and give it to us.”
- They beg the people not to rebel against the Lord and not to be afraid.
- The people threaten to stone them.
- Then and there, the Lord decides that the people that complained would not enter the Promised Land.
- Caleb will be an exception. He “has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly.”
- Therefore, Caleb will enter the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.
- After forty years, not one of that generation is left, except Caleb and Joshua.
- Caleb fights alongside Joshua for five years as they settle in Canaan.
- After the land has been allocated by lot, he approaches Joshua to remind him of the promises made by Moses.
- Moses swore that “Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.”
- Caleb is now eighty-five years old and is “as strong today as I was on the day Moses sent me to spy out the land.”
- He asks for the hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day.
- Joshua blesses him and gives him Hebron for an inheritance.
- Caleb drives out the three sons of the leader, Anak.
- He also tries to take Debir.
- He offers to give his daughter to whomever is successful in taking Debir.
- His nephew, Othniel, accomplishes that and Caleb gives him his daughter, Achsah. • She requests a “field” as a present.
- He sets her in the land of the Negeb, but she asks for the springs of water as well.
- He gives her the upper and lower springs.
- War is over.
- According to 1 Chronicles, Caleb had two wives, Azubah and Jerioth. His sons are Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon.
- After Azubah dies, he marries Ephrath. Their son is Hur.
- He also has a concubine, Maacah, who bears several sons.
- There is no information about his death.