Joshua Chapter 14  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Joshua 14
Jos 14:1(top)
Jos 14:2

“Their inheritance was by lot.” The “lot” was the Urim and Thummim that was in the breastplate of the High Priest. So the decision was by Yahweh, and that ended any potential quarrel and subsequent tribal warfare (cp. Prov. 16:3; 18:18).

“by the hand of Moses.” An idiom, meaning by the authority of Moses; Moses passed on the decision to divide the land by lot.

Jos 14:3

“beyond the Jordan.” That is, on the east side of the Jordan River; the Transjordan.

Jos 14:4(top)
Jos 14:5

“The children of Israel did as Yahweh commanded Moses.” Finally, the children of Israel did as Moses commanded instead of grumbling and disobeying. This was likely because they were getting something, but at least there is no mention of them fighting over what they received.

Jos 14:6

“When the children of Judah drew near.” The chronology of this is unsure; the Israelites were still encamped at Gilgal when this happened.

“Caleb the son of Jephunneh.” Caleb was from the tribe of Judah (Num. 13:6; 1 Chron. 4:15).

Jos 14:7

“sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land.” Cp. Numbers 13:1-25, especially verse 6.

“as it was in my heart.” This is idiomatic, and means that the report Caleb gave was his understanding of the situation. The report was fully consistent with the way he felt. It does not mean that it was his heart to report what he saw.


Jos 14:8

“my brothers.” Here, “brothers” refers to fellow Israelites, all of whom were descended from Jacob.

“made the heart of the people melt.” An idiom for frightened the people.” Some versions say, “made the heart of the people melt with fear,” but the emotions the people felt would not just be fear, but would be a mixture of fear, discouragement, etc. The word “heart” is singular and is a collective noun expressing how the people as a group felt.

“Yahweh my God.” Yahweh is Caleb’s God. There is no mention or implication of any God besides the singular and simple Yahweh.

[See appendix 10, “Jesus is the Son of God, Not God the Son.”]

Jos 14:9

“forever.” The Hebrew can also refer to a long period of time, not necessarily “forever.”

Jos 14:10(top)
Jos 14:11

“to go out and to come in.” The phrase “to go out and to come in” is an idiom and the figure of speech polarmerismos. The figure polarmerismos occurs when two opposite things are juxtaposed such that they refer to a complete whole. For example, the “long and short” of an argument is a way of referring to and summarizing the whole argument, and “to go out and come in” refers to all the daily activities of life. A person gets up in the morning and goes out to do daily work, then comes in at night, so the phrase is an idiomatic way of referring to the totality of living life.

The translation in NICOT catches the sense: “I have the same vigor now as I had then for warfare and for daily duties.”a Solomon used the same basic idiom when he was telling God that he did not know how to live as a king: “I do not know how to go out or come in” (1 Kings 3:7). The figure polarmerismos is used a number of times in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament (e.g., Deut. 11:19; 28:19; 31:2; Josh. 14:11; 2 Sam. 3:25; 1 Kings 4:20; 2 Kings 11:8; Lam. 3:63; John 10:9; Acts 9:28).

Marten Woudstra, The Book of Joshua [NICOT], 229.
Jos 14:12

“So now give me.” Caleb expected, and asked for, the land that he was due as a reward for his faithful service to God. Caleb sets a wonderful example for believers, who should expect a reward for their faithfulness and good works, and should not be embarrassed about it as if that was somehow greedy or unloving. It is God’s good pleasure to reward those who serve Him (cp. Matt. 5:12; 2 Cor. 5:10; Col. 3:23-24).

“the Anakim.” The Anakim were descendants of Anak, who was one of the Nephilim (Num. 13:33), and thus they were related to the Rephaim, the descendants of Rapha (cp. Deut. 2:11. See also 2 Sam. 21:16, 18, 20, 22).

“It may be that Yahweh will be with me and I will drive them out.” The book of Joshua says that Hebron had already been conquered. Caleb seems here to be recalling what he and Moses said at the time of the spying out of the land. Caleb and his nephew are described as conquering Hebron in Joshua 15:13-19, but he certainly would have been in the war against Hebron in Joshua 10:36-37. This also explains how it can be that the land had rest (Josh 11:23 and Josh. 14:15). Most commentators think that Caleb is saying that Hebron has not yet been fully conquered, but that does not seem to be the case, especially in light of Joshua 14:15, which says the land had rest from war. If Caleb still had to conquer Hebron, that verse would not be accurate.

Jos 14:13(top)
Jos 14:14(top)
Jos 14:15

“Kiriath-arba.” This means, “City of Arba.” Arba was one of the Nephilim. Abraham’s wife Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (Gen. 23:2).

[For more on the Nephilim, see commentary on Gen. 6:4.]


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