Joshua 14:10: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 5

[1444 BC] Verse 10:[1] And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, (Num. 14:30) as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered (Heb. walked[2]) in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.

[He has granted life to me, הֶחֱיָה] He caused to live,[3] that is, He preserved me safe and unharmed (Vatablus).

[Forty and five years] From this great light is shed upon the whole book. For in these words he comprehends the whole Chronology of that time; and thence it is certainly gathered that Joshua waged war for six years, and divided the land on the seventh (Lapide). Here is a heap of thoughts and arguments. He preserved me, after and in view of those promises, even indeed through forty-five years, and indeed through the desert, in which almost all my contemporaries fell; indeed, He willed that my strength remain entire: since these are most certain signs of the altogether unchanging will of God, it is not that ye might deny to me what He bestowed, and even now bestows in a certain manner (Masius).

These forty and five years, whereof thirty-eight years were spent in the wilderness, and seven since they came into Canaan.

[When Israel was walking through the wilderness (thus the Dutch, English), or, when he yet walked, etc. (Osiander[4]), at which time he walked, etc. (Munster), אֲשֶׁר־הָלַ֥ךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר] In which (supply, years [Castalio, Tigurinus Notes]) Israel walked (went about [Castalio], wandered [Tigurinus Notes]) in the desert (Montanus); since which he walked, etc. (Pagnine); with whom he walked, that is, went about (Drusius). With whom, that is, with whom as leader, he walked over, or he wandered. אֲשֶׁר/whom is in the place of אֲשֶׁר עִמוֹ, with whom (Vatablus). With Moses, who walked with Israel in the wilderness (Jonathan). Namely, that he should cause Israel to walk in the desert (Syriac). When Israel returned to the desert, evidently the order to withdraw, Numbers 14:25 (Junius). While Israel went about in the desert (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֗ה הִנֵּה֩ הֶחֱיָ֙ה יְהוָ֣ה׀ אוֹתִי֮ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֵּר֒ זֶה֩ אַרְבָּעִ֙ים וְחָמֵ֜שׁ שָׁנָ֗ה מֵ֠אָז דִּבֶּ֙ר יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־הַדָּבָ֤ר הַזֶּה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־הָלַ֥ךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר וְעַתָּה֙ הִנֵּ֣ה אָנֹכִ֣י הַיּ֔וֹם בֶּן־חָמֵ֥שׁ וּשְׁמוֹנִ֖ים שָׁנָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: הָלַךְ.

[3] The Hiphil conjugation frequently conveys a causative sense.

[4] Lucas Osiander (1534-1604) was a Lutheran theologian.  He produced an edition of the Vulgate with supplemental annotations and corrections, inserting Luther’s translation in the places in which the Vulgate departs from the Hebrew.  He was also an accomplished composer of music.

Joshua 14:9: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 4

Verse 9:[1] And Moses sware on that day, saying, (Num. 14:23, 24; Deut. 1:36; Josh. 1:3) Surely the land (see Num. 13:22) whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

[And Moses swore] This oath is related in Deuteronomy 1:34 (Bonfrerius). But it is sufficiently contained in Numbers 14:21, etc. (Bonfrerius, Masius). But there God, here Moses, is said to have sworn: but there is little difference, since Moses, as God’s messenger, made this promise (Bonfrerius, similarly Masius). Those words, my servent Caleb, etc.,[2] hang by the continuous thread of the discourse from those words, I live, etc.[3] (Masius). Not Canaan in general, but a certain place, is promised to Caleb, as it is evident from this passage, and from verses 12 and 13, and from Deuteronomy 1:36. Moreover, that place was none other than Hebron, of which, since the rest were more fearful, he would take possession, and by his example would go before others (Bonfrerius).

[The land, etc.] Hebrew: If not the land, etc.[4] Sacred Scripture sets forth a curt form of swearing, as is its custom. Omitted are words of this sort, le me not live, or, let me not be true, if those things be not fulfilled. Now, it is impious to conceive such a thing in the soul concerning God, much less to utter it; and therefore they speak ἐλλειπτικῶς/elliptically, or curtly. Thus men swear; May God do so to me, and thus add,[5] that is, may He proceed to do so more and more. May God destroy me utterly, etc., is to be understood, which, since it is taboo to say (for no one ought to entreat ill for himself), by ἀποσιώπησιν/silence those words foreboding ill are cut short (Masius).

Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden, etc.: See Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:36.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּשָּׁבַ֣ע מֹשֶׁ֗ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַהוּא֮ לֵאמֹר֒ אִם־לֹ֗א הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ אֲשֶׁ֙ר דָּרְכָ֤ה רַגְלְךָ֙ בָּ֔הּ לְךָ֙ תִֽהְיֶ֧ה לְנַחֲלָ֛ה וּלְבָנֶ֖יךָ עַד־עוֹלָ֑ם כִּ֣י מִלֵּ֔אתָ אַחֲרֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָֽי׃

[2] In Numbers 14:24.

[3] In Numbers 14:21.

[4] Hebrew: אִם־לֹ֗א הָאָ֙רֶץ֙.

[5] See, for example, 1 Kings 2:23:  “Then king Solomon sware by the Lord, saying, God do so to me, and more also (כֹּ֣ה יַֽעֲשֶׂה־לִּ֤י אֱלֹהִים֙ וְכֹ֣ה יוֹסִ֔יף), if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.”  See also 2 Kings 6:31.

Joshua 14:8: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 3

Verse 8:[1] Nevertheless (Num. 13:31, 32; Deut. 1:28) my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly (Num. 14:24; Deut. 1:36) followed the LORD my God.

[My brethren] My kinsmen. All Jews were brethren among themselves (Drusius).

[They dissolved] Or, they melted. The heart melts in great fear (Drusius). A Hebraism; they discouraged the people, and took courage from them (Vatablus).

[הִמְסִיו[2]] Either it was written in a Chaldean manner,[3] as Rabbi Judah[4] maintains; as (as Kimchi maintains) the ו is put in the place of a ה at the end: if it is so, the singular is written in the place of the plural (Masius). Or הִמְסִיו is written in the place of הֵמִיסוּ. For it is Hiphil in the order quiescents in the middle ו[5] (Munster). It signifies that they dissolved the firmness of the heart (Masius). They broke (Jonathan); they terrified (Syriac); they enervated (Arabic).

[I followed the Lord (thus Munster), followed perfectly, etc. (Tigurinus, Syriac), וְאָנֹכִ֣י מִלֵּ֔אתִי אַחֲרֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָֽי׃] I fulfilled after the Lord (Montanus), or, after the fear of the Lord (Jonathan); I fulfilled to go after Jehovah (Pagnine); I fulfilled the will of the Lord, by going after Him (Vatablus); I perfected obedience before the Lord (Arabic). I, even I, went on to follow the Lord (the Septuagint in Masius). To fulfill after the Lord is not only to live piously and holily in private, but also to procure the glory of God and the salvation of one’s neighbor, in what ways it is able to be done, unto the last act of life, and attentively, diligently, and consistently to discharge entirely that duty to which God called each one. Now, Caleb mentions these things, not out of zeal of vain glory, but either, so that he might reassure himself in that recollection; or, so that the Israelites, understanding this promise as a reward for his piety, by a certain emulation might be incited to live rightly, and might be recalled to the memory of God’s goodness toward them (Masius).

I wholly followed the LORD: Which self-commendation is justifiable, because it was necessary, as being the ground and foundation of his petition.

[1] Hebrew: וְאַחַי֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָל֣וּ עִמִּ֔י הִמְסִ֖יו אֶת־לֵ֣ב הָעָ֑ם וְאָנֹכִ֣י מִלֵּ֔אתִי אַחֲרֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהָֽי׃

[2] The expected form of מָסָה in the third-person, plural, Hiphil, would be הִמְסוּ.

[3] In the Haphel conjugation, with a final ה, the ending is ִיו.

[4] Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel (1525-1609) was a Torah and Talmudic scholar and a leading public figure among the Jews at Prague.  He composed works of philosophy and exegesis (in particular, Gur Aryeh, Young Lion, a commentary on Rabbi Salomon’s commentary on the Pentateuch), all touched with mysticism.

[5] It is here proposed that the form is explained by an alternative root, מוּס.

Joshua 14:7: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 2

Verse 7:[1] Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD (Num. 13:6; 14:6) sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.

Forty years old was I: see on Joshua 11:18.

[I reported to him what appeared true to me, כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר עִם־לְבָבִֽי׃] Just as it was in, or with, my heart (Munster, Tigurinus, Montanus, Jonathan, Syriac); from the judgment of my mind (Masius, Grotius). What I plainly perceived: that is to say, of none sought I the favor, or feared the fury (Masius). I answered as I perceived in my mind, that is, the very truth (Vatablus, Malvenda); namely, that it is the best land, and to be obtained easily with the help of God (Bonfrerius). He implies that the other spies did not report entirely according to the truth (Estius); but spread fear among the people (Menochius). Now, in these words Caleb appears to allude to his name; כָּלֵב/Caleb signified according to the heart[2] (Bonfrerius). Just as it appeared to me, or, just as knew (Piscator).

I brought him word again as it was in mine heart; I spake my opinion sincerely, without flattery and fear, when the other spies were biassed by their own fears, and the dread of the people, to speak otherwise than in their consciences they believed, as appears from Numbers 13:30-32; 14:36.

[1] Hebrew: בֶּן־אַרְבָּעִ֙ים שָׁנָ֜ה אָנֹכִ֗י בִּ֠שְׁלֹחַ מֹשֶׁ֙ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֥ה אֹתִ֛י מִקָּדֵ֥שׁ בַּרְנֵ֖עַ לְרַגֵּ֣ל אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ וָאָשֵׁ֤ב אֹתוֹ֙ דָּבָ֔ר כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר עִם־לְבָבִֽי׃

[2] Here, the name כָּלֵב/Caleb is being derived from כּ, according to, and לֵב/heart, although it is more commonly related to כֶּלֶב/dog.

Joshua 14:6: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 1

Verse 6:[1] Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the (Num. 32:12; Josh. 15:17) Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest (Num. 14:24, 30; Deut. 1:36, 38) the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee (Num. 13:26) in Kadesh-barnea.

[The children of Judah] So that they, as advocates for their fellow tribesman Caleb, might plead. But, that these things were done before Hebron was conquered, shows a comparison of this passage with Joshua 10:36, 37 (Junius). But I rather think that Hebrew, already previously conquered in the first Souther campaign, is here claimed by Caleb for possession, not for conquest: for it is not read anywhere that Hebron was conquered by Caleb, but that the giants were ejected from there, who had perhaps, having been driving out at first, Joshua 11:21, 22, assembled themselves there. See Joshua 14:15 (Malvenda).

Then the children of Judah; either, 1. At that time when Joshua and the rest were consulting about the division of the land, though they did not yet actually and fully divide it. Or, 2. When Joshua, and himself, and the Israelites were proceeding in their conquests, and were going against Hebron, Joshua 10:36, which expedition, there mentioned in a general manner, may be particularly described in this chapter, and Joshua 15:13, 14. But the former seems more probable, because this was done when Joshua was in Gilgal, and not when he was pursuing his enemies. Came, not so much to intercede for Caleb, which was not needful with Joshua, especially in a thing already promised by God, but only to justify and countenance him in his desire.

[In Gilgal] There were the camps and quarters of the Hebrews, and there the first division was made; but a later division was made in Shiloh, Joshua 18:1 (Lapide, Bonfrerius). It is likely that they at that time accosted Joshua first concerning Hebron, since they observed that he meant to undertake the division by lot; fearing that the place owed to him might fall to some other (Masius).

Gilgal; where the division of the land was designed and begun, though it was executed and finished at Shiloh, Joshua 18:1.

[The son of Jephunneh] Such undoubtedly he was, for so he is called both in 1 Chronicles 4:15, where his genealogy is the context (Bonfrerius), and in Numbers[2] (Malvenda). Objection: But Caleb is called the son of Hezron in 1 Chronicles 2:18. Now, Hezron had descended into Egypt with Jacob, Genesis 46:8, 12. Responses: 1. He is rightly called the son of Hezron, although he had Hezron either as a grandfather, or great-grandfather, or great-great-grandfather. Neither is it unusual that grandchildren are numbered among the children, especially if they be illustrious in their deeds (Masius). 2. This Caleb is not the same as Caleb the son of Hezron (Serarius, Lapide, Bonfrerius, Drusius out of Ibn Ezra). It is proven: 1. Bezaleel, who made the Tabernacle in the desert, ought to be almost the same age as Caleb. But in 1 Chronicles 2 Bezaleel is set down as a great grandson of Caleb the son of Hezron. 2. If our Caleb was son of that Hezron, he was not able to be less than one hundred or one hundred and twenty years in coming out of Egypt, since Hezron, as was mentioned, was one of those descending into Egypt (Bonfrerius). Suppose it to be so, this Caleb would also descend from Judah, and perhaps from Pharez and Hezron; but with grandfathers and great-grandfaters intervening (Lapide).

Son of Jephunneh; so he is called here, and 1 Chronicles 4:15, to difference him from Caleb the son of Hezron, 1 Chronicles 2:18.

[The Kenezite] Question: Whence was he so called? Responses: 1. Some read the Kenezite in such a way that it is an epithet of Jephunneh, not of Caleb (certain interpreters in Bonfrerius). 2. He is not so called because he was descended either from the Kenezite peoples of Canaan,[3] or from Kenaz the son of Esau, concerning which Genesis 36:15, 42; for he was a Jew, and of Jacob (Lapide). 3. Others maintain that he was named from some place (certain interpreters in Masius and in Menochius). 4. Rather, he had the name from one of his ancestors, who was called Kenaz, and was a noteworthy man, and therefore communicated his name to his posterity (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Masius out of Kimchi). Thence I gather this, that Kenaz was a common and much used name in the family of Caleb. Perhaps one Kenaz was the father of Caleb, Joshua 15:17; Judges 1:13; 1 Chronicles 4:13; and another was a grandson of Caleb, 1 Chronicles 4:15 (Bonfrerius out of Lapide). 5. Or Jephunneh had two names, and was also called Kenaz (Menochius out of Lapide).

The Kenezite; of the posterity of Kenaz, of whom see Judges 1:13; 1 Chronicles 4:13, 15.

[Thou knowest what the Lord said] Question: Where? or When? Responses: 1. Perhaps those promises were not recorded in the Sacred Books, but spoken separately, and with one, even Joshua, being privy. 2. Words almost of this sort are found in Numbers 14:24 and Deuteronomy 1:36, Caleb…I will bring into the land unto which he has approached. Which words, it is certain, are spoken of some particular place. For the seed of Caleb was not able to hold all of Canaan. Now, it appears probable to me that this place was Hebron, and that he earnestly requested that place as the portion of his inheritance in that confused altercation, which spiritless men cried down as unconquerable; for the giants seen there had instilled fear, which Caleb clearly showed in this manner to be groundless. Moreover, it appears that those words of God are to been taken altogether κατ᾽ ἀντίθεσιν, by way of antithesis; that is to say, He was going to establish Caleb and his posterity in that place, which place the rest had persuaded the people was absolute impossible to be obtained. I say nothing of the fact that the Jews, certainly acute expositors of Scripture, maintain that they are plainly to be taken of the mount of Hebron, seeing that it is written in Numbers 13:22, they ascended by the South, and he came to Hebron,[4] not they came; for Caleb alone drew near, while the rest dared not. In this way there is no shame that Joshua finds fault with them for timidity and idleness. But this is as if an Enallage of numbers were an unusual thing in the Sacred Books (Masius). וַיָּבֹא, and he/it came, there is able to be referred to the entire assembly (עֵדָה), which consists of at least ten men (Drusius).

The thing that the Lord said unto Moses; in general, the gracious and comfortable promise he made us of possessing this land; and in particular, for my part, that which is expressed here, verse 9.

[The Lord to Moses, the man of God] These arguments are marvelously suited to the case, derived from the authority both of God, and of Moses. For he, to whom God has promised, is not able to be frustrated, neither is the messenger of God able to be esteemed as untrustworthy (Masius).

The man of God; whose words therefore thou art obliged to make good.

[Concerning me and concerning thee (thus the Septuagint, Castalio, Dutch, English), עַ֧ל אֹדוֹתַ֛י וְעַ֥ל אֹדוֹתֶ֖יךָ] Upon my causes, and upon thy causes (Montanus, similarly Jonathan, Munster, Piscator); because of, or for the sake of, me and thee (Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus); concerning my case, and concerning thy case (Syriac); because of me and because of thee (Pagnine). Moreover, Calebe spoke these things, lest a good name, by failure to make an exception, be made bad (Grotius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּגְּשׁ֙וּ בְנֵֽי־יְהוּדָ֤ה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ בַּגִּלְגָּ֔ל וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו כָּלֵ֥ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֖ה הַקְּנִזִּ֑י אַתָּ֣ה יָדַ֡עְתָּ אֶֽת־הַדָּבָר֩ אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֙ר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֣ה אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִ֗ים עַ֧ל אֹדוֹתַ֛י וְעַ֥ל אֹדוֹתֶ֖יךָ בְּקָדֵ֥שׁ בַּרְנֵֽעַ׃

[2] See, for example, Numbers 13:6; 14:6, 30, 38; 26:65.

[3] See Genesis 15:19.

[4] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲל֣וּ בַנֶּגֶב֮ וַיָּבֹ֣א עַד־חֶבְרוֹן֒.

Joshua 14:3-5: The Division of the Land by Lot, Part 2

Verse 3:[1] (Josh. 13:8, 32, 33) For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them.


Verse 4:[2] For (Gen. 48:5; 1 Chron. 5:1, 2) the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance.

[But into their (that is, the Levites’) place succeeded the sons of Joseph] This translation does not satisfy Masius: For the Levites did not cease to be one Tribe; neither were the sons of Joseph granted the one, that twelfth part (that is, the portion of the double inheritance) of the Levites, but of Reuben; but Judah obtained the other, that is, the preeminence (Masius). But Masius unjustly carps at the Vulgate. I say that these succeeded into the place of the Levites, not into the right and possession, but so that they might fulfill the number of twelve in the division by lot of the tribes (Bonfrerius out of Lapide).

[Divided into two tribes] Hebrew: the sons of Joseph (or, of the sons of Joseph [Junius and Tremellius]) were two tribes[3] (thus most interpreters).

Were two tribes, that is, had the double portion, or the portion of two tribes, 1 Chronicles 5:1, 2, and therefore though Levi was excluded, there remained nine tribes and a half, was said Joshua 14:2, to be provided for in Canaan.

[And their suburbs (concerning which see what things gathered by us on Numbers 35:4-6), וּמִגְרְשֵׁיהֶם[4]] But they are named from casting out and moving away; that is to say, places remote and separated from dwellings. Question: Why were certain cities assigned to them, without them being allowed to dwell here and there where it might be agreeable? Responses: 1. Thus they would have easily assigned themselves all the most pleasant regions. 2. Unless they had dwelt separately, there would have been reason to fear that they would have grown accustomed to the vices of the common people by continual cohabitation with them. But now many, conjoined in one college, were more stirred up by mutual encouragement, teaching, and example; they were cities of that sort, γυμνάσια καὶ φροντιστήρια, gymnasia and schools, of piety, as it were, in which the doctrine of the worship of God would be best preserved, and propagated to neighboring cities (Masius).

[Their beasts and cattle: not fields, not vineyards; but pasture-land, and that for use more than produce (Grotius): לְמִקְנֵיהֶ֖ם וּלְקִנְיָנָֽם׃] For their herds and flocks, namely, the feeling of them (Vatablus). For animals greater and smaller (Chaldean in Masius, Hebrews in Munster). Rather מִקְנֶה signifies cattle, both greater and lesser, κτήνη/herds to the Greeks; but קִנְיָן whatever we possess in goods, κτῆσιν/acquisition and κτήματα/possessions[5] (Drusius out of Masius). In Numbers 35:3, where that Law is instituted, in the place of מִקְנֶה/cattle is בְּהֵמָה/beast, which signifies brute animals of every sort; and in the place of קִנְיָן is רְכוּשׁ, which embraces whatever resources and acquired goods[6] (Masius).


Verse 5:[7] (Numb. 35:2; Josh. 21:2) As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.

[And they divided the land] Not in act, but in decree, or intention. Thus in Genesis 37:21, he delivered, that is, he strove to deliver; in Exodus 12:48, and he keeps the Passover, that is, he desires to keep; in Joshua 24:9, Balak fought against Israel, that is, he intended to fight; in Joshua 10:15, Joshua returned, that is, he was considering returning; in Jonah 1:16, the sacrificied, that is, they said that they were going to sacrifice; for at sea how were they able? So also perhaps 1 Maccabees 1:6, he divided his kingdom, that is, he decided, or thought, to divide[8] (Drusius).

They, that is, the persons named verse 1, who represented and acted in the name of the children of Israel, divided it, either now, or presently after; which is here spoken by anticipation.

[1] Hebrew: כִּֽי־נָתַ֙ן מֹשֶׁ֜ה נַחֲלַ֙ת שְׁנֵ֤י הַמַּטּוֹת֙ וַחֲצִ֣י הַמַּטֶּ֔ה מֵעֵ֖בֶר לַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן וְלַ֙לְוִיִּ֔ם לֹֽא־נָתַ֥ן נַחֲלָ֖ה בְּתוֹכָֽם׃

[2] Hebrew: כִּֽי־הָי֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יוֹסֵ֛ף שְׁנֵ֥י מַטּ֖וֹת מְנַשֶּׁ֣ה וְאֶפְרָ֑יִם וְלֹֽא־נָתְנוּ֩ חֵ֙לֶק לַלְוִיִּ֜ם בָּאָ֗רֶץ כִּ֤י אִם־עָרִים֙ לָשֶׁ֔בֶת וּמִ֙גְרְשֵׁיהֶ֔ם לְמִקְנֵיהֶ֖ם וּלְקִנְיָנָֽם׃

[3] Hebrew: כִּֽי־הָי֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יוֹסֵ֛ף שְׁנֵ֥י מַטּ֖וֹת.

[4] מִגְרָשׁ is related to the verbal root גָּרַשׁ, to drive or cast out.

[5] Joshua 14:4b:  “…therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance לְמִקְנֵיהֶ֖ם) וּלְקִנְיָנָֽם׃; τοῖς κτήνεσιν καὶ τὰ κτήνη αὐτῶν, in the Septuagint).”

[6] Numbers 35:3:  “And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts (לִבְהֶמְתָּם֙ וְלִרְכֻשָׁ֔ם וּלְכֹ֖ל חַיָּתָֽם׃).”

[7] Hebrew: כַּאֲשֶׁ֙ר צִוָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֔ה כֵּ֥ן עָשׂ֖וּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַֽיַּחְלְק֖וּ אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

[8] 1 Maccabees 1:6:  “Wherefore he called his servants, such as were honourable, and had been brought up with him from his youth, and parted his kingdom among them, while he was yet alive.”

Joshua 14:1, 2: The Division of the Land by Lot, Part 1

[circa 1444 BC] Verse 1:[1] And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, (Num. 34:17, 18) which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.

[This is what they possessed, וְאֵ֛לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נָחֲל֥וּ] Those, or these, are what they received by inheritance (Syriac) [similarly most interpreters]. These are the inheritances which…they possessed (Vatablus). Those are the regions which, etc. This supplement I take from Genesis 26:3 (Piscator).

These, mentioned chapters 14-19.

[The princes of the families (thus Vatablus), not of the individual families, but of all the families of their Tribe (Bonfrerius), וְרָאשֵׁ֛י אֲב֥וֹת] Heads of the fathers (Pagnine, Masius, Drusius) of the tribes (Drusius); but I would prefer, heads of the paternal tribes (Drusius). The nobles of the paternal families (Junius and Tremellius). These were twelve; each was representing his own tribe, and was managing its care, so that all might acquiesce to the lot (Lapide).

[Eleazar, etc.] See on Joshua 8:33; 9:15, 18; 19:51 (Grotius).

Eleazar the priest, see on Joshua 8:33; 9:15, 18; 19:51. He best understood the laws of God, by which this division was to be regulated; and he was to consult God upon any difficult occurrence. The heads of the fathers of the tribes; twelve persons, each the head of his tribe, which were appointed and named by God, Numbers 34:19; and if any of them were now dead, no doubt Joshua and Eleazar, by God’s direction, put others in their stead.


Verse 2:[2] (Num. 26:55; 33:54; 34:13) By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe.

[By lot, etc.] Division by lot was necessary, 1. so that to each one God Himself might appear to mark out as with His finger their seats, lest the diverse condition of the ground (or soil) should be the cause of disputes and hatred among brethren, while pleasant places fall to some, sandy places to others, etc.; additionaly, the inheritance of some would be empty, of others yet placed under the power of enemies. 2. So that the truth of the promises of God, and His fatherly providence toward His people, might appear more manifestly. For, while the predictions of Jacob (two hundred and fifty years before[3]) and of Moses[4] concerning the quality of the regions falling to the lot of most of the tribes with so certain an outcome the lot itself confirms, it would certainly be more impudent than Impudence itself, if one should refuse to acknowledge either the heavenly inspiration in Jacob and Moses, or the decision of God in the lots, or in short the Divine providence in both instances; or more stupid than Stupidity itself, if one should fail to notice. But you will say, What was the necessity of division by lot, if from those predictions it was possible with sufficient certainty to discern the inheritance of each Tribe? But their places were thus indicated for each Tribe, so that everyone might be able to recognize by the event the marvelous consent of the predictions and the lots among themselves; but more obscurely than that by them all controversies might have been able to be removed or settled among men avaricious and obstinate. 3. So that the opportunity might be cut off from calumniators, who otherwise would have said, What things Moses according to his own affection toward each tribe had set forth as the oracles of Jacob, those twelve men now by agreement do those things, having ratified them by their own judgment, inasmuch as they were bearing the reputation of Divinity both for Moses and for themselves before the people. Moreover, such scrupulousness and caution were needful in making that distribution, because, since Christ was someday going to be born of these tribes, it was altogether necessary that those remain as distinct as possible, each in its own seat, until He, at last having come forth into the light, had confirmed the predictions of the Holy Prophets. Finally, when the casting of lots, even if it appear to be a certain indication of the Divine will, nevertheless was obliged to be administered and directed by men, so that He might make the trustworthiness of these men, otherwise liable to suspicion, clear to all, God designated the men by name that woud be in charge of that service (Masius).

[בְּגוֹרַ֖ל נַחֲלָתָ֑ם, in Hebrew] In the lot, or, by the lot (or, according to the portion [Syriac, Arabic]) of their inheritance (Pagnine, Montanus, Vatablus); by the division by lot of their possession (Junius and Tremellius). That is joined to the preceding verse; that is to say, which they possessed by lots cast, or by lot, which was indicating and assigning to each their inheritance (Vatablus). In the lot was divided to them their possession (Jonathan). By lot (supply, they received [Munster, Tigurinus]) their possessions (Munster). Concerning the lot see what things were said on Numbers 34 (Grotius). Now, division by lot was to be used only in the Cis-jordanian region, where the division was more difficult, the agreement of the parties was not able easily to be extorted, and some regions were far more fruitful than others, as Josephus testifies in his Antiquities 5:1 (Bonfrerius).

[Just as He had commanded] That is, in Numbers 34, and previously in Numbers 26 (Bonfrerius).

By lot, etc.: This course God ordained, partly to prevent discontents, enmities, animosities, and quarrels among the tribes about the quality of their several portions; and partly to demonstrate the truth and wisdom of his providence, by which alone those parts fell to each of them, which Jacob long since, and Moses lately, foretold; so that, as a learned man saith, He must be more stupid than stupidity, and more impudent than impudence itself, that doth not acknowledge and confess a Divine hand and providence in this matter. The lot did only determine the several parts or provinces to the several tribes, but did not precisely fix all the bounds of it, but these might be either enlarged or diminished according to the greater or smaller number of the tribes, Numbers 26:53, 56; 33:54, and that by the direction of those persons mentioned Joshua 14:1; 17:14-18.

[To the nine tribes] Some refer this to the division by lots; by lot dividing…the nine tribes, etc. (Vulgate). Others to the precept; according to that which He commanded the nine tribes (Jonathan). Others understand, He might give; just as He had commanded…that He might give to the nine tribes, etc. (Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus).

[לְתִשְׁעַ֥ת הַמַּטּ֖וֹת] To the novenary[5] of the tribes, that is, to the nine tribes. For numerical adjectives constructed with substantives appear generally to put on the nature of substantives. Thus in Genesis 17:12, the son שְׁמֹנַ֣ת יָמִ֗ים, of an octonary of days, that is, of eight days; and in Genesis 31:7, עֲשֶׂ֣רֶת מֹנִ֑ים, a decade of times, that is, ten times; likewise in Exodus 34:28, עֲשֶׂ֖רֶת הַדְּבָרִֽים׃, a decade of words, that is, the ten words, the Decalogue,[6] etc. (Glassius’ “Grammar” 121).

[1] Hebrew: וְאֵ֛לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נָחֲל֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן אֲשֶׁ֙ר נִֽחֲל֜וּ אוֹתָ֗ם אֶלְעָזָ֤ר הַכֹּהֵן֙ וִיהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֔וּן וְרָאשֵׁ֛י אֲב֥וֹת הַמַּטּ֖וֹת לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[2] Hebrew:  בְּגוֹרַ֖ל נַחֲלָתָ֑ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֙ר צִוָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁ֔ה לְתִשְׁעַ֥ת הַמַּטּ֖וֹת וַחֲצִ֥י הַמַּטֶּֽה׃

[3] See Genesis 49.

[4] See Deuteronomy 33.

[5] That is, group of nine.

[6] Exodus 34:28b:  “…And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments (עֲשֶׂ֖רֶת הַדְּבָרִֽים׃).”

Joshua 14 Outline

The land and its inheritances to be divided by lot, 1-5. Caleb having on his return from spying the land encouraged the people, Moses then promised him the land of Hebron, which he now claims of Joshua, 6-12; who grants his request, 13-15.

Joshua 13:32, 33: The Transjordanian Inheritance Reviewed

Verse 32:[1] These are the countries which Moses did distribute for inheritance in the plains of Moab, on the other side Jordan, by Jericho, eastward.

[This possession he divided, אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נִחַ֥ל] It is uncertain whether אֵלֶּה/ these refers to possessions, or tribes (Masius). It is able to be referred to things as much as to persons (Bonfrerius). [Hence they render it variously.] These are they to whom possession was given (Septuagint, Arabic, similarly Jonathan and the Syriac). Others thus: These are what he distributed (Munster, Tigurinus, similarly Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Castalio, Dutch).

[On the other side Jordan over against Jericho[2]] See concerning this expression on Numbers 22:1[3] (Malvenda). It is called Jordan of Jericho, because these plains, situated on the other side Jordan, were looking toward Jericho (Masius).


Verse 33:[4] (Josh. 13:14; 18:7) But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, (Num. 18:20; Deut. 10:9; 18:1, 2) as he said unto them.

[As He said, דִּבֶּר] דִּבֶּר is not rashly used of things other than ordinances of the greatest moment: which sort of weight is not in the verb אָמַר, to say (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נִחַ֥ל מֹשֶׁ֖ה בְּעַֽרְב֣וֹת מוֹאָ֑ב מֵעֵ֛בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרִיח֖וֹ מִזְרָֽחָה׃

[2] Hebrew: מֵעֵ֛בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרִיח֖וֹ.

[3] Numbers 22:1:  “And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho (מֵעֵ֖בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵחֽוֹ׃).”

[4] Hebrew: וּלְשֵׁ֙בֶט֙ הַלֵּוִ֔י לֹֽא־נָתַ֥ן מֹשֶׁ֖ה נַחֲלָ֑ה יְהוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ ה֣וּא נַחֲלָתָ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר לָהֶֽם׃

Joshua 13:29-31: The Inheritance of Manasseh

Verse 29:[1] And Moses gave inheritance unto the half tribe of Manasseh: and this was the possession of the half tribe of the children of Manasseh by their families.

[He gave] Understand, a possession (Vatablus).

[To the half tribe of Manasseh] Question: For what reason were seats allotted to them on this side of the river? Responses: Either, 1. with the Reubenites and Gadites they entreated for this inheritance; but this was not mentioned, because they were only half a tribe (Ibn Ezra in Masius). Or, rather, 2. this reward was also conferred upon the valor of Machir by Moses,[2] who understood that the Manassite valor was remarkable in doing battle with Og, and that two so ample kingdom by only two tribe were not able to be occupied completely, nor to be defended adequately (Masius).

Unto the half tribe of Manasseh; not that they desired it, as Reuben and Gad did, Numbers 32:1, but partly as a recompence to Machir the Manassite for his valiant acts against Og; and partly for the better security and defence of the other two tribes, by so considerable an accession to them, which also was without any inconvenience to them, because the country was too large for the two tribes of Reuben and Gad.


Verse 30:[3] And their coast was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and (Num. 32:41; 1 Chron. 2:23) all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, threescore cities…

[This is the beginning[4]] Hebrew: border, namely, of the allotted region (Vatablus). In describing the inheritance of these, as in the case of the others, progress is made from South to North. Now, even if the Northern limits of the Manassites are not found here, they are named in 1 Chronicles 5:23; Baal-hermon, and Senir, and mount Hermon (Masius).

[All the kingdoms of Og] Which were three, Argob, Bashan, and part of Gilead. Nevertheless, he is more frequently called the king of Bashan, under which the other two are understood (Lapide, Bonfrerius).

[The villages of Jair, חַוֹּ֥ת יָאִ֛יר] The villages (Jonathan, Septuagint), country estates (Junius and Tremellius), country districts, or, if you prefer, cities, of Jair. Concerning these see what things are on Numbers 32:41. Now, think that these places of Jair and Nobah were conquered little by little after the grant made to them by Moses: And, although the narrative is thus composed in Deuteronomy 3:4, as if all were seized in one assault; nevertheless, it is to be understood that Moses summarily reviews what things were done unto that day, but does not set forth distinctly the order of the things done. Moreover, it is to be marveled at that Jair obtained sixty whole cities among the Manassites, who it is certain was not of Manasseh, but of Judah, for he was a son Segub, grandson of Hezron, 1 Chronicles 2:21, 22. But he accompanied the Manassites, since he was begotten of a daughter of the Manassite Machir, a most famous man, whence he is also called a son of Manasseh, Numbers 32:41. Not by lot, but by the decision of Moses or God, this inheritance was assigned to him (Masius).

Jair, who, though of the tribe of Judah by the father, 1 Chronicles 2:21, 22, yet is called the son of Manasseh, Numbers 32:41, because he married a daughter of Manasseh, and wholly associated himself with those valiant Manassites, and with their help took sixty cities or great towns, Deuteronomy 3:4, 14, which thence were called the towns of Jair.

[Which are in Bashan, בַּבָּשָׁן] That is, in the region of Bashan; or, who was reigning in Bashan (Vatablus).


Verse 31:[5] And half Gilead, and (Josh. 12:4) Ashtaroth, and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were pertaining unto the children of Machir the son of Manasseh, even to the one half of the (Num. 32:39, 40) children of Machir by their families.

[To the half part of the sons of Machir; understanding, were (Vatablus), לַחֲצִי] That is, to the half part (Arabic, Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius). It is not clear whether a lesser or equal part was on this side of Jordan. Neither does חֲצִי/half determine this. For it signifies one part of a thing, not only halved, but divided in whatever mannter (Masius). But why are those that were previously called the sons of Manasseh now called the sons of Machir, when it appears that Manasseh had two sons; Ashriel by his wife, and Machir by a concubine, 1 Chronicles 7:14? Responses: 1. If this were true, you might say that perhaps Ashriel died without offspring, and so the entire stock of Manasseh fell to Machir (Masius). Machir alone was surviving his father Manasseh (Lapide, Bonfrerius). Manasseh had no other posterity than of Machir, Numbers 26:29; indeed, he had no other son than Machir (Bonfrerius). Perhaps Ashriel was also a name for Machir (Masius). 2. Ashriel was not a son of Manasseh, but a great grandson, as it is evident from Numbers 26:29-31 (Masius, Bonfrerius), since that Ashriel had Gilead as father, and Machir as grandfather (Bonfrerius). But why, in reviewing the stock of Manasseh (1 Chronicles 7), the great grandson would be mentioned before the son, it is able to be done so that he might have the greater glory of that time from the matters conducted. 3. If these things do not satisfy, we might suppose that, while Manasseh had two sons, not the posterity of only the one, Machir, and then not the whole but half, remained on this side of Jordan (Masius).

The children of Machir; whom before he called the children of Manasseh, he now calls the children of Machir, because Machir was the most eminent, and, as it may seem, the only surviving son of Manasseh, Numbers 26:29; 1 Chronicles 7:14-16. For the other half of Machir’s or Manasseh’s children, see Joshua 17:1, etc.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּתֵּ֣ן מֹשֶׁ֔ה לַחֲצִ֖י שֵׁ֣בֶט מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה וַיְהִ֗י לַחֲצִ֛י מַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה לְמִשְׁפְּחוֹתָֽם׃

[2] See Numbers 32:39, 40.

[3] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֣י גְבוּלָ֗ם מִמַּחֲנַ֙יִם כָּֽל־הַבָּשָׁ֜ן כָּֽל־מַמְלְכ֣וּת׀ ע֣וֹג מֶֽלֶךְ־הַבָּשָׁ֗ן וְכָל־חַוֹּ֥ת יָאִ֛יר אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּבָּשָׁ֖ן שִׁשִּׁ֥ים עִֽיר׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֣י גְבוּלָ֗ם.

[5] Hebrew: וַחֲצִ֤י הַגִּלְעָד֙ וְעַשְׁתָּר֣וֹת וְאֶדְרֶ֔עִי עָרֵ֛י מַמְלְכ֥וּת ע֖וֹג בַּבָּשָׁ֑ן לִבְנֵ֤י מָכִיר֙ בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה לַחֲצִ֥י בְנֵֽי־מָכִ֖יר לְמִשְׁפְּחוֹתָֽם׃