Joshua 14:15: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 9

Verse 15:[1] And (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13) the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. (Josh. 11:23) And the land had rest from war.

[The name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath-arba] That is, the City of Arba. Arba, or Arbe, is the name of a man (Masius, Drusius, Junius, Lapide, Bonfrerius). Concerning this name see what things are said on Genesis 23:2 and Joshua 15:13 (Grotius). They maintain that it was called Hebron after Hebron, Caleb’s son, 1 Chronicles 2:42, for he is called the father of Hebron. But this argument does not appear to be sufficiently firm: For Machir is also called the father of Gilead, 1 Chronicles 2:21, not because he imposed his name on the region of Gilead, but because he governed there. Nevertheless, since Kirjath-arba was its ancient name, it is a good conjecture that this other name of Hebron was more recent (Masius).

[Adam, the greatest, etc., הָאָדָ֧ם הַגָּד֛וֹל בָּעֲנָקִ֖ים ה֑וּא] He was a great man among the Anakim (Montanus, Pagnine). He is called great, either with respect to stature, or with respect to authority (Drusius out of Masius). Or he is surely called הַגָּדוֹל, ὁ μέγας, the great, because he ruled them. Thus גְּדוֹלִים, magnates (Drusius). Note the expression, great among the giants, that is, the greatest of the giants (Drusius, Glassius): For by the adjective governing the ablative with the preposition ב/in/among, the superlative degree is often wont to be described by circumlocution (Glassius’ “Grammar” 57). Thus, beautiful among women is in the place of the most beautiful;[2] small among the nations in the place of the smallest;[3] blessed among women in the place of the most blessed of women[4] (Drusius). They translate it, therefore, he was the greatest of the giants (Vatablus, similarly Junius and Tremellius), that is, the most illustrious (Vatablus). He is called the greatest, with respect to the immensity of his body, his authority, the glory of his achievements, and his dignity, inasmuch as he was the father, indeed, the patriarch, of the Anakim (Lapide). Arbe was the father of Anak, from whom were the Anakim, as it is evident from Joshua 15:13 (Menochius). But, that he is called the father of Anak, is able to be taken equally of his rule and of the origin of the race (Masius). From him the city was denominated, either, because he founded it; or, which is more likely, because he long held it under his own mastery (Masius).

A great man, in stature, and strength, and dignity, and authority, as being the progenitor of Anak, the father of those famous giants called Anakims.

[And the land rested from battles] It rested for a time (Vatablus). It is repeated in this place,[5] because, although the narration of the making of the division was hitherto delayed by various digressions, now at last he has come to the handling of it. He points out, therefore, that there were now many enemies remaining, who might impede the distribution with war (Masius, similarly Bonfrerius).

The land had rest from war; which gave them opportunity for the distribution of the land.

[1] Hebrew: וְשֵׁ֙ם חֶבְר֤וֹן לְפָנִים֙ קִרְיַ֣ת אַרְבַּ֔ע הָאָדָ֧ם הַגָּד֛וֹל בָּעֲנָקִ֖ים ה֑וּא וְהָאָ֥רֶץ שָׁקְטָ֖ה מִמִּלְחָמָֽה׃

[2] See, for example, Song of Solomon 1:8:  “If thou know not, O thou fairest among women (הַיָּפָ֖ה בַּנָּשִׁ֑ים, fair among women), go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.”

[3] Deuteronomy 7:7:  “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people (הַמְעַ֖ט מִכָּל־הָעַמִּֽים׃)…”

[4] See, for example, Luke 1:28:  “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee:  blessed art thou among women (εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξίν).”

[5] See Joshua 11:23.

Joshua 14:13, 14: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 8

Verse 13:[1] And Joshua (Josh. 22:6) blessed him, (Josh. 10:37; 15:13; Judg. 1:20; see Josh. 21:11, 12; 1 Chron. 6:55, 56) and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

[Joshua blessed him] To bless signifies three things in Scripture. 1. To entreat from God good things for another: 2. To congratulate on account of the good things that one now possesses: 3. To grant good things. All which appear to concur here. For, 1. Joshua asked good things for Caleb: 2. He commends him on account of the matters nobly conducted: 3. He consigned the possession of Hebron to him (Bonfrerius). He blessed, that is, he prayed all prosperity for him (Lapide out of Tostatus, Drusius): he approved his petition, and granted Hebron to him (Junius): he commended the courage and virtue of Caleb (Montanus and Vatablus in Lapide). To him he granted what things he was soliciting: unless one should think that some solemn rite is here signified, by which he assigned Hebrew to him. Which sort of rite courts now call investiture (Masius).

[And he delivered Hebron to him] Objection: But Hebron was given to the priests, Joshua 21:11, 13. Response: By Hebron here are understood the fields and villages that were previously close to Hebron (Munster, Vatablus, similarly Drusius, Bonfrerius). Going by the name of Hebron was not only that part of the mountain on which was Kirjath-arbe, but that whole region. For Debir also is reckoned as given with Hebron, as we shall soon hear (Masius).

Joshua either, 1. Prayed to God to bless and help him according to his own desire. Or, 2. Acknowledged his praiseworthy carriage in the matter of the spies, and the reasonableness of his request. Or, 3. Consented to his desire, and, as it follows, gave it to him; as God’s blessing is oft put for his actual conferring of favours upon men.


Verse 14:[2] (Josh. 21:12; 1 Mac. 2:56[3]) Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he (Josh. 14:8, 9) wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

[1] Hebrew: וַֽיְבָרְכֵ֖הוּ יְהוֹשֻׁ֑עַ וַיִּתֵּ֧ן אֶת־חֶבְר֛וֹן לְכָלֵ֥ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֖ה לְנַחֲלָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: עַל־כֵּ֣ן הָיְתָֽה־חֶ֠בְרוֹן לְכָלֵ֙ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֤ה הַקְּנִזִּי֙ לְֽנַחֲלָ֔ה עַ֖ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה יַ֚עַן אֲשֶׁ֣ר מִלֵּ֔א אַחֲרֵ֕י יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[3] 1 Maccabess 2:56:  “Caleb for bearing witness before the congregation received the heritage of the land.”

Joshua 14:12: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 7

Verse 12:[1] Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how (Num. 13:28, 33) the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: (Ps. 18:32, 34; 60:12; Rom. 8:31) if so be the LORD will be with me, then (Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:20) I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

[Give to me that mountain] In which were situated the cities of Hebron, Debir, and Anab (Lapide). Hebron was on a mountain, Joshua 11:21; 20:7 (Bonfrerius). Others: the mountain, that is, the mountainous country of Judah, as often elsewhere (Malvenda out of Junius).

This mountain, that is, this mountainous country, in which was Hebron, Joshua 11:21; 20:7, and Debir, and Anab. He names the country rather than the cities, either, 1. Because the giants here following were already driven out of their cities, but yet abode in their caves or holds in the mountains, whence they much molested the Israelites. Or, 2. Because the cities were given to the Levites, Joshua 21:11, 13.

[Which He promised, אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר] As He spoke (Pagnine). Others: which (namely, mountain) He mentioned (Jonathan, Syriac, Montanus); or, of which, etc. (Arabic, Munster, Tigurinus), or, with respect to which He spoke (Septuagint); that which Jehovah had declared (Junius and Tremellius).

[With thee hearing also, etc.] Hebrew: for thou thyself heardest, or, that thou heardest, that in that day the Anakim were there (Junius and Tremellius, similarly all interpreters). He agains summons the conscience of Joshua, as Judge, to appear as a witness. Question: But how does he speak so to Joshua, as if he had not been there? Responses: 1. Either to hear is here put in the place of to understand. 2. Or he spoke those words to the twelve men of the distribution about to be made, of whom none besides Joshua had seen the Anakim (Masius). 3. Some elicit hence that Joshua did not go up to Hebrown with the other spies, or at least with Caleb, nor see the giants there; wherefore Caleb, because he approached alone, asks it now for himself. See Numbers 13:22, 23 (Malvenda).

Thou heardest, that is, didst understand, both by the reports of others, and by thy own observation, as I also did. Hearing, the sense by which we get knowledge, is off put for knowing or understanding, as Genesis 11:7;[2] 42:23;[3] 2 Kings 18:26.[4]

[In which are Anakim] Objections: But they were expelled, Joshua 11:21. Response: Now, some had escaped that defeat, and had fled to the Philistines, whence they, with their strength revived, returned to Hebron, and occupied it as the seat of their forefathers; and thence Caleb expelled them again (Lapide, Bonfrerius).

[If so be, etc., אוּלַי] It is not the expression of one doubting, but he spoke for the sake of modesty, arrogating nothing to himself (Vatablus). Not that Caleb doubts of the promises of God, but that he thinks modestly of himself, and fears lest he should turn the promised help of God away from himself by his guilt and negligence (Lapide). He was able to suppose that that promise was not absolute, but was able to be revoked on account of his own or others’ sins (Bonfrerius). He spoke of the victory of the people of God universally with confidence; but he thinks modestly of himself, not unaware the each man often turns the grace of God toward him away by his own sins (Masius). Adverbs of doubting, אוּלַי/perhaps, etc., do not always directly import uncertainty (Glassius’ “Grammar” 494). אוּלַי/perhaps here only signifies the difficulty of the matter (Junius, Masius, Glassius), and supports hope in the souls of those hearing. Thus 1 Samuel 14:6.[5] See Numbers 21:23[6] (Junius). It contains hope mixed with difficulty: and the difficulty did indeed lessen the estimation of the gift (that is to say, I ask nothing except what is conjoined with dangers and toil); but hope of the thing to be given rouses desire (Masius).

[The Lord with me] Hebrew: Jehovah with me,[7] supply, will be (Junius and Tremellius, Piscator). The verb יִהְיֶה, will be, appears to have been dropped by the carelessness of the scribes (Piscator): And אוֹתִי/me[8] is here put in the place of אִתִּי, with me (Drusius).

If so be the Lord will be with me; a modest, and humble, and pious expression, signifying both the absolute necessity of God’s help, and his godly fear, lest God for his sins should deny his assistance to him, as he might justly do; for although he was well assured in general that God would crown his people with success in this war, yet he might doubt of his particular success in this or that enterprise.

[And I shall be able to destroy] He desires by public authority, but with private strength, to undertake war, like the Fabii of the Romans.[9] However, Joshua thought it fair that the public obligation be dischared with public resources. For here is ἐπάνοδος, a recapitulation, of that which is said above. As Caleb, so Joshua, had a ἐξαίρετον/select city, Joshua 19:50 (Grotius).

To drive them out; out of their fastnesses, where they yet remain. Caleb desires this difficult work as a testimony of his own faith, and as a motive to quicken and encourage his brethren to thee like attempts.

[1] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֗ה תְּנָה־לִּי֙ אֶת־הָהָ֣ר הַזֶּ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא כִּ֣י אַתָּֽה־שָׁמַעְתָּ֩ בַיּ֙וֹם הַה֜וּא כִּֽי־עֲנָקִ֣ים שָׁ֗ם וְעָרִים֙ גְּדֹל֣וֹת בְּצֻר֔וֹת אוּלַ֙י יְהוָ֤ה אוֹתִי֙ וְה֣וֹרַשְׁתִּ֔ים כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָֽה׃

[2] Genesis 11:7:  “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand (לֹ֣א יִשְׁמְע֔וּ, they may not hear) one another’s speech.”

[3] Genesis 42:23:  “And they knew not that Joseph understood (שֹׁמֵעַ/heard) them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.”

[4] 2 Kings 18:26b:  “…Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand (שֹׁמְעִים/hear) it:  and talk not with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.”

[5] 1 Samuel 14:6:  “And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised:  it may be (אוּלַי) that the Lord will work for us:  for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”

[6] Numbers 23:3 may be intended.

[7] Hebrew: יְהוָ֤ה אוֹתִי֙.

[8] In the form of a Direct Object Pronoun.

[9] In the early fifth century BC, hostilities erupted between the Roman Republic and the Etruscans.  The Roman patrician family of the Fabii took the responsibility of the war upon themselves.  At the Battle of Cremara (477 BC), almost the entire family of the Fabii was killed.

Joshua 14:11: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 6

Verse 11:[1] (Ecclus. 46:9;[2] see Deut. 34:7) 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 (Deut. 31:2) to go out, and to come in.

[As strong, etc.[3]] כ repeated means as, and thus/so (Drusius).

[As much to fight, etc.] Hebrew: to go out and to come in[4] (Masius, Septuagint). In going out and coming in; in attending to all the duties of war (Drusius). See 1 Samuel 18:5. Rather, to come in and go out is to fulfill one’s office in every duty of life. He signifies in these words that he seeks nothing unsuitable for his age, although he entreats an arduous duty for himself (Masius). To go out, etc., that is, to undertake a journey: in French, à aller et venir, to come and go (Vatablus). To attend to business, both public and domestic; for the former of which it is necessary to go out from the house, but for the latter it is necessary to enter into the same. It is Metonymy of intended effect (Piscator). God gave this vigor to him, both for a reward of his fidelity, so that he, yet vigorous and strong, might take possession of the Promised Land; and so that he might be an eye-witness of all that happened in the desert, and relate those things to those younger (Lapide).

For war; not only for counsel, but for action, for marching and fighting. And therefore this gift will not be cast away upon an unprofitable and unserviceable person. To go out, and to come in; to perform all the duties belonging to my place.

[1] Hebrew: עוֹדֶ֙נִּי הַיּ֜וֹם חָזָ֗ק כַּֽאֲשֶׁר֙ בְּי֙וֹם שְׁלֹ֤חַ אוֹתִי֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה כְּכֹ֥חִי אָ֖ז וּכְכֹ֣חִי עָ֑תָּה לַמִּלְחָמָ֖ה וְלָצֵ֥את וְלָבֽוֹא׃

[2] Ecclesiasticus 46:9:  “The Lord gave strength also unto Caleb, which remained with him unto his old age:  so that he entered upon the high places of the land, and his seed obtained it for an heritage…”

[3] Joshua 14:11a:  “As yet I am as strong this day as (כַּאֲשֶׁר) I was in the day that Moses sent me:  as my strength was then, even so is my strength now (כְּכֹ֥חִי אָ֖ז וּכְכֹ֣חִי עָ֑תָּה)…”

[4] Hebrew: לַמִּלְחָמָ֖ה וְלָצֵ֥את וְלָבֽוֹא׃.

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.”