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.

1 thought on “Joshua 14:10: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 5

  1. William Jay, “Morning Exercises” (reference to our text at the end of this worthy exercise): ‘”After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”—1 Corinthians 15:6

    As the resurrection of the Lord and Saviour is of such unspeakable importance, it cannot be too clearly and fully ascertained. Now the way to prove a fact is to call in evidence; and if in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established [2 Corinthians 13:1] ,what shall we say when we meet with such a cloud of witnesses [Hebrews 12:1] as the apostle here brings forward?—witnesses the most competent, eyewitnesses, ear-witnesses, witnesses who even handled the word of life [1 John 1:1]; men not of hasty credence, but slow of heart to believe [Luke 24:25]; men whose despondence was only to be removed by proof the most undeniable, and upon which they hazarded every thing dear to them, and braved reproach and suffering and death.

    This interview took place in Galilee, where our Lord had principally resided and preached and done his wonderful works. There he was best known, and chiefly followed. Before his death he had said, “After I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee” [Matthew 26:32]. On the morning of his resurrection, we find the angel knew of this design; and therefore meeting the woman he said, “Go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee, there shall ye see him; lo, I have told you” [Matthew 28:7]. Influenced by this authority, “the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them” [Matthew 28:16]. From whence it appears that the very spot had been named. And from the words of the apostle, it is certain that the disciples did not repair to it by themselves; but having made known among their connections the approaching interview with a risen Saviour, they enjoyed the privilege, in company with this large assembly. “He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present; but some are fallen asleep.” Every thing here is striking.

    The name: “Brethren.” O lovely distinction! When will it swallow up every other? When shall the religious world remember that all real Christians, notwithstanding their differences, are all justified by the same blood, sanctified by the same grace, travelling the same way, heirs of the same glory, children of the same Father, “of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named?” [Ephesians 3:15].

    The number: “About five hundred.” We were not aware that he had so many adherents. In Jerusalem they could only bring together one hundred and twenty. But there were more in the country. Let us not judge of our Lord’s followers by a particular place or party. Let us remember that he has his hidden ones, whom circumstances may never bring to our notice. How surprised should we be, if any event was to draw them together from their various retreats. How should we exclaim, “These, where have they been?” What a multitude then, which no man can number, will there be when they shall be all assembled out of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues [Revelation 11:9].

    The ravages of time: “Some have fallen asleep.” And no wonder, in the lapse of six and twenty years. Who has not, during such a period, been summoned to the grave to weep there? Whose heart within him has not been desolate, at the loss of friends and relations? Even the church has not been a sanctuary from the robber and spoiler. The wise and the good, the holy and the useful, the followers and witnesses of the Redeemer, have finished their course and their testimony, and have slept the sleep of death.

    Distinguished preservations: “The greater part remain unto this present.” The majority of five hundred spared so many years! When, from the numberless perils of life, it was marvellous that any one of them should have lived even a week or a day. Have we survived others? Let us not ascribe it to our own care, or the goodness of our constitution; but say with Caleb, when so many carcasses fell in the wilderness, “The Lord hath kept me alive” [Joshua 14:10].

    And let us be concerned, that protracted life be devoted to Him who is “the length of our days” [Deuteronomy 30:20], and “the God of our salvation” [Psalm 68:19].’

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