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.

1 thought on “Joshua 14:7: Caleb’s Inheritance, Part 2

  1. William Gurnall, “Christian in Complete Armor”: ‘Whence is it that sincerity thus covers the saint’s uncomelinesses.

    Reason First. It flows from the grace of the gospel-covenant…

    Reason Second. The second reason may be taken from the great love he bears, and liking he takes, to this disposition of heart; upon which follows this act of grace, to cover their failings where he spies it….

    When God speaks to Caleb’s uprightness, see to what a height he exalts him. But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land, etc., Numbers 14:24. As if God had said, Here is a man I do not count myself disparaged to own him for my servant and special favourite; he is one that carries more worth in him than the whole multitude of murmuring Israelites besides. He had “another spirit”—that is, for excellency and nobleness, far above the rest. And wherein did this appear? The next words resolve us, “He hath followed me fully.” Now that which gained him this great honour from God’s own mouth, we shall find to be his sincerity, and especially in that business when sent to search the land of Canaan. Joshua 14:7, compare with Joshua 14:9. He had great temptations to tell another tale. The Israelites were so sick of their enterprise, that he would be the welcomest messenger that brought the worst news, from which they might have some colour for their murmuring against Moses, who had brought them into such straits; and of twelve that were sent, there were ten that suited their answer to this discontented humour of the people; so that by making a contrary report to theirs, he did not only come under suspicion of a liar, but hazard his life among an enraged people. Yet such was the courage of this holy man, faithfulness to his trust, and trust in his God, that he saith himself, Joshua 14:7, he “brought him”—that is, Moses, who had sent him—”word again, as it was in his heart,” that is, he did not for fear or favour accommodate himself, but what in his conscience he thought true, that he spake; and this, because it was an eminent proof of his sincerity, is called by Moses, Joshua 14:9, “following God fully;” for which the Lord erects such a pillar of remembrance over his head, that shall stand as long as that Scripture itself.’

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