Joshua 15:13: Caleb Inherits Hebron

Verse 13:[1] (Josh. 14:13) And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even (Josh. 14:15) the city of Arba (or, Kirjath-arba[2]) the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.

[To Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave] Who gave? Undoubtedly Joshua, from Joshua 14 (Bonfrerius). They translate it, Joshua gave (Tigurinus, Munster, Syriac, Junius and Tremellius). But from the beginning of the chapter to this point there has been no mention of Joshua (Bonfrerius). Others translate it passively, it had been given (Masius), and that rightly; for the Hebrews often make use of active verbs without a subject in a passive sense (Bonfrerius). Question: Why does this narrative occur here, since this matter was conducted after the death of Joshua? Response: So that we might understand that neither the promises of God, nor the hope of Caleb, were in vain (Masius, Bonfrerius). To this could be added that the dowry of Achsah, to the mention of which the course of that narration leads us, pertains to the matter of the division (Masius). Nevertheless, hence it is gathered, either that the writer of this book was not Joshua; or that these and not a few other things were later added by another hagiographer (Bonfrerius).

He gave, that is, Joshua, as appears by comparing this with Joshua 14:6, 12, 13.

[Just as the Lord had commanded him] He relates that Joshua did not rashly yield Hebron to Caleb without the lot, but by the command of God, etc. (Masius). But when was that command given? Response: Either immediately by God Himself, or by God through Moses (Bonfrerius).

[Kirjath-Arba, the father of Anak] That is, the City of Arba, who was the father of Anak the giant, from whom the Anakim were descended (Lapide, Bonfrerius); from whom it happened that the Anakim possessed Hebron by a proper and hereditary right (Bonfrerius). Or, the father here signifies the prince, and Anak is put in the place of the race of the Anakim (Masius).

[Kirjath-Arbe] Not the city, but the field. For the city belonged to the Levites, Joshua 21:13 (Grotius).

[אֲבִ֥י הָעֲנָ֖ק] The father of the giants, that is, the most famous among the giants (Vatablus).

Arba, or Kirjath-arba; not the city, which was the Levites’, but the territory of it, Joshua 21:13.

[1] Hebrew: וּלְכָלֵ֣ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֗ה נָ֤תַן חֵ֙לֶק֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ בְּנֵֽי־יְהוּדָ֔ה אֶל־פִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה לִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֑עַ אֶת־קִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע אֲבִ֥י הָעֲנָ֖ק הִ֥יא חֶבְרֽוֹן׃

[2] Hebrew: קִרְיַת אַרְבַּע.

1 thought on “Joshua 15:13: Caleb Inherits Hebron

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘The historian seems pleased with every occasion to make mention of Caleb and to do him honour, because he had honoured God in following him fully. Observe…The grant Joshua made him of the mountain of Hebron for his inheritance is here repeated (Joshua 15:13), and it is said to be given him. 1. According to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua. Though Caleb, in his petition, had made out a very good title to it by promise, yet, because God had ordered Joshua to divide the land by lot, he would not in this one single instance, no, not to gratify his old friend Caleb, do otherwise, without orders from God, whose oracle, it is probable, he consulted upon this occasion. In every doubtful case it is very desirable to know the mind of God, and to see the way of our duty plain. 2. It is said to be a part among the children of Judah; though it was assigned him before the lot of that tribe came up, yet it proved, God so directing the lot, to be in the heart of that tribe, which was graciously ordered in kindness to him, that he might not be as one separated from his brethren and surrounded by those of other tribes.’

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