The nine tribes and a half to have their inheritance. (Verse 1-5.)
Caleb obtains Hebron. (Verse 6-15.)
The main theme of chapter fourteen is Caleb claiming what was rightfully promised him by Moses 45 years prior to
this chapter. Caleb received Hebron for an inheritance – note in verse 12 that despite his age, he was determined to drive
out the giant Anakims from his inheritance – this demonstrates not only Caleb’s obedience to God, but his faith that was so
desperately lacking on the part of the rest of the nation of Israel when they earlier faced these same giants.
1 And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, 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.
2 By lot was their inheritance, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe.
3 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.
4 For 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.
5 As the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.
While Caleb is not a tribe, he was promised a city by Moses for having the testimony that he wholly followed God in his day. Remember Caleb is a picture of what we could be if we by faith daily appropriated the promises that God has given us.
6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the Lord said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God.
9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God.
10 And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
11 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 to go out, and to come in.
12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.
15 And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.
The bigger they are the harder they fall was Caleb’s motto as it should be ours. There is no enemy that can stand before us when God is with us. Giant problems sent by the devil himself can be defeated when we tackle them head on by faith.
Hebron if you will remember is the place of death, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Joseph and his brothers are all buried there so why would anyone want to possess a city that is synonymous with death? Because it is only through the death of the old man that we can put on the new man and walk victorious in Christ.
The Anakims (giants) were in Hebron. These were identical to the descendants of the sons of God that took the daughters of men to wife and had offspring that became mighty men of renown. (Genesis chapter 6)
Hebron is the starting point of David’s kingdom where he reigned for seven years after the death of Saul. Here an altar was constructed by Abraham where sacrifices were made for the sins of man.
It later becomes a city of refuge. Notice also that Caleb’s land had rest from war because he alone defeated all the enemies in his land.
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.
Verse 1-5 – The Israelites must occupy the new conquests. Canaan would have been subdued in vain, if it had not been inhabited. Yet every man might not go and settle where he pleased. God shall choose our inheritance for us. Let us survey our heritage of present mercy, our prospect for the land of promise, eternal in the heavens. Is God any respecter of persons? Is it not better that our place, as to earthly good or sorrow, should be determined by the infinite wisdom of our heavenly Father, than by our own ignorance? Should not those for whom the great mystery of godliness was exhibited, those whose redemption was purchased by Jesus Christ, thankfully refer their earthly concerns to his appointment?
Verse 6-15 – Caleb’s request is, “Give me this mountain,” or Hebron, because it was formerly in God’s promise to him, and he would let Israel knows how much he valued the promise. Those who live by faith value that which is given by God’s promise, far above what is given by his providence only. It was now in the Anakims’ possession, and Caleb would let Israel know how little he feared the enemy, and that he would encourage them to push on their conquests. Caleb answered to his name, which signifies “all heart.” Hebron was settled on Caleb and his heirs, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Happy are we if we follow him. Singular piety shall be crowned with singular favour.