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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Joshua 14

Verses 1-15

The Portion of Caleb

1-5. Introductory Section.

1. Eleazar the priest] The mention of the priest in association with the leader, to whom he is here given precedence, is one of the characteristics of the Priestly narrative.

4. The children of Joseph were two tribes, etc.] This reckoning, with the subtraction of Levi, makes a total of twelve still. Practically, however, Simeon became absorbed in Judah, and each half-tribe of Manasseh came to count as a complete tribe.

6-15. The inheritance of Caleb: see Joshua 15:18-19.

6. Thou knowest the thing, etc.] The promise to Caleb occurs in Numbers 14:24, and is referred to again in Deuteronomy 1:36. On Caleb see on Joshua 15:13.

10. These forty and five years] The notes of time given here and in Joshua 14:7 are interesting. Caleb was 40 years old at Kadesh: 45 years have intervened since then, and he is now 85. Allowing 38 years for the penal wanderings, we get 7 years as the period covered by the war of conquest up to this date.

12-15. Hebron assigned to Caleb: on Hebron see on Joshua 10:36, and on Caleb’s possession of it, Joshua 15:13. and note. On the Anakim see on Joshua 11:22.

12. RV ’it may be that the Lord will be with me and I shall drive them out’: cp. Joshua 5:14 and Judges 1:20. It is a brave man’s word (cp. Joshua 14:11). Caleb welcomes the task the more for its peril, and the hard work confronting him adds value to the inheritance.

15. The name of Hebron, etc.] LXX ’Now the name of Hebron was formerly the city of Argob: this was the metropolis of the Anakim’: and similarly in Joshua 15:13; Joshua 21:11 for ’father of Anak’ LXX reads ’metropolis of Anak.’ This may be the true sense.

Verses 1-51

Territories of the Western Tribes

Chs. 14-19 inclusive describe the allotment of territories to the Western Tribes. There are two assignments. The first, embracing Judah and Joseph, is described as taking place at Gilgal (Joshua 14:6) under the auspices of Eleazar and Joshua and the ’heads of the fathers’ (Joshua 14:1). Judah (15), Ephraim (16), and Manasseh (17) each occupy a single chapter The second assignment, to the seven remaining tribes, takes place apparently at a later date (Joshua 18:3), after an elaborate survey (Joshua 18:6, Joshua 18:8-9) of the territory available. Its scene is Shiloh, and Joshua alone is named as presiding. It is noticeable (see further note on the assignment of the territory) that the details of the seven territories are much more meagre than those of the others, except in the case of Benjamin. Joshua 14 itself is introductory, partly (Joshua 14:1-5) to the whole of the 5 chapters following; partly (Joshua 14:6-15) to the first assignment (Joshua 15-17), recording Caleb’s request for Hebron and its favourable reception. This latter section (Joshua 14:6-15) is of special interest in that it affords incidentally one of the few definite chronological data available for this period (see on Joshua 14:10).

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.