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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 14

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 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.

These are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan. This chanter forms the introduction to an account of the allocation of the land west of Jordan, or Canaan proper, to the nine tribes and one-half. It was also made by lot in presence of a select number of superintendents, appointed according to divine directions given to Moses (see the note at Numbers 34:16-29). In everything pertaining civil government, and even the division of the land, Joshua was the acknowledged chief. But in a matter to be determined by lot, a solemn appeal was made to God, and hence, Eleazar, as high priest, is named before Joshua.

Verses 2-3

By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 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.

The children of Joseph were two tribes. Since two and one-half tribes were settled [ mee`eeber (H5676)] on the other side - i:e., on the east of Jordan (see the note at Joshua 1:14-15; Joshua 9:10; Joshua 17:5) - and the Levites had no inheritance assigned them in land, there would have been only eight tribes and a-half to provide for. But Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph, had been constituted two tribes (Genesis 48:5); and although Levi was excluded, the original number of the tribes of Israel was still preserved.

Verse 5

As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land. The children of Israel ... divided the land - i:e., they made the preliminary arrangements for the work. A considerable time was requisite for the survey and measurement.

Verse 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 Kadesh-barnea.

Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said. The genealogical descent of Caleb is traced in 1 Chronicles 4:13; 1 Chronicles 4:15. 'He was not strictly an Israelite at all, and the designation, "the Kenezite," imports as much. His father, Jephunneh, and his grandfather or ancestor, Kenaz, belonged to some tribe, probably Idumea, friendly to the Israelites, and may be compared to Jethro and to the Kenites' (see the note at Joshua 15:13, and 1 Chronicles 11:8) (Lord A. Hervey, 'Genealogy,' p. 30).

Verse 7

Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.

I brought him word again as it was in mine heart - i:e., I gave a true, unvarnished, and unbiassed report. This incident is recorded here because it occurred while the preparations were being made for casting the lots, which it appears were begun in Gilgal. The claim of Caleb to the mountains of Hobron as his personal and family possession was founded on a solemn promise of Moses 45 years before (see the note at Numbers 13:22; Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:36), to give him that land on account of his fidelity. Being one of the nominees appointed to preside over the division of the country, he might have been charged with using his powers as a commissioner to his own advantage had he urged his request in private; and therefore he took some of his brethren along with him as witnesses of the justice and propriety of his conduct.

Verses 8-11

Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 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.

Give me this mountain - this highland region.

For thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there. The report of the spies who tried to kindle the flame of sedition and discontent related chiefly to the people and condition of this mountain district; and hence, it was promised as the reward of Caleb's truth, piety, and faithfulness. The Anakim were a branch of the Rephaim race (see the note at Numbers 13:33; Deuteronomy 2:10-11; also Joshua 9:1; Joshua 9:4), formidable from their gigantic stature and warlike propensities.

And that the cities were great and fenced. Massive fragments of stone are still lying the neighhourhood of Hebron, supposed to be Anakim ruins, and giving an idea of what the walls of the ancient city must have been.

Verse 13

And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

Joshua blessed him, and gave ... Hebron. Joshua, who was fully cognizant of the whole circumstances, not only admitted the claim, but in a public and earnest manner prayed for the divine blessing to succour the efforts of Caleb in driving out the idolatrous occupiers.

Verse 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.

Because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. This of course points to his faithfulness as a spy of Canaan (Numbers 14:30; Numbers 15:6-9; Numbers 15:24); but additional significance is given to the words by the fact regarding Caleb noticed in Joshua 14:6.

Verse 15

And the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.

Kirjath-arba - i:e., the city of Arba-a warrior among the native race remarkable for strength and stature. The verse literally rendered should stand thus: 'And the name of Hebron before was the city of Arba, the great man among the Anakims' (Robinson, 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 454, note; Havernick's 'Introduction,' pp. 145, 146). [ lªpaaniym (H6440), "before" - i e., previous to the invasion, and when the spies went to search the land, the southern portion of which was occupied by the Anakim, who acquired it by conquest after the time of Abraham. The Septuagint has: to proteron. But that version reads, instead of Arba, the city of Argob.] The Israelites, on their settlement, restored the original name Hebron (see the note at Gen. 23:22 ).

The land had rest from war. Most of the kings having been slain, and the natives dispirited, there were no general or systematic attempts to resist the progress and settlement of the Israelites (cf. Joshua 11:23).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/joshua-14.html. 1871-8.
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