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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 14

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-15

Joshua 14:12 . Give me this mountain, said Caleb; not the city; that was given to the levites with the suburbs, chap. 21.; but the country seat, once occupied by the giants, and all the land. The wicked say that religion will be our ruin; while faith, on the contrary, sees the evil augurs fall on the wicked, and claims in full confidence the promised heritage of the Lord.

Joshua 14:15 . Kirjath-arba. The brevity of the Hebrew text occasions a difficulty here. The LXX read τεταπολις , the city of four: the names of countries and towns being also the names of men, the predominant opinion of critics is, that four giants had been buried here; and these being of disgraceful memory, the name was changed to Hebron. See more on Numbers 13:0.


Joshua having terminated the toils of war, now entered, as President, on the more pleasing duties of dividing the long promised and now conquered inheritance. This was done by lot; for the elders felt themselves too much interested to submit the choice of residence to any arbitration. And it is very remarkable, that the lot corresponded with the prophecies of Jacob, and of Moses. Zebulun had his dwelling by the haven of ships, and his border extended to Zidon. And when all the difficulties were surmounted which arose from Judah having at first too much, the tribes were satisfied; not a single complaint either was or could be made against the decision. They who received the hard and colder hills went content and grateful to their lot, because they saw it was of the Lord. Let us in like manner leave ourselves in God’s hands; then our lot in the scale of providence, and our better lot in the heavenly inheritance, will be such as to occasion gratitude and praise to all eternity.

In Caleb’s claim of the promised district possessed by the tall sons of Anak, and adjoining to Hebron, we have a glorious contrast between his faith, and the unbelief of the ten spies. There their unsanctified hearts fainted with fear: and returning, they spread the infidel plague through all the camp of Israel; but there Caleb’s faith was increased by a sight of the giants. Looking solely at the faithfulness and help of God, he saw that the enormous strength of those men would only serve to make the victory more distinguished. So God sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest; but he sware, at the same time, that his faithful servant should vanquish those giants, and possess all the smiling district which surrounded their strongholds. God is not as man that he should lie, or the son of man that he should repent. He inflicted the sentence of his oath on the rebels, and the blessing of his oath he confirmed to his faithful servant.

Mark the arguments and the glory of countenance with which Caleb comes forward to claim the promise. The Lord hath kept me alive these five and forty years, while all my contemporaries have died, wandering in the wilderness: and lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old; yet I am strong this day for war, and able to go out, and come in with the army as I was in the day that Moses sent me to search the land. It is the Lord who has preserved my life that I might enjoy the promise. Now therefore give me this mountain; for if so be that the Lord be with me, then I shall drive out the Anakims. So Joshua blessed him, and gave him Hebron and the surrounding district for a possession, even the king’s palace; for the city and gardens were given to the levites. Thus faith made Caleb a prince in Israel, while unbelief caused the name of the wicked to rot. And from the glory of Caleb’s character and case, the christian church may learn, what deference ought to be paid to the promises of God. Let us embrace them with simplicity; let us act upon them with vigour; and risk life and all its blessings in full confidence of the divine declarations.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 14". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/joshua-14.html. 1835.
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