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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 14

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



The land and its inheritances to be divided by lot, Joshua 14:1-5.

Caleb having on his return from spying the land encouraged the people, Moses then promised him the land of Hebron, which he now claims of Joshua 14:6-12; who grants his request, Joshua 14:13-15.

Verse 1

These, mentioned chapters 14-19. Eleazar the priest. see on Joshua 8:33; Joshua 9:15,Joshua 9:18; Joshua 19:51. He best understood the laws of God, by which this division was to be regulated; and he was to consult God upon any difficult occurrence.

The heads of the fathers of the tribes; twelve persons, each the head of his tribe, which were appointed and named by God, Numbers 34:19; and if any of them were now dead, no doubt Joshua and Eleazar, by God’s direction, put others in their stead.

Verse 2

This course God ordained, partly to prevent discontents, enmities, animosities, and quarrels among the tribes about the quality of their several portions; and partly to demonstrate the truth and wisdom of his providence, by which alone those parts fell to each of them, which Jacob long since, and Moses lately, foretold; so that, as a learned man saith, He must be more stupid than stupidity, and more impudent than impudence itself, that doth not acknowledge and confess a Divine hand and providence in this matter. The lot did only determine the several parts or provinces to the several tribes, but did not precisely fix all the bounds of it, but these might be either enlarged or diminished according to the greater or smaller number of the tribes, Numbers 26:53,Numbers 26:56; Numbers 33:54, and that by the direction of those persons mentioned Joshua 14:1; Joshua 17:14-18.

Verse 4

Were two tribes, i.e. had the double portion, or the portion of two tribes, 1 Chronicles 5:1,1 Chronicles 5:2, and therefore though Levi was excluded, there remained nine tribes and a half, was said Joshua 14:2, to be provided for in Canaan.

Verse 5

They, i.e. the persons named Joshua 14:5, who represented and acted in the name of the children of Israel, divided it, either now, or presently after; which is here spoken by anticipation.

Verse 6

Then the children of Judah; either,

1. At that time when Joshua and the rest were consulting about the division of the land, though they did not yet actually and fully divide it. Or,

2. When Joshua, and himself, and the Israelites were proceeding in their conquests, and were going against Hebron, Joshua 10:36, which expedition, there mentioned in a general manner, may be particularly described in this chapter, and Joshua 15:13,Joshua 15:14. But the former seems more probable, because this was done when Joshua was in Gilgal, and not when he was pursuing his enemies. Came, not so much to intercede for Caleb, which was not needful with Joshua, especially in a thing already promised by God, but only to justify and countenance him in his desire.

Gilgal; where the division of the land was designed and begun, though it was executed and finished at Shiloh, Joshua 18:1.

Son of Jephunneh; so he is called here, and 1 Chronicles 4:15, to difference him from Caleb the son of Hezron, 1 Chronicles 2:18.

The Kenezite; of the posterity of Kenaz, of whom see Judges 1:13; 1 Chronicles 4:13,1 Chronicles 4:15. The thing that the Lord said unto Moses; in general, the gracious and comfortable promise he made us of possessing this land; and in particular, for my part, that which is expressed here, Joshua 14:9.

The man of God; whose words therefore thou art obliged to make good.

Verse 7

Forty years old was I: see Poole "Joshua 11:18".

I brought him word again as it was in mine heart; I spake my opinion sincerely, without flattery and fear, when the other spies were biassed by their own fears, and the dread of the people, to speak otherwise than in their consciences they believed, as appears from Numbers 13:30-32; Numbers 14:36.

Verse 8

Which self-commendation is justifiable, because it was necessary, as being the ground and foundation of his petition.

Verse 9

See Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:36.

Verse 10

These forty and five years, whereof thirty-eight years were spent in the wilderness, and seven since they came into Canaan.

Verse 11

For war; not only for counsel, but for action, for marching and fighting. And therefore this gift will not be cast away upon an unprofitable and unserviceable person.

To go out, and to come in; to perform all the duties belonging to my place.

Verse 12

This mountain, i.e. this mountainous country, in which was Hebron, Joshua 11:21; Joshua 20:7, and Debir, and Anab. He names the country rather than the cities, either,

1. Because the giants here following were already driven out of their cities, but yet abode in their caves or holds in the mountains, whence they much molested the Israelites. Or,

2. Because the cities were given to the Levites, Joshua 21:11,Joshua 21:13.

Thou heardest, i.e. didst understand, both by the reports of others, and by thy own observation, as I also did. Hearing, the sense by which we get knowledge, is off put for knowing or understanding, as Genesis 11:7; Genesis 42:23; 2 Kings 18:26.

If so be the Lord will be with me; a modest, and humble, and pious expression, signifying both the absolute necessity of God’s help, and his godly fear, lest God for his sins should deny his assistance to him, as he might justly do; for although he was well assured in general that God would crown his people with success in this war, yet he might doubt of his particular success in this or that enterprise.

To drive them out; out of their fastnesses, where they yet remain. Caleb desires this difficult work as a testimony of his own faith, and as a motive to quicken and encourage his brethren to thee like attempts.

Verse 13

Joshua either,

1. Prayed to God to bless and help him according to his own desire. Or,

2. Acknowledged his praiseworthy carriage in the matter of the spies, and the reasonableness of his request. Or,

3. Consented to his desire, and, as it follows, gave it to him; as God’s blessing is oft put for his actual conferring of favours upon men.

Verse 15

A great man, in stature, and strength, and dignity, and authority, as being the progenitor of Anak, the father of those famous giants called

Anakims. The land had rest from war; which gave them opportunity for the distribution of the land.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 14". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/joshua-14.html. 1685.
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