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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Joshua 14

 

 

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.

Eleazar the priest — He best understood the laws of God by which this division was to be regulated.

Heads of the fathers — Twelve persons, each the head of his tribe, who 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

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

By lot — This course God ordained, partly to prevent discontents, enmities and quarrels among the tribes, 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, that doth not acknowledge a Divine hand in this matter. The lot did only determine the several parts to the several tribes, but did not precisely fix all the bounds of it; these might be either enlarged or diminished according to the greater or smaller number of the tribes.


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.

Were two tribes — That is, had the portion of two tribes, and therefore though Levi was excluded, there remained nine tribes and a half, to be provided for in Canaan.


Verse 5

As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.

They — That is, the persons named, verse5, who acted in the name of the children of Israel, divided it, either now, or presently after.


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 Kadeshbarnea.

Then — When Joshua and the rest were consulting about the division of the land, though they did not yet actually divide it. The heads of that tribe who were willing thus to shew respect to him; and to testify their consent, that he should be provided for by himself, and that they would not take it as any reflection on the rest of the tribe.

In Gilgal — Where the division of the land was designed and begun, though it was executed and finished at Shiloh.

The Kenezite — Of the posterity of Kenaz.

The Lord said — In general, the promise he made us of possessing this land; and for my part, that which is expressed here, verse9.


Verse 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.

As it was in mine heart — I spake my opinion sincerely, without flattery and fear, when the other spies were biased by their own fears, and the dread of the people, to speak otherwise than in their consciences they believed.


Verse 8

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

I wholly followed the Lord — Which self-commendation is justifiable, because it was necessary, as being the ground of his petition. Therefore it was not vain glory in him to speak it: no more than it is for those, who have God's spirit witnessing with their spirits, that they are the children of God, humbly and thankfully to tell others, for their encouragement, what God hath done for their souls.


Verse 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.

Forty-five years — Whereof thirty - eight years were spent in the wilderness, and seven since they came into Canaan. The longer we live the more sensible we should be, of God's goodness to us in keeping us alive! Of his care in prolonging our frail lives, his patience in prolonging our forfeited lives! And shall not the life thus kept by his providence, be devoted to his praise?


Verse 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.

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. Moses had said, that at eighty years old, even our strength is labour and sorrow. But Caleb was an exception to this rule: At eighty-five years old, his strength was still ease and joy. This he got by following the Lord fully.


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.

This mountain — That is, this mountainous country. He names the country rather than the cities, because the cities were given to the Levites, chap21:11,13.

Thou heardest — Didst understand, both by the reports of others, and by thy own observation. Hearing, the sense by which we get knowledge, is often put for knowing or understanding.

If the Lord will be with me — A modest 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; 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 enterprize.

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 his brethren to the like attempts.


Verse 13

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

Blessed him — Prayed to God to bless and help him according to his own desire.


Verse 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.

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.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-14.html. 1765.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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