Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 14:12

Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anakim;   Caleb;   Cities;   Faith;   Hebron;   Obedience;   Thompson Chain Reference - Caleb;   Courage;   Courage-Fear;   Faith;   Faith-Unbelief;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anakim, the;   Holy Land;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Anak;   Caleb;   Hebron;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Caleb;   Debir;   Giants;   Judah, Tribe of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Othniel;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hebron;   Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Fortification and Siegecraft;   Hebron;   Joshua;   Moses;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Anak, Anakim ;   Caleb;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Caleb;   Hebron (1);   Joshua (2);   Joshua, Book of;   Judah (2);   Judah, Territory of;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Anakim;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Fortress;   Giants;   Judah, Tribe of;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for March 22;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I shall be able to drive them out - He cannot mean Hebron merely, for that had been taken before by Joshua; but in the request of Caleb doubtless all the circumjacent country was comprised, in many parts of which the Anakim were still in considerable force. It has been conjectured that Hebron itself had again fallen under the power of its former possessors, who, taking the advantage of the absence of the Israelitish army, who were employed in other parts of the country, re-entered the city, and restored their ancient domination. But the first opinion seems best founded.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Anakims had in the course of Joshua‘s campaigns in the south been expelled from “this mountain,” i. e. the mountain country round Hebron, but they had only withdrawn to the neighboring cities of Philistia Joshua 11:22. Thence, they had, as must be inferred from the text here, returned and reoccupied Hebron, probably when Joshua and the main force of the Israelites had marched northward to deal with Jabin and his confederates. Caleb finally drove out this formidable race and occupied Hebron and its dependent towns and district permanently. See Joshua 15:13 following.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-14.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day,.... The mountainous part of the country, the hill country of Judea, in which Hebron, Debir, and other cities were; for it was not one particular city only that Caleb requested, but a large tract of ground:

for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced; that the giants, called Anakims, dwelt in the mountainous country, and their cities, Hebron, Debir, and Anab, were very large, and well fortified; this Joshua heard at the time the spies were sent into the land, he being one of them; and this he heard, not from the report of the spies, but from the people of the country, and therefore must know that to conquer these men, and subdue their cities, was an arduous undertaking; but since he had strength and courage, he hoped his request would be granted:

if so be the Lord will be with me; which he spake not as doubting of his presence and power to be with him, and assist him, but as placing his confidence therein, and, distrusting his own power and ability, having no dependence or that, but believing that the Lord, or, as the Targum, the Word of the Lord, would be with him for his help:

then, says Caleb:

I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said; that is, to drive the Anakims out of their cities, or out of the mountains, the caves and dens there, to which they betook themselves, since the taking of Hebron, Debir, and Anab, by Joshua, Joshua 11:22; and he relied upon the promise of God to enable him to do this, and not upon his natural strength and courage, or the number and prowess of the warlike tribe of Judah, of which he was prince.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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: e if so be the LORD [will be] with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

(e) This he spoke out of modesty, and not from doubting.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day — 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.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-14.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

The mountain,” according to the context, is the mountainous region of Hebron, where the spies had seen the Anakites (Numbers 13:22, Numbers 13:28). The two clauses, in Joshua 14:12, beginning with כּי are not to be construed as subordinate to one another, but are co-ordinate clauses, and contain two distinct motives in support of his petition: viz., “ for thou heardest in that day,” sc., what Jehovah said to me then, and also “ for (because) the Anakites are ther e;” ... ” perhaps Jehovah is with me ( אתי for אתּי, see Ges. §103, 1, anm. 1, and Ewald, §264, b .), and I root them out ” (vid., Joshua 15:14). The word “perhaps” does not express a doubt, but a hope or desire, or else, as Masius says, “hope mixed with difficulty; and whilst the difficulty detracts from the value, the hope stimulates the desire for the gift.”

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/joshua-14.html. 1854-1889.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

If the Reader will compare, Numbers 13:30-33, with this passage, he will form a better opinion how to consider the excellent spirit of faith which Caleb possessed, than if he doth not recollect that passage. And though now forty-five years had added to his life since that period, that is thirty-eight years in the wilderness, and seven years spent amidst the wars of Canaan, yet his courage is not abated. But Reader! do not forget the cause. He was strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. He knew the faithfulness of that God who had promised, and like another Abraham believed that which the Lord had said he would perform. Romans 4:21.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-14.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

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Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 14:12 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.

Ver. 12. Now therefore give me this mountain,] i.e., This mountainous territory about Hebron, extraordinarily and without lot. That was a Lucifer like monk who said when he died, Redde mihi aeternam vitam quam debes: and another proud Papist blusheth not to say in print, Caelum gratis non accipiam; I will not have heaven of free gift.

If so be the Lord will be with me.] This he speaketh not out of distrust, but self-denial; and to imply a difficulty, which yet doth but whet on heroic spirits.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-14.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 12. In that day (for thou heardest) &c.— The LXX and Vulgate construe these words with what goes before, and render the whole thus: Give me, therefore, this mountain, which the Lord promised me, as thou thyself heardst. Beside the city of Hebron, the Anakims possessed at least two others in this district. See Numbers 13:29; Numbers 13:32-33; Joshua 11:21, Joshua 20:7.

If—the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able, &c.— Here arises a difficulty. We observed that Joshua had already taken Hebron; how, therefore, can Caleb say now that he shall drive out the Anakims? Some are of opinion, that Caleb claimed the country of Hebron before the city of that name was conquered. But, without making any alteration in the narrative here given by the sacred historian, we may answer, that still, though Joshua had taken the city of Hebron, the Anakims kept in the adjacent mountains, whence they frequently descended and infested the country, and were therefore necessarily to be expelled by Caleb. This conjecture is the more probable, as it appears by the sequel that the city of Hebron was given to the priests, (ch. Joshua 21:11-13.) and not to Caleb, who only possessed the country wherein it stood, and therefore doubtless required no more. We would, however, choose rather to answer, with some other interpreters, that the Anakims had evidently retaken Hebron, and the other cities in that district, while Joshua was engaged elsewhere; in which case, the whole verse might be rendered thus: Now, therefore, give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day, as thou thyself then heardest; for though the Anakims are there—if the Lord be with me, I shall be able to drive them out. It must not be thought here, that Caleb at all doubts the faithfulness of God: so far from it, his language is that of a pious and modest man, who means to declare, that without the assistance of heaven he cannot succeed in the enter-prize which his valour had projected. The paraphrase of Jonathan has it, If the WORD of the Lord is my help, agreeable to his usual style throughout. See Houbigant on the place.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-14.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This mountain, i.e. this mountainous country, in which was Hebron, Joshua 11:21 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 21:11,13.

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 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.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12.Give me this mountain — Hebron is the highest point of southern Palestine, (see Joshua 10:3, note,) higher even than Jerusalem. “The spot on which Caleb had set his heart was the fertile valley of Hebron. Of all the country which the twelve spies, with Caleb and Joshua at their head, had traversed, this is the one scene which remains fixed in the sacred narrative, as if because fixed in the memory of those who made their report. There was one field in the whole land which they might fairly call their own, the field which contained the rocky cave of Machpelah, with the graves of their first ancestors. But it was not even this sacred enclosure which had most powerfully impressed the simple explorers of that childlike age. It was the winding valley whose terraces were covered with the rich verdure and the golden clusters of the Syrian vine, so rarely seen in Egypt, so beautiful a vesture of the bare hills of Palestine. In its rocky hills are still to be seen the ancient winepresses. Thence came the gigantic cluster, (Numbers 13:24,) the only relic of the Promised Land which was laid at the feet of Moses.” — Stanley.

Anakim — The long-necked; called also sons of Anak; a race of giants in southern Canaan. See on Numbers 13:28; Numbers 13:33.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 14:12. Now, therefore, give me this mountain — The mountainous country where Hebron lay, (Joshua 11:21,) which was the place promised to him. He names the country rather than the city, because that was given to the Levites, Joshua 21:11-13. Thou heardest in that day — 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 so be the Lord will be with me — These are not the words of diffidence; but an humble and pious acknowledgment that nothing could be successfully enterprised without God’s gracious assistance; of which Caleb was undoubtedly deeply sensible. By this expression he both signifies the absolute necessity of God’s help, and his godly fear, lest, for his sins, God 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 enterprise. Then I shall be able to drive them out — Out of their fastnesses, where they yet remained. Caleb desires this difficult work as a testimony of his own faith, and as a motive to quicken his brethren to the like attempts.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Me. He trusts not in his own strength, but in the assistance of God, which he modestly acknowledges is not due to him. (Calmet) --- God's promises are indeed sure on his part; but being conditional, and the will of man being free, he adds perhaps. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Anakims. See note on Numbers 13:22. Deuteronomy 1:28, and App-23and App-25.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-14.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
the Anakims
11:21,22; Numbers 13:28,33
if so be
Numbers 14:8,9; 21:34; 1 Samuel 14:6; 2 Chronicles 14:11; Psalms 18:32-34; 27:1-3; 44:3; Psalms 60:12; 118:10-12; Romans 8:31; Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 11:33
I shall
15:14; Judges 1:20
Reciprocal: Genesis 35:27 - Mamre;  Judges 1:19 - the Lord;  1 Samuel 17:32 - thy;  2 Samuel 21:22 - fell by;  2 Kings 19:4 - the Lord;  1 Chronicles 20:8 - they fell;  2 Chronicles 27:4 - the mountains;  Psalm 33:16 - mighty;  Isaiah 37:4 - It may;  Joel 2:14 - Who

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 14:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-14.html.