Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 14:15

Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anakim;   Caleb;   Hebron;   Kirjath-Arba;   Nation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Anakim;   Giants;   Nation;   Peace Invoked;   War-Peace;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anakim, the;   Holy Land;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hebron;   Immortality;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Anak;   Caleb;   Hebron;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Rest;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Arba;   Caleb;   Debir;   Giants;   Hebron;   Judah, Tribe of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Anakim;   Arba;   Hebron;   Kirjath Arba;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Arba;   Hebron;   Joshua, the Book of;   Kiriath-Arba;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Arba;   Caleb;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Anak, Anakim ;   Arba, Arbah ;   Kirjatharba ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Anakim;   Caleb;   Kirjath-arba;   Smith Bible Dictionary - An'akim;   Ar'ba;   Kir'jath-Ar'ba;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Adam;   Caleb;   Hebron;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Arba;   Caleb;   Great;   Joshua (2);   Joshua, Book of;   Judah, Territory of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Anakim;   Arba;   City;   Giants;   Hebron;   Judah, Tribe of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba - That is, the city of Arba, or rather, the city of the four, for thus ארבע קרית kiryath arba may be literally translated. It is very likely that this city had its name from four Anakim, gigantic or powerful men, probably brothers, who built or conquered it. This conjecture receives considerable strength from Joshua 15:14, where it is said that Caleb drove from Hebron the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai: now it is quite possible that Hebron had its former name, Kirjath-arba, the city of the four, from these three sons and their father, who, being men of uncommon stature or abilities, had rendered themselves famous by acts proportioned to their strength and influence in the country. It appears however from Joshua 15:13; that Arba was a proper name, as there he is called the father of Anak. The Septuagint call Hebron the metropolis of the Enakim, μητροπολις των Ενακιμ . It was probably the seat of government, being the residence of the above chiefs, from whose conjoint authority and power it might have been called חברון chebron ; as the word חבר chabar literally signifies to associate, to join in fellowship, and appears to be used, Job 41:6, for "associated merchants, or merchants' companions, who traveled in the same caravan." Both these names are expressive, and serve to confirm the above conjecture. No notice need be taken of the tradition that this city was called the city of the four because it was the burial-place of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Such traditions confute themselves.

The land had rest from war - There were no more general wars; the inhabitants of Canaan collectively could make no longer any head, and when their confederacy was broken by the conquests of Joshua, he thought proper to divide the land, and let each tribe expel the ancient inhabitants that might still remain in its own territories. Hence the wars after this time were particular wars; there were no more general campaigns, as it was no longer necessary for the whole Israelitish body to act against an enemy now disjointed and broken. This appears to be the most rational meaning of the words, The land had rest from war.

The Jewish economy furnishes, not only a history of God's revelations to man, but also a history of his providence, and an ample, most luminous, and glorious comment on that providence. Is it possible that any man can seriously and considerately sit down to the reading even of this book, without rising up a wiser and a better man? This is the true history which everywhere exhibits God as the first mover and prime agent, and men only as subordinate actors. What a miracle of God's power, wisdom, grace, justice, and providence are the people of Israel in every period of their history, and in every land of their dispersions! If their fall occasioned the salvation of the Gentile world, what shall their restoration produce! Their future inheritance is not left to what men would call the fortuitous decision of a lot; like Caleb's possession it is confirmed by the oath of the Lord; and when the end shall be, this people shall stand in their lot at the end of the days, and shall again be great to the ends of the earth.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

A great man - literally, the great man; i. e. the renowned ancestor of the tribe, regarded as the founder of its greatness Joshua 15:13.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-14.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba,.... According to JeromF21De loc. Heb. fol. 87. F. , it had its name of Hebron from a son or grandson of Caleb of that name, 1 Chronicles 2:42; and if so, then it is here, and in some other places, so called by anticipation: Kirjatharba may be rendered "the city of the four"; and had its name, as some think, from the four couple buried there, or near it, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah; or from four eminent persons, who formerly dwelt there, Aner, Eshcol, Mamre, and Abraham; or rather from four persons that more lately dwelt there, Anak and his three sons, Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai; or Arba is the name of some great man, to whom this city belonged, and so was called the city of Arba, which is the sense of our version, as appears by the following supplement:

which Arba was a great man among the Anakims; both in stature and in dignity, and in authority, which some take to be Anak himself, the father of the Anakims; so Jarchi and Kimchi:

and the land had rest from war; as is observed in Joshua 11:23; after Joshua had finished his conquest; and here again it is remarked just before the division of the land, as being now a proper time for it.

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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 14:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the name of Hebron before [was] Kirjatharba; [which Arba was] a f great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.

(f) Either for his power or person.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-14.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Kirjath-arba — that is, the city of Arba, a warrior among the native race remarkable for strength and stature.

the land had rest from war — Most of the kings having been slain and the natives dispirited, there was no general or systematic attempt to resist the progress and settlement of the Israelites.

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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 14:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-14.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

IN beholding the Lord's division of Canaan to his people, my soul would fain cry out, thou Lord shalt choose my heritage for me, and thou shalt be my hiding place forever. Instructed by thee, thou blessed Spirit, like Caleb, may the mountain of the spiritual Hebron be my portion, and there may I rest in Jesus in whom all fulness dwells. It is the well known character of the inhabitants of the gardens, to hearken to thy voice, to associate with thy people, to sit down at thine ordinances, and to dwell in thine house. Lord Jesus! let this be my employment while passing on and passing through this pilgrimage state. Thy God and Father will be my God and Father, and thy Holy Spirit will be my guide; then shall I sweetly drink out of the wells of salvation: then shall I be continually refreshed in the Hebron of my God, until having passed on from strength to strength, and from one manifestation of grace unto another, I shall at length with all the redeemed of the Lord appear before my God in Zion.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-14.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

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Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 14:15 And the name of Hebron before [was] Kirjatharba; [which Arba was] a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.

Ver. 15. Was a great man.] Both for his person and power; but there is a double greatness: (1.) Belluine; (2.) Genuine. In that, a beast may and doth exceed us. In this, we exceed ourselves and others.

And the land had rest from war.] It had at last, bello confecto. See Joshua 10:23, from whence hitherto, is a digression.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-14.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 15. And the name of Hebron before was, &c.— Perhaps the words, a great man, might be rendered a strong man; the original word גדול gadol signifying greatness of size and strength, as well as greatness of authority and power. See Genesis 24:35. Arba was the father of Anak; ch. Joshua 15:13, Joshua 21:11. He built or fortified Kir-jath, or made it the city of his residence, after the manner of princes, and perhaps was there buried. Hence its name. See Numbers 13:33 and particularly Genesis 13:18.

And the land had rest from war The sacred writer repeats what he had said before, because, having gone aside by way of digression, which had a little diverted him from the history of the division of the conquered country, and now coming to that interesting detail, he would shew, that the enemies who remained still in the land of Canaan dared not lift the head to hinder the disposition of their territories.

Caleb, in right of former promise, when now the land was about to be divided, puts in his claim for a particular possession in Hebron, which, as being given him of God, ought not to be put into a lot, God's will being determined before by his promise. The children of Judah accompany him to support his plea, which he urges with great simplicity, deep piety, and noble courage.

1. He mentions his faithful report among the faithless spies; not by way of proud boasting, but to the honour of God, whom he followed, speaking the truth from his heart. Note; (1.) It is not pride, but due acknowledgment, to declare what a gracious God has done for us, and by us. (2.) The more singular our fidelity to God has been, the more commendable. (3.) They who serve God in simplicity in their youth, will find the comfort and blessing of it when they are old.

2. He repeats his long experience of God's care of him, as kept alive for the fulfilment of the promise. Five-and-forty years he had been preserved, when all the men of his own age had long since been buried: and he not only lived, but was as strong as ever, as if reserved at eighty-five more gloriously to magnify the Divine power, in the destruction of those sons of Anak who had so terrified the host of Israel in the wilderness. Note; (1.) The issues of life are in God's hand; nor age, nor sickness, nor the sword, can hurt those whose preservation he determines. (2.) Every year that we are spared is a call for new thankfulness to him who keepeth our souls in life. (3.) The death of others around us should make us more sensible of the mercy which preserves us. (4.) A vigorous old age is an unusual blessing.

3. He offers now, aged as he was, to dispossess the Anakims, who had, after the taking of the city of Hebron, retired to the fastnesses of the mountains; and doubts not but by the Divine blessing, to which alone he trusted, to be able to subdue them. Note; (1.) They, who trust in God, will never find themselves disappointed of their hope. (2.) If God be with us, the sons of Anak, our giant-like corruptions, must fall before us.

4. Joshua admits the claim, and consents to the offer; commends his courage, and prays for his success. Thus Caleb received his reward for having wholly followed the Lord; and they who carefully copy his steps shall as surely share his blessing in a better country, that is, a heavenly.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". 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

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.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". 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

15.Before was Kirjath-arba — That is, City of Arba. The original name, in Abraham’s day, was Hebron. Afterwards Arba, a giant, one of the Anakim, conquered the city and called it the City of Arba. See Joshua 10:3, note.

And the land had rest from war — This is only a repetition of Joshua 11:23, to prepare the way for the account of the peaceful allotment of the land. As Caleb’s portion was really “among the children of Judah,” the actual conquest of it is recorded under the head of Judah’s lot. See Joshua 15:13-19.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "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 14:15. Arba was a great man, &c. — In stature, and strength, and dignity, and authority, as being the progenitor of Anak, the father of those famous giants called Anakims.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Cariath Arbe, "the city of Arbe," and ancient giant; or "of four," which the Jews explain of four great patriarchs, who were buried there. --- Adam, &c. St. Jerome seems to favour the opinion that Adam was one of these, whose tomb ennobled Hebron, though many of the Fathers think he was buried on Mount Calvary. Others think that his body, or skull at least, was translated thither. But we cannot depend on any of these traditions. Most commentators explain the Hebrew, "The ancient name of Hebron with Cariath Arbe; (Calmet) he was a man great among the Enacim." (Haydock) --- Adam is often put for a man in general, 2 Kings vii. 19., and Osee xi. 4. (Calmet; Amama) --- Septuagint, "the city of Arbo. This was the metropolis of the Enacim." (Haydock) --- Wars, for a time, particularly from such wars as engaged the attention of all Israel. The different tribes had to encounter and drive out the Chanaanites who might be left in their respective districts. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Kirjath-arba. Arba was the great man among the Anakims. See App-23and App-25. Hebrew "city of Arba, he [was] the greatest man", &c. had rest. During the first Sabbatic year. See App-50. (p. 53).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "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

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). [ l

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(15) Kirjath-arba.—“Arba the father of Anak” (Joshua 21:11). Arba means four in Hebrew, and therefore some have endeavoured to interpret it as the city of four. Rashi, for example, says it was “the city of Ahiman, and Sheshai, and Talmai, and their father.” Others have tried to make it one of four confederate cities like Gibeon and its allies. But the text of Joshua seems to leave no doubt that Arba was a man’s name, whatever may have been the

occasion of his being so named. Unless the Anakim are of the same date as the Zuzim, and Rephaim, and Emim of Genesis 14 (who are known to be giant races by Deuteronomy 2, 3) Hebron must have been named Hebron before it was Kirjath-arba. But the text of Genesis 23:2 seems to make Kirjath-arba the name of the place where Sarah died, at the time of her death; and it is perfectly possible that it was so. (See Note on Numbers 13:22.)

A great man.—Rather, the great man among the Anakim.

And the land had rest from war.—This clause appears in Joshua 11:23, where its position is perfectly natural. It closes the record of the wars of Joshua. It is not so easily accounted for here. If we were quite certain at what period the Anakim were dispossessed and slain, we might connect it with that portion of the story; but see Note on Joshua 15:14, and also on the next verse.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.
And the name
15:13; Genesis 23:2
And the land
11:23; Judges 3:11,30; 5:31; 8:28 Reciprocal: Genesis 37:14 - Hebron;  Genesis 49:15 - rest;  Joshua 10:3 - Hebron;  Joshua 15:54 - Kirjatharba;  Joshua 20:7 - Kirjatharba;  Judges 1:10 - Kirjatharba;  2 Samuel 2:1 - Hebron;  Nehemiah 11:25 - Kirjatharba

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 14:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-14.html.