Summary: Trusting in God to bring to pass as He said. Fighting for Victory
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.”
A. Caleb’s Name
1. Caleb (“dog”) 1. The only one besides Joshua, of all those who left Egypt, who was permitted to enter Canaan. Son of Jephunneh, the Kenezite (Joshua 14:14). not a Hebrew, but so adopted, and the city of Hebron was given to him as his portion. (Smith’s Bible Dict.)
2. Caleb An Interpreting Dict. of Scripture Proper Names)
3. Caleb (dog, i.e., slave) The name is thought by some to go back to totemistic origins. It may rather speak of a man with canine qualities: the rabid one, biting, snarling. (Zondervan Pict. Encyclo.)
4. The name Caleb means whole-hearted. (Handfuls on Purpose)
B. Caleb’s Relationship
Caleb’s relationship with the Kenizites indicates the presence of non-Israelites who became identified with the people and faith of Israel. Caleb and his descendants are part of the tribe of Judah, but they appear to have come from a mixed background. (Zondervan Pict. Encyclo. pg 687)
II. CALEB’S CHARACTER
1. A spy (scout) sent out for six weeks of exploration.
Numbers 13:2 “Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.”
2. From the tribe of Judah.
Numbers 13:6 “Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.”
3. A mountain climber.
Numbers 13:17 “And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this [way] southward, and go up into the mountain:”
B. Determined (Dogged)
1. To possess the land.
Numbers 13:30-33 “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. (v. 31) But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. (v. 32) And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. (v. 33) And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
The ten saw great giants and a little God. The two saw a great God and little giants. How big is your God? (Ian Wilson)
2. Joshua and Caleb plead with the people to follow the Lord and possess the land.
3. God pronounces judgment.
a. Wilderness Wandering for the congregation. Numbers 14:22-23
b. Death by a plague to the leading rebels. Numbers 14:36-37
1. “followed me fully” or “wholly followed the Lord” 6 times
Numbers 14:24 “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.”
2. Preserved when other spies perished.
Numbers 14:38 “But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, [which were] of the men that went to search the land, lived [still].”
[Moving forward 45 years.]
III. CALEB’S CLAIM
Joshua 14:9 “And Moses swear on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.”
A. The dividing of the land begins and Caleb makes his claim to the mountains of Hebron.
CALEB BY PRIVILEGE REQUESTS AND OBTAINS HEBRON.
6-11. This incident is recorded here because it occurred while the preparations were being made for casting the lots, which, it appears, were begun in Gilgal. The claim of Caleb to the mountains of Hebron as his personal and family possessions was founded on a solemn promise of Moses, forty-five years before (Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:36; Joshua 14:10), to give him that land on account of his fidelity. Being one of the nominees appointed to preside over the division of the country, he might have been charged with using his powers as a commissioner to his own advantage, had he urged his request in private; and therefore he took some of his brethren along with him as witness of the justice and propriety of his conduct. (JFB)