The Book of Joshua, chapter 14, with BAC Explanations. Caleb of Judah Receives Hebron and its Surroundings.
[Joshua 14:1] 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.
[Joshua 14:2] BY LOT WAS THEIR INHERITANCE, AS THE LORD COMMANDED BY THE HAND OF MOSES, FOR THE NINE TRIBES, AND FOR THE HALF TRIBE.
[Joshua 14:3] FOR MOSES HAD GIVEN THE INHERITANCE OF TWO TRIBES AND AN HALF TRIBE ON THE OTHER SIDE JORDAN: BUT UNTO THE LEVITES HE GAVE NONE INHERITANCE AMONG THEM.
[Joshua 14:4] 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.
<<NO PART UNTO THE LEVITES IN THE LAND>>: The Levites did not receive substantial lands as an inheritance ANYWHERE amongst ANY of the Tribes of Israel. Why then are the two tribes of Joseph emphasized here in this connection? Yehudah Kiel (Daat Mikra) suggests that the reason is that the apportionment of cities to the Levites had to come AFTER all the tribes received their inheritance and therefore this was emphasized at the beginning. Bill Rasmussen pointed out that:
<<Ramban and Ibn Ezra comment and say that Yair was adopted as a member of the Macharite family. He was able to receive heritage in the territory of Manasseh because only the land of the Canaan was divided into exclusive tribal shares.>>
i.e. the area east of the Jordan that had been given to Reuben,Gad, and half-Manasseh was in a sense only given to them exclusively on a temporary basis. After all the Land (from Nile to the Euphrates and beyond) would be conquered and the people increased then the vast areas east of the Jordan would be re-apportioned. This happened to a degree since later we do find elements from Judah, Dan, and Benjamin also staking out claims of their own in these areas.
[Joshua 14:5] AS THE LORD COMMANDED MOSES, SO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL DID, AND THEY DIVIDED THE LAND.
[Joshua 14:6] 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.
Caleb and Joshua had been amongst the twelve spies who were sent into the land in the time of Moses. Only these two had brought back a favorable report (Numbers chapter 13) whereas all the others had not. They were veteran companions, true patriots, and servants of the Almighty.
[Joshua 14:7] 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.
[Joshua 14:8] NEVERTHELESS MY BRETHREN THAT WENT UP WITH ME MADE THE HEART OF THE PEOPLE MELT: BUT I WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD MY GOD.
People panic or people change their attitude suddenly according to that of those around them. We have all experienced this at some time or other both for good and bad though we might not be prepared to admit it. It takes a special courage to keep your head cool when all those around you are losing theirs. e.g.
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good,
nor talk too wise.
If - by Rudyard Kipling
[Joshua 14:9] AND MOSES SWARE ON THAT DAY, SAYING, SURELY THE LAND WHEREON THY FEET HAVE TRODDEN SHALL BE THINE INHERITANCE, AND THY CHILDREN'S FOREVER, BECAUSE THOU HAST WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD MY GOD.
Do good and the chances are that you will receive a reward for ever and ever along with your children and their children and all your family for ever and ever. Some investments are worth making.
[Joshua 14:10] 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.
[Joshua 14:11] 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.
[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.
<<IF SO BE THE LORD WILL BE WITH ME, THEN I SHALL BE ABLE TO DRIVE THEM OUT, AS THE LORD SAID>>:
God had promised him. He had merited it. We felt the ability in himself to carry it through. He had the backing of his whole tribe. Caleb was prepared to go ahead but he allowed for the possibility of failure, of some lack of merit that might cause the promise not to be kept in his lifetime. We can all learn from this. We have to do the best we can while being aware that at our level of understanding nothing is necessarily certain.
[Joshua 14:13] AND JOSHUA BLESSED HIM, AND GAVE UNTO CALEB THE SON OF JEPHUNNEH HEBRON FOR AN INHERITANCE.
[Joshua 14:14] HEBRON THEREFORE BECAME THE INHERITANCE OF CALEB THE SON OF JEPHUNNEH THE KENEZITE UNTO THIS DAY, BECAUSE THAT HE WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL.
[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.
KIRJATHARBA: in Hebrew this means City of Four, i.e. KIRIYAT (City of) ARBA (Four).
WHICH ARBA WAS A GREAT MAN: Here the name Arba is described as the personal name of one of the Anakim or giants who once dwelt in Hebron. There are Midrashim explaining this verse in other ways (that Arba was another name for Abraham, etc) but we do not have to accept these alternate explanations literally. Our method in these commentaries of Brit-Am is to cleave as closely as possible to the literal meanings and this too is Rabbinically acceptable. In the Hebrew Bible names have a significance of their own. A place can be named for one reason and then later also be re-named by the same name for a different reason. Beer-Sheba for instance means the well of the seven but it can also be understood in Hebrew to mean The Well of the Oath. The name of Beer Sheba was associated with both an oath and with the number seven:
<< AND ABRAHAM SET SEVEN EWE LAMBS OF THE FLOCK BY THEMSELVES.
<< AND ABIMELECH SAID UNTO ABRAHAM, WHAT MEAN THESE SEVEN EWE LAMBS WHICH THOU HAST SET BY THEMSELVES?
<< AND HE SAID, FOR THESE SEVEN EWE LAMBS SHALT THOU TAKE OF MY HAND, THAT THEY MAY BE A WITNESS UNTO ME, THAT I HAVE DIGGED THIS WELL. WHEREFORE HE CALLED THAT PLACE BEERSHEBA; BECAUSE THERE THEY SWARE BOTH OF THEM>> [Genesis 21:28-31]