King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Joshua 14

The nine tribes and a half to have their inheritance. (1-5) Caleb obtains Hebron. (6-15)

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The nine tribes and a half to have their inheritance

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Caleb obtains Hebron

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.

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.

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

9 And Moses sware 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Princes, whose names are given. Num. xxxiv. 17. There were 12, including Josue and Eleazar. The tribes of Ruben and Gad sent none of their princes, as they were not concerned in this distribution.

Ver. 2. Tribe. God regulated the lots, as he had authorized Jacob and Moses to foretell how the country should be divided. By this method, he precluded every pretence of discontent among the tribes. Each of them drew a ticket, on which a certain portion of land was described; or perhaps in one urn the names of the tribes, and in another the lands were specified, (C.) and the tickets were drawn by two persons of irreproachable character, probably by Eleazar and Josue. H. Num. xxvi. 54. —Only the tribes of Juda and of Joseph received their portions at Galgal. C. xviii.

Ver. 4. Suburbs. A certain quantity of ground, which the Levites were not allowed to till or plant with vines. Grot. Num. xxxv. 4. — The tribe of Manasses, which was divided, fell heir to the portion which would have been allotted to Levi, who was also scattered among his brethren. H. — Thus Joseph obtained the birth-right of Ruben. C. — Twelve portions were made, as Jacob had adopted Ephraim and Manasses. Gen. xlviii. W.

Ver. 5. Land: or they were making all necessary preparations for the work, when Caleb came to remind Josue of what had been promised to him. No doubt land-measurers would be sent through the country.

Ver. 6. Jephone was the father of Caleb. Esron and Cenez probably some of his ancestors, 1 Par. ii. 18. Num. xxxiii. 12. What Caleb here asserts, must have been delivered by word of mouth, in the hearing of the people. Deut. i. 36. Moses declared not that Caleb was to have the whole country but that he should enter into it, and possess the environs of Hebron. C.

Ver. 11. March. Heb. “to enter and to go out.” Sept. add, “to war.”

Ver. 12. Me. He trusts not in his own strength, but in the assistance of God, which he modestly acknowledges is not due to him. C. — God’s promises are indeed sure on his part; but being conditional, and the will of man being free, he adds perhaps. W.

Ver. 13. Blessed him, wishing him all success. — Gave him. Some think that Josue himself attacked the giants of that country with all the forces, as it is mentioned by anticipation. C. x. 28. But there seems to be no need of this, as Caleb might attack them a second time with his own family and the assistance of the tribe of Juda, after they had seized those places again, while Josue was in the north. Hebron was granted to him without drawing lots. When he was besieging Cariath Sepher, he promised his daughter to the person who should first enter; and Othoniel, his brother, or nephew, obtained her in marriage. C. xv. 17. Judg. i. 10. It seems, therefore, that this family carried on this war, as the Fabii did at Rome, without the interference of the commonwealth, though Grotius asserts the contrary. C.

Ver. 14. Hebron belonged, &c. All the country thereabouts, depending on Hebron, was given to Caleb; but the city itself, with the suburbs, was one of those that were given to the priests to dwell in. Ch. — Caleb might also dwell, (C.) and be lord of the city, (Salien) though the profits (H.) or the town belonged to the priests. C. xxi. 11. W.

Ver. 15. 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. S. Jerom 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 Heb. “The ancient name of Hebron with Cariath Arbe; (C.) he was a man great among the Enacim.” H. — Adam is often put for a man in general, 2 K. vii. 19. Ose. xi. 4. C. Amama. — Sept. “the city of Arbo. This was the metropolis of the Enacim.” H. — 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. C.