Deuteronomy 1:36
Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he has trodden on, and to his children, because he has wholly followed the LORD.
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(36) Save Caleb.—Caleb is here placed by himself, as the one exception among the people. Joshua, as Moses’ substitute, the exception among the recognised leaders, is named separately.

Deuteronomy 1:36-37. Save Caleb — Under whom Joshua is comprehended, though not here expressed, because he was not now to be one of the people, but to be set over them as a chief governor: we are also to except Eleazar and some other Levites. For your sakes — Upon occasion of your wickedness and perverseness, by which you provoked me to speak unadvisedly.1:19-46 Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. He shows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. It will aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they were not far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough that they were sure of their God before them, they would send men before them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they must own it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrust this God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this. All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power and goodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obedience springs from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our past lives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for the mercies we have received in each, to confess and seek the forgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renew our acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender of ourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to good purpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the path of duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, to disregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, and to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.The plan of sending the spies originated with the people; and, as in itself a reasonable one, it approved itself to Moses; it was submitted to God, sanctioned by Him, and carried out under special divine direction. The orator's purpose in this chapter is to bring before the people emphatically their own responsibilites and behavior. It is therefore important to remind them, that the sending of the spies, which led immediately to their complaining and rebellion, was their own suggestion.

The following verses to the end of the chapter give a condensed account, the fuller one being in Numbers 13-14, of the occurrences which led to the banishment of the people for 40 years into the wilderness.

34-36. the Lord heard the voice of your words, and was wroth—In consequence of this aggravated offense (unbelief followed by open rebellion), the Israelites were doomed, in the righteous judgment of God, to a life of wandering in that dreary wilderness till the whole adult generation had disappeared by death. The only exceptions mentioned are Caleb and Joshua, who was to be Moses' successor. Caleb, under whom Joshua is comprehended, as is manifest from Deu 1:38 Numbers 14:30, though not here expressed, because he was not now to be one of the people, but to be set over them as chief governor. The land; that particular part of the land: compare Joshua 14:9. Save Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, he shall see it,.... Enter into it, and enjoy it:

and Joshua also; who was the other spy with him, that brought a good report of the land; see Deuteronomy 1:38,

and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children: not the whole land of Canaan, but that part of it which he particularly came to and searched; and where the giants were, and he saw them, and notwithstanding was not intimidated by them, but encouraged the people to go up and possess it; and the part he came to particularly, and trod on, was Hebron, Numbers 13:22 and which the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, and Aben Ezra, interpret of that; and this was what was given to him and his at the division of the land, Joshua 14:13,

because he hath wholly followed the Lord; see Numbers 14:24.

Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.
36. save] Heb. zûlathî, in the Hex. only here, Deuteronomy 4:12 and Joshua 11:13.

Caleb the son of Jephunneh] In the O. T. Kaleb—probably meaning dog (as from a tribal totem, W. R. Smith, Kinship, 200, 219), though other meanings have been suggested1[110]—is the name both of an individual and of a tribe, as among other Semites; Nabatean Kalba (Cooke, N. Sem. Inscr. 237); Arab. Kilâb (Wellh. Reste, 176 f., 217) and el-Kleib, a small tribe, (Musil, Ar. Petr. iii. 120 f.). In JE frequently Kaleb alone (Numbers 13:30; Numbers 14:24; Joshua 15:14; Joshua 15:16 f.); those passages in JE in which he is called son of Yephunneh2[111] are usually regarded as editorial, but it would be rash to say that the name of his father was not already found in JE by the deuteronomists. In D and P Kaleb the son of Yephunneh (Numbers 13:6; Numbers 14:6; Numbers 32:12; Numbers 34:19). According to J, Joshua 15:17 (= Jdg 1:13) Kaleb was the brother of Ḳçnaz (the sons of Ḳçnaz were Edomite, Genesis 36:11; Genesis 36:15; Genesis 36:42) and is called the Kenizzite in secondary passages of JE, Joshua 14:6; Joshua 14:13 f., which also explain along with Joshua 15:13 how Joshua gave him Ḥebron in fulfilment of Moses’ promise to him. In David’s time the clan was still distinct from Judah or at least the memory of its original distinction was then preserved, 1 Samuel 30:14. Yet according to P, Numbers 13:6; Numbers 14:6; Numbers 34:19, Kaleb the spy was already of the tribe of Judah, and so the tribe or its ancestor is reckoned by the genealogies, 1 Chronicles 2:9, 1 Chronicles 2:18 ff., 1 Chronicles 2:42 ff., 1 Chronicles 4:15. This history of the name proves that the tradition held Kaleb the spy and Kaleb the ancestor of the tribe to have been the same. Yet it is possible that there was more than one possessor of so general a name; in connection with which, notice that neither in E, Numbers 13 f., nor in D is Kaleb described as a Kenizzite or indeed as anything but an Israelite.

[110] Sayce (Early Hist. of Hebr. 265) points out that in the Tell-el-Amarna letters awl later Assyr. despatches kalbu, ‘dog,’ is used of the king’s officers; but surely this is a term of humility; Hommel (Geogr. u. Gesch. d. alt. Orients) identifies Kaleb with Kalabu (Kalibu) ‘priests.’

[111] He (God?) is turned: cp. Palmyrene Ithpani, Cooke, p. 276.

to him will I give the land … and to his children] J E Numbers 14:24, his seed shall possess it.

that he hath trodden upon] JE, Numbers 14:24, whereinto he went. ‘D in harmony with its more elevated style uses the choicer and more expressive word, Deuteronomy 11:24 f.; Joshua 1:3; Joshua 14:9’ (Driver).

because] Heb. ya‘an asher, JE. in consequence of, ‘eḳeb.

hath wholly followed the Lord] Heb. hath fulfilled after Jehovah. Jehovah, being the speaker, we expect rather after me, as in Numbers 14:24; and so doubtless it was originally here ’aḥarai, the last letter of which has been mistaken by a scribe for the initial of Jehovah. Sam. and LXX, after Jehovah.

Further Note to Deuteronomy 1:36-38. Because Moses has just been described as seeking to turn the people from their sin, 29 ff., and it is therefore unreasonable to include him in their punishment; because Deuteronomy 1:37-38 needlessly anticipate Deuteronomy 3:26; Deuteronomy 3:28 and Deuteronomy 4:21; and because Deuteronomy 1:39 in whole or part follows suitably on Deuteronomy 1:36; therefore Deuteronomy 1:37-38 are taken by many (Dillm., W. R. Smith, Steuern., Berth, etc.) as a later addition to the text. And indeed the beginning of Deuteronomy 1:39 shows that the original has been disturbed by an editorial hand (see below). Steuern. would also omit Deuteronomy 1:36 on the ground that Kaleb has not been previously mentioned in this survey. But Kaleb is mentioned in JE on which this survey otherwise depends. In whatever way these textual questions may be decided, the parallel passages Deuteronomy 3:26 ff. and Deuteronomy 4:21 confirm the fact of a D tradition or statement that Jehovah was angry with Moses for the people’s sake. This can only mean, their guilt was great enough to include the very leader who had done his best to dissuade them from their disaffection! Now neither JE nor P gives any hint of so remarkable a judgement. On the contrary, P accounts for the exclusion of Moses by his own sin in striking the rock at Ḳadesh 37 years after this disaffection of Israel, Numbers 21:10 ff; Numbers 27:13 f.; Deuteronomy 32:50 f. The most reasonable explanation of such discrepancies is that they are discrepancies not of fact but or opinion. The earliest tradition, JE, merely held the facts that Kaleb survived and that Moses died on the eve of the possession of the Promised Land. The problem, which arose from this contrast of fortune, the deuteronomic writers solved by the statement that Moses was included in the guilt of the people when, startled by the report of the spies, they refused to invade Canaan from the S. in the second year of the wandering; and this agrees with the deuteronomic principle of the ethical solidarity of Israel. But the later priestly writer or writers, under the influence of the idea, first emphasized in the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel (Jeremiah 31:29 f., Ezekiel 18), that every man died because of his own sin, found a solution for the problem in Moses’ own guilt in presumptuously striking the rock at Ḳadesh, 37 years later. In this double engagement, from two different standpoints, with so difficult a problem, note the strong evidence that the survival of Kaleb and the death of Moses before Israel’s entrance to the Land were regarded as irremoveable elements of the early tradition.The attempt made by Moses to inspire the despondent people with courage, when they were ready to despair of ever conquering the Canaanites, by pointing them to the help of the Lord, which they had experienced in so mighty and visible a manner in Egypt and the desert, and to urge them to renewed confidence in this their almighty Helper and Guide, was altogether without success. And just because the appeal of Moses was unsuccessful, it is passed over in the historical account in Numbers 13; all that is mentioned there (Deuteronomy 1:6-9) being the effort made by Joshua and Caleb to stir up the people, and that on account of the effects which followed the courageous bearing of these two men, so far as their own future history was concerned. The words "goeth before you," in Deuteronomy 1:30, are resumed in Deuteronomy 1:33, and carried out still further. "Jehovah,...He shall fight for you according to all (כּכל) that," i.e., in exactly the same manner, as, "He did for you in Egypt," especially at the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14), "and in the wilderness, which thou hast seen (ראית, as in Deuteronomy 1:19), where (אשׁר without בּו in a loose connection; see Ewald, 331, c. and 333, a.) Jehovah thy God bore thee as a man beareth his son;" i.e., supported, tended, and provided for thee in the most fatherly way (see the similar figure in Numbers 11:12, and expanded still more fully in Psalm 23:1-6).
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