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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.

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.14:6-15 Caleb's request is, Give me this mountain, or Hebron, because it was formerly in God's promise to him, and he would let Israel knows how much he valued the promise. Those who live by faith value that which is given by God's promise, far above what is given by his providence only. It was now in the Anakims' possession, and Caleb would let Israel know how little he feared the enemy, and that he would encourage them to push on their conquests. Caleb answered to his name, which signifies all heart. Hebron was settled on Caleb and his heirs, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Happy are we if we follow him. Singular piety shall be crowned with singular favour.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. 15. 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.

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. And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba,.... According to Jerom (u), 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.

(u) De loc. Heb. fol. 87. F.

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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. And the name of Hebron] “Hebron would appear to have been the original name of the city, and it was not till after Abraham’s stay there that it received the name Kirjath-Arba, who was not the founder but the conqueror of the city, having led thither the tribe of the Anakim to which he belonged. It retained this name till it came into the possession of Caleb, when the Israelites restored the original name Hebron.” Keil in loc. “Caleb must have seen the spot, afterwards his own, when with the spies he passed through this very valley.” S. & P. p. 165. The translation of Wyclif here is very curious, “The name of Ebron was clepid bifore Cariatharbe. Adam, moost greet there in the loond of Enachym was set.”

And the land had rest from war] This formula is repeated here to furnish a point of transition to the history of the peaceful distribution of the country.Verse 15. - And the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba. Hengstenberg, according to Keil, has conclusively shown that Hebron was the original name of the city. At the time of Joshua's invasion, however, it was known as Kirjath (or "the city of ") Arba, from a giant named Arba who had conquered the city. Hebron is known as Kirjath-arba in Genesis 23:2, but the way in which it is mentioned by Moses seems to bear out Hengstenberg's theory. The Rabbis translated "the city of four," and assert that the four patriarchs, Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were buried there. The word translated "man" here is Adam. The Vulgate follows this tradition, trans. lating "Adam maximus ibi inter Enacim situs est." And our own Wiclif literally translates the Vulgate "Adam moost greet there in the loond of Enachym was set." Rosenmuller renders the words translated "a great man" by "the greatest man." And certainly the words have the article; and this is also the way in which the superlative is expressed in Hebrew. It also adds to the force of Caleb's request. He desired the most important city of a warlike race. And the land had rest from war (see Joshua 11:23).



Jehovah swore at that time, that the land upon which his (Caleb's) foot had trodden should be an inheritance for him and his sons for ever. This oath is not mentioned in Numbers 14:20., nor yet in Deuteronomy 1:35-36, where Moses repeats the account of the whole occurrence to the people. For the oath of Jehovah mentioned in Numbers 14:21, Numbers 14:24, viz., that none of the murmuring people should see the land of Canaan, but that Caleb alone should come thither and his seed should possess it, cannot be the one referred to, as the promise given to Caleb in this oath does not relate to the possession of Hebron in particular, but to the land of Canaan generally, "the land which Jehovah had sworn to their fathers." We must assume, therefore, that in addition to what is mentioned in Numbers 14:24, God gave a special promise to Caleb, which is passed over there, with reference to the possession of Hebron itself, and that Joshua, who heard it at the time, is here reminded of that promise by Caleb. This particular promise from God was closely related to the words with which Caleb endeavoured to calm the minds of the people when they rose up against Moses (Numbers 13:30), viz., by saying to them, "We are well able to overcome it," notwithstanding the Anakites who dwelt in Hebron and had filled the other spies with such great alarm on account of their gigantic size. With reference to this the Lord had promised that very land to Caleb for his inheritance. Upon this promise Caleb founded his request (Joshua 14:10-12) that Joshua would give him these mountains, of which Joshua had heard at that time that there were Anakites and large fortified cities there, inasmuch as, although forty-five years had elapsed since God had spoken these words, and he was now eighty-five years old, he was quite as strong as he had been then. From the words, "The Lord hath kept me alive these forty-five years," Theodoret justly infers, that the conquest of Canaan by Joshua was completed in seven years, since God spake these words towards the end of the second year after the exodus from Egypt, and therefore thirty-eight years before the entrance into Canaan. The clause וגו הלך אשׁר (Joshua 14:10) is also dependent upon וגו ארבּעים יד: viz., "these forty-five years that Israel has wandered in the desert" (on this use of אשׁר, see Ewald, 331, c.). The expression is a general one, and the years occupied in the conquest of Canaan, during which Israel had not yet entered into peaceful possession of the promised land, are reckoned as forming part of the years of wandering in the desert. As another reason for his request, Caleb adds in Joshua 14:11 : "I am still as strong to-day as at that time; as my strength was then, so is it now for war, and to go out and in" (see Numbers 27:17).
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