Joshua 15:13
And to Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.
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(13-19) And unto Caleb . . . This paragraph occurs also in Judges 1:10-15, with some slight variations. Which is its original place? In Judges it is connected with the continuation of the conquest of Canaan by the tribe of Judah after Joshua’s death, and there we read they slew (literally, smote) Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai. If this is the death, and not merely the defeat of the Anakim (the Hebrew word is not absolutely decisive), we have two stages in the conquest of Hebron described—viz., (l) the expulsion of the Anakim sufficiently for Caleb to occupy the place; and (2) their final defeat and death. It seems hardly possible to make the narrative in Judges 1 a mere repetition of an earlier story, because it is presented as a part of that which happened after Joshua’s death. It would seem, then, that the entire conquest of the Anakim was not effected at once, but begun by Caleb and Joshua in Joshua’s lifetime, and completed by the tribe of Judah, under the leadership of Caleb, after Joshua’s death. It is remarkable that Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai are mentioned as apparently living when the twelve spies went up from Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 13:22), forty years before. But it has been thought that the three names were the names of three clans of the Anakim. (See Notes on Judges 1:10.)

Upon the whole, it seems most reasonable to conclude that the proceedings by which Caleb secured his inheritance, and fulfilled the promise of Joshua 14:12, have been recorded here for the sake of completeness, though not necessarily belonging to this time.

(15) Kirjath-sepher.—“City of books.”

(17) Othniel the son of Kenaz.—Comp. Judges 3:9.

(19) A south landi.e., land in the Negeb: “a series of rolling hills clad with scanty herbage here and there.” Conder does not identify Debir, but others have taken it to be identical with Dewir-ban, about three miles west of Hebron.

The upper springs, and the nether springsi.e., the upper and lower “bubblings,” or pools of a rivulet in a valley among the hills in this neighbourhood.

15:13-19 Achsah obtained some land by Caleb's free grant. He gave her a south land. Land indeed, but a south land, dry and apt to be parched. She obtained more, on her request, and he gave the upper and the nether springs. Those who understand it but of one field, watered both with the rain of heaven, and the springs that issued out of the earth, countenance the allusion commonly made to this, when we pray for spiritual and heavenly blessings which relate to our souls, as blessings of the upper springs, and those which relate to the body and the life that now is, as blessings of the nether springs. All the blessings, both of the upper and the nether springs, belong to the children of God. As related to Christ, they have them freely given of the Father, for the lot of their inheritance.Jabneel - The modern "Yebna", about three miles from the coast and twelve miles south of Joppa. It is called Jabneh in 2 Chronicles 26:6, where Uzziah is recorded to have taken it from the Philistines and destroyed its fortifications. The town is repeatedly mentioned with its haven in the wars of the Maccabees (1 Macc. 4:15; 2 Macc. 12:8), and by Josephus under the name of Jamnia. It is described by Philo as a very populous town; and after the destruction of Jerusalem was, for a long time, the seat of the Sanhedrin, and was a famous school of Jewish learning. Its ruins, which are still considerable, stand on the brink of the "Wady Rubin". Jos 15:13-15. Caleb's Portion and Conquest.

13. unto Caleb he gave a part among the children of Judah—(See on [195]Jos 14:6).

He gave, i.e. Joshua, as appears by comparing this with Joshua 14:6,12,13.

Arba, or Kirjath-arba; not the city, which was the Levites’, but the territory of it, Joshua 21:13. And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah,.... That is, Joshua gave it to him. This account is inserted before the cities in the lot of the tribe of Judah were enumerated, to show what was to be excepted from them, and which had been given to Caleb previous to the lot:

according to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua; for as he had declared this to Moses, Deuteronomy 1:36; so it seems he also gave the same order to Joshua, who, it is not improbable, might consult the Lord about it when Caleb made his request, Joshua 14:12,

even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron; See Gill on Joshua 14:15.

And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.
13–19. The Request of Achsah, Daughter of Caleb

13. And unto Caleb] This section, from Joshua 15:13-19, is repeated with slight alterations almost verbatim in Jdg 1:10-20. The two sections are probably derived from a common source. As occurring here the verses are intended to complete the history of the division of the land amongst the tribes. As Caleb had brought forward his claims to the possession of Hebron, before the casting of the lots commenced, and those claims had been admitted by Joshua, it was quite in order for the author, when giving here the list of the cities assigned to the tribe of Judah, to refer especially to the portion which Caleb had received, not by lot, but in fulfilment of the Divine promise made to him by Moses, and at the same time to record how fully his hopes had been fulfilled of driving out the Anakims, and thus securing the undisputed possession of Hebron and its vicinity to himself and his descendants. Keil’s Commentary.

he gave] i. e. Joshua, by the command of Jehovah. For “the city of Arba” see above, ch. Joshua 14:15.Verse 13. - And unto Caleb. This passage, at least from ver. 15, is found with the slightest possible variation in Judges 1. It has been argued from the variations that the one passage was not copied from the other, but that both were derived from a common document. No such conclusion, however, can be safely drawn from the text. For first, the present narrative deals exclusively with this portion of the history of Caleb. That in Judges, down to ver. 12, deals more generally with the subject, including the exploits of Caleb, under the general history of the progress of Judah. But from the time that the history becomes that of Caleb in particular, the agreement between the two narratives is verbal, including the very unusual word צנח, with one or two most insignificant exceptions. Thus we have הָבָהִ לִּי for תְנָה לִּי, we have גלית for גליות, and we have מִמֶּנּוּ interpolated in Judges 1:13, and Othniel (or Kenez) is spoken of as the younger brother of Caleb. But unless we hold that it was a sacred duty of the writer in Judges to reproduce every single word of the narrative in Joshua, there is nothing whatever that can support the conclusion that the writer in Judges was not copying the earlier narrative. The variations are such as would naturally happen where a writer was transferring, a narrative to his pages with a desire to give the exact sense of the original without tying himself to every particular word. Since the use of inverted commas has been introduced we can find multitudes of instances where a writer, when professing to quote another accurately, has introduced far more variations into his quotation than are to be found here, where the writer, though quoting the Book of Joshua, and quoting it correctly, does not say that he is doing so. No one doubts that Jeremiah in ch. 48. is quoting Isaiah 15, although the passages are not verbally coincident. We may safely regard this quotation of the Book of Joshua in that of Judges, as under all ordinary laws of criticism an evidence that the former book was in existence when the latter was written, just as the quotations of Deuteronomy in Joshua may naturally be taken as evidence that the Book of Deuteronomy was in existence when that of Joshua was composed. The son of Jephunneh. (see Joshua 14:6). A part. Literally, a lot. Among. Rather, in the midst of. Our version is obscure here. Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron. (see Joshua 14:6-15). Keil thinks that he was the tribe father, or chief (sheikh, as the Arabs would call him), of the children of Anak. The boundary ascended still farther to Debir from the valley of Achor. Debir is no doubt to be sought for by the Wady Daber, which runs down from the mountains to the Dead Sea to the south of Kasr Hajla, possibly not far from the rocky grotto called Choret ed Daber, between the Wady es Sidr and the Khan Chadrur on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, about half-way between the two. On the valley of Achor see at Joshua 7:24. Then "it turned northwards to Gilgal, opposite to the ascent of Adummim south of the brook." Gilgal, which must not be confounded, as it is by Knobel, with the first encampment of the Israelites in Canaan, viz., the Gilgal between Jericho and the Jordan, is called Geliloth in Joshua 18:17. The situation of this place, which is only mentioned again in Judges 3:19, and was certainly not a town, probably only a village or farm, is defined more precisely by the clause "opposite to the ascent of Adummim." Maaleh Adummim, which is correctly explained in the Onom. (s. v. Adommim) as ἀνάβασις πύῤῥηων, ascensus rufforum, "was formerly a small villa, but is now a heap of ruins, which is called even to the present day Maledomim - on the road from Aelia to Jericho" (Tobler). It is mentioned by ancient travellers as an inn called a terra ruffa, i.e., "the red earth;" terra russo, or "the red house." By later travellers it is described as a small place named Adomim, being still called "the red field, because this is the colour of the ground; with a large square building like a monastery still standing there, which was in fact at one time a fortified monastery, though it is deserted now" (Arvieux, Merk. Nachr. ii. p. 154). It is the present ruin of Kalaat el Dem, to the north of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, or Kalaat ed Domm, near the Khan Chadrur. Gilgal, or Geliloth (circle), was probably the "small round valley" or "field of Adommim," of which Pococke speaks as being at the foot of the hill on which the deserted inn was standing (viz., ed Domm; see Pococke, Reise ins Morgenland, ii. p. 46). The valley (nachal, rendered river) to the south of which Gilgal or the ascent of Adummim lay, and which was therefore to the north of these places, may possibly be the Wady Kelt, or the brook of Jericho in the upper part of its course, as we have only to go a quarter or half an hour to the east of Khan Chadrur, when a wide and splendid prospect opens towards the south across the Wady Kelt as far as Taiyibeh; and according to Van de Velde's map, a brook-valley runs in a northerly direction to the Wady Kelt on the north-east of Kalaat ed Dem. It is probable, however, that the reference is to some other valley, of which there are a great many in the neighbourhood. The boundary then passed over to the water of En Shemesh (sun-fountain), i.e., the present Apostle's Well, Ain el Hodh or Bir el Kht, below Bethany, and on the road to Jericho (Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 398, 400; Van de Velde, Mem. p. 310), and then ran out at the fountain of Rogel (the spies), the present deep and copious fountain of Job or Nehemiah at the south-east corner of Jerusalem, below the junction of the valley of Hinnom and the valley of Jehoshaphat or Kedron valley (see Rob. Pal. i. p. 491, and Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 50ff.).
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