Numbers 13:30
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) And Caleb stilled the people.—The fact that Caleb alone is mentioned in this place is by no means inconsistent with the statement which is contained in Numbers 14:6-9, from which it appears that Joshua and Caleb concurred in exhorting the people to go up and take possession of the land of promise. It appears, moreover, from Deuteronomy 1:29, &c., that Moses also remonstrated earnestly with the people, and yet neither here nor in the following chapter is mention made of that remonstrance.

Numbers 13:30. Caleb — Together with Joshua, as is manifest from chap. Numbers 14:6-7; Numbers 14:30; but Caleb alone is here mentioned, possibly because he spake first and most, which he might better do, because he might be presumed to be more impartial than Joshua, who, being Moses’s minister, might be thought to speak only what he knew his master would like. Stilled the people — Which implies either that they had begun to murmur, or that by their looks and carriage, they discovered the anger which boiled in their breasts.

Before Moses — Or, toward Moses, against whom they were incensed, as the man who had brought them into such sad circumstances. Let us go up and possess it. He does not say, Let us go up and conquer it. He looks on that to be as good as done already: but, Let us go up and possess it! There is nothing to be done but to enter without delay, and take the possession which our great Lord is now ready to give us! Thus difficulties that lie in the way of salvation, vanish away before a lively faith.

13:26-33 We may wonder that the people of Israel staid forty days for the return of their spies, when they were ready to enter Canaan, under all the assurances of success they could have from the Divine power, and the miracles that had hitherto attended them. But they distrusted God's power and promise. How much we stand in our own light by our unbelief! At length the messengers returned; but the greater part discouraged the people from going forward to Canaan. Justly are the Israelites left to this temptation, for putting confidence in the judgment of men, when they had the word of God to trust in. Though they had found the land as good as God had said, yet they would not believe it to be as sure as he had said, but despaired of having it, though Eternal Truth had engaged it to them. This was the representation of the evil spies. Caleb, however, encouraged them to go forward, though seconded by Joshua only. He does not say, Let us go up and conquer it; but, Let us go and possess it. Difficulties that are in the way of salvation, dwindle and vanish before a lively, active faith in the power and promise of God. All things are possible, if they are promised, to him that believes; but carnal sense and carnal professors are not to be trusted. Unbelief overlooks the promises and power of God, magnifies every danger and difficulty, and fills the heart with discouragement. May the Lord help us to believe! we shall then find all things possible.The Amalekites - See Numbers 14:25 note.

The Canaanites - i. e. those of the Phoenician race: the word is here used in its narrow sense: compare Genesis 10:15-18 note.

29. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south—Their territory lay between the Dead and the Red Seas, skirting the borders of Canaan.

Hittites … dwell in the mountains—Their settlements were in the southern and mountainous part of Palestine (Ge 23:7).

the Canaanites dwell by the sea—The remnant of the original inhabitants, who had been dispossessed by the Philistines, were divided into two nomadic hordes—one settled eastward near the Jordan; the other westward, by the Mediterranean.

Caleb, together with Joshua, as is manifest from Numbers 14:6,7,30; but Caleb alone is here mentioned, possibly because he spake first and most, which he might better do, because he might be presumed to be more impartial than Joshua, who being Moses’s minister might be thought to speak only what he knew his master would like.

Stilled the people; which implies either that they had began to murmur, or that by their looks and carriages they discovered that grief and anger which boiled in their breasts.

Before Moses, or toward Moses, against whom they were incensed, as the man who had brought them into such sad circumstances.

We are well able; partly in moral probability, because we are one people united under one head, whereas they are divided into several nations, and governments of differing counsels, and interests, and inclinations; and principally because of the assistance of the Almighty God.

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses,.... In his presence, they standing before him; or "unto Moses" (n), as they were coming to him with open mouth against him; for upon the above report of the spies they began to murmur and mutiny, and to speak against Moses for bringing them out of Egypt into a wilderness, feeding them with vain hopes of a country which they were never likely to enjoy; and in their wrath they might be making up to him, threatening to pull him to pieces, but were restrained by Caleb, who signified he had something to say to them, to which they attended, he being one of the spies, and for their principal tribe, the tribe of Judah, that went foremost; the Targum of Jonathan is,"Caleb silenced the people, and they attended to Moses;''or hearkened to him, to what he said, which though not here related, is in Deuteronomy 1:29; which yet they did not give credit to, though they heard what he had to say:

and said, let us go up at once and possess it; without any delay, there is nothing more to be done than to enter and take possession; this he said, trusting to the promise of God, who is faithful, and to his power who is able to perform:

for we are well able to overcome it; especially having God on their side, who had promised to bring them into it, and put them in the possession of it; and indeed, humanly speaking, they seemed quite sufficient for such an undertaking, being upwards of six hundred thousand men fit for war, Numbers 1:46, marshalled under their proper standards, with captains over each tribe, and having such brave, wise, and courageous commanders and generals, Moses and Joshua, who had given signal instances of their prudence and bravery already. What is it such an army, under proper directions, might not undertake? One would think, in all human probability, they were able to conquer a much greater country than the land of Canaan.

(n) "ad Moseh", Montanus; "venientem ad Mosem", Junius & Tremellius, Drusius.

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
30. we are well able to overcome if] we shall certainly prevail against it.

Verse 30. - Caleb stilled the people. That Caleb alone is named here, whereas Joshua is elsewhere joined with him in the matter (as in chapter Numbers 14:6, 30), has been considered strange; but it is not difficult to supply a probable explanation. Joshua was the special companion and minister of Moses, his alter ego in those things wherein he was employed: for that reason he may very well have given place to Caleb as a more impartial witness, and one more likely to be listened to in the present temper of the people; for it is evident from Deuteronomy 1, that that temper had already declared itself for evil (see on Numbers 14:24). Numbers 13:30As these tidings respecting the towns and inhabitants of Canaan were of a character to excite the people, Caleb calmed them before Moses by saying, "We will go up and take it; for we shall overcome it." The fact that Caleb only is mentioned, though, according to Numbers 14:6, Joshua also stood by his side, may be explained on the simple ground, that at first Caleb was the only one to speak and maintain the possibility of conquering Canaan.
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