Numbers 14:24
But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
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(24) And his seed shall possess it.—It appears from Joshua 14:6-14 that Moses had specially promised Hebron to Caleb, and that the mountainous country which the Anakim inhabited, and which only he and Joshua of the twelve spies believed that the Israelites were able to take possession of, was afterwards allotted to him by Joshua “for an inheritance.”

Numbers 14:24. Caleb — Joshua is not named, because he was not now among the people, but a constant attendant upon Moses; nor was he to be reckoned as of them, any more than Moses and Aaron were, because he was to be their chief commander. He had another spirit — Was a man of another temper, faithful and courageous, not actuated by that evil spirit of cowardice, unbelief, disobedience, which ruled in his brethren; but by the Spirit of God. Hath followed me fully — Universally and constantly, through difficulties and dangers which made his partners halt. Whereinto he went — In general, Canaan, and particularly Hebron, and the adjacent parts, Joshua 14:9.

14:20-35 The Lord granted the prayer of Moses so far as not at once to destroy the congregation. But disbelief of the promise forbids the benefit. Those who despise the pleasant land shall be shut out of it. The promise of God should be fulfilled to their children. They wished to die in the wilderness; God made their sin their ruin, took them at their word, and their carcases fell in the wilderness. They were made to groan under the burden of their own sin, which was too heavy for them to bear. Ye shall know my breach of promise, both the causes of it, that it is procured by your sin, for God never leaves any till they first leave him; and the consequences of it, that will produce your ruin. But your little ones, now under twenty years old, which ye, in your unbelief, said should be a prey, them will I bring in. God will let them know that he can put a difference between the guilty and the innocent, and cut them off without touching their children. Thus God would not utterly take away his loving kindness.My servant Caleb - Caleb only is mentioned here as also in Numbers 13:30 ff. Both passages probably form part of the matter introduced at a later period into the narrative of Moses, and either by Joshua or under his superintendence. Hence, the name of Joshua is omitted, and his faithfulness together with its reward are taken for granted. In Numbers 14:30, Numbers 14:38, both names are mentioned together; and these verses in all likelihood belong to the same original composition as Numbers 14:6-10. 24. my servant Caleb—Joshua was also excepted, but he is not named because he was no longer in the ranks of the people, being a constant attendant on Moses.

because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully—Under the influence of God's Spirit, Caleb was a man of bold, generous, heroic courage, above worldly anxieties and fears.

Joshua is not here named, because he was not now among the people, but a constant attendant upon Moses; nor was he to be reckoned as one of them, any more than Moses and Aaron were, because he was to be their chief commander.

Another spirit with him, i.e. was a man of another temper and carriage, faithful and courageous, not acted by that evil spirit of cowardice, unbelief, unthankfulness, disobedience, which ruled in his brethren, but by the Spirit of God.

Fully, i.e. universally and constantly, in and through difficulties and dangers, which made his partners halt.

The land whereinto he went; in general, Canaan, and particularly Hebron, and the adjacent parts, Joshua 14:9.

Shall possess it, or, shall expel it, i.e. its inhabitants, the land being oft put for the people of it. Compare Joshua 8:7 14:12.

But my servant Caleb,.... Who was one of the spies, and brought a good and true report of the land; and so in that, as well as in other things, approved himself to be a faithful servant of the Lord, and who had stilled the people at the beginning of their murmur, and with Joshua had attempted to quiet them afterwards; and though Joshua is not here mentioned, because, as some say, he had no children, and therefore it could not be said of him that his seed should possess the land, as is said of Caleb; or rather, because he was to be the general and commander of the people, who was to introduce them into the land of Canaan, and therefore there was no necessity of expressing him by name, yet he is afterwards mentioned, Numbers 14:30,

because he had another spirit with him; different from that of the rest of the spies, excepting Joshua; a spirit of faith, and of the fear of the Lord, of might and courage, of truth and faithfulness; believing in the promise of God, which the spies distrusted, being persuaded the land might easily be conquered, which they feared; and bringing a true report of the land, the reverse of the ill and false one they brought. For this is to be understood not of the Holy Spirit of God, nor of his work upon the hearts of good men, which is different from the spirit of the world, though Caleb was possessed of that also:

and hath followed me fully; with full purpose of heart whithersoever he led him, or directed him, in every path of duty, and in the exercise of every grace; or "hath fulfilled after me" (y); obeyed his word of command, fulfilled his mind and will, by going after him, and acting according to the rules and directions he gave him:

him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; the land of Canaan he went into to spy and search:

and his seed shall possess it; not the whole land, but Hebron, and the parts about it, where he particularly went, and which he and his posterity afterwards enjoyed, see Numbers 13:22. The Targum of Onkelos is, "shall expel it"; the inhabitants of it; for the word signifies both to inherit and disinherit; and so Jarchi interprets it, shall disinherit the Anakim, and the people that are in it, that is, drive them out of it, as Caleb did, Joshua 15:13.

(y) "et implevit post me", Montanus, Tigurine version, Fagius, Drusius.

But my servant Caleb, because he had another {k} spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

(k) A meek and obedient spirit, and not rebellious.

24. into the land whereinto he went] Caleb was to receive the country in which Hebron stood (Numbers 13:22), whither he had gone as a spy; cf. Numbers 32:12, Deuteronomy 1:36. In Joshua 14:6-14 it is related that Caleb, at the age of 85, claimed the fulfilment of this promise, and received Hebron and the neighbouring hill country.

It is very probable, however, that the history of Caleb is the history not of an individual but of a clan. The name denotes the ‘dogclan,’ and perhaps dates from an early time when the clan reverenced a dog as their ‘totem’ or sacred animal. Nabal was ‘of the house of Caleb’ (1 Samuel 25:3); and the ‘Negeb of Caleb’ (1 Samuel 30:14) was a distinct district in the south of Canaan. In Numbers 32:12, Joshua 14:6; Joshua 14:14 Caleb is called the ‘Kenizzite,’ and in Joshua 15:17, Jdg 1:13; Jdg 3:9; Jdg 3:11 the ‘son of Kenaz’; that is the Calebites were a branch of the Kenizzite tribe, which was itself a division of the Edomites (Genesis 36:9; Genesis 36:11; Genesis 36:42). The Calebites, or more accurately the Kalibbites, appear to have entered Canaan from the south after leaving the Edomite country, and moved northwards through the Negeb as far as Hebron, as represented in the narrative of the spies. When the tribe of Judah afterwards settled in the same locality, the two tribes entered into friendly relations with each other and also with the Jerahmeelites, another foreign tribe settled in the district. In course of time they so completely coalesced that, after the exile, their descendants were reckoned as genealogically connected with Judah (1 Chronicles 2:4 f., 1Ch 2:9, 18 f., 1Ch 2:24–26, 42 f.).

Verse 24. - My servant Caleb. Caleb alone is mentioned here, as if he were the only exception to the sentence just passed upon the generation which came out of Egypt. Taken in connection with Numbers 13:30, and in contrast with Numbers 14:6, 30, 38, it has been supposed to point to the interweaving here of two narratives, from the one of which the name of Joshua was intentionally omitted (see the Introduction). The fact, however, is that Joshua is not the only, nor the most remarkable, exception to the general sentence which is not specified here. Moses and Aaron themselves were undoubtedly not included in that sentence at this time, although they afterwards came under the severity of it (see on Deuteronomy 1:37). Eleazar, the priest, was one of those who entered with Joshua (Joshua 14:1), and it is vain to argue that he might have been under twenty at the time of the numbering (cf. Numbers 4:16). There is, indeed, every reason to believe that the whole tribe of Levi were excepted from the punishment, because they were not compromised in the guilt. They had no representative among the spies, nor were they called upon to go up and fight; moreover, they had been steadily loyal to Moses since the matter of the golden calf. But if the exception of the Levites was taken for granted, and passed without mention, much more might the exception of Joshua. He did not stand by any means in the same position as Caleb and the other spies; he was the "minister" and lieutenant of Moses, whose fortunes were obviously bound up, not with those of his tribe, but with those of his master. If Moses had accepted the Divine offer to make him the head of a new chosen race, no doubt Joshua would have been given to him. His subsequent separation as leader, not of Ephraim, but of Israel, was already anticipated in the singularity, at least, of his position. Caleb, on the other hand, was merely a chieftain of the tribe of Judah, with nothing to distinguish him from the mass of the people but his own good conduct. There is, therefore, nothing perplexing in the fact that Caleb alone is mentioned in this place, and nothing to warrant the assumption of a double narrative. Another spirit. The spirit which possessed and prompted Caleb was no doubt the Holy Spirit, just as the spirit which moved the rebellion was an evil spirit (Ephesians 2:2); but how far any such personality is here attributed to the "spirit" is hard to determine. Hath followed me fully. Literally, "fulfilled to walk behind me." Caleb treasured up this testimony with natural pride (cf. Joshua 14:8). And his seed shall possess it, i.e., a portion of it and in it. No mention is made here of any special heritage, nor is it clear from Joshua 14:6-13 that Caleb received any definite promise of Hebron. He spoke indeed of a promise made him, probably at this time, by Moses; but that promise was a very general one. He asked for "this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day;" but he may only have referred to the Divine command first to explore and then to occupy "the mountain," as the nearest portion of the promised land. Numbers 14:24But because there was another spirit in Caleb, - i.e., not the unbelieving, despairing, yet proud and rebellious spirit of the great mass of the people, but the spirit of obedience and believing trust, so that "he followed Jehovah fully" (lit., "fulfilled to walk behind Jehovah"), followed Him with unwavering fidelity, - God would bring him into the land into which he had gone, and his seed should possess it. (אחרי מלּא here, and at Numbers 32:11-12; Deuteronomy 1:36; Joshua 14:8-9; 1 Kings 11:6, is a constructio praegnans for אחרי ללכת מלּא; cf. 2 Chronicles 34:31.) According to the context, the reference is not to Hebron particularly, but to Canaan generally, which God had sworn unto the fathers (Numbers 14:23, and Deuteronomy 1:36, comp. with Deuteronomy 1:35); although, when the land was divided, Caleb received Hebron for his possession, because, according to his own statement in Joshua 14:6., Moses had sworn that he would give it to him. But this is not mentioned here; just as Joshua also is not mentioned in this place, as he is at Numbers 14:30 and Numbers 14:38, but Caleb only, who opposed the exaggerated accounts of the other spies at the very first, and endeavoured to quiet the excitement of the people by declaring that they were well able to overcome the Canaanites (Numbers 13:30). This first revelation of God to Moses is restricted to the main fact; the particulars are given afterwards in the sentence of God, as intended for communication to the people (Numbers 14:26-38).
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