Joshua 14 Commentary

The tribe of Judah (14:6-15:63)

By far the largest portions of Canaan went to the chief tribes, those of Judah and Joseph (cf. Gen 49:8-12,22-26). Judah received almost the whole of southern Canaan, and Joseph received almost the whole of central Canaan.

Caleb received his special inheritance within the area given to his tribe, Judah. Here he proved that his expression of faith made forty-five years earlier was not mere words. At that time he and Joshua alone in Israel believed that the Israelites could destroy the fearsome people of Anak whom they saw in Canaan. Now Caleb was prepared to do it (6-12; cf. Num 13:25-33; 14:24). Joshua gladly gave him permission to go ahead (13-15).

Judah was allotted southern Palestine between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, as far south as the Wilderness of Zin and the Brook of Egypt (15:1-12). Within this territory Caleb then conquered the people of Anak. His courage and faith helped to develop the boldness of others, especially Othniel, who

 

received Caleb’s daughter as a reward for his bravery. Caleb also gave the young couple a piece of land as a wedding gift, but because the region was very dry he gave them an additional piece of land containing two springs of water (13-19; Judg 1:11-15; 3:9).

The cities of Judah were grouped in various regions: the dry southern region known as the Negeb (20-32); the low foothills region known as the Shephelah (33-44); the coastal plain territory of the Philistines (45-47); the central highland country (48-60); and the semi-desert region near the Dead Sea (61-62). The prize city of Jerusalem, however, remained unconquered (63).

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