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The method of dividing the land, ver. 1 - 5.
Caleb demands Hebron, ver. 6 - 12.
which Joshua grants, ver. 13 - 15.
1: Eleazar the priest - He best understood the laws of God by which
this division was to be regulated. Heads of the fathers - Twelve persons,
each the head of his tribe, who were appointed and named by God,(Nu 34:19), and if any of them were now dead, no doubt
Joshua and Eleazar, by God's direction, put others in their stead.
2: By lot - This course God ordained, partly to prevent discontents,
enmities and quarrels among the tribes, and partly to demonstrate the truth
and wisdom of his providence, by which alone those parts fell to each of
them, which Jacob long since, and Moses lately, foretold; so that as
a learned man saith, he must be more stupid than stupidity, that doth not
acknowledge a Divine hand in this matter. The lot did only determine the
several parts to the several tribes, but did not precisely fix all the
bounds of it; these might be either enlarged or diminished according to
the greater or smaller number of the tribes.
4: Were two tribes - That is, had the portion of two tribes, and
therefore though Levi was excluded, there remained nine tribes and a
half, to be provided for in Canaan.
5: They - That is, the persons named, ver.(5), who acted in the
name of the children of Israel, divided it, either now, or presently
6: Then - When Joshua and the rest were consulting about the
division of the land, though they did not yet actually divide it. The heads
of that tribe who were willing thus to shew respect to him; and to testify
their consent, that he should be provided for by himself, and that they
would not take it as any reflection on the rest of the tribe.
In Gilgal - Where the division of the land was designed and begun, though
it was executed and finished at Shiloh. The Kenezite - Of the
posterity of Kenaz.
The Lord said - In general, the promise he made us of possessing this
land; and for my part, that which is expressed here, ver.(9).
7: As it was in mine heart - I spake my opinion sincerely, without
flattery and fear, when the other spies were biased by their own fears, and
the dread of the people, to speak otherwise than in their consciences they
8: I wholly followed the Lord - Which self - commendation is
justifiable, because it was necessary, as being the ground of his petition.
Therefore it was not vain glory in him to speak it: no more than it is for
those, who have God's spirit witnessing with their spirits, that they
are the children of God, humbly and thankfully to tell others, for their
encouragement, what God hath done for their souls.
10: Forty - five years - Whereof thirty - eight years were spent in the
wilderness, and seven since they came into Canaan. The longer we live
the more sensible we should be, of God's goodness to us in keeping us
alive! Of his care in prolonging our frail lives, his patience in
prolonging our forfeited lives! And shall not the life thus kept by his
providence, be devoted to his praise?
11: For war - Not only for counsel, but for action; for marching
and fighting. And therefore this gift will not be cast away upon an
unprofitable and unserviceable person. To go out, and to come in - To
perform all the duties belonging to my place. Moses had said, that at
eighty years old, even our strength is labour and sorrow. But Caleb
was an exception to this rule: At eighty - five years old, his strength was
still ease and joy. This he got by following the Lord fully.
12: This mountain - That is, this mountainous country. He names the
country rather than the cities, because the cities were given to the
Levites, (Jos 21:11,13).
Thou heardest - Didst understand, both by the reports of others, and by
thy own observation. Hearing, the sense by which we get knowledge, is
often put for knowing or understanding. If the Lord will be with me - A
modest and pious expression, signifying both the absolute necessity of God's
help, and his godly fear, lest God for his sins should deny his assistance
to him; for although he was well assured in general, that God would crown
his people with success in this war, yet he might doubt of his particular
success in this or that enterprize. To drive them out - Out of their
fastnesses where they yet remain, Caleb desires this difficult work as a
testimony of his own faith, and as a motive to quicken his brethren to the
13: Blessed him - Prayed to God to bless and help him according to
his own desire.
15: 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.