Let’s take a look at chapter 14 for a moment. Joshua has gathered Eleazar the high priest and the leaders from each tribe in order to divide up the land of Canaan by lot as God had instructed Moses. But we see at verse 6 that Caleb, accompanied by the leaders of the tribe of Judah came to Joshua and reminded him of a 45 year old promise made to him by Moses himself.
You may remember that Caleb was with Joshua and the other men when Moses sent them to look over the promised land before the entire nation went in. When the spies returned to give a report, only Joshua and Caleb had unwavering faith in the promise of God and were willing to go forward and take the land. The others were afraid of the giants that inhabited the area then known as Kiriath Arba, later known as Hebron. On the day that they filed their report with Moses, Moses promised Caleb that “Surely the land on which you walked will belong to you and your descendants permanently, for you remained loyal to the Lord your God.”
So Caleb reminded Joshua of that promise in our reading today, and he asked Joshua to give him this land and not make it part of the drawing of lots.
Another bit of history of this land might be interesting to you. When they first saw this area, Kiriath Arba, it was inhabited by Anakim, who were decedents of the Nephalim. They were giants. Their leader was named Arba. I’m sure you remember Abraham and Sarah. Kiriath Arba is where Sarah died. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived most of their lives in this general area, and they were buried here as well. So these could all be additional reasons that Caleb desired to have this land.
Of course, Joshua honored Moses’ promise to Caleb, and gave the land to him and his heirs.
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