As the land west of the Jordan River was being assigned to the remaining nine-and-a-half tribes, Caleb and some men of Judah approached Joshua. Caleb reminded Joshua of the incident when he and Joshua, along with other men were sent out by Moses to spy on the promised land. He recounted the promise Moses made to him based on his whole-hearted dedication in following the Lord. Joshua blessed Caleb and awarded him Hebron which is situated within the territory of Judah.
It is interesting to note that Caleb asked for the land which had been promised to him (v.12).
This reminds me of Matthew 7:7- Jesus said “Ask, and you shall receive..”. The fact that Caleb had been promised the land, he still had to seek for it. Joshua who is a godly leader blessed him and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. Just as our Father in heaven has given us good gifts, including the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, we still have to do our part in asking Jesus to come into our lives to be our Lord and Savior in order to receive this gift of eternal life.
Another interesting thing to note is that Caleb was addressed as the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite. Kenizzite in Genesis 15:19, was among the gentiles whose land were to be given to Abraham’s descendants. So, could it be that Caleb forefather was a gentile, who was later incorporated into the tribe of Judah?
There’s also speculation that Jephunneh, was a hunter therefore he was called a Kenizzite, which means he may be a descendant of Jacob only known as a Kenizzite for his hunting abilities. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Kennaz means ‘hunter’
We don’t know for sure whether or not Caleb was a direct descendant of Jacob, or if he was from a gentile stock, but this we know: he was a man of steadfast faith (v.8 & v.14). Out of the 12 spies who were sent out to spy on the promised land, only Caleb and Joshua brought back news of encouragement. Caleb’s faith in God never wavered despite being in the minority in his belief on what God could do. God was pleased with his faith and grant him the pleasure of entering and attaining the promised land. Although Caleb’s generation had passed away, Caleb remained strong and just as vigorous to go out to battle even at a ripe old age of 85 (v.11).
Regardless of our background, it is our true faith in Jesus for what He had done for us on the cross, that grant us access to eternal life with God. True faith that alters lives as a result of His love for us. We too can be like Caleb. By following the Lord wholeheartedly, we are pleasing God by living in faith- just as Hebrew 11:6 says: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God”. —- Lai Yee Leong