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Caleb

Caleb [N] [H] [S]

a dog.

  • One of the three sons of Hezron of the tribe of Judah. He is also called Chelubai ( 1 Chronicles 2:9 ). His descendants are enumerated (18-20,42-49).

  • A "son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah" ( 1 Chronicles 2:50 ). Some would read the whole passage thus: "These [i.e., the list in ver. 42-49] were the sons of Caleb. The sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah, were Shobal, etc." Thus Hur would be the name of the son and not the father of Caleb (ver. 19).

  • The son of Jephunneh ( Numbers 13:6 ; 32:12 ; Joshua 14:6 Joshua 14:14 ). He was one of those whom Moses sent to search the land in the second year after the Exodus. He was one of the family chiefs of the tribe of Judah. He and Joshua the son of Nun were the only two of the whole number who encouraged the people to go up and possess the land, and they alone were spared when a plague broke out in which the other ten spies perished ( Numbers 13 ; 14 ). All the people that had been numbered, from twenty years old and upward, perished in the wilderness except these two. The last notice we have of Caleb is when (being then eighty-five years of age) he came to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, after the people had gained possession of the land, and reminded him of the promise Moses had made to him, by virtue of which he claimed a certain portion of the land of Kirjath-arba as his inheritance ( Joshua 14:6-15 ; 15:13-15 ; 21:10-12 ; 1 Samuel 25:2 1 Samuel 25:3 ; 30:14 ). He is called a "Kenezite" in Joshua 14:6 Joshua 14:14 . This may simply mean "son of Kenez" ( Numbers 32:12 ). Some, however, read "Jephunneh, the son of Kenez," who was a descendant of Hezron, the son of Pharez, a grandson of Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:5 ). This Caleb may possibly be identical with (2).

  • Caleb gave his name apparently to a part of the south country ( 1 Samuel 30:14 ) of Judah, the district between Hebron and Carmel, which had been assigned to him. When he gave up the city of Hebron to the priests as a city of refuge, he retained possession of the surrounding country ( Joshua 21:11 Joshua 21:12 ; Compare 1 Samuel 25:3 ).

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Caleb". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Caleb [N] [E] [S]

    a dog; a crow; a basket
    Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names. Public Domain. Copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Caleb'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

    Caleb [N] [E] [H]

    (capable ).

    1. According to ( 1 Chronicles 2:9 1 Chronicles 2:18 1 Chronicles 2:19 1 Chronicles 2:42 1 Chronicles 2:50 ) the son of Hezron the son of Pharez the son of Judah, and the father of Hur, and consequently grandfather of Caleb the spy. (B.C. about 1600.)
    2. Son of Jephunneh, one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to Canaan. ( Numbers 13:6 ) (B.C. 1490.) He and Oshea or Joshua the son of Nun were the only two of the whole number who encouraged the people to enter in boldly to the land and take possession of it. Fortyfive years afterwards Caleb came to Joshua and claimed possession of the land of the Anakim, Kirjath-arba or Hebron, and the neighboring hill country. Josh 14. This was immediately granted to him, and the following chapter relates how he took possession of Hebron, driving out the three sons of Anak; and how he offered Achsah his daughter in marriage to whoever would take Kirjath-sepher, i.e. Debir; and how when Othniel, his younger brother, had performed the feat, he not only gave him his daughter to wife, but with her the upper and nether springs of water which she asked for. It is probable that Caleb was a foreigner by birth, --a proselyte, incorporated into the tribe of Judah.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Caleb'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

    CALEB

    ka'-leb (kalebh; in the light of the cognate Syriac and Arabic words, the meaning is not "dog," which is kelebh, in Hebrew, but "raging with canine madness"; Chaleb):

    As a person, Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, occurs in the story of the spies (Numbers 13). He represents the tribe of Judah as its prince (Numbers 13:6; compare Numbers 13:2). While the majority of the men sent out by Moses bring back evil report, Caleb and Hoshea, or Joshua, the son of Nun, are the only ones to counsel the invasion of the promised land (Numbers 13:30; 14:6). Accordingly, these two alone are permitted to survive (Numbers 14:38; 32:12). Upon the conquest and distribution of the land by Joshua, Caleb reminds the leader of the promise made by God through Moses, and so he receives Hebron as an inheritance for himself and his descendants (Joshua 14:6-15), after driving out from thence the Anakim who were in possession of the city (Joshua 15:14). In the parallel account in Judges 1:8, the dispossession of the Canaanite inhabitants of Hebron is ascribed to Judah (Judges 1:10). Both accounts agree in mentioning Othniel, a younger brother of Caleb, as the conqueror of Kiriath-sepher or Debir; as his reward he receives the hand of Achsah, Caleb's daughter. Achsah is given by her father a portion of the Southland; but, upon request, she obtains a more fruitful locality with upper and nether springs (Joshua 15:15-19; Judges 1:12-15).

    In 1 Samuel 30:14 Caleb is undoubtedly the name of a clan which is, moreover, differentiated from Judah. Modern scholars therefore assume that Caleb was originally an independent clan which in historical times merged with Judah. As Caleb is called the son f Kenaz (Judges 1:13) or the Kenizzite (Numbers 32:12), it is further believed that the Calebites were originally associated with an Edomite clan named Kenaz (Genesis 36:11), and that they entered their future homes in the southern part of Palestine from the south. Their migration up north would then be reflected in the story of the spies.

    In the genealogical tables (1 Chronicles 2), Caleb is made a descendant of Judah through his father Hezron. He is the brother of Jerahmeel, and the "father" of Hebron and of other towns in Judah. (Chelubai, 1 Chronicles 9:9, is apparently identical with Caleb.)

    Nabal, with whom David had an encounter, is called a Calebite, i.e. one belonging to the house of Caleb (1 Samuel 25:3).

    Max. L. Margolis


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'CALEB'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.