And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said
Had upheld him in life, and preserved him from many dangers in the wilderness; and had continued him not only in life, but in health to that day, according to his promise to him, that he would bring him into the land of Canaan, and that he should see and possess it, ( Numbers 14:24 ) ( Deuteronomy 1:36 ) ;
these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto
Moses, and while [the children] of Israel wandered in the wilderness;
not that the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness forty five years, but it was while they were in the wilderness this word or promise, concerning Caleb, was spoken by the Lord to Moses; and it was in the second year of their coming out of Egypt, after which they wandered in the wilderness thirty eight years, so that they had now been in the land of Canaan seven years; and from hence the Jewish chronologers F19 gather, that the land was seven years in subduing, and which their commentators in general take notice of. Maimonides F20 seems to be displeased with the Arabs for calling the wilderness, through which the Israelites travelled, "the desert of wandering"; but it appears from hence to be a very proper epithet of it; and Kadesh the place where they were first threatened, that they should be wanderers in the wilderness for such a time, had the additional name of Barnea, which signifies the son of a wanderer:
and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old;
being forty years of age when sent a spy into the land, ( Joshua 14:7 ) ; thirty eight years he was with Israel in the wilderness, and seven years more since they entered into the land, in all eighty five; there is no necessity of understanding it that this was his precise birth day, but that about this time, or that he was now completely of such an age, which was more by fifteen years than the age of man in common at that time, see ( Psalms 90:10 ) .
F19 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 11. p. 31.
F20 Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 50. p. 512.