From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

( 1 Chronicles 2:9;  1 Chronicles 2:18-19;  1 Chronicles 2:42;  1 Chronicles 2:50). Son of Hezron, son of Pharez, son of Judah; father of Hur by Ephrath; grandfather of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah. In  1 Chronicles 4:15 Caleb the spy is called "son of Jephunneh," and in  1 Chronicles 2:49 the elder Caleb seemingly is father of the daughter Achsa. In  Joshua 15:17 Caleb the spy is father of Achsah. Possibly, after all, the Caleb of 1 Chronicles 2 is the same as Caleb the spy; his adoption into Hezron's family accounting for his appearing in the public Israelite record as his son. In this case the different families assigned to him he must have had by different wives, having their lots in different localities. This genealogy (1 Chronicles 2), drawn up in Hezekiah's reign, alone mentions the supposed elder Caleb. Caleb, the illustrious spy, is also called" the Kenezite," or "son of Kenaz" ( Numbers 32:12).

Caleb was "head" ( Numbers 13:3) of the Hezronite family in Judah; while Nahshon son of Amminadab was head or prince of the whole tribe ( Numbers 1:7). He and Oshea or Joshua, alone of the twelve, on returning from Canaan to Kadesh Barnea, encouraged the people when dispirited by the other spies: "Let us go up at once, and possess the land (he does not for a moment doubt Israel's ability; not Let us try; success is certain, the Lord being on our side), for we are well able to overcome it" ( Numbers 13:30). His character answers to his name, all heart. His reward was according to his faith ( Numbers 14:24). "My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land where unto he went, and his seed shall possess it."

Forty-five years afterward Caleb reminded Moses of God's promise, adding that now at 85 he was as strong as then. "Hebron therefore (the land he had trodden upon in faith as a spy,  Deuteronomy 1:36) became the inheritance of Caleb, ... because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel" ( Joshua 14:8-9;  Joshua 14:14). He dislodged the three sons of Anak ,  Joshua 15:14, and gave Achsah his daughter to Othniel, son of Kenaz his brother, for taking Debir. (See Anak ; Achsah; Debir . In  Joshua 15:13, "unto Caleb Joshua gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the Lord, ... even the city of Arba, father of Anak-Hebron," it is implied that he was not by birth of Judah, but was given his portion in that tribe by the special command of the" God of Israel."

By marriage and submission to the bond of Jehovah's covenant with Israel he became a true Israelite by adoption; a specimen of God's mercy to the Gentiles even in Old Testament times, and a pledge of the opening of the door of faith to them widely in the New Testament So Jethro, Rahab, Ruth, Naaman. Kenaz his ancestor was a duke of Edom ( Genesis 36:11;  Genesis 36:15). The names Shobal and Manahath are other Edomite ( Genesis 36:20-23) names which appear among the sons of the Caleb in  1 Chronicles 2:50;  1 Chronicles 2:52.

Jephunneh, his father's name, is probably the same as Pinon ( 1 Chronicles 1:52;  Genesis 36:41). Termanites too are among the children of Ashur, Hezron's son ( 1 Chronicles 4:6). This consideration helps to account for the large numbers of Israelites at the Exodus; proselytes and marriage connections from other races swelled the number of Israelites of pure blood. Hebron was afterward a priests' city, belonging to the Kohathites; but the territory about continued in Caleb's family (from which sprang the churl Nabal, for faith does not always come by blood descent)at the time of David ( 1 Samuel 25:3;  1 Samuel 30:14).

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [2]

Although brought up a slave in Egypt, Caleb proved himself a responsible leader once the people of Israel began to organize themselves on the journey to Canaan. Within a short time he became one of the leaders of his tribe, Judah.

On the journey to Canaan

When Moses chose twelve representatives (one from each tribe) to go to Canaan and spy out the land, Caleb was the person chosen from the tribe of Judah ( Numbers 13:2;  Numbers 13:6;  Numbers 13:17-20). At that time he was forty years of age ( Joshua 14:7).

The spies returned with a report that although Canaan was a fertile land, its inhabitants were fearsome, particularly the giant people of Anak who lived in the region of Hebron ( Numbers 13:21-29; see Anak ). This report immediately discouraged the people from going ahead with the attack, but Caleb spoke up boldly, believing that in God’s strength they could overcome the enemy ( Numbers 13:30). The people, however, chose to accept the opinion of the unbelieving spies. They refused to trust God, and rebelled against the leadership of Moses ( Numbers 13:31-33;  Numbers 14:1-4). Only Joshua, the spy who went as the representative of the tribe of Ephraim, supported Caleb ( Numbers 14:6-9).

God responded to the people’s rebellion by announcing that, since they did not want to enter Canaan, they would have their wish. During the next forty years all who were at that time twenty years of age or over (except Caleb and Joshua) would die in the wilderness ( Numbers 14:28-35).

When, forty years later, a new generation had grown up and the people were about to enter Canaan, Moses appointed one leader from each of the twelve tribes to assist the new leader Joshua and the high priest Eleazar in the division of the land. Caleb was again chosen to represent Judah ( Numbers 34:16-19).

Life in Canaan

After several years of battle, Canaan belonged to Israel and was divided between the twelve tribes. Groups of unconquered Canaanites were still scattered throughout the country, but each Israelite tribe was responsible for overcoming the enemies within its territory ( Joshua 13:1-7; cf.  Joshua 15:63;  Joshua 16:10;  Joshua 17:12;  Joshua 17:18).

Caleb was now eighty-five years of age, but he was ready to show that his faith and courage were as strong as they had been forty-five years earlier. The people of Anak, whom the Israelites had once been afraid to fight, still occupied Hebron, the region that had been allotted to Caleb within the tribal territory of Judah. Caleb conquered them and took possession of their towns ( Joshua 14:6-15;  Joshua 15:13-14).

The boldness of Caleb helped to develop the faith and courage of others. Having set an example by his conquest of Hebron, he offered his daughter as a wife to any man who could conquer the neighbouring town of Debir. The conqueror was Othniel, who later became a great leader in Israel ( Joshua 15:15-19;  Judges 3:9-11).

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

the son of Jephunneh, of the tribe of Judah, was one of those who accompanied Joshua, when he was deputed by Moses to view the land of Canaan, which the Lord had promised them for an inheritance, Numbers 13. The deputies sent on this occasion were twelve in number, selected one out of each of the tribes, and they performed their commission with great promptitude and skill; they traversed the country in every direction, bringing with them, on their return, some of its finest fruits for the inspection of their brethren. Some of them, however, after making the report of the beauty and goodness of the country, which they described to be a land flowing with milk and honey, added, that the inhabitants of it were remarkable for their strength, while its cities were large and enclosed with walls. These latter particulars having excited a spirit of murmuring among the Israelites, Caleb endeavoured to animate their courage by dwelling upon the fertility of the country, and exhorting them to go boldly and take possession of it. Others, however, dissuaded the people from making the attempt, assuring them that their would never make themselves masters of it. We have seen giants there, said they, in comparison of whom we were as grasshoppers; on which the people declared against the project, and intimated their wish to return again into Egypt. Moses and Aaron no sooner heard this than they fell upon their faces before the whole congregation, and Joshua and Caleb rent their clothes, imploring them to take courage and march boldly on; since, if God were with them, they might easily make a conquest of the whole land. So exasperated, however, were the multitude, that they were proceeding to stone Caleb and Joshua, when the glory of the Lord appeared upon the tabernacle, and threatened their extermination. Moses, having fervently interceded for them, the Lord graciously heard his prayer; but though he was pleased not to destroy them immediately, he protested with an oath, that none of those who had murmured against him should see the land of Canaan, but that they should all die in the wilderness. "As for my servant Caleb," it was added, "who hath faithfully followed me, him will I bring into the land, and he shall possess it, he and his children after him,"  Numbers 14:1-24 . Joshua also obtained a similar exception,  Numbers 14:30;  Numbers 14:38 . When Joshua had entered the promised land, and conquered a considerable part of it, Caleb, with the people of his tribe, came to meet him at Gilgal, and finding that he was about to divide the land among the twelve tribes, Caleb petitioned to have the country which was inhabited by the giants allotted to him, on which Joshua blessed him and granted his request. Assisted by a portion of his tribe, he marched against Hebron, and slew the children of Anak: thence he proceeded to Debir, and finding the place almost impregnable, he offered his daughter Achsah in marriage to the hero that should take it. This was done by his nephew Othniel, who in consequence obtained Achsah, with a considerable portion also of territory. We are not informed of the particular time or manner of the death of Caleb; but by his three sons, Iru, Elah, and Naam, he had a numerous posterity, who maintained an honourable rank among their brethren. See Numbers 13, 14,  Joshua 14:6-15;  Joshua 15:13-19;  Judges 1:9-15;  1 Chronicles 4:15-20 .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

CALEB (‘dog,’ one of the numerous animal names in the OT which testify to early totemistic conceptions). The son of Jephunneh (  Numbers 13:6 ). As an individual , he appears as one of the spies who were sent to ‘spy out the land’ of Canaan. He represented the tribe of Judah, and, together with Joshua, advocated an immediate attack upon the land; the fear of the people he denounces as rebellion against Jahweh (  Numbers 14:9 ); this, however, is resented by the people, who threaten to stone both him and Joshua. The carrying out of this threat is frustrated by the appearance of the Shekinah (‘the glory of the Lord’) in the Tabernacle (  Numbers 14:10 ). As a reward for his faithfulness Caleb is specially singled out for Jahweh’s favour (  Numbers 14:24;   Numbers 14:30;   Numbers 14:38 ,   Deuteronomy 1:36 ). He is thus one of the great champions of Jahweh.

As a name of a clan , Caleb (= Calebites) formed a branch of the children of Kenaz, an Edomite tribe, who settled in the hill-country north of the Negeb; they had possessions also in the Negeb itself (  Joshua 14:13-15 , 1Sa 30:14 ,   1 Chronicles 24:2 ff.); they ultimately became absorbed in the tribe of Judah.

W. O. E. Oesterley.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Ca'leb. (Capable).

1. According to  1 Chronicles 2:9;  1 Chronicles 2:18-19;  1 Chronicles 2:2:42;  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. Forty-five years, afterwards, Caleb came to Joshua and claimed possession of the land of the Anakim, Kirjath-arba or Hebron, and the neighboring hill country. Joshua 14.

This was immediately granted to him, and the following chapter, Joshua 15, 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, that is, 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.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

1. Son of Jephunneh; he was one of those sent to spy out the land, and, counting on the power of God, he made an encouraging report. When 85 years of age he claimed the territory on which his feet had trod, and which God had promised him. Though the Anakim were in possession he was victorious and inherited Kirjath-arba, or Hebron.  Numbers 13:6,30;  Numbers 14:6-38;  Joshua 14:6-14;  Joshua 15:14-18 .  Joshua 15:13 does not mean that Caleb did not belong to the tribe of Judah, as some have supposed; but that though he was not a chief of the tribe, a special portion was given to him. He is a type of the Christian who by faith practically occupies and enjoys the place given to him by God, in spite of all there is to oppose him.

2. Son of Hezron and father of Hur.  1 Chronicles 2:18,19,42 : apparently the same as Chelubai in  1 Chronicles 2:9 .

3. Son of Hur.  1 Chronicles 2:50 .

4. 'South of Caleb,' apparently the south of Palestine, occupied by Caleb and his descendants.  1 Samuel 30:14 . Probably the plain lying between Hebron and the southern Carmel.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

1. Son of Jephunneh, of the tribe of Judah, who was sent, with one man from each of the other tribes, to search out the promised land,  Numbers 13:1-14:45 . Of all the twelve, Caleb and Joshua acted the part of true and faithful men; and they only, of all the grown men of Israel, were permitted to enter Canaan,  Numbers 14:6-24,38   26:65 . He was one of the princes appointed to divide the conquered territory among the tribes,  Numbers 34:19 . Hebron was given to him as a reward of his fidelity, according to the promise of God,  Deuteronomy 1:36   Joshua 14:1-15 . Though eighty-five years old, he still retained his vigor, and soon drove out the Anakim from his inheritance. He gave a portion also with his daughter Achsah to Othniel his nephew, who had earned the reward by his valor in the capture of Debir,  Joshua 15:13-19   21:12 . This region was for some time called by his name,  1 Samuel 30:14 .

2. Son of Hor, whose children people the country about Bethlehem, etc.,  1 Chronicles 2:50-55 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [8]

Caleb ( Kâ'Leb ), Capable. 1. According to  1 Chronicles 2:9, where he is called Chelubai ( Kç-Lû'Bâi ), 18, 19, 42, 50, the son of Hezron, the son of Pharez, the son of Judah, and the father of Hur, and consequently grandfather of Caleb, one of the twelve spies. 2. The son of Jephunneh, one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to Canaan.  Numbers 13:6. He and Oshea, or Joshua the son of Nun, were the only two who brought a favorable report and encouraged the people boldly to take possession of the land. Forty-five years afterwards Caleb came to Joshua and claimed possession of the land of the Anakim, Kirjath-arba or Hebron, and the neighboring hill country.  Joshua 14:1-15. 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 Kiriath-sepher, I.E. , Debir, and when Othniel, his brother or nephew, 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 desired.  Joshua 15:16-19.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

  • 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 21:11,12; Compare  1 Samuel 25:3 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Caleb'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Holman Bible Dictionary [10]

     Numbers 13:6 Numbers 13:30 Joshua 14:1

    The ethnological identity of the Calebites is uncertain. In  Numbers 13:6 , Caleb is identified with the tribe of Judah. However, according to  Numbers 32:12 , his father Jephunneh was a Kenezite. The Kenezites apparently were of Edomite origin ( Genesis 36:9-11 ). Perhaps Caleb represented a Kenezite clan that had joined the Israelites and become incorporated into the tribe of Judah.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [11]

    Son of Jephunneh, of whom honorable testimony is given,  Numbers 13:2. His name is somewhat singular; if it be derived, as it is supposed to be, from Keleb, dog. But some suppose it is a compound of Ke, and Lebab, the heart.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

    (Hebrews Kalel', כָּלֵב , appar. for כֶּלֶב , a Dog), the name of two or three men. (See Caleb-Ephratah); (See Negeb-Caleb).

    1. (Sept. Χαλέβ .) The last-named of the three sons of Hezron, Judah's grandson ( 1 Chronicles 2:9, where he is called CHELUBAI). His three sons by his first wife, Azubah or Jerioth (q.v.), are enumerated ( 1 Chronicles 2:18); he had also another son, Hur, by a later wife, Ephrath( 1 Chronicles 2:19; perhaps only the oldest of several,  1 Chronicles 2:50); besides whom another (his "first-born") is named ( 1 Chronicles 2:42, by what wife is uncertain), in addition to several by his concubines Ephah and Maachah ( 1 Chronicles 2:46;  1 Chronicles 2:48). B.C. post 1856. The text is possibly corrupt, however, in some of these distinctions.

    2. (Sept. Χαλέβ . ) A "son of Hur, the first-born of Ephratah" above named(and therefore the grandson of the preceding), according to  1 Chronicles 2:50, where his sons are enumerated. B.C. ante 1658. Some, however, have identified him with the foregoing, supposing a corruption in the text.

    3. (Sept. Χάλεβ , but Χαλέβ in  1 Chronicles 2:49;  Sirach 46:9;  1 Maccabees 2:56; v.r. Χαλούβ in  1 Samuel 30:14; Josephus Χάλεβος , Ant. in, 14,4, etc.) Usually called "the son of Jephunneh" ( Numbers 13:6, and elsewhere, (See Jephunneh) ), sometimes with the addition "the Kenezite" ( Numbers 32:12;  Joshua 14:6;  Joshua 14:14), from which some have hastily inferred that he may have been a foreigner, and Only Proselyted to Judaism. (See Kenaz). Caleb is first mentioned in the list of the rulers or princes ( נָשַׂיא ), called in the next verse ( רָאשַׁים ) "heads," one from each tribe, who were sent to search the land of Canaan in the second year of the Exode (B.C. 1657), where it may be noted that these officers are all different from those named in Numbers 1, 2, 7, 10, as at that time phylarchs of the tribes. Caleb was one of these family chieftains in the tribe of Judah, perhaps as chief of the family of the Hezronites, at the same time that Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, was prince of the whole tribe. He and Oshea or Joshua, the son of Nun, were the only two of the whole number who, on their return from Canaan to Kadesh-Barnea, encouraged the people to enter in boldly to the land, and take possession of it, for which act of faithfulness they narrowly escaped stoning at the hands of the infuriated people. In the plague that ensued, while the other ten spies perished, Caleb and Joshua alone were spared. Moreover, while it wasannounced to the congregation by Moses that, for this rebellious murmurinr, all that had been numbered from twenty years old and upward, except Joshua and Caleb, should perish in the wilderness, a special promise was made to the latter that he should survive to enter into the land which he had trodden upon, and that his seed should possess it.

    Accordingly, forty-five years afterward (B.C. 1612), when some progress had been made in the conquest of the land, Caleb came to Joshua and reminded him of what had happened at Kadesh, and of the promise which Moses made to him with an oath. He added that though he was now eighty-five years old (hence he was born B.C. 1698), he was as strong as in the day when Moses sent him to spy out the land, and he claimed possession of the land of the Anakim, Kirjath- Arba, or Hebron, and the neighboring hill-country (Joshua xiv). This was immediately granted to him, and the following chapter relates that he took possession of Hebron, driving out the three sons of Anak; that he offered Achsah, his daughter, in marriage (comp.  1 Samuel 17:25; Hygin. Fab. 67) to whoever would take Kirjath-Sepher, i.e. Debir; and that 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. After this we hear no more of Caleb, nor is the time of his death recorded. But we learn from  Joshua 21:13, that, in the distribution of cities, out of the different tribes for the priests and Levites to dwell in, Hebron fell to the priests, the children of Aaron, of the family of the Kohathites, and was also a city of refuge, while the surrounding territory continued to be the possession of Caleb, at least as late as the time of David ( 1 Samuel 25:3), being still called by his name ( 1 Samuel 30:14). His descendants are called Calebites ( כָּלַבַּו for כָּלַבַּי , Kalibbi',  1 Samuel 25:3; Sept. translates as if a paronomasia were intended, inserted in  1 Chronicles 2:49, by way of distinction from the others in the same list. See Ewald, Isr. Gesch. 2:288 sq.

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

    kā´leb ( כּלב , kālēbh  ; in the light of the cognate Syriac and Arabic words, the meaning is not "dog," which is כּלב , kelebh , in Hebrew, but "raging with canine madness"; Χαλέβ , Chaléb ): As a person, Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, occurs in the story of the spies (Nu 13ff). 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;  Numbers 14:6 ). Accordingly, these two alone are permitted to survive ( Numbers 14:38;  Numbers 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 Ch 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 ).

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [14]

    Ca´leb (dog), son of Jephunneh, of the tribe of Judah. He was sent with Joshua and others to explore the land of Canaan, and in consequence of his joining with Joshua in opposing the discouraging accounts brought back by the other spies, they were both specially exempted from the decree of death which was pronounced on the generation to which they belonged (; ; ; ). When the land of Canaan had been invaded and partly conquered, Caleb was privileged to choose Kirjatharba, or Hebron, and its neighborhood, for his possession (). He accordingly went and wrested it from the native inhabitants, and thence proceeded to Debir, which was taken for him by his nephew Othniel, who, as his reward, received in marriage the hand of Caleb's daughter [ACHSAH], with a valuable dower (). Caleb is usually supposed to have out-lived Joshua.