Caleb and the City of Hebron
Biblical Personality: Caleb
Reference(s): Joshua 14:6- 15:19
In order to understand Caleb and his inheritance it might be good to have a little background information aboutHebron. Here is some great stuff from an informative website.
Hebronis most noted as a city located south of Jerusalem. Numbers 13:22 tells us that the town was built seven years before Zoan was built in Egypt. It was also known by the older name of “the city of the Arba”, or Kirjath Arba, “And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim)” (Joshua 14:15). Hebron was where Abraham frequently stayed during his travels and it was here that he buried his beloved wife, Sarah (Genesis 13:18; 23:2, 17-20). After the conquering of Canaan, Hebron was given to Caleb as his inheritance (Joshua 14:13). Hebron was also where David was originally crowned king and where he reigned for his first seven and a half years (II Samuel 5:5).
As far as the meaning of the word “Hebron,” spelled chevron in Hebrew, it is a proper noun derived from similar Hebrews words: chevar (to unite, to join); chever (association), chaver (companion), andchevrah (association, company). The word “Hebron” itself is only used as a name of a place or a person in the Bible; it carries no deeper meaning, nor is it used in a symbolic fashion in the Scriptures.
If I were writing a biography about a certain Frenchman and I wrote, “Pariswas given to him as his inheritance; a gift for him and his offspring” what would this say about such a man? We read about Caleb’s inheritance in the book of Joshua, but it is Caleb who is shown great honor in this instance. Caleb is givenHebron. Actually, he had to fight for it… but his victory was already assured for his faith was great. Caleb walked as a man who believed in his favor with God. He was Joshua’s long time faithful companion. They were kindred spirits, destined to go together into the Promised Land. They were men of a place they did not yet physically posses. However, they had already claimed the land spiritually. Caleb’s heart was inHebronbefore his feet ever touched the stones her streets.
Who actually choseHebronfor Caleb? Was it God? In Joshua 14:10-15 we read that Caleb actually asks forHebronfor his inheritance and Joshua agrees that God wanted to give it to him. Caleb does this precisely because he knows that it will be difficult to take this city saying, “I will drive them out as the Lord promised” These verses are explicit to mention that the city Caleb wanted was named after the greatest men of the Anakim. Remember them? These were the “giants in the land” that kept ten of the twelve original spies from giving a good report and the entire nation from entering the Promised Land (Numbers 13:32-33). Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who stood in faith believing in God’s favor. Caleb never changed his mind. He makes it a personal matter to take this city for God’s people. In Joshua 15, we learn that Caleb does exactly what he says he will do and defeats more than one princely giant to do so (three actually). Oh, and there is more! Reliable scholarship suggests that these giants (Ancestors of David’s Goliath) were the offspring of a demonic/fallen angel breeding program present for a very long time upon the earth. There was no force or strategy of Hell that could keep Caleb from his inheritance!
Because of Caleb’s faith,Israelreceived one of its greatest cities. David was crowned inHebronand chose to reign from there for seven years before he moved the capital toJerusalem.
I think that it is not a coincidence thatHebronis still a highly contested piece of real estate. Sometimes I wonder if there is anyone left with the spirit of Joshua and Caleb. I wonder, who will take the land that the Lord has promised? Sometimes I wonder if I can muster a Caleb kind of faith in the face opposition and discouragement. I want to have the perspective of Joshua and Caleb in all matters pertaining to God’s favor for me and His promises for us all in Christ Jesus. But often I know that my perspective is limited by what I see with my eyes and think with my head instead of what I see and know in my heart.
What has God promised you? What are you contending for? What “Hill Country” do you want? How do you see things? Does it differ from how God sees things? I am praying that God will enlarge within me the faith of Joshua and Caleb. Will you join me?