Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1) 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 (1 Chronicles 2:18 - 20 ,
2:42 - 49).
(2) 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).
(3) The son of Jephunneh ( Numbers 13:6 ; 32:12 ; Joshua 14:6 , 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 , 25:3 ; 30:14 ).
He is called a "Kenezite" in Joshua 14:6 , 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 , 21:12 ; Compare
1 Samuel 25:3 ).
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
a dog; a crow; a basket
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(1) According to ( 1 Chronicles 2:9 , 2:18 , 2:19 , 2:42 , 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.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
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
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