Doin’ math again. Caleb says he was 40 years when God told Moses they’d have to wander in the desert for 38 years (Deut. 2:14) to let the previous generation die out, and he says that was forty-five years ago (v 10). Which means that the campaign to conquer Canaan took seven years – much longer than the swift succession of victories described before would suggest, but in keeping with 11:18, which says they lasted “a long time.” This should also remind you that Joshua (the same age as Caleb) was commanding the troops, not fighting with them… unless he also gets the same never-aging, Numenorean treatment that the patriarch did.

Awesome thing I would not have noticed about Caleb, though, is that he’s a Kenizzite. I wouldn’t have noticed this because all these names really blend together, and I assumed that was just a clan of Judah. But it’s not. As stated in Genesis 15:19, they’re one of the non-Israelite peoples in the area. So Caleb either comes from a family of foreigners who joined the Israelites on their journey, like the Midianites, and stayed loyal, making him full Kenizzite; or his father married an Israelite woman, making him half-Israelite, half-Kenizzite. In Numbers, he’s described as “from the tribe of Judah,” so either his father became an honorary member, or his maternal lineage counts (which is still the standard for being Jewish by birth in present-day Judaism). There’s apparently quite a bit more on him in the next chapter.

Apparently he’s given a slightly different lineage in 1 Chronicles, so I’ll look at that when I get there. What I’ve heard is that Chronicles often tries to smooth out discrepancies in the earlier histories, and I imagine that covering up that one of the heroes of this story was at the least mixed-blood was one of those things they’d want to “fix,” since foreign = bad.

The Japanese: kujiku “to discourage, to break one’s will” (v 8), ikinagaraeru “to live long, to survive” (v 10), sukoyaka “vigorous, healthy” (v 11), osamaru “to be settled, to come to an end” (v 15).

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