Parent Category: Bible
Category: Biblical People
Caleb. [Heb. Kaleb, "dog." The name occurs in cuneiform texts as Kalban, in Nabataean as Klbw, in Ugaritic as Klby, and in ancient South Arabic as Klb.]
1. A son of Hezron and brother of Jerahmeel, of the descendants of Judah (1 Chr 2:18, 42). Among his descendants were Hur, the associate of Aaron in the administration of Israel during Moses' absence on Mount Sinai, and Hur's grandson Bezalel, the master workman who built the tabernacle and its furniture (Ex 31:2; 1 Chr 2:19, 20). In 1 Chr 2:9 Caleb is apparently called Chelubai [Heb. Kelubay, probably a scribal variant]. If Caleb's daughter (or female descendant) Achsah, mentioned in v 49, was the well-known daughter of Caleb, 2, the son of Jephunneh (Jos 15:16), as some think, then it would follow that the second Caleb was a descendant of the first. Some have wished to identify the two Calebs, but this is impossible since Caleb, 1, the son of Hezron, had a great-grandson, Bezalel, who built the tabernacle at Sinai, whereas Caleb, 2, the son of Jephunneh, was only 40 years old when he went as one of the 12 spies in the year following the building of the tabernacle. Hence Caleb the great-grandfather of Bezalel, and Caleb the spy must be 2 individuals.
2. A son of Jephunneh, a Kenizzite (Num 32:12). He represented the tribe of Judah as one of the 12 Israelite leaders who were sent out from Kadesh-barnea as spies to investigate the land of Canaan, and only he and Joshua returned with encouraging reports; the other spies completely disheartened the people with their pessimistic reports (Num 13; 14). Caleb also took part in the conquest of the land some 40 years later, and was a member of the commission to distribute the land among the 12 tribes (Num 34:19; Jos 14:6-14; 15:13-15). At that time, being 85 years old, he received Hebron and its neighbouring territory as an inheritance, and drove out the Anakim from it, while his younger relative Othniel took Debir and thus obtained Caleb's daughter Achsah as wife (Jos 14:13-15; 15:13-17). "The south of Caleb" (1 Sa 30:14) probably refers to the area of Hebron and Debir.
3. A son of Hur, according to the punctuation in the KJV (1 Chr 2:50). However, some believe that a period belongs after "Caleb" so as to make the beginning of v 50 the closing phrase of the preceding section: "These were the sons [or descendants] of Caleb," namely Caleb, 2. Then the following words would begin a new section listing the family of Hur, the son of Ephratah (cf. v 19) -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary.