Caleb was a spy with a different spirit. He was the son of Jephunneh.The meaning of his name fits him well: to rage with canine madness. Just as a wild dog gives his undivided attention to ravenously attacking and devouring, so Caleb remained completely focused on God’s command to take the Promised Land.
Sent to explore the land as one of the original twelve spies, Caleb (along with Joshua) tried to convince the people to carry out God’s orders to take the land. When the people began to stray by following the counsel of the other ten spies, Caleb snapped,
“We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it” (Numbers 13:30).
His unyielding devotion and determination to the task was obvious throughout his life. God rewarded Caleb’s tenacity when He promised him a place in the Promised Land. Though millions of Hebrew people left slavery in Egypt, only two endured the forty years in the wilderness and entered the Promised Land: Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:30).
Even as an old man, Caleb’s doggedness did not wane. Once the major battles wound down, an eighty-five-year-old Caleb approached Joshua and said “I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken” (Joshua 14:11–12 NASB).
Joshua granted his request, and Caleb successfully settled the land of Hebron. By giving him the land of Hebron, Joshua rewarded Caleb’s lifelong loyalty and devotion. Hebron, the city of the patriarchs, contained the tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Rebekah, and Leah.