Caleb [Cā'leb]—bold, impetuous (also an animal name, meaning “dog”).
1. A son of Jephunneh, usually so designated to distinguish him from other persons bearing the same name (Num. 13:6, 30).
Although Caleb was not an Israelite by birth, he was “an Israelite indeed.” He was one of the chief spies sent out by Moses. He was courageous and persevered when the other spies became discouraged. He was invincible in driving out giants, completely devoted to God and vigorous in old age. Six times it is recorded of Caleb, “he hath fully followed the Lord.”
His consecration was thorough. What magnificent adverbs are used to describe Caleb. He followed faithfully, wholly, fully. He never lowered his standards, but was perpetually wholehearted.
His courage was unfaltering. Giants did not disturb Caleb nor did those dastards who were ready to stone him.
His request was answered. To Caleb, whose life was woven of one piece throughout, reward crowned his faith and faithfulness. Through autumn winds and premonitions of snow, he brought forth fruit in his old age. When we come to the record of Caleb’s personal inheritance in the land of Canaan we find him at eighty years of age asking of Joshua, “Now therefore give me this mountain.” Caleb was a man of altitudes. He was not content with the average or the commonplace. He never thought in terms of fences or walled cities. It was the heights for Caleb, and although the mountain he wanted was filled with hostile Anakims, he refused defeat and claimed his inheritance. At long last a worthy recompense came to this noble man for “to patient faith the prize is sure.”
2. The son of Hezron, a Judahite and father of Hur and grandfather of Caleb No. 1. There is some confusion about this Caleb (1 Chron. 2:18, 19, 42).
3. The son of Hur the son of Caleb No. 2 (1 Chron. 2:50).