Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
jos 14:1Eleazar the priest - He best understood the laws of God by which this division was to be regulated. Heads of the fathers - Twelve persons, each the head of his tribe, who were appointed and named by God, Num 34:19, and if any of them were now dead, no doubt Joshua and Eleazar, by God's direction, put others in their stead.
jos 14:2By lot - This course God ordained, partly to prevent discontents, enmities and quarrels among the tribes, and partly to demonstrate the truth and wisdom of his providence, by which alone those parts fell to each of them, which Jacob long since, and Moses lately, foretold; so that as a learned man saith, he must be more stupid than stupidity, that doth not acknowledge a Divine hand in this matter. The lot did only determine the several parts to the several tribes, but did not precisely fix all the bounds of it; these might be either enlarged or diminished according to the greater or smaller number of the tribes.
jos 14:4Were two tribes - That is, had the portion of two tribes, and therefore though Levi was excluded, there remained nine tribes and a half, to be provided for in Canaan.
jos 14:5They - That is, the persons named, Jos 14:5, who acted in the name of the children of Israel, divided it, either now, or presently after.
jos 14:6Then - When Joshua and the rest were consulting about the division of the land, though they did not yet actually divide it. The heads of that tribe who were willing thus to shew respect to him; and to testify their consent, that he should be provided for by himself, and that they would not take it as any reflection on the rest of the tribe. In Gilgal - Where the division of the land was designed and begun, though it was executed and finished at Shiloh. The Kenezite - Of the posterity of Kenaz. The Lord said - In general, the promise he made us of possessing this land; and for my part, that which is expressed here, Jos 14:9.
jos 14:7As it was in mine heart - I spake my opinion sincerely, without flattery and fear, when the other spies were biased by their own fears, and the dread of the people, to speak otherwise than in their consciences they believed.
jos 14:8I wholly followed the Lord - Which self - commendation is justifiable, because it was necessary, as being the ground of his petition. Therefore it was not vain glory in him to speak it: no more than it is for those, who have God's spirit witnessing with their spirits, that they are the children of God, humbly and thankfully to tell others, for their encouragement, what God hath done for their souls.
jos 14:10Forty - five years - Whereof thirty - eight years were spent in the wilderness, and seven since they came into Canaan. The longer we live the more sensible we should be, of God's goodness to us in keeping us alive! Of his care in prolonging our frail lives, his patience in prolonging our forfeited lives! And shall not the life thus kept by his providence, be devoted to his praise?
jos 14:11For war - Not only for counsel, but for action; for marching and fighting. And therefore this gift will not be cast away upon an unprofitable and unserviceable person. To go out, and to come in - To perform all the duties belonging to my place. Moses had said, that at eighty years old, even our strength is labour and sorrow. But Caleb was an exception to this rule: At eighty - five years old, his strength was still ease and joy. This he got by following the Lord fully.
jos 14:12This mountain - That is, this mountainous country. He names the country rather than the cities, because the cities were given to the Levites, Jos 21:11, Jos 21:13. Thou heardest - Didst understand, both by the reports of others, and by thy own observation. Hearing, the sense by which we get knowledge, is often put for knowing or understanding. If the Lord will be with me - A modest and pious expression, signifying both the absolute necessity of God's help, and his godly fear, lest God for his sins should deny his assistance to him; for although he was well assured in general, that God would crown his people with success in this war, yet he might doubt of his particular success in this or that enterprize. To drive them out - Out of their fastnesses where they yet remain, Caleb desires this difficult work as a testimony of his own faith, and as a motive to quicken his brethren to the like attempts.
jos 14:13Blessed him - Prayed to God to bless and help him according to his own desire.
jos 14:15A great man - In stature, and strength, and dignity, and authority, as being the progenitor of Anak, the father of those famous giants called Anakims.