Bible Commentary: Joshua 15

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Joshua 15

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Judah Receives Southern Canaan, and Caleb Conquers His Territory

Partly as a result of the land Caleb chose for himself (verse 13), the inheritance of the tribe of Judah is assigned to be the southern part of the Canaanite territory. This was essentially the territory south of Jericho and Jerusalem, which had been the land conquered primarily in chapter 10. It is the land Judah continued to hold following the division of the monarchy in the days of Rehoboam nearly 500 years later.

Caleb finishes conquering his territory and ridding it of the giants (verse 14). In the process, he takes Debir, a city that had originally been taken by Joshua (10:38-39) but had evidently fallen back into the hands of the Canaanites. He receives some assistance from his nephew Othniel (verse 17), who will later serve as the first judge following the death of Joshua (Judges 3:7-11). Much of this story is repeated in Judges 1:10-15. While the city of Hebron itself is given to the priests (Joshua 21:9-13), and serves as a city of refuge, the fields and suburbs are given to Caleb.