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CALEB

One of the spies of Moses sent out to make reconnaissance in Canaan before an invasion campaign that Yahweh had urged (Numbers 13:6). Despite the pessimistic estimate of some of the spies, Caleb assured Moses that the Israelites were well able to conquer Canaan. "We shall gobble them up," Caleb promised (Numbers 14:9). The assembled community quailed at the prospect, but Caleb and Joshua persisted in urging an attack (Numbers 14:1-3). Yahweh was embittered by the lack of confidence that this "perverse community" showed in him, and warned Moses of a coming catastrophe because of this cowardice (Numbers 14:27-35). Of all the leaders, only Caleb and Joshua survived (Numbers 14:38). "It is these," Yahweh promised, "I shall bring in to know the land you have disdained." Faithful to that promise, Yahweh rewarded them handsomely with rich inheritances of land in Canaan (Joshua 15:13-20).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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