‘(Caleb said to Joshua:) “40 years old was I, when Moses…sent me…to spy out the land…. Now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive…these 45 years…. I am today 85 years old…. Yet I am as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me!’ Joshua 14:7-11.
Calvin comments: “Caleb requested Mount Hebron to be given to him, as he had been promised by Moses (cf. Numbers 14:24 & 32:11-12)…. When the ten spies made mention of the names of the (gigantic) Anakim, with a view of terrifying the people — Caleb…answered with truth that when he beheld them on Mount Hebron they were so far from being terrible that he would attack them with his own hand…. On these conditions, Moses ceded to him a habitation in that locality which he would acquire by his own prowess.
“‘Forty years old was I’…. He followed God with inflexible perseverance, feeling perfectly assured…. Learn from this…that unless the last part corresponds to the first — good beginnings vanish away! Secondly, that constancy is deserving of praise — only when we follow God!
“Long life is justly accounted one of the mercies of God. The end proposed by it, is here added — viz., that Caleb may obtain the inheritance…. He next extols the faithfulness of God in having prolonged his life and…supplied vigour and strength…. Though he was now above eighty years of age, he was not a whit feebler than when in the flower of his youth…. A manly vigour, remaining wholly unimpaired up to the…eighty-fifth year!…
“Caleb…demands it as his task, to assail and expel the giants. He…hopes for a prosperous event — from the assistance of God…. Knowing then that the children of Israel trembled and were in terror at the very name of the giants, he speaks…. As regards himself, the words clearly demonstrate how far he was from viewing that which had been said to him with a dubious or vacillating mind. ‘I shall drive them out,’ he says — ‘as the Lord has declared!’…
“It was just as if he had gained an eminence, from which he could look down upon the giants…. It is not the mountain itself that is meant, but the principal city…. It is said to have received the surname from a giant famous for his stature….
“Caleb…had not been looking to present ease, or private advantage…. He does not aspire to the place that had been given him, till many years after…. It was no less the interest of the whole people than of one private family, that that which as yet depended on the incomprehensible grace of God and was treasured up merely in hope — should be bestowed as a special favour….
“No small praise is due to the moderation of Caleb. Who, in a locality made his own by extraordinary privilege, did not refuse a hospitable reception!”
Caleb, at 85, still followed the Lord wholeheartedly! May we too, by God’s grace, do exactly the same!