Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why Does Torah Alter Caleb's Genealogy?

In the book of Joshua we read that Caleb's father was Jephunneh.  Then, later, Caleb is given a portion of land in Judah.  After that, we read that Caleb's father is no longer Jephunneh.  He receives a new father, Hezron (1 Chronicles 2), and he's suddenly got two new brothers, Jerahmeel and Ram!  Caleb, though not descended from Judah, suddenly has Judah as his ancestor (1 Chronicles 2)!

Why does Torah engage in this legal fiction?  And why does the legal fiction specifically use Hezron (descendant of Judah) as Caleb's new father?

Why couldn't Caleb just continue to consider Jephunneh as his father?  What would've been the harm in that?

It's interesting that Paul (see Romans 4) says that Gentiles who believe in Yeshua suddenly have Abraham as an ancestor...

It's also interesting that in Ezekiel 47:22 we learn that in the future Messianic Era certain Gentiles will be given allotments of land in Israel...


  1. Not sure about Caleb, he did become a leader of the Tribe of Judah, which is interesting, being that he is a gentile.

    Concerning Abraham, Paul was obviously simply reiterating Genesis 17:5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.

    Abraham was upgraded, from being the father of one nation, to then being the father of many nations, that would be the gentiles as who are in the Messiah.

    Some want to say it is a metaphor, not to be taken literally, but that destroys the promise to Abraham. It is true though that gentiles do not change their blood and are not changed into ethnic sons, but gentiles in the Messiah, can consider Abraham their father, just like an adoption.

    1. Israel was the first adopted son. Yeshua himself was the ONLY begotten son.

      Jerusalem was a gentile city that G-d adopted and gave the fathers name. Once born again from above by the Holy Spirit (unless you eat my body and drink my blood), that city (called The Church, or MY ASSEMBLY) becomes the bride, the helper fit for Yeshua, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

      The Church adopted by G-d and given his name is the second adopted.

      The Only Begotten is married to The Church (New Jerusalem, born from above by the Holy Spirit) and they become one.

      This is how we become one in Messiah who is one with the Father.

      "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

    2. It all happens "in the Messiah"... agreed!

    3. Peter.

      The Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2 who's father is Hezron, could be a different Caleb.

      Note 1 Chronicles 4 begins...The sons of Judah:...following down to 4:15, "the sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh

      Compare with Numbers 13:6 list of spies..."from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh...


    4. Noah,

      The Caleb who was given Hebron had a daughter named Aksah (Judges 1). The Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2 also had a daughter named Aksah (1 Chr 2:49).

    5. Peter,

      So why can't that be a different Caleb?

      All I can tell you is that given Numbers 13:6 and 1 Chronicles 4:15 the Caleb who was the spy, who's father was Jephunneh, seems to be a different Caleb than the Caleb who's father was Hezron.

      In your initial post you seem to indicate that the name of Caleb's father was changed in 1 Chronicles 2 (from Jephunneh to Hezron).

      I seek mainly to demonstrate that there is not necessarily a good reason to assert that since two chapters later there is a Caleb mentioned who's father is Jephunneh.

      Names are repeated all the time in these genealogies. If you can show somewhere in the texts that there is a Caleb who's father is said to be Jephunneh and who has a sister named Aksah I would have to reconsider.

      Good Shabbos every body!


    6. oops... I meant daughter who's name is Aksah...