Jews and Joes

The Spirit of Caleb: Friend of YHVH

Moving the Sheep where the Shepherd wants them

Text in [brackets] and italics are mine. Bold and bold red employed for emphasis.

Numbers 14:24 - “But My servant [oved] Kaleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me completely [Melah, meaning: to be full], I shall bring into the land where he went, and his seed shall inherit it.

Numbers 14:24 - ועבדי כלב עקב היתה רוח אחרת עמו וימלא אחרי והביאתיו אל־הארץ אשׁר־בא שׁמה וזרעו יורשׁנה׃

H3612 (Strong's Number)
BDB Definition:
Caleb = “dog”
1) the godly son of Jephunneh and the faithful spy who reported the Promised Land favourably and urged its capture
2) son of Hezron and grandson of Pharez and great grandson of Judah and the father of Hur and grandfather of Caleb the spy
Part of Speech: noun proper masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: perhaps a form of H3611, or else from the same root in the sense of forcible

Strong's Definition: "Perhaps a form of H3611, or else from the same root in the sense of forcible; Caleb, the name of three Israelites: - Caleb."

Dogs were a powerful and loyal force in war, one of which the Romans and others were known for employing effectively in battle. Yet, dogs are probably better known for their protective and herding skills. Shepherding dogs in particular are known for their loyalty and their ability to keep an eye on a flock of sheep and help move them, sometimes forcibly.

The beauty of Kaleb's name is best derived and depicted by breaking it down into Paleo-Hebrew letters. The name Kaleb or Kalev consists of three letters: a Kaph, a Lamed, and a Beyt. In ancient Hebrew, the Kaph looked like an "open palm", the Lamed looked like a "Shepherd's staff", and the Beyt looked like a "floor plan" of a house or a sheep pin. So if you've ever seen a sheep herding (shep-herding) dog like the Border Collie breed, you will instantly know where this is going next. Watch the following short video and you'll see a "Kaleb" in action.

Kaleb displayed courage, faith/trust, a prepared spirit, an obedient heart, a leadership attitude, and a girded (armored) body and mind. He was READY to get in and fight for his promised inheritance from יהוה. He showed faith in the words (whistle) of יהוה. Kaleb knew the Israelites would possess the Land regardless of the size of the giants because he understood the size and power of his Master, the Shepherd of the Universe.

Numbers 13:28-30
(28) “But the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are walled, very great. And we saw the descendants of Anaq there too.
(29) “The Amaleqites dwell in the land of the South, while the Hittites and the Yebusites and the Amorites dwell in the mountains. And the Kena'anites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Yarden.”
(30) And Kaleb silenced the people before Mosheh [Moses], and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are certainly able to overcome it.”

In the midst of fear, evil reports and complaints, Kaleb was able to silence the sheeple and even urged them with the reality that they could go in immediately and take the Promise! He pleaded with them to trust in the promises of יהוהand visibly act in that trust. But how sad that Kaleb had to wait 40 years for his inheritance because of the fear of his brothers (note: an evil report (wickedness) in the Hebraic sense is this: destroying the proper function, design, or potential in something or in someone. The ten spies with the evil report destroyed the spirit of the camp of Israel and ruined their chance to enter the Promise, the Promised Land. See the article: What does the word "Wickedness" mean in Hebrew?)

Today, the story repeats itself. Our Promised Land contains many giants in all shapes and sizes (Rabbinic Judaism, Economic concerns, Hamas, Hizb-allah, etc), but to those with a spirit like Kaleb, the giants are easier to overlook. The Kalebs today only see the might of יהוה, His promises, and their inheritance ripe for the taking! Right now, their inheritance is being occupied by others who defile His soil continually. Yes, because of our captivity and punishment (that of 10-Israel), few are able to go home and occupy the Land as yet. However, let us not allow fear to rise up when we are one day urged to go in! Let us all have the heart and spirit of Kaleb!

The Heart of Kalev is "Love" for the Shepherd's Heart

The English word "Love" has deeper and far profounder meaning than most dare imagine and the word "Ka-Lev" is intimately related to "Love" and the "Heart of the Shepherd". The ancient Hebrew scholar Jeff A. Benner has this to say about the word "love":

"The English word love probably comes from the Hebrew word "lehv" (spelled lamed-beyt) which means heart (the seat of emotion in Hebrew thought). The Hebrew word translated as "love" is "ahav" (spelled aleph-hey-beyt) which comes from the parent root "hav" (spelled hey-beyt). Hav means "the family one is born into and given as a gift, a priveledge." From this parent root comes the child root "ahav" (love) meaning "the love (emotional and actions) one gives to the family that one is priveledged with." The best example of this is the love one should have for God. Deut 4.7 "And you shall love (ahav) YHWH, your God, with all your heart (lev) and with all your soul (nephesh) and with all your greatness (me'od)." - What is the Hebrew word for Love?

Remember, Kalev's name consists of "kaph-lamed-beyt". There are few bonds as strong as a man and his most loyal companion. No wonder we've continually heard the cliche "man's best-friend" when referring to his dog. 

I love sheep and love the scripture symbolisms of sheep and their Shepherd, but more than a desire to be just another one of the sheep, my prayer is that יהוהwould make me a good and loyal Shepherd's dog. I'm convinced Abba would rather have a herd of Border Collie children more than a herd of sheeple. 

Shalom Aleichem!
Hanok ben-Isaak