Joshua and Caleb
The Scriptures have much to say about the preparation of New Covenant Believers, and how we are to prepare to “enter in” to the Promised Land.
Perhaps one of the greatest illustrations in the Bible we are given for our learning, is the Israelites’ experience in the Wilderness. Although all of Israel [several millions] were brought out of Egypt by the Blood of the Lamb, most of that generation, because of unbelief, were not allowed to enter the Promised Land!
Scripture tells us that of the multitudes of the original generation that came out of Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the Promised Land — and the rest died in the wilderness (Num 14:29-30; Num 26:64-65; Num 32:11-12).
In this writing we will see why only two of that generation — Joshua and Caleb — were allowed to enter in, and we will see who Joshua and Caleb represent today.
Together, Joshua and Caleb paint a prophetic picture for us today, telling us who will be allowed to enter in to the “Promised land,” and how we might be among those who enter in. This example is very important for our learning and instruction, so let us look carefully into this.
First, in order to learn from the example of Joshua and Caleb, it is important to notice two things:
- Why the rest of that generation were not allowed to enter in; and
- Why Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter in.
Let us look at these two items.
In the first item above, we are told in Scripture the reason the rest of that generation were not allowed to enter in was because of certain, specific forms of disobedience. This has been discussed in detail in The Promised Land-How to Enter In: The Words of Yahushua and The Promised Land: Choosing to Enter In and The Way of Salvation: Part 2- Israel as Our Example.
As we saw in these articles, the Scriptures are very specific, and go into great detail to tell us why most of that generation failed to enter in. In some of the New Testament warnings (1Co 10:6-12; Heb 3:7 – Heb 4:11), we are told that disobedience is unbelief. We are given these warnings, so that we as Believers today might not fail to enter in for the very same reason of unbelief [disobedience], as the Israelites in that earlier generation!
Thus we see the New Testament Scripture passages telling us that the Israelites’ example is for our warning — telling us clearly that the Israelites were prophetic of New Covenant Believers of today! Because of the importance of these warnings, we will briefly summarise the exact nature of the unbelief [disobedience] as the reason why the rest of that generation of Israelites failed to enter in, as we see clearly stated in Ezekiel Chapter 20:
Why the Israelites Failed to Enter In:
- They continued to disobey Yahuweh’s Torah [‘Law’], His statutes and His judgments — Father’s eternal Instructions, and His ‘Rules of the House’ by which His people are to live (Ezekiel 20:13, 16, 19, 21, 24);
- They continued to despise Yahuweh’s Sabbaths — His appointed days of rest and communing with Him (Ezekiel 20:13, 16, 20, 21, 24).
These two above items summarise why many today among the Born-Again, Redeemed, Blood-washed, Spirit-filled Believers of this generation will also fail to enter in. But in order to fully grasp the New Covenant details of the matter, we will see below what the Scriptures tell us about being ‘in’ Messiah, and about ‘abiding’ in Messiah, and how Messiah accomplishes these requirements only with our cooperation.
And so it is, for those who are ‘whole-hearted’ about following Messiah, the Reader is recommended to read carefully and prayerfully the above Scripture passages, and those in the above referenced articles.
The second item above — the reason Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter in — will be covered in this writing.
To begin, we must ask, “Why were Joshua and Caleb allowed to enter in?” And why were they the only two from that original generation to enter in?
To answer these questions, we will look at their names and other features, to see how they describe, and define, the characteristics of those who will enter in today.
Who is Caleb?
The Hebrew name ‘Caleb’ is an interesting one. Let’s examine several features of this name.
First, let’s notice that the name Caleb is the Hebrew Strong’s number <03612>, and is used 35 times. The number “35” in Scripture speaks of “Repentance,” and is the same as “7 x 5,” which speaks of complete preparation of the Bride. So we see that Caleb speaks of those who fully prepare themselves through repentance, and as a result will enter, together with Joshua.
Next, we see that according to the various Hebrew dictionaries and concordances, the apparent meaning of the name Caleb is “a dog.” Recently I received an email from a faithful sister in Messiah, to mention an alternate meaning, based on the Hebrew letters used in the name. It turns out that the name Caleb is actually a compound word in Hebrew, and is apparently quite common in ancient Hebrew. The name is ‘Col-Leb’ (Cof + Lamed) meaning “all or whole” — Leb (Lamed + bet) meaning “heart.” Therefore, Caleb (or Col-Lev as pronounced in Hebrew) actually means “with all the heart” or “whole-hearted.” The word for dog must therefore have originated from the word Col-Lev, and not the other way around.
If we look at the definitions for the words ‘dogged’ and ‘doggedness,’ we see this same quality that describes a dog: “stubbornly unyielding” and “persistent determination.” This ‘doggedness’ perfectly describes one who is ‘whole-hearted,’ and fits the description of the faith and determination exhibited by Caleb!
Let us now notice that Caleb is called “the son of Jephunneh.” This name ‘Jephunneh’ is a Hebrew word, whose derivative root word means “turn around, look, and prepare.” The phrase “son of” has the prophetic meaning of “having the characteristics of.” The phrase “Caleb the son of Jephunneh” occurs 15 times, which number speaks of “entering His Rest” and of “Yahuweh’s Sabbaths” – Not “Jewish” sabbaths, but “MY” Sabbaths – Yahuweh’s weekly and annual Biblical Festivals, the appointed times in which Yahuweh has commanded His people to assemble together (See Leviticus 23:2,4).
Taken together, the phrase “Caleb the son of Jephunneh” reveals to us one of the main characteristics of the preparing of the Bride is to Repent — to turn around, and begin to walk whole-heartedly in Yahuweh’s commandments, statutes, judgments, and precepts, and to begin to Honour His Sabbaths.
As Bride-Candidates, we desire to be as Caleb. Thus it is our responsibility to search out and find these Truths in Scripture, and to practice them according to the Everlasting [New] Covenant provisions laid out in Scripture. This process of seeking Truth, and of adjusting our walk accordingly, requires much labour. The fruit of this labour, however, is the very essence of “Entering His Rest.”
The Bible character of Caleb aptly describes those who will enter in. However, no matter how well Caleb does, he may NOT enter in without Joshua, according to the New Covenant. Let us see why this is true.
Who is Joshua?
Joshua, who was originally called “Hoshea” and “Oshea,” was re-named by Moses to become “Yehoshua,” or what the Bible alternatively calls “Joshua” (Numbers 13:16) and “Jeshua” (Neh 8:17). The names ‘Oshea’ and ‘Hoshea’ in Hebrew mean “Salvation,” and the new name ‘Joshua’ (pronounced “Yahoshua” or “Yahushua”), means “Yah is Salvation.”
Joshua is called the “son of Nun” a total of 29 times. The prophetic meaning of the phrase ‘son of Nun’ is “having the characteristics of Nun.” The word ‘Nun’ means “fish,” and has a derivative Hebrew root word that means “increase or multiply or propagate.” This reference to Nun, and fish, and multiply is a message to the Bride, calling out Joshua’s prophetic identity, and refers to the sign of the Feeding of the 5,000, and to other Bridegroom signs that identify the Bridegroom.
Joshua (Hebrew “Yehoshua” or “Yahushua”) is a prophetic picture of Yahushua our Messiah. Notice that Caleb did not enter in alone. Caleb entered in along with Joshua, and so in the same way, we must enter in, joined with our “Joshua.” No matter how ‘right’ we may be, no matter how ‘well’ we may do, we will not enter in without “Yahushua-in-us” to make it happen.
In order for Him to be living within us (2Co 13:5; Gal 4:19; Col 1:27), we must first become ‘Born-Again.’ That is, Yahushua must become ‘birthed’ within us, and we must then allow Him to grow and mature within us. For further understanding, see How Do I Receive God’s Forgiveness for My Sins?.
So let’s now look at a few Scripture passages, to see why Joshua and Caleb entered in to the Promised Land in that day. Perhaps we may see how Joshua and Caleb will enter in, in our day!
Why Did Joshua and Caleb Enter In?
Scripture tells us in many ways why Joshua and Caleb entered in. Here are a few of these. Let’s notice the following Scripture passages:
Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD. (Numbers 32:11-12)
Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD. (Deuteronomy 1:35-36)
And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God. (Joshua 14:9)
The first item that stands out is that Joshua and Caleb, wholly and completely, followed Yahuweh. Notice this is Yahuweh’s testimony of these men, and it reveals an important quality necessary for one to enter in — of following Yahuweh completely. Further light on how we as Believers today may completely follow Yahuweh, can be seen by observing the disobedience of those who were not allowed to enter in.
In order to follow Yahuweh fully and completely, one must remove all ‘leavened’ teaching and practice from his life. Indeed, one must remove all religious practices which are based, not on Scripture, but on the traditions of men, and on the doctrines and commandments of men. One must remove the abominations, and must discard the teaching and practice of religious fables (1Tim 4:7; 2Tim 4:4) and outright Lies (Jer 16:19; Amos 2:4), all of which turn men from (turn men away from being “DO-ers” of) the truth (Mat 15:8-9; Mark 7:7-10; 2 Tim 4:4; Titus 1:14).
The Israelites were brought out of bondage in Egypt, by the blood of the prophetic Passover Lamb. In the same manner, it is Messiah Himself who, as the Passover Lamb of Yahuweh, has brought us out of Bondage of Sin and death, by His own Blood. It is likewise “Messiah-living-within-us” who provides the day-by-day ‘Grace’ to us, when we allow Him who lives-in-us, to live fully in obedience to the Heavenly Father. In order to allow Him-in-us to walk in obedience, however, we must examine ourselves, to see whether we are walking “in the Faith,” or instead practicing Doctrines of Men.
If we persist in practicing Lies, we actually prevent Yahushua (living within us) from obeying His (and our) Heavenly Father. Do we persist in keeping non-Biblical Holidays of pagan-origin, and continue to refuse Messiah’s Feasts? Do we continue to believe men — or are we believing the Scriptures — about Yahuweh’s eternal Torah He wants to write on our hearts? To what extent are we willing to continue practicing “Lies?” How long are we willing to embrace those things that are abomination to our Heavenly Father? Without holiness (‘separation and purification’) from these things, no man shall see Yahuweh (Hebrews 12:14).
It is only by walking together with Messiah, cooperating with Him day-by-day in obedience to Father’s commandments spoken by Yahushua (John 14:24), that we remain or continue (‘abide’) in Him (John 15:10). It is only as we remain in Him, joined with Him, that we will enter in to the Promised Land.
Joshua and Caleb, entering in together, is a prophetic picture of how each of us, as New Testament Believers, must enter in to the Promised Land. Like Joshua and Caleb together, you and I will enter in, only if joined with “Messiah-in-you.” You and I are to be as the prophetic Caleb, a “repentant” and whole-hearted follower of Messiah, doggedly persistent and unyielding in our determination.
Nevertheless, no matter how committed we may be, Caleb is not allowed to enter in alone. But if our “Joshua” (“Yahushua-living-in-us,” or “Messiah-in-you” as the apostle Paul described) is present with us, and we cooperate with Him by our obedience, then we too may enter in with Him. Indeed, “Messiah in you” is our only hope of entering in to His Glory!
However, the question remains: Do we currently allow Him to live and walk in us, in obedience — or do we prevent Him from doing so by our “Doctrines of Men” that we have learned, and continue to practice? Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Many of the familiar doctrines and practices of today’s evangelical communities bear NO resemblance to the early first-Century Faith of Yahushua. The Scriptures are clear, however. In order to truly follow in the footsteps of Yahushua Messiah, to enter in with Him, we must come out from among the Doctrines and Commandments of Men, and from the pagan religious practices, and embrace only the Living Word of Messiah, and the written Word of the Scriptures.
In order to follow Yahuweh fully, the Bride-Company are now removing the idolatries and abominations from their life and practice. They are now separating themselves from the man-made doctrines and pagan religious practices of the Foolish Virgins, and are coming out from among them. They are preparing themselves for the soon-coming firstfruits harvest!
Let us now learn of the firstfruits harvest, the ascension of the Bride-company, as we look at Joshua and Caleb at Gilgal.
Joshua and Caleb at Gilgal
When Joshua and Caleb and the rest of Israel’s new generation entered the Promised Land, we are told:
And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. (Joshua 4:19)
Notice that “the people came up out of Jordan….” The phrase “came up” is the Hebrew word <05927>, meaning “ascended” — giving us a clue that Gilgal is prophetically a very significant word. The Hebrew word for Gilgal has a derivative root meaning is “whirlwind,” which forms the root basis of the word “barley,” and denotes the firstfruit of the harvest.
The word ‘Gilgal’ is mentioned 42 times in Scripture as Strong’s number <01536> and <01537>. The 13th mention of Gilgal is in Joshua 14:6, the only verse where Joshua and Caleb are mentioned together with Gilgal. The number 42 in Scripture speaks prophetically of the appearing of Messiah-in-you. The number 13 is a strong Bride characteristic number, whose primary meaning is agape-Love, and whose secondary and opposite meaning is rebellion. The association of Joshua, Caleb, and Gilgal, all together in the 13th occurrence of the word, gives us a further prophetic message. Here we see that Joshua and Caleb together speak of the Bride as part of the firstfruit resurrection — a further separation — simply by allowing ‘Messiah-in-you’ to provide the Grace that enables us to enter in.
Joshua and Gilgal are mentioned together 9 times, the 9th of which includes Caleb. The number 9 attribute speaks of fruit, implying that Joshua and Caleb joined together, signifies the fruit of the Harvest-resurrection, and speaks of the fruitfulness brought about by Messiah when we allow Him to live within us, and to manifest Himself within us (John 14:21; Php 1:11).
Now let’s look at a prophetic word of warning for us today. Notice the following passage:
And, behold, ye are risen up in your fathers’ stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment yet the fierce anger of the LORD toward Israel. For if ye turn away from after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and ye shall destroy all this people. (Numbers 32:14-15)
Notice this passage begins with the word “Behold.” Wherever we see the word “Behold” in Scripture, we are seeing a prophetic reference tag for Believers, in our generation. Wherever we see this reference tag, we see a passage that contains a very important, prophetic message for the Bride!
Notice the phrase “yet again” in the above passage speaks beyond the day it was first spoken, and speaks prophetically of our day. This passage is a warning to us today, of not entering in, simply because of turning away from following after Yahuweh, as did Israel of old!
Brethren, the apostle Paul tells us (Romans 11:7-24; Eph 2:12-13) that if we are in Messiah, we are grafted-in to the Tree of Israel! And since we are now a part of ‘My people Israel’ — we see that the above warning given to Israel, is indeed a warning for us today! Let us follow Yahuweh fully, as did Joshua and Caleb! Let us do as the apostle Paul did, following [imitating] Yahushua in every way, doing what He did, loving what Yahushua loved, and hating what Yahushua hated.
To see some of the things our “Joshua” (Yahushua) did to completely follow Yahuweh, as He is our example, see WWYD? What Would Yahushua Do?.
We saw that Joshua in the Bible is a prophetic picture of our Yahushua, and that whoever desires to enter in to the Promised Land, may enter in only as joined together with Yahushua.
We saw that Caleb (a fully repentant, whole-hearted, doggedly persistent one) is prophetic of those today who will enter in with Messiah. Together, Joshua and Caleb reveal to us “The Way” — the only way — that we, in our generation, may enter in!
Yahushua has told us “I am the Way” (John 14:6). Yahushua’s death and resurrection, His redemption of us by His Blood, and then His life-in-us, walking in obedience — is the only Way to the Father!
The apostle Paul tells us something of The Way to the Father as a two-phase process (Romans 5:9-10):
- the ‘come-out’ phase (His Blood); and
- the ‘enter-in’ phase (His Life).
Paul tells us that we were redeemed by His death, by His Blood (the “come-out” phase of salvation) — but it is only by His Life (His Life-in-us) that we will be saved (the “enter-in” phase of Salvation). Thus we must allow Him-in-us to live His Life-in-us, in full obedience!
Yahushua’s Life-in-us is our only hope of Glory (Col 1:27) — of entering in to the Promised Land, and of being called by Yahuweh’s intimate nickname He has given His people: “MY GLORY.”
Caleb’s only hope of entering-in, is “together” with Joshua! Likewise, our only hope of remaining (‘abiding’) with Yahushua, to enter-in together with Him, is by our obedience to Father’s commandments spoken by Yahushua (John 15:10; John 14:24).
Only Joshua and Caleb, of that earlier generation, were allowed to enter the Promised Land. Together, Joshua and Caleb are prophetic of those who, in our generation, will likewise be allowed to enter in, together with our prophetic Joshua.
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev 3:3)