Upon the whole, it seems most reasonable to conclude that the proceedings by which Caleb secured his inheritance, and fulfilled the promise of Joshua 14:12, have been recorded here for the sake of completeness, though not necessarily belonging to this time.
(15) Kirjath-sepher.--"City of books."
(17) Othniel the son of Kenaz.--Comp. Judges 3:9.
(19) A south land--i.e., land in the Negeb: "a series of rolling hills clad with scanty herbage here and there." Conder does not identify Debir, but others have taken it to be identical with Dewir-ban, about three miles west of Hebron.
The upper springs, and the nether springs--i.e., the upper and lower "bubblings," or pools of a rivulet in a valley among the hills in this neighbourhood.
Pulpit CommentaryVerse 13. - And unto Caleb. This passage, at least from ver. 15, is found with the slightest possible variation in Judges 1. It has been argued from the variations that the one passage was not copied from the other, but that both were derived from a common document. No such conclusion, however, can be safely drawn from the text. For first, the present narrative deals exclusively with this portion of the history of Caleb. That in Judges, down to ver. 12, deals more generally with the subject, including the exploits of Caleb, under the general history of the progress of Judah. But from the time that the history becomes that of Caleb in particular, the agreement between the two narratives is verbal, including the very unusual word צנח, with one or two most insignificant exceptions. Thus we have הָבָהִ לִּי for תְנָה לִּי, we have גלית for גליות, and we have מִמֶּנּוּ interpolated in Judges 1:13, and Othniel (or Kenez) is spoken of as the younger brother of Caleb. But unless we hold that it was a sacred duty of the writer in Judges to reproduce every single word of the narrative in Joshua, there is nothing whatever that can support the conclusion that the writer in Judges was not copying the earlier narrative. The variations are such as would naturally happen where a writer was transferring, a narrative to his pages with a desire to give the exact sense of the original without tying himself to every particular word. Since the use of inverted commas has been introduced we can find multitudes of instances where a writer, when professing to quote another accurately, has introduced far more variations into his quotation than are to be found here, where the writer, though quoting the Book of Joshua, and quoting it correctly, does not say that he is doing so. No one doubts that Jeremiah in ch. 48. is quoting Isaiah 15, although the passages are not verbally coincident. We may safely regard this quotation of the Book of Joshua in that of Judges, as under all ordinary laws of criticism an evidence that the former book was in existence when the latter was written, just as the quotations of Deuteronomy in Joshua may naturally be taken as evidence that the Book of Deuteronomy was in existence when that of Joshua was composed. The son of Jephunneh. (see Joshua 14:6). A part. Literally, a lot. Among. Rather, in the midst of. Our version is obscure here. Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron. (see Joshua 14:6-15). Keil thinks that he was the tribe father, or chief (sheikh, as the Arabs would call him), of the children of Anak. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary15:13-19 Achsah obtained some land by Caleb's free grant. He gave her a south land. Land indeed, but a south land, dry and apt to be parched. She obtained more, on her request, and he gave the upper and the nether springs. Those who understand it but of one field, watered both with the rain of heaven, and the springs that issued out of the earth, countenance the allusion commonly made to this, when we pray for spiritual and heavenly blessings which relate to our souls, as blessings of the upper springs, and those which relate to the body and the life that now is, as blessings of the nether springs. All the blessings, both of the upper and the nether springs, belong to the children of God. As related to Christ, they have them freely given of the Father, for the lot of their inheritance.Gill's Exposition of the Entire BibleAnd unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah,.... That is, Joshua gave it to him. This account is inserted before the cities in the lot of the tribe of Judah were enumerated, to show what was to be excepted from them, and which had been given to Caleb previous to the lot: according to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua; for as he had declared this to Moses, Deuteronomy 1:36; so it seems he also gave the same order to Joshua, who, it is not improbable, might consult the Lord about it when Caleb made his request, Joshua 14:12, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron; See Gill on Joshua 14:15.
according to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua; for as he had declared this to Moses, Deuteronomy 1:36; so it seems he also gave the same order to Joshua, who, it is not improbable, might consult the Lord about it when Caleb made his request, Joshua 14:12,
even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron; See Gill on Joshua 14:15.