Skip to content
Home » The Meaning Of Caleb In The Bible

The Meaning Of Caleb In The Bible

Caleb is a Hebrew name that means “faithful,” “whole-hearted,” “bold,” or “brave.” Some people also think that it might mean “devotion to God.” The name is derived from two Hebrew words, “kal” and “lev,” which when put together mean “whole-hearted.” 

Caleb is one of the only two ancient Israelites to finally enter the promise land after setting out from Egypt in the Old Testament. The name has been popular since, remaining in the top 100 for the last three decades. 

The Meaning Of Caleb In The Bible

Caleb is a name that appears in the Bible, and it has a rich history and meaning. In this blog post, we will explore the meaning of Caleb in the Bible, its significance, and some interesting facts about Caleb.

Caleb is originally a Biblical boy’s name, coming from the Old Testament. It’s a Hebrew boy’s name, coming from two different Hebrew words, “Kal” and “lev.” Kal means “whole,” and lev means “heart.”

The two words mean “wholehearted,” and the pronunciation has changed through translation and time. Now, the V is pronounced as B, which brings us to the name we have today.

Caleb was a biblical hero who accompanied Joshua to the Promised Land. He was a faithful Israelite and a great warrior, and one of two Israelites who made it from Egypt to the land of Canaan.

Caleb Meaning

The name Caleb is of Hebrew origin and means “faithful,” “devoted,” or “whole-hearted.” It is derived from two Hebrew words, “kal” and “lev,” which when put together mean “wholehearted.” The name is also related to the Hebrew word for dog, which can connote faithfulness.

Caleb In The Bible

Caleb is a prominent figure in the Bible. He was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. Alongside Joshua, he demonstrated unwavering faith and confidence in God’s promises. Out of the twelve spies, only Caleb and Joshua brought back a positive report, expressing confidence in God’s ability to deliver the land into their hands.

Caleb was also one of the only two Israelites who left Egypt with Moses that lived to make it into Canaan. He was a representative of the tribe of Judah during the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land.

There are two men named Caleb in the Bible, both from Judah. The lesser known of the famous Calebs is a son of Hezron, who is a son of Perez, who is a son of Judah and Tamar (1 Chronicles 2:18). This Caleb marries Azubah and Jerioth and Ephrath who becomes the mother of Hur (1 Chronicles 2:19). He also has a concubine named Ephah, who bears him Haran, Moza, Gazez and Jahdai.

The most famous Caleb is a son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and a chief of Judah who joins the contingent that Moses assembles to have the promised land spied out (Exodus 13:6). The other famous member of this group is Joshua, who later becomes Moses’ successor (see Exodus 13:8 and 13:16).

The contingent consists of twelve members, ten of whom condemn the ensuing campaign. Joshua and Caleb remind Israel that God is on their side, but the Israelites are not convinced. Only after God intercedes, executes the ten fear mongers and states that none of the Israelites who are then alive, except Caleb and Joshua, will see the Promised Land, they move on (Numbers 13-14).

Caleb is awarded Hebron (Joshua 14:13-14), longevity and a substantial posterity, which in time forms the Judahite sub-clan of the Calebites. Nabal, the man who foolishly opposes David, is a Calebite (1 Samuel 25:3), although it may very well be that he wasn’t a Calebite by descent but by behavior. The Hebrew ethnonym is an adjective; the word Calebite, כלבי, would literally mean ‘Caleb-like’. Yet, Nabal is called a כלבו, which rather means ‘his Caleb(ness)’. Perhaps Nabal was “harsh and evil in his dealings, and a dog of a man” (25:3, rephrased)

Caleb’s daughter is called Achsah and she becomes the wife of Caleb’s nephew Othniel, after he conquered Debir (Joshua 15:17).

Interesting Facts About Caleb in the Bible

Here are some interesting facts about Caleb:

  • Caleb was one of the spies sent into Canaan as one of 12 spies.
  • The meaning of the name Caleb is “faithful,” “devoted,” or “whole-hearted”.
  • Caleb’s name means dog-like in Hebrew.
  • He was a companion of Joshua and Moses.
  • He led Israelites to the promised land.
  • Faithful, brave, and ruthless is the meaning of the word Caleb.
  • He was sent into Canaan as one of 12 spies.
  • He was a representative of the tribe of Judah.
  • He was chosen as one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan.
  • Out of twelve spies, only Caleb and Joshua brought back a positive report, expressing confidence in God’s ability to deliver the land into their hands.

Is Caleb a Good Name?

Caleb is a popular name among Christians. It has remained in the top 100 list of most popular names for boys for decades. As of 2021, it is ranked 51st as the most popular name for boys in the United States, according to data from the Social Security Administration. Not as ubiquitous as some of the most popular names of the year, but common enough that you won’t have to worry about people pronouncing it wrong. The name has become commonplace amongst Christians and people who prefer to give their children biblical names.

Variations of Caleb

Caleb doesn’t have very many variations, but there are a few. Most of them are either English or Hebrew, with a few Greek and Latin options. These variations of Caleb are both in English and Hebrew:

  • Kaleb
  • Khaleb
  • Khalev
  • Kalib
  • Chaleb
  • Cale

Nicknames for Caleb

There are not a ton of nicknames for Caleb. Maybe because it’s a two-syllable word, perhaps because it’s a traditional Bible name, Caleb doesn’t get shortened all that much. However, there are a few (but maybe don’t try these on a Caleb unless you’re best pals).

Conclusion

In conclusion, Caleb is a name with rich history and meaning. It represents faithfulness, devotion, and wholeheartedness. It is a popular name among Christians and people who prefer biblical names for their children.

I hope this blog post helps you understand more about Caleb in the Bible.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *