Chapter fourteen begins the record of how Canaan was divided among the western tribes. Although Joshua 14:1 says that the territories were assigned by Eleazar, Joshua, and the tribal leaders, Joshua 14:2 clarifies that they determined the boundaries “by drawing lots,” which was a way to hear from God. It is also clarified that Joseph did not receive an allotment, but his two sons did, Manasseh and Ephraim. Since Levi did not receive an allotment, that balanced the twelve tribal sections.
Joshua 14:6-15 records a special conversation between Caleb and Joshua. These were the only two men who survived the desert wandering judgment, because they faithfully stood against the other ten spies and said that God could be trusted to conquer Canaan. Because of their faithfulness, even when the entire nation rebelled, they were allowed to enter the land and watch God fulfill exactly what they knew he would.
Caleb told Joshua that he was 40 years old when they spied out the land. Forty-five years later he was “still as strong as when Moses sent [him] out” to spy. He had the same energy and was finally ready to conquer the hill country that God promised he could have (Deuteronomy 1:36). Interestingly, the hill country was the home of the Anakites, whom the spies were afraid of when they gave their report (Numbers 13:28). After asking “God to empower Caleb,” Joshua released him to take his land. “Then the land was free from war” (Joshua 14:15). What a perfect reward for a faithful man.