JOSHUA and CALEB: Refuting the Two-House Theory

When it comes to Gentiles/Christians "Awakening to Torah," few passages are more important than the ones in Parashah 37: Shlach L'kha (Send on your behalf); Numbers 13:1 through 15:41. In this particular Torah portion we not only discover why the Israelites ended up in the desert for 40 years (they didn't trust YHWH!); but there are some deeper issues for both Jews and Christians to ponder, as our friend Jay Weisburd reveals in the article below!

Let's begin our study with the story of the 12 Scouts, which:

  • Explains why Christians need to understand how G-d blessed them within the Torah.
  • Tells us why those who "deJudaize" from the days of Marcion and Constantine actually deny God's blessings.
  • Shows how from before they even entered the Promised Land, the Jew and the Gentile were one...which is quite a few years before Yeshua walked amongst us.
  • Refutes the "two house" theory.

To understand this better, let's first set the stage. In Genesis 15, G-d establishes the Abramic covenant:

Genesis 15: 13 Then the Lord said to him, "Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."

So, we know Abram's descendants will claim G-d'S land, but not until they have spent four centuries in Egypt...not until the 4th generation.

Genesis 15: 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates - 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

Note that this covenant will cover Abraham's descendants. While the Jews will tell you they are the "chosen people," G-d has chosen any who come from Abraham's seed to receive the land!

Let's skip now, though, to the THIRD GENERATION - Abraham's grandsons. When Isaac's son's wife, Rebekkah, is pregnant, we read:

Genesis 25: 19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham's son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other,and the older will serve the younger."

So, both of Abram's descendants, Esau and Jacob, will be patriarchs of nations. And the older one will end up subservient to the younger. We also read in Genesis 25 that on the day Abraham dies (we know it is when Abraham died first because the chapter begins with the story of Abraham's death and also because Esau sold his birthright for "lentil soup," which in those days was the meal of mourning.

When Esau sells his birthright, he also surrenders his descendants' claim to any of the blessings which would be coming to them upon his death. The laws of "primogeniture," rights of the first born son (legitimate son, as G-d had told Abraham the blessings would come through his legitimate son, Isaac, not through his first born biological son, Ishmael) would have given all of Abraham's belongings to Esau, with Jacob getting any leftovers...But first Esau sold his rights, then Jacob deceived Isaac on his deathbed, so there were no blessings to give to Esau, who joined Ishmael, his uncle and Abraham's first born son, and became the patriarch of the pagans, the Edomites.

Let's fast forward four centuries to the days of the Exodus. As G-d told Abraham, his descendants suffered in slavery in Egypt before the day of the Exodus, but those descendants were not just the offspring of Jacob. Esau's offspring also were called into slavery. So, when Moses led the people out, as it says, in Exodus 15:

37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.

So, a mixed multitude, in Hebrew the "Erev Rav," also went with the Israelites, and whatever happened to the nation happened not just to those who hailed from Jacob, but also to those who fomed the Erev Rav. This includes the gathering at the bottom of Mt. Sinai when G-d gave Moses the tablets. No place in the Bible does it say "while Moses and the rest of the Israelites gathered at G-d's call, the multitudes stayed in their tents because they knew G-d did not mean them when He called the people together." So, the Mosaic covenant was given to ALL WHO MADE THAT EXODUS.

Therefore, when it says in Numbers 13: - 1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders." 3 So at the Lord's command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites - it applies to all who have chosen to be part of the nation, as well as those who were born unto the nation.

This is especially true of circumcision. Remember what circumcision is.

Genesis 17 says G-d has a part in what He will give as part of the covenant, but the people who will fall under the covenant must carry the sign of acceptance of that covenant--CIRCUMCISION.

Genesis 17: 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."

9 Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner-those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

It would be impossible, therefore, for one to be considered a "leader" of those seeking the Promised Land if they (a) did not carry the sign of acceptance of that land by being circumcised, or (b) been a role model of how to live in compliance with G-d's commandments.

So, every one of those 12 men named allegedly lived in observance of the Torah. So, let's look at these men....Actually, we only need to look at two of them, as the other 10 would die before they reached Canaan, and they would no longer be of any consequence.

Genesis 13: 6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;


Genesis 13: 8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;

Genesis 13: 16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.) (Or as many know by now, Y'hoshua(Yeshua)...The Lord's SALVATION.)

But we need to dig further to find out anything about Caleb other than what happens in this story and beyond. To find out that information, years ago I inserted Caleb's name into the search engine and what I discovered were the following verses:

Numbers 32: 12 not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.'


Joshua 14: 6 [ Allotment for Caleb ] Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me.

Jephunneh is a Kenizzite, NOT AN ISRAELITE...If a man's tribal association is based on his father's lineage, then Caleb was born a Kenizzite; which means he has to have become an Israelite either by choice, or by slavery! How it happened is not discussed in the Bible, nor is it important. What is important is that Caleb CHOSE to be a leader of the tribe of Judah, a Yehudi.

Caleb, then, would be the first official JEW to enter the Promised Land. So, long before Yeshua, THE JEW AND THE GENTILE ARE ONE! One was a Jew by the original definition only if one came from the tribe of Judah. One from the tribe of Levi is a Levite, from Benjamin a Benjamite, from Gad a Gadite, etc.

If we go back to Genesis 15, we first read that the Kenizzites were the name of a tribe which Abraham's descendants would overcome to obtain G-d's Land. It didn't make sense...why would G-d overcome a people just to give land back to them? And, why would He tell Abraham the covenant would cover his "descendants" if the Kenizzites were PRECEDents (there before not after?)

It would make G-d a hypocrite to conquer a group of people on one hand and reward a member of their tribe with land on the other, and to give the land to those who come from Abraham's seed but give it also to those who were there before him. This is a fundamental rule of the Bible - If anything makes YHWH OR YESHUA appear imperfect, or to sin in any way, then there must be something either missing or being misunderstood, or else the Bible itself is imperfect!

And searching further, I found what was missing by checking out the family line of the "other grandson," Esau.

Firstly, if the tribal name is Kenizzite, then the patriarch of that tribe would be something like Kenaz, or so I reasoned. So, I put Kenaz into the Bible Gateway search engine and sure and enough, I found the following:

Genesis 36: 15 These were the chiefs among Esau's descendants: The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz....

Going to Genesis 36, we find the following: 9 This is the account of the family line of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. 10 These are the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz, the son of Esau's wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau's wife Basemath. 11 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz. 15 These were the chiefs among Esau's descendants: The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz. 40 These were the chiefs descended from Esau, by name, according to their clans and regions: Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz…43 These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements in the land they occupied.

If these chiefs were given their own settlements, then those who came from their tribe would be called accordingly. Esau was a descendant of Abraham, so those who came from these tribes would also be, by birth or choice, descendants of Abraham.

So, Caleb was a Jew who was originally a Gentile...where is the TWO HOUSE theory? He comes from the lineage of Esau...A Jew who was not born an Israelite, while Y'hoshua was an Israelite who was not born a Jew, yet as the Torah reading tells us, they would be the only two to stand firm in their conviction of G-d and, as this reading tells us, they will both receive the blessing of the land, the only men over 20 years of age to enter the Promised Land each of the first two times (first as scouts, then as the conquering nation)...WHERE IS THIS A TWO-HOUSE THEORY?

Weren't Caleb's ancestor, Esau, and Joshua's, Jacob, carried in ONE WOMB, living as children in ONE HOUSE, descendants of ONE GRANDFATHER? Yes, Esau strayed, but just as we read in the story of the Prodigal Son, Caleb returned on his behalf, so that Esau's line could get the birth rights their patriarch sold.

When the scouts went out, they should have been aware that G-d had already told Moses, first in Exodus 3, the chapter about the Burning Bush:

Exodus 3: 7 The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey-the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.

10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." 11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" 12 And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain." 13 Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"

14 God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I am has sent me to you.'" 15 God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you.' "This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. 16 "Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites-a land flowing with milk and honey.'

G-d even said it will take time in Exodus 23, but He will send His Angel ahead of the Israelites, and He would help them conquer the pagan tribes: 20 "See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.

27 "I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. 28 I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

31 "I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. 32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you."

He spoke similarly in Exodus 34, where He says all it would take to conquer these enemies would be to obey His Commandments. But only two of the thousands over age 20 believed His promise...the Israelite who was not a Jew (Joshua) and the Jew who was not born an Israelite (Caleb).

So, when the people believe the scouts' reports that the enemy made them look like grasshoppers, ignoring the fact that compared to G-d's immense size we are smaller than ant manure, G-d gives the people Grace and decides to let them live but not allow any of those over 20 to enter the Promised Land.

In Numbers 14:20 we read how G-d said to Moses, "I have forgiven them, as you asked." So, Grace was obviously existing before the New Covenant!

21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times- 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.

Now, Christians, here comes your blessing!

Numbers 14: 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea."

What G-d is saying when He says Caleb has a "different spirit" is that he was born of a pagan spirit, of a father who believed in many gods, not of HaShem, but He observes Torah. He observes G-d's Appointed Times/Feasts. In the face of adversity, He believes G-d will deliver him...So for this belief, both Caleb and HIS DESCENDANTS will receive the same blessing: The Land Adonai has given the Israelites.

I have heard and read it said, even from a Messianic Jew, that when G-d says "different spirit," he means "different mindset than the scouts." But that raises the question: Why didn't He include Joshua in that remark, or even point out Joshua, as we read elsewhere in the Scripture where G-d commends Joshua's spirit?

Numbers 27: 18 So the Lord said to Moses, "Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him.


Deuteronomy 34: 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.

So, why was Joshua excluded from this blessing? Because, having come from the lineage of Jacob, Joshua was covered from the start, provided - as he and Caleb did - he obeyed the commandments, observed the Appointed Times, and held firm in his love for G-d and his commandments. But we needed to know that Caleb, though his family origin was Edomite, was now covered, as are his descendants...any Christian who though he or she is not born under the covenant nonetheless OBSERVES TORAH. Consequently, I cannot reiterate enough that ALL who believe in the G-d of Abrahan, Issac and Jacob MUST be Torah observant!

When one denounces Judaism, he actually says "I don't want the blessing given to Caleb, even though it was intended to cover me and mine." Remember where the Millennial Kingdom will be based - in the NEW JERUSALEM, the new version of the Promised Land.

But Caleb did not just get any portion of the Land of Milk and Honey. He actually got one of the most important parcels....

Joshua 14 allots Caleb and his descendants their own parcel of land: 6 Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me.

7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.'

...13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war.

Hebron plays a critical role in Israel's history. Genesis 13 says it is here that the covenant of the land begins:

14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you." 18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.

Hebron is where Abraham and Isaac and their wives are buried, but it plays another major role in the course of time....

In 2 Samuel 2 David inquired of the Lord: "Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?" he asked.

The Lord said, "Go up."

David asked, "Where shall I go?"

"To Hebron," the Lord answered.

2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.

So Caleb gets the parcel of land where the covenant is realized, AND THE PARCEL OF LAND WHERE THE ETERNAL KINGDOM which runs through the House of David and Yeshua, begins.

In Joshua 15, we read that Judah got its own parcel of land, so the blessing given to Caleb, that particular portion of land, is truly hallowed ground. In the Torah, that same Scripture the church has often denounced, G-d makes provisions for the Gentiles as He did for the Jews.

And when one denounces the blessings given to Caleb, this land, where the Abramic and Davidic covenants began, they are declining those blessings!

But the story of Caleb in the Bible does not end in the Old Testament. Understand that Caleb's name in English means "dog." In Matthew 15, we read the story of Canaanite woman:

Matthew 15: 21...Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly." 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." 24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." 25 The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. 26 He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." 27 "Yes it is, Lord," she said. "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." 28 Then Jesus said to her, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Remember, Yeshua spoke in parables...often Gospel has a meaning behind a meaning. If we relate this to the story we just recounted, Yeshua is supposedly going after the Israelites, but Caleb's descendants were also children of the covenant.

Verse 26 can be interpreted "It is not right to take what is given to G-d's children and give any portion to the 'Calebites"." This woman, though she be born of a "different spirit," loves Yeshua wholeheartedly, ad reminds Him, for the sake of those around Him and for those who will read the Gospel, yes it is okay even for the "Calebites" to get a portion of what the "Master" is giving others." Recognizing her faith, as G-d had recognized His servant Caleb's faith, Yeshua rewards her as His Father gave her ancestor, Caleb, his portion along with what He gave the Israelites.

So, if we want our portion of the crumbs, of the land, of the New Jerusalem, even if we are of a different spirit - whether we be Jew or Gentile - G-d wants us to obey His commandments, observe His Times, love Him and - as the New Covenant says - the way to the Father is now through the Son, to honor Yeshua!

In conclusion, it is not coincidental that when the tribes split, the leading tribe of the scattering, Ephraim, is the ancestral tribe of Joshua; while the tribe that maintains allegiance to the Lord is the ancestral tribe of Caleb, the one who chose to obey the commandments in the first place.