Arabs in the Bible #1: Caleb is an Arab

Tomb of Caleb

Surprising Fact #1: Caleb is likely an Arab that God promises the land of Hebron


1) Caleb is Ghalib in Arabic and means conqueror. It is very likely the mighty warrior, a friend of Joshua, and leader of the tribe of Judah, was an Arab. Because of his radical faith in God's promise to give Israel the promised land, he was given a place of leadership over Judah and the land of Hebron.

So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.  (Joshua 14:6-15)
But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land. (Numbers 14:24)
Joshua & Caleb speaking to Moses
 2) Caleb is likely an Arab. He is the son of Jephunneh, a Kennizite from the tribe of Kenaz. (Numbers 13:6) The tribe of Kenaz came from Esau's Canaanite wife named Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite (Gen. 36:2). Interestingly, Esau also married a daughter of his uncle Ishmael named Basemath (Gen. 36:3). Ishmael is considered to be the father of many Arab nations and believed by many Muslims to be in the genealogical line of their esteemed prophet Mohammed.

3) Caleb's brother, Othniel became the first judge of Israel and marries Achsah the daughter of Caleb as a reward for driving out Cush-rishathaim, the king of Mesopotamia from the area of Hebron and Debir (12 miles southwest of Hebron). (Joshua 15:13-19)

Reference

"God Loves Arabs, Too" by Bahjat Hamada

Arabs in the Bible #2: Moses Married an Arab!