What’s in the name Caleb?

Deuteronomy 1:36, Because he has wholly followed YHVH. What does this statement say about the heart of Caleb? If you check most Hebrew lexicons, you will find that the name Caleb (or Calev) means “dog.” But this is not the whole story.


Hebrew is a very flexible language, and one word can have multiple definitions. The Hebrew word kal and lev literally mean “all heart.” When you think of a dog, what comes to mind? Always happy to see its master, unconditional love, a faithful companion, guarding and protecting its family no matter the cost.

How does Calev’s name fit his spiritual characteristics? What can we learn from Calev about what is pleasing to YHVH. (For more on Calev, read Num 13:30; 14:6, 24, 30; 32:12; Josh 14:6–14.)

Be inspired by this mighty man of faith.


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