He Wholly Followed the LORD

Okay, not gonna lie, the CSB took a bit of a hit for me this morning.

While I’m pretty quick to pull the trigger on some things, other things, like switching which translation of the bible I use, takes a bit longer. It’s been over 10 years since I made the call to start reading the English Standard Version (ESV) rather than the New King James Version (NKJV) which I had been reading for years before that. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been toying with whether it wouldn’t be beneficial to change things up a bit and starting reading the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation. Part of considering that switch is to reference the CSB in my bible app during my morning readings. This morning, for me at least, the CSB fell a bit short when it came to bearing witness of Caleb’s character.

Bearing witness. That’s the thought that came to mind as I read Joshua 14 this morning. Particularly the biblical principle of a matter being established by two or three witnesses (Mt. 18:16, 2Cor. 13:1, 1Tim. 5:19). And in Joshua 14, there are clearly three witnesses bearing testimony concerning Caleb.

“But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the LORD my God.”

~ Caleb’s testimony on his own behalf (Joshua 14:8 ESV)

“And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.‘”

~ Moses’ testimony (Joshua 14:9 ESV)

“Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the LORD, the God of Israel.

~ Joshua’s testimony (Joshua 14:14 ESV)

On the evidence of three witnesses, I’m thinking I’m on pretty solid ground to take away that Caleb wholly followed the LORD. And here’s where the CSB comes up short for me, it translates the original as Caleb “remained loyal” to the LORD.

Now I get the connection and how both translations convey the same idea. But you gotta admit, there is a weight to the ESV that I don’t get from the CSB. While the CSB may be accurate, the ESV is inspiring.

The single word in the original has the idea of being filled, or complete. Some translations use the word fully. How did Caleb follow the LORD? Fully. All in. Wholly. Remained loyal feels like he stood His ground. Wholly followed conveys more the sense he was about taking ground.

Not a big deal. I really do think that next year I may start using the CSB for my morning readings. But this morning, my soul is stirred as think I about someone wholly following the LORD. Aspiring to be like that someone. But realizing that while Caleb might be great example for me, He is an even better foreshadow of the One who came to rescue me. Jesus wholly followed His Father’s will.

My Savior was all in. Fully committed. Didn’t waver from taking ground the enemy thought he had secured.

Praise God for a Redeemer who wholly followed the LORD!

The fullness of God’s grace. Completely in for God’s glory.

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