Offering your daughter as a reward (15:16) was not unheard of (ISam.18:17,25). Caleb’s daughter is a type of the bride of Christ. God was married to Israel (Isa.54:1-10), but when they began to worship other gods, God considered it spiritual adultery and divorced her for cheating on Him (Jer.3:8).
But God plans to remarry Israel in the person of Christ. That’s why Revelation 19:7 says the Lamb will marry His “wife,” not His bride, for they got engaged way back in the wilderness (Jer.2:2), and married in time past. We know the wedding will take place at the beginning of the millennium, for the kingdom is described a few verses later (20:1-3). That’s also when the land of Israel will be divided up again into 12 sections, one for each of Israel’s 12 tribes, as a sort of wedding present for the happy couple. And we’re seeing this all typified here in Joshua, when the land is divvied up here, and Caleb’s daughter is married here as well.
But to marry Caleb’s daughter, Othniel had to conquer a town in Israel. The Bible calls this overcoming Canaan’s towns (Num.13:30). So when God helped Othniel overcome the unsaved men in Kirjath-sepher to get his bride, that’s a type of how the Lord Jesus will help Tribulation Jews overcome the unsaved men in the Tribulation to get His Bride (IJo.4:1-4). They’ll be saying antichrist is Christ, so Jews will have to overcome them by their faith in Jesus Christ (I John 5:4,5; Rev.2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21).
If they do, they’ll be clothed in white like a bride (Rev.3:5) to symbolize their righteousness (Rev.19:7,8), the way our brides wear white to symbolize their purity. We get in on being part of the bride by grace (Rom.7:4; II Cor.11:2), the way Adam and Eve and Noah, etc., got in on it, even though they weren’t part of Israel either. Some say we can’t be part of the bride because, as members of His Body, we’re part of the groom. But kingdom Jews were also part of the groom (Rom.16:7). So who’s the bride? The Lord overcame unseen wicked spirits at the cross for the saved of all ages (Rev.3:20), so the bride will be made up of all God’s saved.
Brides get new names, like Eve became Mrs. Adam (Gen.5: 2), because they become so one with their husbands that they lose their identities in theirs. That happens to us positionally when we get saved, but it won’t happen experientially until we can’t sin any more and express our old identity.
God wrote His old name on Aaron (Ex.28:36), but plans to write His new name on all the people in His bride (Rev.3:5; Jer.23:5,6 cf. 33:16).
But land without water isn’t much good, so Caleb’s daughter got an additional wedding present (Josh.15:18,19), water!—a type of the water of eternal life (John 4:13,14; Rev.22:17).
If the dividing of the land in Joshua is a type of the dividing of the land in the kingdom, as we’ve seen, does that mean there’ll be complaining in the kingdom (Josh.17:14)? Yes, and judges will settle those issues (Isa.1:25,26; Mt.19:28).
“A great people” (Josh.17:14) meant numerous (cf.IKi.3:8). They were griping that the lot Joshua gave them wasn’t big enough. But he assigned them two lots (Josh.14:4); just had not taken possession of the second. So he told them to (v.15). They said it still wouldn’t be big enough, but that was a lame excuse to hide the fact they were afraid of the giants.
Joshua sounds like he was giving them the kind of pep talk that God said to give Israel’s army before battles (Deut.20:1-4), but he wasn’t their priest, he was their commander. He was actually assuring them that if they’d go back to obeying God, then he’d send the priest to assure them that God would fight for them. Spiritual leaders today who assure modern Gentile armies that God is fighting for them are making a dispensational error–one that might cost soldiers their lives!