Why is Caleb's name exactly the Hebrew word for dog (keleb)? He's the spy from Judah who, along with Joshua from Ephraim, entered the promised land and decided that (against the other 10 spies) the Israelites could enter and defeat the greater forces by following God's command.
Deuteronomy 1:35-36, “Not one of these—not one of this evil generation—shall see the good land that I swore to give to your ancestors, 36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and to his descendants I will give the land on which he set foot, because of he utterly followed the Lord.”
What did the Israelites think about dogs in this era? Was this a nickname? Is he an invented character with a name to match? He was utterly obedient to God? Did the Israelites believe that dogs were obedient and was Yahweh his master?
I also found this interesting commentary from Solomon in Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 9:4, But whoever is joined with all the living has trust, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
What does this mean to be a living dog? Joined with all the living? Why is Caleb's name also "Dog?" It seems that names are instructive here. In Numbers 13:16, Moses changes Hosea's name to Joshua. This change seems to speak to the upcoming conflict. Hosea means "saves by his own hand" (what the ten spies thought), and Joshua means "Yahweh saves" which is the stance that Joshua and Caleb thought.
Can anyone provide some insight into the concept of the dog in the exodus narrative in the Torah?