Achsah

In Study the Women of the Bible by revealadmin1 Comment

I am inspired by biographies and testimonies of strong women.  Women who were persistent in their dreams, their dedication to their families, and their love for God.  They truly inspire the next generation such as myself.  The women in the Bible are no different: strong, courageous, determined, intelligent, valiant, and knowledgeable.  These women continue to strengthen my spirit to follow my own dreams and ambitions.  One such woman, Achsah, persisted in her desire to work her land.  Fresh, clean water was needed to work dry, deserted land.  This hard working woman was not about to let her inheritance be wasted!  Her story is found in the book of Judges as God’s people begin settling into their long awaited territories……

God’s people are moving into the Promised Land.  When God moves, things begin to shift, change, and transform.  The Israelites have been tried and tested in the wilderness and now the Lord has opened the door for His people to conquer the land given to them.  Victory and losses have subjected these nomads, but persistence will pay off.

During these tests and trials, battles and fatigue, a young man is richly awarded for his valor.  Othniel, a young Hebrew warrior, differentiates himself in battle at Kiriath-separ and wins the hand of Caleb’s daughter Achsah,  “And Caleb said,  ‘I will give my daughter Achsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath-separ.” (Judges 1:12)

Remember,  Caleb had been a close companion and friend of Joshua,  Son of Nun.  The two were among the twelve men selected to spy out Canaan in preparation for the invasion.  They were the only two of their generation who were promised to enter it because of the faith they had shown in God’s promises.  According to Numbers 14:24,  Caleb has a different spirit,  following the Lord fully and being richly rewarded for it.

Achsah, his daughter, has an impressive heritage, which she will bring to her marriage and her husband Othniel.  According to Chronicles 4:15,  she is the only girl in the family with three brothers.  As for her inheritance,  Judges 1:14-15 reads, “One day when Achsah came to Othneil, she urged him (some translations say he urges her, which seems to fit better here) to ask her father for a field.  When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked, her,  ‘What can I do for you?’

She replied,  ‘Do me a special favor.  Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.’  Then Caleb gave her upper and lower springs.”

There are differing points of view on Achsah’s behavior and her dowry after her marriage.  Barry G Webb, Judges and Ruth of the Preaching the Word Series writes, “She urges her new husband to ask her father for a field as her dowry, and when the field turns out to be in the Negev, the dry area in the south of Canaan, she herself presses him to also give her springs to irrigate it.  Achsah is no shrinking violet.  She’s hardheaded and practical.  She knows what is needed and is not backward about making a reasonable request.  And her father, far from being affronted by her boldness as a lesser man might be, gives her what she asked for and more:  ‘And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.’  So, we end with a picture of the desert blooming.  Not just victory in battle, but marriage, land, and fertility – the rich blessing of God.  Othniel is truly a blessed man.  Caleb, himself, who has blessed Othniel and Achsah with their inheritance, at last, in his extreme old age, receives Hebron as his own promised inheritance, a fitting reward for a lifetime of wholehearted service to God.” [1]

Biblegateway.com’s, “All the Women of the Bible” depicts Achsah in a slightly different manner.  “Not content with the noble present her father Caleb had given her, she urged her husband to make a further request, but reading between the lines of the story it would seem as if he felt ungracious to ask for more.  Thus Achsah, who had not learned to be content with what she had approached her father with a significant word for more.  Caleb gave Achsah the springs of water she desired, and in the upper and nether springs, we have a type of spiritual and temporal mercies from our Father above.  As heirs of the promise, His children can humbly and confidently ask and expect great blessings from His generous hand.  Both upper, or heavenly provision, and nether, or earthly necessities come from Him in whom are all our springs.” [2]

When I think of Achsah, I think of the Proverbs 31 woman.  She is practical, wise, and hard working.  She considers a field and buys it and out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously (Proverbs 31:16-17)  When Achsah asked for her dowry, what God allowed for her inheritance, it was a dry desert.  I think Achsah would have been continent with her dowry had it been “workable” land, not dry and desolate.

When “considering” her land, she sets about to work vigorously, but needs water.  How is she to plant, harvest, and provide for her family if the land is useless without water?  I think she is being practical and wise asking for springs of water.  Achsah does not ask for “gold or precious diamonds” from the land,  she asks for springs of water to work her land.  That doesn’t sound like a spoiled daughter who is unsatisfied with her dowry; it sounds like an intelligent, hard working woman who wants to provide for her family and is willing to ask for help.  Nothing else is mentioned about the arrangement and requests she has made, except for springs of water; nor did the Bible say anything in regards to Othniel coming up with another reasonable solution for their dilemma.

I am thankful I have these women in God’s Word to inspire me.  These hard working women, Achsah included, were not going to waste what God had given them, but instead thought of solutions to their problems and worked it out.  If I had to draw a conclusion from Achsah situation, my surmise would be she had a beautiful harvest of whatever she planted in her springs of water.  She does not sound like a woman who would let opportunity pass her by!

I pray her testimony has blessed you.  God gave her an earthly father who followed Him, a brave and valiant warrior as a husband, and provided her with rich land for her family.  She seemed to be an intelligent woman who was willing to work hard for her land, and provided solutions for problems.  She did not just sit around and hope for the best, but Achsah persisted in her requests to her father who gave her, her heart’s desire.  Truly a Proverb’s 31 woman!

Comments

  1. Catherine

    Someone asked me if I had an idea of what I wanted in a husband. Of course I said yes. I’ve had 10 years to think and pray on it. She had no answer to give for herself. Someone else suggested I lower my expectations. I wasn’t asking for a perfect man but someone godly. What am I doing in the meantime regarding myself. Well I am trying the best I can to exercise, eat well and stay in God’s Word. I will say though I have learned to ask for God’s will to be done in my life and not mine. I will not lower my expectation though.

Leave a Comment