Thursday, March 17, 2016

Reflection - Achsah The Daughter Who Asked for More

Source Website: http://womenfromthebook.com/2013/05/06/achsah-the-daughter-who-asked-for-more-part-3/
Posted by womenfromthebook on 6 May 2013


Achsah is Caleb's only daughter
PHOTO: Achsah is Caleb's only daughter
According to one rabbinic tradition, Achsah was so beautiful that any man who looked upon her would be angry with his own wife for being less beautiful.

She also got her pluck and pushy determination.
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Caleb approached his friend, Joshua, with something on his mind. They had experienced many things together since that disastrous spying expedition. At age forty and in his prime, he had been ready to complete the mission entrusted to a covey of spies. Only he and Joshua returned with an encouraging report, and garnered God’s blessing. The rest met an inglorious end, and a quarrelsome Israel found itself consigned to forty years of wandering.

With the passage of time
In spite of the difficulties during those years in the wilderness, the life cycle continued as it always had - births, marriages, families, death - and a new generation emerged to carry out the next objective of entering the promised land. Achsah, Caleb’s little Anklet,[1] had been born during a troublesome time.[2] She’d grown up amid the contentions between the LORD and Israel, watching Caleb and Joshua stand firm in their faithfulness.

Her father was a man of integrity.



The Hebrew word for Achsah translates as ankle or anklet.
PHOTO: The Hebrew word for Achsah translates as ankle or anklet. Both men and women of the time wore bracelets. Women often wore ankle bracelets; those who were wealthy adorned themselves with ones made of gold and which often made a tinkling sound as they walked. Perhaps Achsah was a name of endearment chosen by Caleb and his wife at the birth of one who seems to have been his only daughter.
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It took several years, but finally Canaan was subdued. One by one the tribes received their territories by lot, including Caleb’s own, the tribe of Judah.[3] But the faithful spy had been promised more, and he now prepared to present his petition.

A promise to be claimed
Joshua listened as his trusty companion began to speak.[4]You remember how we were sent by Moses to spy out the land. And how the ten angered the LORD with their evil report. Because I followed God with my whole heart, Moses made a promise that wherever my feet had gone would be my inheritance. That was forty-five years ago. I’ve come to claim his promise.



English: Joshua and Caleb
PHOTO: English: Joshua and Caleb; as in Joshua 14:6-15; illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons, the free media repository
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wdP-mHem2MM/Vup9-NIqiZI/AAAAAAAAjS4/JOk5ckcwxCIPpwY45kGlmo_iaLFVqpsOg/s1600/Joshua_and_Caleb.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Joshua_and_Caleb.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joshua_and_Caleb.jpg
http://womenfromthebook.com/2013/05/06/achsah-the-daughter-who-asked-for-more-part-3/



Caleb proceeded to request the very land that had so terrified the anxious spies - the city of Hebron and its surrounds - home to the Anakim.  Reports indicated the displaced giants were attempting to reestablish themselves after Joshua’s initial rout,[5] and the eighty-five-year- old was itching to dispatch them and claim their stronghold as his own. Joshua honored his friend’s petition, affirming it with his blessing.

A prize for the taking
Caleb and his troops wasted no time taking Hebron and driving out Sheshai, Ahiman, Talmai, the sons of Anak.[6]  Satisfied with his conquest, he turned his attention to Debir, some fifteen or so miles to the south. He had plans for this town.



A prize for the taking
PHOTO: A prize for the taking
To the man who conquered the formidable Debir, Caleb promised the hand of his daughter, Achsah, in marriage.
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Word spread quickly about an extraordinary offer: To the man who conquered the formidable Debir, another city of Anak, Caleb promised the hand of his daughter, Achsah, in marriage. Only one man proved worthy - Othniel, his own brother.[7] Cut from the same cloth as his courageous sibling, Othniel won the city, and returned to present his victory as a sort of bride-price[8] for his lovely niece.



English: Othniel Ben Kenaz
PHOTO: English: Othniel Ben Kenaz is the first of the Biblical Judges.
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons, the free media repository
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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Othoniel_Ben_Kenaz.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Othoniel_Ben_Kenaz.jpg
http://womenfromthebook.com/2013/05/06/achsah-the-daughter-who-asked-for-more-part-3/



It was not as though he was a total stranger. After all, he and Achsah were from the same clan, and relatives; they had experienced the years of wilderness wandering together. Perhaps that fact alone spurred the young man’s ardor for her more than the promise of land. Had her wise father sensed - or perhaps even manipulated - the outcome in advance? Othniel was indeed a fine man.

A dowry of land
True to his word, Caleb gave Achsah to Othniel, and looked on as the young bridegroom and his entourage took her from the family compound to begin a new home. Her dowry[9] consisted not of the customary money or jewelry, but rather, of a piece of land. How many fathers of the day would give such a treasure to a daughter?

There was just one problem - one of considerable magnitude. The parcel he had given to her had no water source - a vital necessity for the productivity of the arid terrain. Achsah expected to grow gardens there, and even maintain some livestock.  She would need more water than cisterns could supply. So she and Othniel devised a plan.



Caleb's daughter - Achsah the Pushy
PHOTO: Caleb's daughter - Achsah the Pushy
Achsah expected to grow gardens there, and even maintain some livestock.  She would need more water than cisterns could supply.
She stood before her father, not Othniel, laying out the reason for her visit and presenting their request.
Father, you gave me a parcel of land, and for that we are grateful,” she began respectfully. “But there is no water. Please give me one blessing more - springs of water.” (Joshua 15:13-19)
Picture posted by Dr David Instone-Brewer, 2011, Caleb's daughter - Achsah the pushy,
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-u1bR9C0bgKo/Vup98Jj-7WI/AAAAAAAAjSk/VWsrpiOJApch8-LCPsqHdCptqsQ6YBj5w/s1600/abigail.JPG
http://www.instonebrewer.com/visualsermons/Caleb/abigail.JPG
http://www.instonebrewer.com/visualsermons/Caleb/_Sermon.htm



A new wife with a mission
Caleb watched the distant figures grow larger until he could clearly see the comely features of his daughter. As her entourage drew close she caught sight of him and quickly dismounted from her donkey, a sign of her enduring respect. After the proper greetings, he listened as Achsah began to speak. This daughter of his was not only beautiful, she had a good head on her shoulders as well. Her husband must have recognized as much, since here she stood before her father, not Othniel, laying out the reason for her visit and presenting their request.



English: Achsah – 'anklet',

PHOTO: English: Achsah – “anklet”, was Caleb ben Yefune’s only daughter (1 Chronicles 2:49).
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons, the free media repository 
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JTXBixhiVSQ/Vup96otqsYI/AAAAAAAAjSQ/SutGrq3ZSbgmZrEiQte21OkPX7FKQ93HA/s1600/Achsah-Axa.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Achsah-Axa.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Achsah-Axa.jpg
http://womenfromthebook.com/2013/05/06/achsah-the-daughter-who-asked-for-more-part-3/



Father, you gave me a parcel of land, and for that we are grateful,” she began respectfully. “But there is no water. Please give me one blessing more - springs of water.” She was asking for an additional gift, and she carefully avoided any perception of making improper demands on the family land allotment.

The terrain of the Negeb where Debir lay situated ranged from fertile and hilly, to dry and arid. Without proper water, no vegetation could survive, nor could an agricultural endeavor thrive. Instead of challenging her request, and viewing it as a violation of the laws of inheritance, Caleb gave her an adjoining field which contained both upper springs and lower springs,[10] virtually insuring the productivity of her land.

As Achsah returned to her new home, she was secure in the knowledge that her household would be fed, her potential for commerce improved, and her husband’s worth would increase - all because she dared to ask for more.



Achsah returned to her new home, she was secure in the knowledge that her household would be fed, her potential for commerce improved, and her husband’s worth would increase - all because she dared to ask for more.
PHOTO: Achsah returned to her new home, she was secure in the knowledge that her household would be fed, her potential for commerce improved, and her husband’s worth would increase - all because she dared to ask for more. Actually she got twice as much as she demanded - Upper and Lower springs
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Instead of challenging her request, and viewing it as a violation of the laws of inheritance, Caleb gave her an adjoining field which contained both upper springs and lower springs,[10] virtually insuring the productivity of her land.
PHOTO: Instead of challenging her request, and viewing it as a violation of the laws of inheritance, Caleb gave her an adjoining field which contained both upper springs and lower springs,[10] virtually insuring the productivity of her land.
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Afterwards
Some years later Othniel proved himself once again a valiant warrior, moving against the Mesopotamians who had been oppressing Israel. He became the first judge of Israel (Judges 3:7-11).
Scripture records, “So the land had rest for forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.” There is no other mention of Achsah.

Posted by womenfromthebook on 6 May 2013


One final twist in the story of Achsah. [11]
- we can see now where she got her pluck and pushy determination
- from her father, who refused to give in to anything, even to old age
- he finally met his match when his own daughter stood up to him
- she demanded some good land as well as the desert scrub he'd given her
- actually she got twice as much as she demanded - Upper and Lower springs
- so perhaps her father was a softy in the end, at least with regard to his daughter



Achsah.got her pluck and pushy determination
PHOTO: Achsah.got her pluck and pushy determination
But women who were pushy and stood up to men later became offensive and wrong. Later, when the Greek culture took over the world, the role of women changed.
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But women who were pushy and stood up to men later became offensive and wrong
- later, when the Greek culture took over the world, the role of women changed
- women were supposed to know their place and keep out of the way of men
- they had their own quarters and stayed there while the men worked and played
- this story offended the Greeks who translated the Old Testament in 200 BC
- so they made a subtle change in their translation which was normally very literal
- instead of translating literally that Achsar "told her husband to ask her father"
- they wrote "she suggested to him: I will ask my father…",
- so they turned Achsah, a strong determined daughter of Caleb into a dutiful wife.



The Greeks who translated the Old Testament in 200 BC made a subtle change in their translation.
PHOTO: The Greeks who translated the Old Testament in 200 BC made a subtle change in their translation.
Instead of translating literally that Achsar "told her husband to ask her father", they wrote "she suggested to him: I will ask my father…". So they turned Achsah, a strong determined daughter of Caleb into a dutiful wife.
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Personally I prefer the Bible as it was – with Achsah as a strong pushy woman
- women like Achsah who stood up to the Canaanites, fighting when necessary
- women like Achsah carved out a new life in the Wild West of America
- whatever misgivings we have about the way Indians were treated, most of the new immigrants were just settlers in a harsh land which they turned into fertile fields
- women like Achsah were at the forefront of many missionary movements
- brave women served Jesus abroad when they weren't allowed to serve at home
- and women like Achsah now serve in all branches of the church
- where would the church be without them?



Women like Achsah were at the forefront of many missionary movements
PHOTO: Women like Achsah were at the forefront of many missionary movements
Brave women served Jesus abroad when they weren't allowed to serve at home and women like Achsah now serve in all branches of the church. Where would the church be without them?

Picture Posted by Joana Saahirah of Cairo on 26 October 2010 at 11:46 PM - CLEOPATRA, A LIFE
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Achsah as a strong pushy woman stood up to the Canaanites, fighting when necessary.
PHOTO: Achsah as a strong pushy woman stood up to the Canaanites, fighting when necessary. Women like Achsah carved out a new life in the Wild West of America.
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God has given us all kinds of talents and temperaments
- some have the courage to stride forward without anyone showing the way
- others of us prefer to follow in paths which have already been tested
- some of us are fearful of what people think, of hardship and of failure
- others don't care about any of those things, but want to explore further
- we are all different, and God made us for different tasks in his Kingdom
- so long as we all acknowledges God as King and seek his will we should all get to the right conclusion, even if we find each other's methods irritating sometimes.
- we should respect each others gifts without jealousy or disrespect
- because whatever our characters, we are made in God's image for his glory.



God has given us all kinds of talents and temperaments
PHOTO: God has given us all kinds of talents and temperaments
So long as we all acknowledges God as King and seek his will we should all get to the right conclusion, even if we find each other's methods irritating sometimes.
We should respect each others gifts without jealousy or disrespect because whatever our characters, we are made in God's image for his glory.
Picture posted by Getty Images - Achsah demanded some good land as well as the desert scrub Caleb had given her. She got twice as much as she demanded, she got also the Upper and Lower springs.
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We can be like Achsah when we pray.
PHOTO: We can be like Achsah when we pray. She had strong faith and trust that God would keep His promises. Our heavenly Father wants to bless us. We should be bold as she was when we present our petitions. We should not be surprised if our Father gives us even more than we asked.

Achsah was a woman who boldly asked.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened…. how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  (Matthew 7: 7,8,11).

"Dear Lord, We pray that we can be like Achsah, having strong faith and trust in You. We pray that we boldly asked for what we need in Jesus Christ name. Amen."
Texts posted by MyLordKatie on 11 March 2013, Achsah - Daring Daughter,
https://mylordkatie.wordpress.com/category/biblical-women/page/9/
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Reference
[1] The Hebrew word for Achsah translates as ankle or anklet. Both men and women of the time wore bracelets. Women often wore ankle bracelets; those who were wealthy adorned themselves with ones made of gold and which often made a tinkling sound as they walked. Perhaps Achsah was a name of endearment chosen by Caleb and his wife at the birth of one who seems to have been his only daughter. According to one rabbinic tradition, Achsah was so beautiful that any man who looked upon her would be angry with his own wife for being less beautiful. For more information, see Illustrated Manners and Customs of the Bible (1980), Packer & Tenny, Eds., p 484.

[2] I feel it likely that Caleb also had sons, but in referencing the genealogies in I Chronicles 2 there are two Calebs who lived several hundred years apart. It proves challenging to distinguish between them with regard to their wives and offspring. So I will err on the side of caution and stick with what the Bible clearly records: Caleb the spy had a daughter named Achsah.

[3] Commentators discuss whether Caleb was fully of the tribe of Judah by ancestry, or included by adoption. See Fausset’s Bible Dictionary, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, and McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia, topic “Caleb.”

[4] What follows is my paraphrase of Joshua 14:6-13.

[5] Some sources comment that possibly the Anakim had reestablished themselves in the environs of Hebron, and thus had to be re-conquered. See Joshua: His Life and Times (circa 1889), William J. Deane, p 142, and Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, electronic version (1996), comment on Joshua 14. I have adopted that scenario for this post; however there is not full agreement that this indeed was the case.

[6] Joshua 15: 14

[7] There is much discussion as to Othniel’s relationship to Caleb. Some feel that he was Caleb’s brother or half-brother by a different mother (Deane, p 142; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Joshua 15:17) while others identify him as a nephew (The Woman’s Study Bible, Joshua 15, profile “Achsah”).

[8] For more on bride-price and marriage customs, please see Mary Hendren’s upcoming post on Rebekah.

[9] According to one source, the dowry remained the woman’s even if she were widowed or divorced. Achsah’s interest in water supply could have future ramifications.

[10] Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary has some interesting comments concerning the possible location of these springs, and their relevance to Arab shepherds. See notes on Joshua 15:19. William Deane (Joshua: His Life and Times) records a citation from Pal. Survey Reports (1874), written by Scottish geologist, JamesGeikie, that “in a secluded valley near Debir there is quite a phenomenal supply of water, fourteen springs in all, some in the upper part of the valley, some in the lower, which never fail in the driest summer; the land thus fertilized became Achsah’s portion” (p 143).

[11] Dr David Instone-Brewer, 2011,  Caleb's daughter - Achsah the pushy, http://www.instonebrewer.com/visualsermons/Caleb/_Sermon.htm

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