Daughters in the Bible: Achsah, Asked for What She Needed

“Caleb’s daughter was Achsah.”   {1 Chronicles 2:49} At first glance, it is easy to move past her story and not understand her story or the importance.  Some Bible translations spell her name Aksah.

Joshua was one of the spies Moses sent into Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb were encouraged.

Caleb is growing older and eager for a son-in-law.  If you remember, Caleb and Joshua were the only two Israelites that lived to see the promised land.

“Eager to have son’s-in-law as courageous and faith-filled as himself, Caleb promised his daughter Achsah to the man who would attack and take Kirjath Sepher.”  {Every Woman in the Bible}

And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Achsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Achsah to him in marriage.

While Caleb is seeking a son-in-law, he also develops a test.  Whoever is to be his son-in-law has to prove their worth.  His daughter means a lot to him and he is only going to hand her off in marriage to a man who can prove his worth and has proven that he is worthy.

A 1692 depiction of Canaan, by Philip Lea from Wikipedia

“Caleb must have thought that his daughter Achsah was special, since he offered her to the man who would conquer Kirjah Sepher, which was located in Canaan. It is doubtful that a man would go to battle to win the hand of a woman if he did not think she was special also.”  {Every Woman in the Bible}

Othniel accepts the challenge.  Maybe he already had his eye on Achsah.  He proves his worth and conquers Kirjah Sepher and married Caleb’s daughter.

They had been married for a while when she approached her husband to ask her father for some land. She felt comfortable approaching both her husband and her father.

“While Achsah had no legal right to hold land in her own name, her influence with her

Joshua and Caleb were two of Moses spies and warriors

husband and father was critical in providing for her family.”  {Every Woman in the Bible}

“ One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?”  {Joshua 15:18}

She urged her father to go to her father, but then she made a specific request of her father.

 She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.    {Joshua 15:16-19/ Judges 1:9-15}

Achsah asked her father for a spring of water on the land requested by her husband. This shows what a close bond the father and daughter had with one another.

Joshua and Caleb gazing at the Promised Land

“Achsah must have felt especially close to her father also.  She felt comfortable enough to tell her husband to ask for land from her father, and after he had given them land, she felt secure enough to pay a call on him and ask to be blessed with some land with springs as well.  If this father and daughter didn’t have a good rapport and trust, she probably would not have felt free to make these request.”  {Every Woman in the Bible}

Little girls and women need a strong male role model in their father’s.  After all, as little girls we usually long to marry a man like our Daddy.  But, even when we do not have a good Daddy on earth to serve as our role model {and sadly some children do not}, we can rest knowing we have a heavenly Daddy who loves us and will listen. There are times when it is not easy to ask for what we need and we allow pride to stand in our way.

“Sometimes communicating with God or even other people is the most direct way of having our needs met, yet often we are unwilling to ask.”  {Women—the Life and Times}

Do you allow pride to stand in the way?  We should never be afraid to ask God for what we need.  He may know, but He still wants us to ask.  Then, if we’re afraid to ask others, we can ask God to clear the way and make the path straighter.

Do you ask for what you need?

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