Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia


Achsah: Bible

by Julia M. O'Brien

Achsah is the daughter of Caleb, according to the genealogy of the tribe of Judah. She is given to Othniel, son of Kenaz, brother of Caleb, in exchange for his taking of Kiriath-sepher (identified as Debir in Judges). Achsah encourages her new husband to ask Caleb for a field. Her father also asks what she wants; at her request he gives her the upper and lower springs in the Negev (named Gulloth-mayim in Judges). Like the Daughters of Zelophehad, Achsah succeeds in gaining some of her family’s land and water resources, which were normally not available to women in ancient Israel’s patrilineal system; in both cases, however, the women remain vulnerable within the patriarchal system.


Fewell, Danna Nolan. “Deconstructive Criticism: Achsah and the (E)razed City of Writing.” In Judges and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies, edited by Gale A. Yee, 119–145. Minneapolis: 1995.

Meyers, Carol, General Editor. Women in Scripture. New York: 2000.

How to cite this page

O'Brien, Julia M.. "Achsah: Bible." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 17, 2014) <>.