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Achsah: Bible

by Julia M. O'Brien

A likeness of Achsah, daughter of Caleb, published in Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum by Guillaume Rouillé, 1553. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Article

Achsah is the daughter of Caleb, according to the genealogy of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 2:49). She is given to Othniel, son of Kenaz, brother of Caleb, in exchange for his taking of Kiriath-sepher, identified as Debir in Judges, (Joshua 15:16-19). 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 (Judges 1:9-15). 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. However, in both cases, the women remain vulnerable within the patriarchal system.

Bibliography

Bal, Mieke Bal. "Dealing/With/Women: Daughters in the Book of Judges.” In Women in the Bible: A Reader, edited by Alice Bach. New York: Routledge, 1999, 317-333.

Ben-Barak, Zafrira. Inheritance by Daughters in Israel and the Ancient Near East: a Social, Legal and Ideological Revolution. Jaffa: Archaeological Center Publications, 2006.

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.

Ilan, Tal. "The Daughters of Zelophehad and Women’s Inheritance: The Biblical Injunction and Its Outcome." A Feminist Companion to the Bible: Exodus to Deuteronomy (2000): 176-86.

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

Russaw, Kimberly D. Daughters in the Hebrew Bible. Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2018.

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How to cite this page

O'Brien, Julia M.. "Achsah: Bible." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 31 December 1999. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on August 3, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/achsah-bible>.