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ACHSAH (Heb. עַכְסָה; probably "anklet," cf. Isa. 3:18), the daughter of *Caleb, the son of Jephunneh. Achsah's father announced that he would give her in marriage to the man who would capture Kiriath-Sepher (later called *Debir; modern Tell Beit Mirsim). *Othniel, son of Kenaz, the latter apparently a younger brother of Caleb (Caleb and Kenaz both being the sons of the Kenizzite Jephunneh), took Kiriath-Sepher and married Achsah (Jos. 15:16–17; Judg. 1:12–13). Apparently because Othniel desired a dowry in addition to the girl (whom her father had "given away as Negeb Land" [i.e., without dowry], see Kaufmann ad loc.), she asked her father for a piece of property known as Upper and Lower Springs and Caleb acceded to her request (Jos. 15:18–19; Judg. 1:14–15). This story is told in connection with the apportionment of land to the families of the tribe of Judah (Josh. ibid.; Judg. ibid.). Caleb, according to the critical view, represents a tribe or group of families (cf. i Sam. 25:2–3) that was incorporated into Judah. The detailed story intended to describe the settlement of Othniel and the families of Kenaz in a Calebite region. Furthermore, the story brings to light the relations between the families of Caleb and that of Kenaz (probably both Hurrians).

The name Achsah is derived from the root עכס (cf. Isa. 3:18; Prov. 7:22), meaning to reverse, tie backward, hence anklet, bangle.


Noth, Personennamen, 223. add. bibliography: J. Stamm, in, svt16 ת (fs Baumgartmerl 1967), 328; Y. Amit, Judges (1999), 35–36.