|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:13-19 Achsah obtained some land by Caleb's free grant. He gave her a south land. Land indeed, but a south land, dry and apt to be parched. She obtained more, on her request, and he gave the upper and the nether springs. Those who understand it but of one field, watered both with the rain of heaven, and the springs that issued out of the earth, countenance the allusion commonly made to this, when we pray for spiritual and heavenly blessings which relate to our souls, as blessings of the upper springs, and those which relate to the body and the life that now is, as blessings of the nether springs. All the blessings, both of the upper and the nether springs, belong to the children of God. As related to Christ, they have them freely given of the Father, for the lot of their inheritance.
Verse 18. - As she came to him. Whether the bridal procession of the later Jews were already in existence or not, we have no evidence to show. A field. The narrative in Judges has "the field," meaning the particular field mentioned in the passage. Lighted off. Or, sank down; spoken of gradual motion, as of the nail which, when smitten by Jael into Sisera's temples, went down into the ground. So Knobel. Our translation renders it "fastened" there, which is hardly the meaning. This word has been a difficulty to translators. The LXX. renders ἰβόησεν ἐκ τοῦ ὄνου, and the Vulgate still more strangely, "Suspiravit, ut sedebat in asino." The LXX. seems to have read צעק for צנח. The Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic render as our version. What wouldest thou? Or, what is the matter? Literally, What to thee? Achsah's conduct surprised Caleb. It was probably accompanied by an imploring gesture, and occurred before she had reached the house of Othniel, who no doubt had come to meet her; or possibly, according to the later Oriental custom, had escorted her the whole way. A blessing (see 2 Kings 5:15; also Genesis 33:11; 1 Samuel 25:27). The use of the word in the sense of "gift" comes from the fact that to bless is to bestow benefits upon the person blessed (see Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 11, 12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, as she came unto him,.... To her husband, being conducted from her father's house to his, in order to consummate the marriage, just as we may suppose when she was got to her husband's house, before she lighted off the beast on which she rode:
that she moved him to ask of her father a field; or persuaded him to make such a request to him, or that he would give her leave to make it; that is, Achsah put Othniel her espoused husband upon it, to entreat her father Caleb, or suffer her to use her interest with him to obtain a field of him, over and above, and something better, than what he had already given:
and she lighted off her ass; she leaped or threw herself from it; or bowing herself, she fell off on her feet, as Jarchi interprets it, and in an humble manner made her obeisance to her father; though De Dieu, from the use of the word in the Ethiopic language, gives a different sense, as if she continued on her ass, and did not alight, waiting the success of her husband's request; or that her father, taking notice of this, might ask the reason of it, which would give her an opportunity of asking the favour of him, which she judged was a proper time of doing it; and there are some versions which seem to countenance this sense the Septuagint version is,"she cried from off the ass;''and the Vulgate Latin version,"she sighed as she sat upon the ass:"
and Caleb said unto her, what wouldest thou? what wouldest thou have? what is thy request for he perceived, by the posture she put herself in, that she had something to say to him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18, 19. as she came unto him—that is, when about to remove from her father's to her husband's house. She suddenly alighted from her travelling equipage—a mark of respect to her father, and a sign of making some request. She had urged Othniel to broach the matter, but he not wishing to do what appeared like evincing a grasping disposition, she resolved herself to speak out. Taking advantage of the parting scene when a parent's heart was likely to be tender, she begged (as her marriage portion consisted of a field which, having a southern exposure, was comparatively an arid and barren waste) he would add the adjoining one, which abounded in excellent springs. The request being reasonable, it was granted; and the story conveys this important lesson in religion, that if earthly parents are ready to bestow on their children that which is good, much more will our heavenly Father give every necessary blessing to them who ask Him.
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