Joshua 15:18
And it came to pass, as she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said to her, What would you?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 15:18. As she came — Or, as she went; namely, from her father’s house to her husband’s, as the manner was. She moved him — She persuaded her husband, either, 1st, That he would ask: or rather, 2d, That he would suffer her to ask, as she did. She lighted — That she might address herself to her father in an humble posture, and as a supplicant, which he understood by her gesture.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.Afield - In Judges 1:14, "the field," i. e. the well-known field asked by Achsah and given by Caleb as a "blessing," i. e. as a token of goodwill, which when the Book of Judges was written had become historical. The "field" in question was doubtless in the neighborhood of Debir, and was especially valuable because of its copious springs. Achsah's dismounting was a sign of reverence. 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. As she came unto him, or, as she went, to wit, from her father’s house to her husband’s, as the manner was: see Poole "Matthew 1:18".

She moved him to ask; she persuaded her husband; either,

1. That he would ask; or rather,

2. That he would suffer her to ask, as she did.

She lighted off her ass, that she might address herself to her father in a humble posture, and as a suppliant, which he understood by her gesture. 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.

And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: {f} and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?

(f) Because her husband tarried too long.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. as she came unto him] i. e. as she proceeded to the home of Othniel at Debir to become his wife. “When the parties live in different villages, the bridegroom accompanied by his friends, all well mounted and armed, and escorted with music, repair to the house of the bride, and escort her to her new home.” See the picture of such a procession in Van Lenneps’ Bible Lands and Customs, p. 550.

she moved him] The original word denotes (1) to impel, (2) to incite, induce. Comp. 2 Chronicles 18:2, “And Ahab persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth-Gilead.” “The which, whanne she went to togidre, hir man meeued to hir for to axe of hir fader a feeld.” Wyclif.

a field] more definitely, the field, either (a) which belonged to Debir, as some suppose, or (b) the field which was fit for cultivation, and had a sufficient supply of water.

she lighted off her ass] The original word only occurs in three places; (a) here; (b) the parallel passage in Jdg 1:14; and (c) in Jdg 4:21, “Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent … and went softly unto him.” It denotes (1) to force oneself away from: (2) to descend quickly from, to sink down from, as in Genesis 24:64, “And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.” The LXX. have rendered it, apparently from a different reading, “she cried from the ass;” the Vulgate, “suspiravitque ut sedebat in asino;” and so Wyclif, “And she siзide, as she sat in the asse.”

18. and Caleb said unto her] It would seem as though Othniel could not be prevailed upon to make such a request himself, and that Achsah therefore determined to prefer it herself. Her action in springing from the ass so astonished Caleb, that he put to her the question, “What wouldest thou?”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). Thence "the border went out towards the north-west to the shoulder of Ekron (Akir: see at Joshua 13:3), then bent to Shichron, passed over to Mount Baalah, and went out to Jabneel." Shichron is possibly Sugheir, an hour to the south-west of Jebna (Knobel). But if this is correct, the mountain of Baalah cannot be the short range of hills to the west of Akir which runs almost parallel with the coast Rob. Pal. iii. p. 21), as Knobel supposes; but must be a mountain on the south side of the Wady Surar, since the boundary had already crossed this wady between Ekron and Shichron. Jabneel is the Philistine town of Jabneh, the walls of which were demolished by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6), a place frequently mentioned in the books of Maccabees as well as by Josephus under the name of Jamnia. It still exists as a good-sized village, under the name of Jebnah, upon a small eminence on the western side of Nahr Rubin, four hours to the south of Joppa, and an hour and a half from the sea (Rob. Pal. iii. p. 22). From Jabneh the boundary went out to the (Mediterranean) Sea, probably along the course of the great valley, i.e., the Nahr Rubin, as Robinson supposes (Pal. ii. p. 343). The western boundary was the Great Sea, i.e., the Mediterranean.
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