And Caleb said, He that smites Kirjathsepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.…
To Achsah Caleb gave a south land — a plot of land with a southern aspect. It did not face the dark and chilly north; but the midday sun beat full upon it. But still she has a request to make: the blessing given her is not enough. The text reminds us of the blessing God has given us in the gospel. "A south land." What splendour of light — what a clear revelation of His mind and will! Never has anything been seen on earth to rival it! Think of this! The splendour of gospel light — the clear discovery of the way of our salvation — the vision of a perfect harmony between all God's attributes, no less than between the creature's highest good and the Creator's highest glory! Ours is a "south land." The light does not come to us refracted through an atmosphere of types and shadows; but falls full, so that our eyes are dazzled and filled with tears; for it is "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God" seen "in the face of Jesus Christ." What fervour of love! There is light in the wintry meteor that blazes across the northern sky, but there is no warmth in it — nothing to stir the dulness of sleeping germs or folded buds, to bring the blade through the soil or the blossom on the tree. But sun-rays have heat as well as light in them — they have a quickening as well as an illuminating power. And so the gospel is as fervent as it is splendid — it brings near to us a God of light and love. Such is the blessing already given to all who are faithfully taught the glorious gospel. The text tells us of another blessing yet to be implored. See the case of Achsah. The mere possession of south land was not enough for her; the light and heat of the noonday sun were not enough. Her heritage needed another kind of influence to make it fruitful — that influence that comes with springs of water. Without this the sun might shine and glow in vain — nay, worse than in vain: it might soon become a curse rather than a blessing. When "the heavens are as brass, and the earth is as iron," that land fares badly that faces the southern sun, and is without springs of water. How naturally, then, might Achsah put up the prayer, "Thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water." See our case. Oh, it is very terrible to think of, but plainly declared — that the great blessing of the gospel may become a curse! If it is not "a savour of life unto life," it will prove "a savour of death unto death." If it does not make us fruitful to man's good and God's glory, it will only harden us, wither us, consume us. O dwellers in the south land, awake! Awake, and cry aloud for "springs of water." See the work of the Holy Spirit. That work is very frequently referred to in Holy Scripture under the figure of rain from heaven: rain, sometimes filling the wells and watercourses, and sometimes feeding the secret springs. Observe — there is no antagonism between the work of Christ and the work of the Spirit, any more than between sun and rain. The one is the supplement to the other; both co-operate harmoniously together to one blessed end.
(F. Tucker, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.