For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2001 James Melough


The first reference to this man whose name means seasonable speaking of God, is in Joshua 15, where he is presented as the nephew of the faithful, whole-hearted Caleb.

Caleb, having vanquished the three sons of the giant, and having secured his own inheritance in Canaan, encouraged others to do likewise, that encouragement being expressed in his promise to give his daughter Achsah, meaning to tinkle or anklet as wife to the man who would capture Kirjath-sepher city of the book.  His nephew Othniel captured the city, and received Achsah as his wife.

It doesn’t require any great stretch of the imagination to see in this man whose name speaks clearly of witness for God, a figure of the Lord Jesus Christ Who was God’s perfect Witness, being Himself, “God ... manifest in the flesh,” 1 Tim 3:16.  Nor is it difficult to see in his taking Kirjath-sepher from the hand of the enemy, a picture of Christ wresting the world from the hand of Satan, the battle for Kirjath-sepher being but a foreshadowing of the battle fought at Calvary, not only for a groaning creation, but for your soul and mine.

And his being given Achsah as his bride is a symbol easily deciphered: she represents the Church, the Bride given Christ by the Father as the reward of Calvary’s travail.  Nor should we miss the significance of the meaning of her name.  The tinkling ankle ornament speaks of testimony, for the foot is the Biblical symbol of the walk or manner of life.  As her steps were accompanied by the tinkling of the anklet, so are the steps of those who constitute the Bride of Christ, to be accompanied by the sound of testimony.  As was the bridegroom so was the bride.  His name, as we have noted already, is synonymous with testimony, and so is hers.   It is God’s desire that the spiritual reality should be the accurate fulfillment of the type.  As Achsah was the perfect complement of Othniel, so is the Church to be of Christ.  Her witness is to be the continuation of His.

It is to be noted that Judges 1:12-15 is a virtual repetition of Josh 15:16-19, the repetition, very obviously, being to emphasize the importance which God attaches to this symbolic picture.  It is as though He has written it twice for the benefit of those who might have overlooked it the first time.  We do well to examine carefully what God has taken the trouble to set before us twice.

The beginning of Judges, however, introduces us to a scene far different from that presented in Joshua.  With Joshua gone, Israel quickly lapsed into flagrant idolatry, so that instead of enjoying blessing, they languished under chastisement; and the type has been all too accurately fulfilled.  As Joshua bequeathed to Israel a vanquished Canaan which they had but to take and enjoy, so did the true Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, bequeath to men, a kingdom won from the hand of the enemy, a kingdom they had but to enter by faith and enjoy.  But as it was in the type so also is it in reality.  The Church, instead of fulfilling the type of Achsah, has fulfilled instead the type of disobedient Israel - and with the same result: as the one groaned under the yoke of the foe they should have exterminated, so does the other.  The world that should have been subject to the Church, has become the master, and those who should have walked in the enjoyment of blessing, groan instead under Divine chastisement.

But God’s chastisements are not capricious.  Their purpose is to produce repentance.  As soon as Israel turned from her folly, and cried out to God, He heard her cry, and “... the Lord raised up a deliverer (savior) ... who delivered them, even Othniel....” Judges 3:9.

The very same one who had fought to give them Canaan, is he who now rises up to deliver them from the bondage into which their sin has brought them. 

The type is fulfilled in Christ.  He Who first secured our inheritance, is He Who lives today to deliver us from the bondage and misery into which our disobedience so often brings us, so that we might, even here on earth, walk in the enjoyment of all that has been secured for us by His victory at Calvary.


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough