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Bible verses about Zelophehad's five daughters
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Numbers 27:1-11  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Numbers 27 is the appeal of Zelophehad's five daughters to Moses in regard to their inheritance. Their father had died without any sons, and under the law of the time, his daughters were left without an inheritance. The commentators who go into this say that such an appeal was virtually unheard of because at that time a woman's station in society was only slightly higher than a child's. The child was always on the lowest social level, which is one reason why Jesus said we have to become as a child. All of society revolved around men.

Moses does two very interesting things. He not only hears the appeal of these ladies, he humbly admits that he did not know the answer. He takes it to God, and God not only hears it, He gives the ladies more than what they asked for, as all they had asked for was the land. God says, in effect, "Not only can you have the land, but you have the right to pass it on just as if you were Zelophehad's sons." It came under their power completely.

The point is that no leader under God can afford not to listen with fullest attention to the appeals of the lowly or to their counsel. He cannot afford to be in an attitude in which he will not listen to the people that he is supposed to be leading. It is a very important lesson and principle of law that comes out of Moses' humility, meekness, and willingness to hear, whereas other leaders of his day would likely have not even allowed those women to come into their presence.

There are only two cases in the life of Moses in which a woman came before him for either a judgment or in accusation. This was one of them, and the other one was his sister, Miriam. We know what happened to Miriam. It makes for an interesting contrast.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 6)


 

Numbers 36:1-3  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

What if one of Zelophehad's daughters were to marry a Jew? What if another marries an Asherite; a third one, a Benjamite; the fourth, a Gadite; and the fifth, a Simeonite? Who inherits the land when couple number one dies, or couple number two, or couple number three? The problem is that their offspring will not be of the same family and tribe as those in the area in which they are living; they would not be Manassites. They would be Jews, Asherites, Benjamites, Gadites, Simeonites, or whatever.

In other words, land that God gave to Manasseh would pass to the Jews, Asherites, etc., and the Manassites would not own their own land—all because a young person fell in love and married somebody out of his or her tribe.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 17)


 

Numbers 36:4  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Moses' solution to the problem became a judgment and is now part of the Bible. In such a case as with Zelophehad's daughters, they had to marry someone who was a Manassite if they wanted to hang on to the land. If they did not want the land, it would be given up according to the progression given in Numbers 27. They had to forfeit it, though, and it passed from their family altogether.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 17)


 

 




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