Numbers – Chapter 27: Zelophehad’s Daughters

Prior to reading this chapter I’m already cringing.  The title has the word ‘daughters’ in it and the Bible has very little good to say about females.  All right, time to stop procrastinating.  It’s time to see what is up with Zelophehad’s daughters.

“Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.” – Numbers 27:3-4

This is from the daughters and they are correct.  Their value should not be determined by their sex.

“So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him, ‘What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.’” – Numbers 27:5-7

Wait, what?  Has the Lord grown a heart!?!?!  These verses suggest just that!  And that’s the end of this story.  Unbelievable!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there are finally a few verses supporting women in the Bible, but it’s just a shocker at this point.  Women have a right to an inheritance.  Go God!  Granted, I don’t believe in you and we are only two chapters removed from you killing people out of hate, but I’ll give you some props here.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.’” – Numbers 27:12-14

Actually there’s no clear evidence Moses and Aaron disobeyed God, but then again, God doesn’t really care much about who obeys and disobeys when He dishes out punishments (see book of Job, for more examples of this).

“So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him.  Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence.  Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him.  He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.’” – Numbers 27:18-21

This is a key moment in the Bible as it signals the nearing of the end of Moses and the beginning of Joshua.  This is a period of transition among the Israelites as they close in upon the promised land, although not Moses.  Moses has obeyed God more than anyone else, yet he is not allowed to see or step foot in the promised land.  That’s Biblical justice for you.

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