Numbers 36, the final chapter of the book, deals with laws concerning inheritance and marriage, particularly in the unique case of Zelophehad's daughters. These laws are designed to ensure that land inheritance remains within the original tribe and does not get transferred through marriage to another tribe. Key elements of the chapter include:
Concern of the Leaders of Manasseh: The chapter begins with the leaders of the tribe of Manasseh expressing concern to Moses and the leaders. They worry that if Zelophehad's daughters marry men from other tribes, their inheritance will be transferred out of Manasseh and given to the tribe of their husbands.
God's Law on Inheritance and Marriage: In response, God commands that women who inherit land must marry within their own tribal clan. This law ensures that each tribe of the Israelites will keep the land inheritance of their ancestors.
Marriage of Zelophehad’s Daughters: Zelophehad's daughters obey this command and marry their cousins, men from the families of Manasseh, son of Joseph. This action ensures that their inheritance remains in their father's tribe.
Broader Application of the Law: While this ruling addresses the immediate concern regarding Zelophehad's daughters, it also sets a precedent for all such inheritance cases among the Israelites. The law requires that inherited land remain within the tribe, thereby maintaining the tribal boundaries as distributed in the Promised Land.
Conclusion of the Book of Numbers: The chapter concludes the book of Numbers, which has narrated the Israelites' journey from Mount Sinai to the plains of Moab and detailed the laws governing their community.
Numbers 36 emphasizes the importance of maintaining tribal integrity and the equitable distribution of land. The chapter reflects the Israelite society's values and concerns regarding property rights, inheritance laws, and the preservation of tribal identities and boundaries. The resolution of Zelophehad's daughters' case demonstrates a balance between upholding the rights of female inheritors while preserving tribal heritage and property within Israel.

Numbers 36

1  And the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel:

2  And they said, The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.

3  And if they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance.

4  And when the jubile of the children of Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance be put unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.

5  And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph hath said well.

6  This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry.

7  So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.

8  And every daughter, that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers.

9  Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe; but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance.

🔑 Devotion

10  Even as the LORD commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad:

11  For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married unto their father's brothers' sons:

12  And they were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father.

13  These are the commandments and the judgments, which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

End of Numbers 36

1 Year Plan:  Mar 13 - Num 35, Num 36,  Luk 7

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