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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Numbers

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

 

CONTEXT

PART 7A: Records & Laws

Ch.26: [Records] The Second Census

•  on the Plains of Moab before entering the Land

Ch.27: [Law] All about Succession - Zelophehad's Daughters

•  deprived daughters, new laws and Moses' successor

Ch.28: [Law] The Calendar of Remembrance Established

•  the daily, monthly and special annual offerings

Ch.29: [Law] Three Special Times

•  Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles

Ch. 30: [Law] Vows

•  dealing with different sorts of vows

  

   

FRAMEWORKS: Numbers 27: All about Succession

 

v.1-4 Zelophehad's Daughters petition Moses

v.5-11 The Lord lays down new decrees of Succession

v.12-14 The Lord warns Moses his time has come

v.15-17 Moses asks the Lord to appoint a successor to him

v.18-23 The Lord directs Joshua to lead Israel next

 

 

v.1-4 Zelophehad's Daughters petition Moses

 

v.1 The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward

v.2 and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said,

v.3 “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.

v.4 Why should our father's name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father's relatives.”

 

[Notes: These five women, belonging to the tribe of Manasseh, who had presumably been under the age of twenty at the Kadesh judgment, have lost their father who had been over twenty then and has now died in the wilderness, and now make a plea to the leadership that they should not lose out because they have no father OR brothers.]

 

 

v.5-11 The Lord lays down new decrees of Succession

 

v.5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord ,

v.6 and the Lord said to him,

v.7 “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.

v.8 “Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter.

v.9 If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers.

v.10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father's brothers.

v.11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.'”

 

[Notes: When Moses takes this to the Lord, the Lord confirms the need and establishes a new law of succession so that daughters can inherit land in the absence of males left in the family.]

 

 

v.12-14 The Lord warns Moses his time has come

 

v.12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites.

v.13 After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was,

v.14 for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honour me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)

 

[Notes: The time has come, the Lord tells Moses, so leave the people and go into the mountains. There you will die as previously stated.]

 

 

v.15-17 Moses asks the Lord to appoint a successor to him

 

v.15 Moses said to the Lord ,

v.16 “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community

v.17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord 's people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

 

[Notes: As a good leader, Moses asks that a successor be appointed by the Lord.]

 

 

v.18-23 The Lord directs Joshua to lead Israel next

 

v.18 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.

v.19 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence.

v.20 Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him.

v.21 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.”

v.22 Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly.

v.23Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.

   

[Notes: The Lord instructs that Joshua, now one of the two oldest who will be left when Moses goes, and who has been with Moses so much of the time at the Tabernacle, is to take over the leadership. This they do.]

    

     

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 28