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  • Numbers 27

    Zelophehad’s daughters’ inheritance

    27 The daughters of Zelophehad, Hepher’s son, Gilead’s grandson, Machir’s great-grandson, and Manasseh’s great-great-grandson, belonging to the clan of Manasseh son of Joseph, came forward. His daughters’ names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the chiefs, and the entire community at the entrance of the meeting tent and said, “Our father died in the desert. He wasn’t part of the community who gathered against the Lord with Korah’s community. He died for his own sin, but he had no sons. Why should our father’s name be taken away from his clan because he didn’t have a son? Give us property among our father’s brothers.”

    Moses brought their case before the Lord. The Lord said to Moses: Zelophehad’s daughters are right in what they are saying. By all means, give them property as an inheritance among their father’s brothers. Hand over their father’s inheritance to them. Speak to the Israelites and say: If a man dies and doesn’t have a son, you must hand his inheritance over to his daughters. If he doesn’t have a daughter, you will give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he doesn’t have any brothers, you should give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, you should give his inheritance to his nearest relative from his clan. He will take possession of it. This will be a regulation and a case law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.

    Announcement of Moses’ death

    12 The Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain, Abarim, and look at the land that I’ve given to the Israelites. 13 You will see it and then join your ancestors just as Aaron your brother has, 14 because in the Zin desert, when the community confronted you, you rebelled against my command to show them my holiness by means of the water.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the Zin desert.)

    15 Moses spoke to the Lord: 16 “Let the Lord, the God of all living things, appoint someone over the community 17 who will go out before them and return before them, someone who will lead them out and bring them back, so that the Lord’s community won’t be like sheep without their shepherd.”

    18 The Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua, Nun’s son, a man who has the spirit, and lay your hand on him. 19 Place him before Eleazar the priest and the entire community and commission him before them. 20 You will give him some of your power so that the entire Israelite community may obey. 21 He will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will determine for him the decision by lot before the Lord. At his command, he and all the Israelites with him, the entire community, will go out, and at his command they will return.”

    22 Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and placed him before Eleazar the priest and the entire community. 23 He laid his hands on him and commissioned him as the Lord had spoken through Moses.