1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.
2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.
5 And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.
6 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.
8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.
9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.
10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethren.
11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.
12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.
13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.
14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
15 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying,
16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,
17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.
18 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;
19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.
20 And thou shalt put some of thine honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:
23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
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The book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Pentateuch, also known as the Torah, which contains the first five books of the Old Testament. It is believed to have been written by Moses and covers the Israelites' journey from Mount Sinai to the Promised Land. Chapter 27 of the book of Numbers continues the narrative of the Israelites' journey and focuses on the laws of inheritance for women, the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor, and the laws of offerings and sacrifices. This chapter also serves as a reminder of God's faithfulness to His people and His promise to give them the land of Canaan.
In the beginning of chapter 27, five daughters of a man named Zelophehad come before Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of the community to plead for their father's inheritance. Zelophehad had died without any sons, and according to the laws of inheritance, his property would be passed down to his male relatives. However, his daughters, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah, argue that since their father had no sons, they should be given his inheritance.
Moses brings their case before the Lord, who responds by giving a new law of inheritance. The Lord declares that if a man dies without a son, his inheritance will be passed on to his daughters. If he has no daughters, then his inheritance will be given to his brothers. If he has no brothers, then it will be given to his father's brothers. This law ensures that the land and property remain within the family and tribe. It also recognizes the rights and importance of women in society, contrary to the common practice of the time.
This theme of inheritance for women highlights the value God places on equality and justice. He does not discriminate against women and gives them the same rights and privileges as men. This law also shows God's concern for the well-being and provision of families, as the inheritance would ensure their security and stability.
The next part of chapter 27 focuses on the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor. The Lord instructs Moses to go up to Mount Abarim and see the land of Canaan, which He promised to give to the Israelites. However, Moses will not be able to enter the land because of his disobedience at the waters of Meribah. The Lord also tells Moses to lay his hands on Joshua and commission him to lead the people into the Promised Land.
Joshua had been a faithful servant to Moses and had accompanied him on many journeys. He was also one of the twelve spies who had explored the land of Canaan and brought back a good report. Therefore, it was fitting for Joshua to be chosen as the new leader of the Israelites. This appointment shows the importance of obedience and faithfulness to God's chosen leaders. It also serves as a reminder that God is the one who ultimately chooses and appoints leaders.
Moreover, this event foreshadows the coming of Jesus Christ, who would be the ultimate successor and leader of God's people. Just as Moses laid his hands on Joshua, symbolically transferring his authority and blessing, Jesus would come to take on the sins of the world and become the ultimate mediator between God and man.
The final part of chapter 27 deals with the laws of offerings and sacrifices. The Lord instructs Moses to give the Israelites specific instructions for offerings and sacrifices, which were to be observed in the land of Canaan. These offerings and sacrifices were a way for the Israelites to show their gratitude and devotion to God and to atone for their sins.
The Lord also reminds the people that these offerings and sacrifices must be given willingly and with a pure heart. He does not desire empty rituals or sacrifices, but a sincere and humble heart. This serves as a reminder that God desires a personal and intimate relationship with His people, rather than just outward displays of religious practices.
Chapter 27 of the book of Numbers holds several important lessons for believers today. It shows the importance of equality and justice, as seen in the law of inheritance for women. It also highlights the significance of obedience and faithfulness to God's chosen leaders, as seen in the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor.
Furthermore, this chapter foreshadows the coming of Jesus Christ, who would ultimately become the perfect mediator between God and man. The laws of offerings and sacrifices also serve as a reminder of the importance of a sincere and humble heart in our relationship with God.
Overall, chapter 27 of the book of Numbers serves as a reminder of God's faithfulness and provision for His people. He fulfills His promises and chooses leaders to guide and protect His people. As believers, we can trust in God's sovereignty and follow His laws with a willing and humble heart, knowing that He has our best interests in mind.