Numbers 27

Chapter 27

Zelophehad’s Daughters.[a] 1 The daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, the son of Joseph came forward. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 2 They stood before Moses and Eleazar, the priest, and the leaders and all the assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting. They said, 3 “Our father died in the desert, but he was not in the band of those who conspired together with Korah against the Lord. He died on account of his own sin. He had no sons. 4 Why should the name of our father perish from his clan because he did not have a son? Give us property among our father’s kinsmen.”

5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord. 6 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 7 “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is just. You surely must give them property as an inheritance among their father’s kinsmen, and you must turn their father’s inheritance over to them. 8 Say to the people of Israel, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, then turn over his inheritance to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, then turn over his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, then give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If the father has no brothers, you will give his inheritance to his nearest kinsman in his clan so that he might possess it. This will be a statute and an ordinance for the people of Israel, as the Lord commanded Moses.’ ”

12 Joshua Commissioned by Moses. The Lord said to Moses, “Go up onto Mount Abarim and look upon the land that I have given to the people of Israel. 13 After you have seen it, you will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was, 14 for in the Desert of Zin, in the strife over the water with the assembly, you both disobeyed my command to treat me as holy before their eyes.” (This is the water of Meribah in Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)

15 Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, 16 “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, place a man over the assembly 17 who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the assembly of the Lord might not be like sheep without a shepherd.”[b] 18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom the Spirit is found, and lay your hand upon him. 19 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before the whole assembly and commission him in their sight. 20 Give him some of your authority, so that the assembly of the people of Israel might obey. 21 He will stand before Eleazar, the priest, who will inquire for him before the Lord with the judgment of the Urim. At his word they will go out, and at his word they will come in, he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole assembly.”[c]

22 So Moses did as the Lord had commanded him. He took Joshua and brought him before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. 23 He laid his hand upon him and commissioned him, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.


  1. Numbers 27:1 The fact that women engage in this type of bargaining concerning their rights of inheritance through their dead father is extraordinary for this time.
  2. Numbers 27:17 Joshua will have authority to make all decisions that are useful in directing the advance of the people.
  3. Numbers 27:21 Although Joshua is appointed as successor to Moses (Deut 34:9), it is clear that he does not have the direct line to the Lord that Moses enjoyed.

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