Numbers 27:1-11

A Law of Inheritance

27 Then 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, came near; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah. They stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and all the congregation, at the doorway of the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the wilderness, yet he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them.Further, you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his nearest relative in his own family, and he shall possess it; and it shall be a statutory ordinance to the sons of Israel, just as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

As you might be aware, in ancient time, women did not have the same social status as men. For the most part, their role was to gain wealth for their father (by marriage), and then to produce children for their husband… the daughters to gain more wealth for the husband, and the sons to carry on the family name.

But this is an early peak at the value that God places on women. Moses isn’t sure what to do, but God responds with no hesitation that the women are to carry on their father’s inheritance. God created us to be different, to (typically, but not always) have different roles, but he did not create women as inferior by any stretch.

He values all of us greatly, so much that he sacrificed his own son for us. In a culture that publicly denounces the devaluing of women, but privately debases them at every turn, we can show God’s love and remind each other how much he values and loves each individual.

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