Numbers 27 (CEV)
The Daughters of Zelophehad Are Given Land
1Zelophehad was from the Manasseh tribe, and he had five daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
2One day his daughters went to the sacred tent, where they met with Moses, Eleazar, and some other leaders of Israel, as well as a large crowd of Israelites. The young women said:
3You know that our father died in the desert. But it was for something he did wrong, not for joining with Korah in rebelling against the LORD.
Our father left no sons 4to carry on his family name. But why should his name die out for that reason? Give us some land like the rest of his relatives in our clan, so our father’s name can live on.
5Moses asked the LORD what should be done, 6and the LORD answered:
7Zelophehad’s daughters are right. They should each be given part of the land their father would have received.
8Tell the Israelites that when a man dies without a son, his daughter will inherit his land. 9If he has no daughter, his brothers will inherit the land. 10But if he has no brothers, his father’s brothers will inherit the land. 11And if his father has no brothers, the land must be given to his nearest relative in the clan. This is my law, and the Israelites must obey it.
The remarkable thing about these laws is that they were all made in anticipation — in faith — of coming into the inheritance of land in the Canaan. This was a real issue, at this time, for the daughters of Zelophehad show they were real women of faith, concerned about dividing up what they did not yet have in their hands, but knew they would possess by faith.
The daughters of Tzelafchad were righteous women. They did not marry until they were forty years old. They waited for suitors worthy of them.
–from the Talmud
Joshua Is Appointed Israel’s Leader
12The LORD said to Moses, ” One day you will go up into the Abarim Mountains, and from there you will see the land I am giving the Israelites. 13After you have seen it, you will die, just like your brother Aaron, 14because both of you disobeyed me at Meribah near the town of Kadesh in the Zin Desert. When the Israelites insulted me there, you didn’t believe in my holy power.” 15Moses replied, 16” You are the LORD God, and you know what is in everyone’s heart. So I ask you to appoint a leader for Israel. 17Your people need someone to lead them into battle, or else they will be like sheep wandering around without a shepherd.”
Matthew 9:36 (New International Version)
When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
John 10:11 (New International Version)
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
John 1:29 (New International Version)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
HERE is a look forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus. “Mary, Did You Know . . . that your baby boy is Heaven’s perfect lamb?” Sung by Donny Osmond.
18The LORD answered, ” Joshua son of Nun can do the job. Place your hands on him to show that he is the one to take your place. 19Then go with him and have him stand in front of Eleazar the priest and the Israelites. Appoint Joshua as their new leader 20and tell them they must now obey him, just as they obey you. 21But Joshua must depend on Eleazar to find out from me what I want him to do as he leads Israel into battle.” 22Moses followed the LORD’s instructions and took Joshua to Eleazar and the people, 23then he placed his hands on Joshua and appointed him Israel’s leader.
This public presentation and laying of hands on Joshua was important. It let the whole nation know that Joshua was now the leader and the nation should expect to follow him.