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Zelophehad’s Daughters(A)

27 Now the daughters of Hepher’s son Zelophehad, Gilead’s grandson, who had been fathered by Machir, who had been fathered by Manasseh, from the tribe of Manasseh, the direct son of Joseph, were named Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They approached Moses, Eleazar the priest, the elders, and the entire community at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, stood before them, and said, “Our father died in the wilderness, but he wasn’t with the company of those who gathered against the Lord along with the company of Korah. He died in his own sin, and he had no sons. Why are you going to eliminate the name of our father from his family, just because he had no son? Give us a possession from among our father’s relatives.”

So Moses brought the family into the Lord’s presence, and the Lord told Moses, “The daughters of Zelophehad are telling the truth. You are certainly to give to them a possession for an inheritance among their father’s relatives. You are to pass on the inheritance of their father to them. Tell the Israelis that when a man dies without a son, you are to pass his inheritance to his daughter. If he doesn’t have a daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he doesn’t have brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father doesn’t have brothers, then give his inheritance to a relative who is nearest to him from the family and he’ll take possession of it. This is to be a permanent ordinance[a] for the Israelis, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Preparations for a Successor to Moses

12 Then the Lord told Moses, “You are to climb these Abarim mountains and look over the land that I’m going to give the Israelis. 13 After you’ve seen it, you’ll be taken to be with your people just as your brother Aaron was gathered to them,[b] 14 because in the wilderness of Zin, when the community rebelled, you rebelled against my command to treat me as holy before their eyes in regards to the Meribah Springs in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.”

15 Moses responded to the Lord, 16 “May the Lord God of the spirits of all living creatures appoint a man over the community 17 who will go in and out before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in so that the Lord’s community won’t be like a flock without a shepherd.”

God Appoints Joshua

18 “Select Nun’s son Joshua. The Spirit is in that man,” the Lord answered Moses. “You are to lay your hand on him 19 and make him stand in front of Eleazar the priest and the entire community. Then you are to set him in charge right before their eyes, 20 turning over your authority[c] to him so that the entire community of Israel knows to[d] obey him. 21 You are to make him stand in the presence of Eleazar the priest, who is to inquire on his behalf using the Urim[e] in the presence of the Lord regarding a decision of judgment, because by his command[f] he and all the Israelis with him will go out or come in.”

22 So Moses did what the Lord had commanded him. He took Joshua, made him stand in the presence of Eleazar the priest and the entire community, 23 laid his hands on him, and charged him, just as the Lord had commanded, using Moses’ authority.[g]


  1. Numbers 27:11 Lit. a statute, an ordinance
  2. Numbers 27:13 The Heb. lacks to them
  3. Numbers 27:20 Or power
  4. Numbers 27:20 The Heb. lacks knows to
  5. Numbers 27:21 I.e. a part of the priest’s breast piece by which God provided revelation; cf. 1Sam 28:6
  6. Numbers 27:21 Lit. mouth
  7. Numbers 27:23 Lit. hand

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