free, but disciplined
devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2369
Num 36:1 The heads of the fathers’ houses of the clan of the people of Gilead the son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of the people of Joseph, came near and spoke in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the leaders, the heads of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel.
Num 36:2 They said, “Yahveh commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel, and my lord was commanded by Yahveh to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters.
Num 36:3 But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance.
Num 36:4 And when the liberation of the people of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry, and their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.”
Num 36:5 And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of Yahveh, and this is what he said “The tribe of the people of Joseph is right.
Num 36:6 This is what Yahveh commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: ‘Let them marry whom they think best, only they will marry within the clan of the tribe of their father.
Num 36:7 The inheritance of the people of Israel will not be transferred from one tribe to another, because every one of the people of Israel will hold on to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.
Num 36:8 And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the people of Israel will be wife to one of the clan of the tribe of her father, so that every one of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers.
Num 36:9 So no inheritance will be transferred from one tribe to another, because each of the tribes of the people of Israel will hold on to its own inheritance.'”
Num 36:10 The daughters of Zelophehad did as Yahveh commanded Moses,
Num 36:11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to sons of their father’s brothers.
Num 36:12 They were married into the clans of the people of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father’s clan.
Num 36:13 These are the commandments and the rules that Yahveh commanded through Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
free, but disciplined
This final passage in this wonderful book once again visits the daughters of Zelophehad. These heroes of the book are not mentioned enough in our sermons and books about this time. They stood up for their rights in a time when that was unheard of. Good on them!
But this last story tells us that the daughters of Zelophehad were not just wide eyed activists. They were also disciplined citizens of the community of Israel. When the LORD commanded that they maintain their father’s inheritance by marrying only within the clan of Manasseh, they heartily agreed to the regulation. Their concern was not just their rights, but doing what it right.
LORD, thank you for the privilege of citizenship in your coming kingdom. Show us how to discipline our lives so that we represent your kingdom well.