The Right of Inheritance

The daughters of Zelophehad were wise and cunning

Numbers 26 & 27 Louis May Alcott wrote a classic called Little Women and later Little Men. All have captivated audiences and still do today. But here, in an obscure passage, we read about not four but five little women and the problem they faced. As Moses recorded the male inheritances of Israel’s children, he listed the names of men—not women–from 20 yrs. old and up. In the middle, we read: Zelophehad had no sons, only five daughters. He had stood firm against those who had tested the Lord and was found faithful. But, male hierarchy and the law said only males could inherit the land. So these five daughters wondered what happens to our father’s inheritance. What about us? They wanted their faithful father’s legacy to continue.

Bravely but graciously, these five women entered the men’s arena to seek a change in the rules. They entered a patriarchal society to claim their father’s inheritance rights. Moses was in a quandary! Wisely Moses went straight to God and heard they were right, teaching us that God honors courage and humility. These five little women gained the right to inheritance and preservation of their father’s legacy!  Women of today take heart! You, too, can be wise, tenacious, brave, and courageous.

Zelophehad raised five courageous women, and fathers can do the same today. These five little women sought to honor their deceased father, and God honored their request.   

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