Numbers 36 “A Stickey-Wicket Problem or Not?
Zelophehad had been a devoted father who had five daughters but no sons! We know he was faithful because the daughters eulogized him in chapter 27 “Our father died in the wilderness, although he was not part of the company of those that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah, but he died for his own sin, and he had no sons.” Because the tribal lineage and legacy went through the male line, these daughters learned that their father’s name would be lost from among his family because of this law. Boldly, they asked Moses to rule that they receive Zelophehad’s inheritance, and God agreed. Fast forward to chapter 36, and we find that the heads of their tribe came to Moses and reminded him that if they married out of their tribe, their dowry would be given to the new husband, the new tribe, along with their land.
The girls agreed they should only marry in their tribe so that there would not be a problem with the land inheritance in the year of the Jubilee. God placed this long tale to remind us how to honor one’s legacy. These daughters are role models for obedience, decisions, and choices. They are mentioned in 3 chapters of Numbers and Joshua—and consistently named in their birth order.