Daily Devotional Tuesday 22nd September 2020

by William Moody

Numbers 27

The Daughters of Zelophehad

27:1 Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of Manasseh the son of Joseph. The names of his daughters were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the chiefs and all the congregation, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah, but died for his own sin. And he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be taken away from his clan because he had no son? Give to us a possession among our father’s brothers.”

Moses brought their case before the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right. You shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father’s brothers and transfer the inheritance of their father to them. And you shall speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. And if he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 And if he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to the nearest kinsman of his clan, and he shall possess it. And it shall be for the people of Israel a statute and rule, as the LORD commanded Moses.’”

Joshua to Succeed Moses

12 The LORD said to Moses, “Go up into this mountain of Abarim and see the land that I have given to the people of Israel. 13 When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, 14 because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin when the congregation quarreled, failing to uphold me as holy at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) 15 Moses spoke to the LORD, saying, 16 “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation 17 who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” 18 So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him. 19 Make him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. 20 You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey. 21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.” 22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole congregation, 23 and he laid his hands on him and commissioned him as the LORD directed through Moses.


This chapter is about people inheriting. We first have the appeal of the daughters of Zelophehad, for them to inherit property in the Promised Land, in their late father’s name (v1-4). Up until then only sons could inherit and as there were no sons in this family they would not inherit anything.

Moses turns to the Lord for guidance (v5-7). It was not a matter of what he thought was right or wrong, but rather what God said. The result was these daughters and other daughters in a similar situation would inherit (v8-11).

God’s people need to come before Him when there are situations of injustice.

The second inheritance was for someone to succeed Moses as leader of the people (v12-23). This was needed because of how Moses would not be permitted to enter the Promised Land due to his sin in bringing water from the rock and drawing attention to himself (v12-14; see Numbers 20 v9-12).

Much time has passed, but God’s memory of the incident and His judgment remains the same. Sin for God is no trivial thing, whether it be the sin of today, or the sin of decades ago.

Moses wants a suitable leader to be found (15-17) and Joshua son of Nun is chosen (v18-21)? He was to be commissioned by Moses in front of all the people (v22-23), so that they would know and remember that he was God’s appointed man. Joshua was not to lead the people as they wanted, but as God commanded him too.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
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