DAUGHTERS OF THE KING
Thank you, Lord Jesus—your death purchased my inheritance. Because you rose from the dead, it is secure.
Read NUMBERS 27:1-11
27 The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward 2 and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said, 3 “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. 4 Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”
5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord, 6 and the Lord said to him, 7 “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.
8 “Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
You are a daughter, you are a son, of the King of Kings. Soak in the wonder of this breathtaking privilege.
Until 2013, Britain’s heir to the throne was the monarch’s firstborn son. Only where there were no sons did the crown pass to the eldest daughter. With changes in succession laws, however, sons and daughters now enjoy equal rights to the throne. By law and custom, only sons enjoyed inheritance rights in Israel. Since Zelophehad had no sons, his daughters challenge this practice. First, the women’s actions represent a faith statement. Although the conquest is still an unrealized promise, these women act out of the assurance that it will take place, demonstrating that ‘faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’1 Second, they had just cause for concern, since disappearance of the family name (v 4) was frequently associated with divine judgment and ‘an inheritance’ in the land (v 7) was linked to fellowship with God and inclusion in the covenant. Third, although they are assertive in approaching the tabernacle (v 2), these women are not aggressive but submit their concerns to God’s appointed leader. It says much for Moses’ leadership that he didn’t dismiss the case out of hand, citing tradition or personal opinion, but sought God’s direction (v 5).2
God doesn’t just rule in favor of these women, he declares this a law for all Israel (vs 8–11). Even this is only a step in the right direction. Progress is often viewed as moving with the times, but really it’s about moving closer to God’s original intention – in this case, going back to the beginning, where men and women were, equally, image-bearers of God and inheritors of his blessing.3 The coming of the new Moses, Jesus, represents a giant leap forward into a new community where women would be co-heirs – not merely inheriting in the absence of sons but equally together with sons.4
Where God’s Word is silent or unclear, the church must seek Spirit-shaped wisdom to make God-pleasing decisions.
Thank you, gracious Father for your gift of the Holy Spirit, the guarantee of my inheritance in Christ. Thank you for the blessings of today, as well as for those waiting for me in heaven.
1 Heb 11:1, TNIV 2 See also Num 9:8; 15:32–35 3 Gen 1:26–28 4 Gal 3:27–29; 1 Pet 3:7
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.