Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday - Numbers 36 - Bigger Than Me

We were recently introduced to Zelophehad. The man had no sons (Number 26:33). We also found that in order to provide inheritance justice for Zelophehad's 5 daughters, God made a new rule which was an exception to an older one (Numbers 27:1-7).  Here in Numbers 36 God issued another new rule to add to the earlier ones to handle the repercussions of the earlier adjustment. Not that God hadn't known of these nuances before, He just waited until the situation arose to deliver the judgment regarding them.

So anyway, there was a fear among the leaders of the tribe of Manasseh that if land was occasionally handed down from fathers to daughters, then by those daughters marrying outside of the tribe, their land would eventually be inherited by their children... who would naturally bear the tribal name of their father (since that was the first rule and the root of the exception). What were they to do to prevent the loss of tribal lands?

God's new rule might seem rather restrictive, but it was perfectly logical. Any woman, who inherited land, because there was no man to inherit it, was required to marry within her own tribe in order to preserve the inheritance borders of her forefathers.

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