254 – Numbers 36 – Details Details
I published my first post in the book of Numbers on July 14, 2019. Almost three years later we come to the last chapter. For the Israelites, the journey through the book of Numbers spanned about forty years. Thinking back to when Yahweh called the descendants of Israel out of slavery, who could have imagined the impact they would have upon the history of the world.
I have often wondered what it was like to go from living under the heavy hand of cruel taskmasters one’s whole life, to suddenly finding oneself in a caravan of people heading to freedom from said oppressor. Could such a person imagine that just two short years later a census would be taken for the purpose of establishing an army from such a group (Numbers 1)?
Could they further have imagined going from a slave nation living in a borrowed land to owning, by tribe, their own lands by the hand of Yahweh? Their story is nothing short of miraculous.
Let’s consider the eleven verses of this final chapter.
The leaders of the families of the clans of descendants of Gilead (descendants of Joseph) approached Moses and the rest of the leaders of Israel with a legal matter.
Numbers 36:2-3 (LEB)
2 And they said, “Yahweh commanded my lord to give the land by lot as an inheritance to the ⌊Israelites⌋, and my lord was commanded by Yahweh to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters.
3 But if they become wives to one of the sons from another tribe of the ⌊Israelites⌋, their inheritance will disappear from the inheritance of our ancestors, and it will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; the lot of our inheritance would disappear.
You can read more about it in Numbers 27, but in summary, a man named Zelophehad had no sons, only daughters. These women petitioned Moses for an inheritance, which in that culture only came through the male. Yahweh agreed with the man’s daughters and commanded Moses to give them an inheritance.
Now the tribe Zelophehad’s daughters came from are pointing out that the inheritance was split up by tribe but if the women who received their own plots of land were to marry men from other tribes, then their tribe’s holdings would be diminished. If that were to happen how could it be said that the land was doled out by tribe?
I love that Moses is not making this stuff up as he goes. Notice that Yahweh is the one who established the original exception in Numbers 27 and He is also the one who solves this problem.
Numbers 36:5-7 (LEB)
5 Then Moses commanded the ⌊Israelites⌋ by the command of Yahweh, saying, “The tribe of the descendants of Joseph is right regarding what they are speaking.
6 This is the word that Yahweh commanded the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘⌊Let them marry⌋ ⌊whomever they like⌋; only ⌊they must marry⌋ from within the clan of the tribe of their father.
7 Thus an inheritance of the ⌊Israelites⌋ will not go around from tribe to tribe. Rather, the inheritance of each tribe of his father will remain with the ⌊Israelites⌋.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but I hate the phrase the devil is in the details. I know what it is intending to say, but I think we should be living by the adage Yahweh is in the details. I think this passage is additional evidence that God is intimately involved in the lives of man. If we are to live satisfying and fulfilled lives we need to live according to the details presented in God’s plan – His Holy word.
We need to learn to bring our issues before Yahweh God and get His answer. How do we do that since He no longer speaks audibly to man? Simple. We consult the word of God. If we know the Bible and resolve to live according to the truths we discover within, we will most certainly please the author.