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Bible Commentaries

Adam Clarke Commentary

Numbers 36

Verse 1

CHAPTER XXXVI

The inconveniences which might be produced by daughters,

inheritances, marrying out of their own tribe, remedied on the

recommendation of certain chiefs of the tribe of Joseph, who

stated the case of the daughters of Zelophehad, 1-4.

The daughters of Zelophehad are commanded to marry in their own

tribe, 5, 6;

which is to be an ordinance in all similar circumstances, 7-9.

The daughters of Zelophehad marry their father's brother's sons,

and thus their inheritance is preserved in their own tribe,

10-12.

The conclusion of the commandments given by the Lord to the

Israelites in the plains of Moab, 13.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXXVI

Verse 2

Verse Numbers 36:2. To give the inheritance of Zelophehad - unto his daughters. — See this case spoken of at large on Numbers 27:1-11.

Either the first eleven verses of Numbers 27:1-11 should come in before this chapter, or this chapter should come in immediately after those eleven verses; they certainly both make parts of the same subject.

Here Moses determines that heiresses should marry in their own tribe, that no part of the ancient inheritance might be alienated from the original family.

Verse 6

Verse Numbers 36:6. Let them marry to whom they think best — Here was latitude sufficient, and yet a salutary and reasonable restraint, which prevented a vexatious mixture of property and possession.

Verse 8

Verse Numbers 36:8. Every daughter that possesseth an inheritance — This law affected none but heiresses; all others were at liberty to marry into any of the other tribes. The priests and Levites, who could have no inheritance, were exempt from the operation of this law. Jehoiada had the king of Judah's daughter to wife, 2 Chronicles 22:11. And another priest had for wife one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, Ezra 2:61. "By reason of such marriages," says Mr. Ainsworth, "there might be kindred between Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, who was of the daughters of Aaron, and Mary the virgin, the mother of our Lord, who was of the lineage of David, and tribe of Judah;" Luke 1:5; Luke 1:36; Luke 3:23-31.

Verse 11

Verse Numbers 36:11. Mahlah, Tirza, &c. — For a curious account of these names, Numbers 27:7; Numbers 27:7.

Verse 12

Verse Numbers 36:12. And their inheritance remained in - the family — "By this example, and the law of inheritances in the Holy Land, the people of God," says Ainsworth, "are taught to hold fast their inheritance in his promises, and their right in Christ, which they hold by faith; that as the Father hath made them meet to be partakers of the inheritance among the saints in light, Colossians 1:12, so they may keep the faith and grace which they have received to the end."

Verse 13

Verse Numbers 36:13. These are the commandments, c. — See these different terms analyzed and explained, Clarke "Leviticus 26:15".

THUS ends the book of Numbers, containing a series of astonishing providences and events. Scarcely any piece of history in the sacred writings is better calculated to impress the mind of a serious reader with a sense of the goodness and severity of God. In every transaction his holiness and justice appear in closest union with his benevolence and mercy. From such a Being what have the wicked not to fear! From such a Father and Friend what have the upright not to hope! His justice requires him to punish iniquity, but his mercy inclines him to pardon all who truly repent and believe in the Son of his love.

The journeyings of this people, from the time they left Egypt, exhibit a series of providential wonders. Every where, and in every circumstance, God appears: and yet there is no circumstance or occasion that does not justify those signal displays of his GRACE and his JUSTICE. The genuine history of God's providence must be sought for in this book alone and as every occurrence happened as an example, we have authority to conclude that in every case where his own glory and the salvation of man are interested, he will interfere and give the fullest proofs that he is the same to-day that he was yesterday, and will continue unchangeable for ever and ever. Reader, are these matters ensamples to thee? Art thou, like the Israelites, come into the plains of Moab, on the very verge of the promised land? Jordan alone separates thee from the promised inheritance. O, watch and pray, that thou come not short of the glory of God. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death; see then that the sting of death, which is sin, be extracted from thy soul, that, being justified by Christ's blood, thou mayest be made an heir according to the hope of an eternal life. Amen, amen.

"I will bring you into the WILDERNESS of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face, like as I pleaded with your fathers in the WILDERNESS of the land of Egypt. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and bring you into the bond of the covenant," Ezekiel 20:35-37.

"He (Christ) is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance," Hebrews 9:15.

SECTIONS In the Book of Numbers, carried on from Leviticus, which ends with the THIRTY-THIRD.

The THIRTY-FOURTH, called במדבר bemidbar, begins Numbers 1:1, and ends Numbers 4:20.

The THIRTY-FIFTH, called נשא nasa, begins Numbers 4:21, and ends Numbers 7:89.

The THIRTY-SIXTH, called בהעלתך behaalothecha, begins Numbers 8:1, and ends Numbers 12:16.

The THIRTY-SEVENTH, called שלח shelach, begins Numbers 13:1, and ends Numbers 15:41.

The THIRTY-EIGHTH, called קרח korach, begins Numbers 16:1, and ends Numbers 18:32.

The THIRTY-NINTH, called חקת chukkath, begins Numbers 19:1, and ends Numbers 22:1.

The FORTIETH, called בלק balak, begins Numbers 22:2, and ends Numbers 25:9.

The FORTY-FIRST, called פינחס pinechas, begins Numbers 25:10, and ends Numbers 30:1.

The FORTY-SECOND, called מטות mattoth, begins Numbers 30:2, and ends Numbers 32:42.

The FORTY-THIRD, called מסעי masey, begins Numbers 33:1, and ends Numbers 36:13.

The number of verses in this bookIsaiah 1:0is 1,288, of which ארפח is the symbol: for א aleph stands for 1,000, ר, resh for 200, פ phe for 80, and ח cheth for 8.

The middle verse is Nu 17:20. And the man's rod whom I shall choose shall blossom. (N. B. In our English Bibles this is Numbers 17:5.)

Its pareshioth, or larger sections, are 10, expressed by the letters of the word בדד badad, alone: The Lord ALONE did lead him, Deuteronomy 32:12. ד daleth stands for 4, repeated here, 8, and ב beth for 2.

Its sedarim, or Masoretic sections, are 32, expressed by the word לב leb, heart, Psalms 51:12: Create in me a clean HEART, O God; in which word ב beth stands for 2, and ל lamed for 30.

Its chapters are 36, expressed by the word לו lu, O! Deuteronomy 32:29: O that they were wise! in which word ל lamed stands for 30, and ו vau for 6.

The number of its open sections is 92; its close or shut sections, 66; together 158; expressed in the memorial word חלקך chelkecha: I am THY PORTION; in which word ק koph stands for 100, ל lamed for 30, ך caph for 20, and ח, cheth for 8.

Though this sort of notations may appear trifling to some, yet to an upright Jew they were of much consequence. The very technical words used in such cases put him always in mind of something in which the glory of God and the happiness and salvation of his own soul were concerned. See the note at the end of Genesis, Genesis 50:26; Genesis 50:26, and see the concluding notes on the Book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 34:10; Deuteronomy 34:10.

Revised and corrected for a new edition, August 4th, 1827. - A. CLARKE.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Numbers 36". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/numbers-36.html. 1832.