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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 36

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-13

Chapter 36

Now in chapter thirty-six you remember this ERA movement. These daughters of Zelophehad, the guy had seven daughters, no sons. And they said, "Hey, it isn't fair that we don't get an inheritance in the land just because there are no boys in the family. Our family should have an inheritance just like everybody else, and thus the girls ought to be able to have an inheritance just as much as the boys". Moses took it before the Lord, he said, "Those girls are right. You know, they shouldn't be cut off just because they're girls, so give them the inheritance too within the land. When you come into the land those girls are to get an inheritance in the land."

Well, they were from the tribe of Judah and some of the other fellas in the tribe of Judah came to Moses and they said, "Now look, this thing could create some real problems. What if these girls marry guys from say the tribe of Benjamin or the tribe of Manessah and all? Then after the year of jubilee when everything reverts back to the original ownership, it means that the part that is allotted to Judah will also be given partially to Manessah or to these other tribes that these girls have married into. So they can get into all kinds of trouble. Our portion could be divided out to other tribes because these gals want an inheritance here". So Moses said, "All right. This is the rule; the girls, the daughters of Zelophehad, they have to marry fellas from the tribe of Judah otherwise they don't get their inheritance." And so all the girls married guys from the tribe of Judah rather than marrying outside the tribes.

And that became the law of the land when the inheritance went to a girl, in order to have the inheritance she had to marry within the tribe that she was from so their wouldn't be dividing of the lands between the tribes. But they all, the tribes had their definite defined borders and there wouldn't be a mixing up of the land by marriages and so forth. So whenever the girls inherited the land, then it was necessary for those girls to marry someone from that tribe in order to keep the inheritance of the land. Otherwise it was to be given away to those other tribes so that the land would not the borders within the land would not become all confused.

Now these are the commandments and the judgments, which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. ( Numbers 36:13 )

So this is the end of the road for Moses. He's brought them as far as he can. These are the commandments and now Moses is to lay down the rulership and Joshua is to take over to lead the people into the Promised Land. But now as we go into the book of Deuteronomy, the word Deuteronomy means the "second law", and so it is sort of a summation of that which we have gone through. In Deuteronomy just a sort of a summation now and we're gonna go rapidly through the things, pretty much, that we've already covered as we go through the second law of the book of Deuteronomy. And then we come back to the same point at the end of Deuteronomy, where at the same point of history that we are right here.

And then, so, you think in our minds traditionally we think chronological order, you know, because the Deuteronomy, the book of Deuteronomy follows Numbers that it took place after Numbers, but the Bible doesn't always follow the culture or tradition of the western mind. Quite often the Bible lays out a whole scene and then it comes back and fills in the details. That's why people oftentimes have difficulty with the book of Revelation because it doesn't always follow a set chronological order like we're used to thinking of in our own western minds. And so, Deuteronomy, we're gonna now jump back and come back through it again very rapidly and then when we get into Joshua we then start moving ahead in a chronological order again. So, next week we'll take the first ten chapters of the book of Deuteronomy.

Shall we stand?

And now may the Lord help you to assimilate that which we have studied and may He bring to remembrance those things which He has commanded. And may you be enriched in the knowledge of God and His will and His plan for your life. May the Lord be with you to bless you, to guide you, and may you be kept by that power of God through faith and trust in Him, in Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Numbers 36". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/numbers-36.html. 2014.
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