December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- The heads of the ancestral houses in the clan of descendants of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh-one of the Josephite clans-came up and laid this plea before Moses and the priest Eleazar and before the princes who were the heads of the ancestral houses of the other Israelites.
- They said: "The LORD commanded you, my lord, to apportion the land by lot among the Israelites; and you, my lord, were also commanded by the LORD to give the heritage of our kinsman Zelophehad to his daughters.
- But if they marry into one of the other Israelite tribes, their heritage will be withdrawn from our ancestral heritage and will be added to that of the tribe into which they marry; thus the heritage that fell to us by lot will be diminished.
- 1 When the Israelites celebrate the jubilee year, the heritage of these women will be permanently added to that of the tribe into which they marry and will be withdrawn from that of our ancestral tribe."
- 2 So Moses gave this regulation to the Israelites according to the instructions of the LORD: "The tribe of the Josephites are right in what they say.
- This is what the LORD commands with regard to the daughters of Zelophehad: They may marry anyone they please, provided they marry into a clan of their ancestral tribe,
- so that no heritage of the Israelites will pass from one tribe to another, but all the Israelites will retain their own ancestral heritage.
- Therefore, every daughter who inherits property in any of the Israelite tribes shall marry someone belonging to a clan of her own ancestral tribe, in order that all the Israelites may remain in possession of their own ancestral heritage.
- Thus, no heritage can pass from one tribe to another, but all the Israelite tribes will retain their own ancestral heritage."
- The daughters of Zelophehad obeyed the command which the LORD had given to Moses.
- Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah, Zelophehad's daughters, married relatives on their father's side
- within the clans of the descendants of Manasseh, son of Joseph; hence their heritage remained in the tribe of their father's clan.
- These are the commandments and decisions which the LORD prescribed for the Israelites through Moses, on the plains of Moab beside the Jericho stretch of the Jordan.
Table of Contents Previous Chapter The Book of Deuteronomy
1  Before the jubilee year various circumstances, such as divorce, could make such property revert to its original tribal owners; but in the jubilee year it became irrevocably attached to its new owners.
2 [5-9] This is a supplement to the law given in Numbers 27:5-11.
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