The Daughters of Zelophehad

”One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad… These women stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the tribal leaders, and the entire community at the entrance of the Tabernacle….Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord replied to Moses, “The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father.” Numbers 27:1-2, 4-7

Zelophehad had 5 daughters and no son at a time when the prevalent culture in Israel was that only men could claim their father’s inheritance. These 5 women had two options: they could either accept the status quo and watch their father’s inheritance in the promised land go to someone else, or they could dare to boldly challenge this culture.

It’s worth noting that at the time they brought forth this petition, nothing like this had ever been done in Israel before so there was no precedence. More importantly the Lord agreed with them, so by reason of their petition there was a change in the law about inheritance for women in similar situations. What would have happened if they hadn’t spoken up? What can we learn from them about responding to challenges or unfavourable situations? Click here to download the series as we delve into these and more.