Numbers 27:11
And if his father have no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be to the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.
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27:1-11 The five daughters of Zelophehad considered themselves as left destitute, having neither father nor brother to inherit any land. Their believing expectation that the word of the Lord would be performed in due season, and their desire of an interest in the promised inheritance; and the modest, candid manner in which they asked, without secret murmurs or discontents, are a good example. They ask for a possession in the land of Canaan. Herein they discovered, 1. Strong faith in the power and promise of God, concerning the giving of the land of Canaan to Israel. 2. And earnest desire of a place and name in the land of promise, which was a type of heaven. 3. Respect and honour for their father, whose name was dear to them now he was gone. He never had done any thing that might bar his children's claim. It is a comfort to parents when they come to die, if though they have smarted for their own sin, yet they are not conscious of any of those iniquities which God will visit on their children. God himself gives judgment. He takes notice of the affairs, not only of nations, but of private families, and orders them according to his will. The petition is granted. Those who seek an inheritance in the land of promise, shall have what they seek for, and other things shall be added to them.Give unto us - As representing our father; that so he, through us his representatives, may enjoy a like inheritance with his brethren. 4. Give unto us a possession among the brethren of our father—Those young women perceived that the males only in families had been registered in the census. Because there were none in their household, their family was omitted. So they made known their grievance to Moses, and the authorities conjoined with him in administering justice. The case was important; and as the peculiarity of daughters being the sole members of a family would be no infrequent or uncommon occurrence, the law of inheritance, under divine authority, was extended not only to meet all similar cases, but other cases also—such as when there were no children left by the proprietor, and no brothers to succeed him. A distribution of the promised land was about to be made; and it is interesting to know the legal provision made in these comparatively rare cases for preserving a patrimony from being alienated to another tribe. (See on [94]Nu 36:5). A statute of judgment; a statute or rule by which the magistrate shall give judgment in such cases. And if his father have no brethren,.... Nor any descending from them:

then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family: that is nearest of kin to him, though ever so remote; that is, of his father's family, not his mother's, which was no family:

and he shall possess it: here the Jews have a saying, that an Israelite is never without heirs (y):

and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment; a judicial law, that should ever remain firm, and sure, and unalterable:

as the Lord commanded Moses; and therefore no man could dispose of his estate or inheritance by will, otherwise than is set forth by this command.

(y) Maimon. Hilchot Nechalot, c. 1. sect. 3.

And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of {c} judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.

(c) Meaning, an ordinance to judge by.

11. a statute of judgement] The expression recurs in Numbers 35:29 only. It means ‘a statute which embodies a fixed and authoritative custom.’

12–23 (P ). Moses views the land of Canaan, and Joshua is appointed to succeed him.Verse 11. - A statute of judgment, לְחֻםקּת מִשְׁפָט. Septuagint, δικαίωμα κρίσεως. A statute determining a legal right.

CHAPTER 27:12-23 MOSES AND JOSHUA (verses 12-23). This question of right (Mishpat) Moses brought before God, and received instructions in reply to give the daughters of Zelophehad an inheritance among the brethren of their father, as they had spoken right. Further instructions were added afterwards in Numbers 36:1-13 in relation to the marriage of heiresses.
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