Numbers 27:2
And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 27:2. Before the princes — By princes, it seems, are meant the heads of the tribes, or the highest of the judges appointed Exodus 18:25, called there the heads of the people; and by all the congregation is intended the seventy elders or representatives of the people, Numbers 11:24. At the head of all these sat Moses, and next to him the high-priest. By the door of the tabernacle — Nigh unto which, it appears, was the place where Moses and the chief rulers assembled for the administration of public affairs. This was very convenient, because they had frequent occasion of having recourse to God for his direction.

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.By the door of the tabernacle of the congregation - The place of solemn assembly of the elders. The daughters of Zelophehad made their suit to the princes, the heads of tribes and of families, who were making the census under the superintendence of Moses and Eleazar. CHAPTER 27

Nu 27:1-11. The Daughters of Zelophehad Ask for an Inheritance.

Nigh unto

the door of the tabernacle of the congregation it seems was the place where Moses and the chief rulers assembled for the administration of public affairs, which also was very convenient, because they had frequent occasion of recourse to God for his assistance and direction therein.

And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes, and all the congregation,.... Who were now sitting in court, to hear and try causes brought before them; here were Moses the chief magistrate, Eleazar the high priest, the princes of the several tribes, and the representatives of the whole congregation, or it may be the seventy elders; a very grand and august assembly, before whom these ladies appeared, and from whom they might expect to have justice done them:

by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; near to which this court was held, both for the convenience of the people, to apply to in case of need, when they came thither to worship, and of Moses, to seek the Lord in case of any difficulty that might arise, as now did:

saying; as follows.

And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 2. - By the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, i.e., evidently by the entrance of the sacred enclosure. Here, in the void space, in the midst of the camp, and close to the presence-chamber of God, the princes (i.e., the tribe princes who were engaged upon the census) and the representatives of the congregation assembled for the transaction of business and for the hearing of any matters that were brought before them. Numbers 27:2Claims of Zelophehad's Daughters to an Inheritance in the Promised Land. - Numbers 27:1-4. The divine instructions which were given at the mustering of the tribes, to the effect that the land was to be divided among the tribes in proportion to the larger or smaller number of their families (Numbers 26:52-56), induced the daughters of Zelophehad the Manassite of the family of Gilead, the son of Machir, to appear before the princes of the congregation, who were assembled with Moses and Eleazar at the tabernacle, with a request that they would assign them an inheritance in the family of the father, as he had died in the desert without leaving any sons, and had not taken part in the rebellion of the company of Korah, which might have occasioned his exclusion from any participation in the promised land, but had simply died "through his (own) sin," i.e., on account of such a sin as every one commits, and such as all who died in the wilderness had committed as well as he. "Why should the name of our father be cut off (cease) from the midst of his family?" This would have been the case, for example, if no inheritance had been assigned him in the land because he left no son. In that case his family would have become extinct, if his daughters had married into other families or tribes. On the other hand, if his daughters received a possession of their own among the brethren of their father, the name of their father would be preserved by it, since they could then marry husbands who would enter upon their landed property, and their father's name and possession would be perpetuated through their children. This wish on the part of the daughters was founded upon an assumption which rested no doubt upon an ancient custom, namely, that in the case of marriages where the wives had brought landed property as their dowry, the sons who inherited the maternal property were received through this inheritance into the family of their mother, i.e., of their grandfather on the mother's side. We have an example of this in the case of Jarha, who belonged to the pre-Mosaic times (1 Chronicles 2:34-35). In all probability this took place in every instance in which daughters received a portion of the paternal possessions as their dowry, even though there might be sons alive. This would explain the introduction of Jair among the Manassites in Numbers 32:41; Deuteronomy 3:14. His father Segub was the son of Hezron of the tribe of Judah, but his mother was the daughter of Machir the Manassite (1 Chronicles 2:21-22). We find another similar instance in Ezra 2:61 and Nehemiah 7:63, where the sons of a priest who had married one of the daughters of Barzillai the rich Gileadite, are called sons of Barzillai.
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