Daughters in the Bible: Zelophehad’s Daughters Took a Stand

The name Zelophehad means dark shadow.  He lived during the time of Moses.

The names of the daughters were Mahlah {weak or sick}, Noah {comfort, long lived, repose}, Hoglah {dancing}, Milkah {queen or ruler} and Tirzah {she is my delight}. They came forward and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said,  “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against

People appeared before Moses to resolve their issues

the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons.  Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

Zelophehad’s four daughters appear before Moses.  We discover that Zelophehad has died for an unknown sin he committed.  He had no sons, but his four daughters need to be looked after.  So they take matters into their own hands and go to Moses.

“A few things are noteworthy in this history. First, these young women recognized an injustice in the law. Secondly, they responded to it appropriately.  They took their case before Moses and presented it to him in a logical and respectful manner.  Noteworthy, also, is that they were allowed access to Moses.” {Every Woman in the Bible}

Women depended on men for their livelihood and protection

Moses listens to what the young women has to say.  He then turns the case over the Lord for guidance and direction.

So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him,  “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.”

Moses agrees that Zelophehad’s daughters are correct.  He agrees that they should receive their father’s inheritance.  So, he changes the law.

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his

The daughters of Zelophehad appeared before Moses

daughter.  If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers.  If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers.  If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”   {Numbers 27:1-11}

Moses provides a list of benefactors in the death of a man, beginning with his son and daughter.  In many ways, this is still the same order that many people and governments continue to follow.

God provided Moses with the Ten Commandments and Moses made laws based on these commandments

The women had no idea what would happen when they approached Moses, but they were courageous to be willing to go before Moses and speak their minds.

“These daughters of Zelophehad were intelligent, assertive young women.” {Every Woman in the Bible}

We also discover that while the daughters were willing to stand up for what they need, Moses was also willing to listen.

We have to discover what is most important to take a stand on and how to go about it.  But, we also have to have leaders that are willing to listen to us.

What are you willing to take a stand on?


The daughters of Zelophehad appeared to Moses and changed the law Share on X

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