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CHAPTER 27 Apr. 9 
The Case of Zelophehad’s Daughters
Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher the son of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. 2They stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation at the door of the Tent of Meeting, saying, 3Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against Yahweh in the company of Korah; but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons. 4Why should the name of our father be taken away from among his family, because he had no son? Give to us a possession among the brothers of our father. 5Moses brought their cause before Yahweh. 6Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, 7The daughters of Zelophehad speak right. You shall surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brothers; and you shall cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. 8You shall speak to the children of Israel saying, ‘If a man dies, and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. 9If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11If his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman who is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it; and it shall be to the children of Israel a statute and ordinance, as Yahweh commanded Moses’.
Joshua Appointed to Replace Moses
12Yahweh said to Moses, Go up into this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. 13When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered; 14because you rebelled against My word in the wilderness of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify Me at the waters before their eyes. (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin). 15Moses spoke to Yahweh, saying, 16Let Yahweh, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, 17who may go out before them, and who may come in before them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in; that the congregation of Yahweh be not as sheep which have no shepherd. 18Yahweh said to Moses, Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and commission him in their sight. 20You shall put of your honour on him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may obey. 21He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before Yahweh. At his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. 22Moses did as Yahweh commanded him; and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; 23and he laid his hands on him, and commissioned him, as Yahweh spoke by Moses.


27:2 Considering the low status of women at that time, we see here a commendable spirit of initiative and spiritual ambition for these women to dare ask a male dominated society to change their rules to allow them to have an inheritance. We see too how God and Moses weren’t at all anti-women, and responded positively. Note how the women were allowed to come directly to the decision makers, without needing to appoint a male representative for their case, as was common in surrounding cultures. The value of the human person is consistently seen throughout the Pentateuch. They asked about this matter before the land had been possessed, reflecting their strength of faith that God would fulfil His promise of giving His people the Kingdom; they imagined what it would be like there, and acted accordingly even before they got there, as if the land was already theirs in possession- just as we should. 
27:11 One wonders why this statute had not been included within the Law of Moses. Perhaps God had reserved it in potential, waiting the initiative of these women?
27:13 Moses seeing the promised land but being unable to enter it himself points to how the Law of Moses gave a view of salvation, but couldn’t bring people into it.
27:16 We see here Moses’ selflessness, his concern was always for the wellbeing of God’s people rather than his own status. He didn’t ask for one of his own family members to take over the leadership; for he realized that spiritual leadership must be based upon spiritual qualification, not family connection.
27:17 Be not as sheep which have no shepherd- Quoted by Jesus about the crowds of Israelites in the first century (Mt. 9:36). He clearly saw those confused and misguided people, with all their wrong beliefs and attitudes, as still the congregation of God. We also learn from what Moses says and the Lord’s approval of it that God’s people need shepherds. There is an undoubted teaching regarding the need for leadership / shepherding throughout the Bible. When God’s people are leaderless, they go astray.
27:18 Because Joshua had the Spirit, Moses was told to lay his hand on him. Yet Dt. 34:9 says that Moses laid his hand on him so that Joshua might receive the Spirit. Here we see the upward spiral of spirituality at work- those who are of the Spirit are made more spiritual.