Redacted from the Hebrew Bible – The Torah portion of the week
The Fourth Book of Moses, Bemidbar (Numbers)
Parsha Pinchus, Numbers 26:19
When the plague was over, the Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, take a census of the Israelite community Determine the descendants of the sons of Jacob (Israel) by their ancestral homes who are able to bear arms. This was done on the steppes of Moab, at the Jordan River near Jericho, prior to the Israelis entering the land of Canaan, that was given to them by the Lord.
The land was to be divided between the descendants of Jacob (Israel): Reuben, Israel’s first born, Simeon, Gad, Judah, Issachar, Zebulin, sons of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim), Dan, Asher, Naphtali, the Levites.
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, among those shall the land be apportioned as shares, according to the listed names. With larger groups increase the share, with smaller groups reduce the share.
At the time, the daughters of Zelophehad of the Manassite family – Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah – stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the chieftains, and the whole assembly, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and they said,
“Our father died in the wilderness. He was not one of the faction, Korah’s faction, which banded together against the LORD, but died for his own sin; and our father has left no sons. Let not our father’s name be lost to his clan just because he had no son! Give us a holding among our father’s kinsmen!”
Moses brought their case before the LORD. And, the LORD said to Moses, The plea of Zelophehad’s daughters is just: you should give them a hereditary holding among their father’s kinsmen; transfer their father’s share to them. Further, speak to the Israelite people as follows: ‘If a man dies without leaving a son, you shall transfer his property to his daughter. If he has no daughter, you shall assign his property to his brothers, if he has no brothers, you shall assign his property to his father’s brothers. “If his father had no brothers, you shall assign his property to his nearest relative in his own clan, and he shall inherit it.’
This shall be the law of procedure for the Israelites, in accordance with the LORD’S command to Moses.”
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