27:1 1 Then the daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh of the families of Manasseh, 2 the son Joseph came forward. Now these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 27:2 And they stood before Moses and Eleazar the priest and the leaders of the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said, 27:3 “Our father died in the wilderness, although 3 he was not part of 4 the company of those that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but he died for his own sin, 5 and he had no sons. 27:4 Why should the name of our father be lost from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession 6 among the relatives 7 of our father.”
27:5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord. 27:6 The Lord said to Moses: 27:7 “The daughters of Zelophehad have a valid claim. 8 You must indeed 9 give them possession of an inheritance among their father’s relatives, and you must transfer 10 the inheritance of their father to them. 27:8 And you must tell the Israelites, ‘If a man dies 11 and has no son, then you must transfer his inheritance to his daughter; 27:9 and if he has no daughter, then you are to give his inheritance to his brothers; 27:10 and if he has no brothers, then you are to give his inheritance to his father’s brothers; 27:11 and if his father has no brothers, then you are to give his inheritance to his relative nearest to him from his family, and he will possess it. This will be for the Israelites a legal requirement, 12 as the Lord commanded Moses.’”
1 sn For additional information on this section, see N. H. Snaith, “The Daughters of Zelophehad,” VT 16 (1966): 124-27; and J. Weingreen, “The Case of the Daughters of Zelophehad,” VT 16 (1966): 518-22.
2 tc The phrase “of the families of Manasseh” is absent from the Latin Vulgate.
3 tn This clause begins with a vav (ו) on a pronoun, marking it out as a disjunctive vav. In this context it fits best to take it as a circumstantial clause introducing concession.
4 tn Heb “in the midst of.”
5 tn The word order is emphatic: “but in/on account of his own sins he died.”
6 tn That is, the possession of land, or property, among the other families of their tribe.
8 tn Heb “[the daughters of Zelophehad] speak right” (using the participle דֹּבְרֹת [dovÿrot] with כֵּן [ken]).
9 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense. The imperfect is functioning as the imperfect of instruction, and so the infinitive strengthens the force of the instruction.
10 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive, from the root עָבַר (’avar, “to pass over”). Here it functions as the equivalent of the imperfect of instruction: “and you shall cause to pass,” meaning, “transfer.”
11 tn Heb “a man, if he dies.”
12 tn The expression is חֻקַּת מִשְׁפָּט (khuqqat mishpat, “a statute of judgment”), which means it is a fixed enactment that determines justice. It is one which is established by God.