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.’”
27:12 13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim range, 14 and see 15 the land I have given 16 to the Israelites. 27:13 When you have seen it, you will be gathered 17 to your ancestors, 18 as Aaron your brother was gathered to his ancestors. 19 27:14 For 20 in the wilderness of Zin when the community rebelled against me, you 21 rebelled against my command 22 to show me as holy 23 before their eyes over the water – the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.”
27:15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord: 27:16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all humankind, 24 appoint 25 a man over the community, 27:17 who will go out before them, and who will come in before them, 26 and who will lead them out, and who will bring them in, so that 27 the community of the Lord may not be like sheep that have no shepherd.”
27:18 The Lord replied 28 to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is such a spirit, 29 and lay your hand on him; 30 27:19 set him 31 before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community, and commission 32 him publicly. 33 27:20 Then you must delegate 34 some of your authority 35 to him, so that the whole community of the Israelites will be obedient. 36 27:21 And he will stand before Eleazar the priest, who 37 will seek counsel 38 for him before the Lord by the decision of the Urim. 39 At his command 40 they will go out, and at his command they will come in, he and all the Israelites with him, the whole community.”
27:22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him; he took Joshua and set 41 him before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community. 27:23 He laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the Lord commanded, 42 by the authority 43 of 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.
13 sn See further J. Lindblom, “Lot Casting in the Old Testament,” VT 12 (1962): 164-78; E. Lipinski, “Urim and Thummim,” VT 20 (1970): 495-96; and S. E. Loewenstamm, “The Death of Moses,” Tarbiz 27 (1957/58): 142-57.
14 tc The Greek version adds “which is Mount Nebo.” This is a typical scribal change to harmonize two passages.
sn The area is in the mountains of Moab; Deut 34:1 more precisely identifies it as Mount Nebo.
15 tn The imperative could be subordinated to the first to provide a purpose clause, although a second instruction fits well enough.
16 tn This perfect tense would best be classified as a perfect of resolve: “which I have decided to give.” God had not yet given the land to them, but it was certain he would.
17 tn The first verb is a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, and the second verb is also. In such parallel clauses, the first may be subordinated, here as a temporal clause.
18 tn Heb “people.”
19 tn Heb “was gathered.” The phrase “to his ancestors” is elided in the Hebrew text, but is an implied repetition from the beginning of the verse, and has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
20 tn The preposition on the relative pronoun has the force of “because of the fact that.”
21 tn The verb is the second masculine plural form.
22 tn Heb “mouth.”
23 sn Using the basic meaning of the word קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be separate, distinct, set apart”), we can understand better what Moses failed to do. He was supposed to have acted in a way that would have shown God to be distinct, different, holy. Instead, he gave the impression that God was capricious and hostile – very human. The leader has to be aware of what image he is conveying to the people.
24 tn Heb “flesh”; cf. NAB, NIV “all mankind”; NCV “all people”; NLT “all living things.”
25 tn This is the same verb פָּקַד (paqad) that is used throughout the book for the aspect of “numbering” the people.
27 tn The Hebrew text has the conjunction with the negated imperfect tense, “and it will not be.” This clause should be subordinated to the preceding to form a result clause, and the imperfect then function as a final imperfect.
28 tn Or “said.”
29 sn The word “spirit” probably refers to the Holy Spirit, in which case it would be rendered “in whom is the Spirit.” This would likely be a permanent endowment for Joshua. But it is also possible to take it to refer to a proper spirit to do all the things required of such a leader (which ultimately is a gift from the Spirit of God). The Hebrew text simply says “in whom is a spirit.”
30 sn This symbolic act would indicate the transfer of leadership to Joshua.
31 tn This could be translated “position him,” or “have him stand,” since it is the causative stem of the verb “to stand.”
32 tn The verb is the Piel perfect of צִוָּה (tsivvah, literally “to command”). The verb has a wide range of meanings, and so here in this context the idea of instructing gives way to a more general sense of commissioning for duty. The verb in sequence is equal to the imperfect of instruction.
33 tn Heb “in their eyes.”
34 tn The verb is simply “give,” but in this context giving some of Moses’ honor to Joshua in the presence of the people is essentially passing the leadership to him, or delegating the authority to him with the result that people would follow him.
35 tc The Greek, Syriac, and Vulgate read “glory” for this form that occurs only here in the Pentateuch. Elsewhere it is rendered “majesty, splendor” (see Ps 96:6). It could even be “vitality” here. The authority being transferred here is both spiritual and civil.
36 tn Heb “hear.”
37 tn The passage simply has “and he will ask,” but Eleazar is clearly the subject now.
38 tn Heb “ask.”
39 sn The new leader would not have the privilege that Moses had in speaking to God face to face. Rather, he would have to inquire of the
40 tn Heb “mouth,” meaning what he will say.
41 tn Heb “stood.”
42 tn Heb “spoke.”
43 tn Heb “hand.”