Pastoral Commentary for Numbers 26:23-27:11
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
After the second census of Israel was concluded, the count of the twelve tribes was almost identical nearly forty years later to what it was when God brought His people out of Egypt. Thus, although almost all of the first generation that came through the Red Sea had died in the wilderness, God graciously provided for His people so that the same number of a new generation would inherit the land that had been promised to Abraham. The land was to be distributed to the tribes of Israel by lot, based on the proportionate size of each ancestral tribe. The daughters of Zelophedad from the tribe of Manassah, pleaded with Moses to grant them an allotment of land so that their father's name would not be lost, although he had no sons. Moses took their plea to the Lord who said, "The daughters of Zelophehad are right. You shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father's brothers." This was revolutionary in a culture which did not allow women to inherit property. God also set forth rules by which an inheritance of land would be passed on where there was no son or daughter.