Numbers 36

Numbers 36 deals with a sticky subject based on the potential of land leaving one tribe and being assumed by another.  A group of leaders came to Moses with an appeal.  Earlier, you may recall, the daughters of Zelophehad had come to Moses asking how they might receive their inheritance since there were no men in their family – only five daughters.  Moses took that request to God and was instructed to treat them like all the rest of the households and provide them an inheritance.

But these leaders come with the real concern that if these daughters marry someone in another tribe, their inheritance would be “added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry”.  This isn’t about a land grab, but rather preservation of the gift of land that God was providing as they enter the Promised Land.  Moses again gives direction according to the word of the Lord.  “Let them marry whom they think best, only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father”.

They are able to marry whoever they want but with some strings.  The man they married had to be someone from the tribe they were part of.  They couldn’t marry outside, because that would mean the land would be lost to the other tribe and that was not acceptable under God’s plan at this time.  “The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another, for every one of the people of Israel shall hold on to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers”.  Moses has had to deal with a lot of sticky issues, but God always has an answer before it is needed.

We are at the end of Numbers, and have seen Moses lead his people well.  He has them there ready to cross the Jordan and move into the Promised Land.  It has been quite a ride, as Moses has had to address many challenges and lots of days when the people were not really all that interested in following.  But he has led well, and now, as they are on the cusp of entering their inheritance, Moses has wrapped up the last of the things he needed to communicate before God takes him home.  Leadership lessons from Moses are extremely valuable and important for us to study and understand!

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