Numbers 27


וַתִּקְרַבְנָה בְּנֹות צְלָפְחָד בֶּן־חֵפֶר בֶּן־גִּלְעָד בֶּן־מָכִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה לְמִשְׁפְּחֹת מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן־יֹוסֵף וְאֵלֶּה   27:1

שְׁמֹות בְּנֹתָיו מַחְלָה נֹעָה וְחָגְלָה וּמִלְכָּה וְתִרְצָה

Numb. 27:1  Now the daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher son of Gilead son of Machir son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh son of Joseph, approached.  And these were the names of his daughters:  Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah and Milcah and Tirzah.

וַתַּעֲמֹדְנָה לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן וְלִפְנֵי הַנְּשִׂיאִם וְכָל־הָעֵדָה פֶּתַח אֹהֶל־מֹועֵד לֵאמֹר   27:2

Numb. 27:2  And they stood before Moses and before Eleazar, the priest, and before the chiefs and all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting saying,

אָבִינוּ מֵת בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהוּא לֹא־הָיָה בְּתֹוךְ הָעֵדָה הַנֹּועָדִים עַל־יְהוָה בַּעֲדַת־קֹרַח כִּי־בְחֶטְאֹו מֵת   27:3

וּבָנִים לֹא־הָיוּ לֹו

Numb. 27:3  “Our father died in the wilderness, but he was not among the company of those who assembled against the Lord with the people of Korach; doubtless because of his own sin he died.  Now there were no sons for him.”

לָמָּה יִגָּרַע שֵׁם־אָבִינוּ מִתֹּוךְ מִשְׁפַּחְתֹּו כִּי אֵין לֹו בֵּן תְּנָה־לָּנוּ אֲחֻזָּה בְּתֹוךְ אֲחֵי אָבִינוּ  27:4

Numb. 27:4  “Why should the name of our father be removed from among his family because there was no son for him?  Give us of a possession in the midst of the kinsmen of our fathers.”

The word אָבִינוּ at the end of the verse, translated as our fathers, can be considered as either singular or plural.  Typically it is translated in the singular (as in its first occurrence as the fourth word in the verse).  But I choose to translate it in the plural.  See v. 27:7 below for my reason.

וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה אֶת־מִשְׁפָּטָן לִפְנֵי יְהוָה   27:5

Numb. 27:5  And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר   27:6

Numb. 27:6  And the Lord spoke to Moses saying,

כֵּן בְּנֹות צְלָפְחָד דֹּבְרֹת נָתֹן תִּתֵּן לָהֶם אֲחֻזַּת נַחֲלָה בְּתֹוךְ אֲחֵי אֲבִיהֶם וְהַעֲבַרְתָּ אֶת־נַחֲלַת אֲבִיהֶן   27:7


Numb. 27:7  “The daughters of Zelophehad are speaking rightly.  Surely you shall give them of a possession of inheritance among the kinsmen of their fathers; so you shall pass the inheritance of their father to them.”

Two instances of the word whose root is father appear in this verse, both with plural pronoun suffixes.  In the first instance, the pronoun is masculine.  This indicates that the antecedent is not the daughters, but the general members and ancestors of their family.  In the second instance, the pronoun is feminine, thus referring directly to the daughters.  Because the phrase “the kinsmen of their [our] fathers” appears here as in v. 27:4 above, I have translated them similarly.                                                        [Return to Deut. 17:12]

וְאֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל תְּדַבֵּר לֵאמֹר אִישׁ כִּי־יָמוּת וּבֵן אֵין לֹו וְהַעֲבַרְתֶּם אֶת־נַחֲלָתֹו לְבִתֹּו   27:8

Numb. 27:8  “So you shall speak to the children of Israel saying, ‘When a man will die and there is no son for him, then you shall allow his inheritance to pass to his daughter.’

                                                                                                 [Return to Numb. 30:12]

וְאִם־אֵין לֹו בַּת וּנְתַתֶּם אֶת־נַחֲלָתֹו לְאֶחָיו   27:9

Numb. 27:9  ‘And if there is no daughter for him, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers.’

וְאִם־אֵין לֹו אַחִים וּנְתַתֶּם אֶת־נַחֲלָתֹו לַאֲחֵי אָבִיו   27:10

Numb. 27:10   ‘And if there are no brothers of his, then you shall give his inheritance to the brothers of his father.’

וְאִם־אֵין אַחִים לְאָבִיו וּנְתַתֶּם אֶת־נַחֲלָתֹו לִשְׁאֵרֹו הַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו מִמִּשְׁפַּחְתֹּו וְיָרַשׁ אֹתָהּ וְהָיְתָה   27:11

לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחֻקַּת מִשְׁפָּט כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה

Numb. 27:11   ‘And if there are no brothers of his father’s, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman who is nearest to him from his family, and he shall possess it.’”  And this shall be a statute of judgment for the children of Israel, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

The second sentence in this verse must have been added by a scribe later.  Moses did not write or dictate it.

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עֲלֵה אֶל־הַר הָעֲבָרִים הַזֶּה וּרְאֵה אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל   27:12

Numb. 27:12   And the Lord said to Moses, “Go up to this mountain of Abarim and see the land that I have given to the children of Israel.”

וְרָאִיתָה אֹתָהּ וְנֶאֱסַפְתָּ אֶל־עַמֶּיךָ גַּם־אָתָּה כַּאֲשֶׁר נֶאֱסַף אַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ   27:13

Numb. 27:13   “When you will have seen it, then you also will be gathered to your people as Aaron, your brother, was gathered,

כַּאֲשֶׁר מְרִיתֶם פִּי בְּמִדְבַּר־צִן בִּמְרִיבַת הָעֵדָה לְהַקְדִּישֵׁנִי בַמַּיִם לְעֵינֵיהֶם הֵם מֵי־מְרִיבַת קָדֵשׁ   27:14


Numb. 27:14   because you disobeyed My command, in the wilderness of Zin during the strife of the congregation, to sanctify Me by the water for their eyes.  They were the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.”

The Lord repeats the reason why Moses will not lead the people into the promised land.  See Numb. 20:12.

                                             [Return to Deut. 1:37]          [Return to Deut. 3:26]          [Return to Deut. 4:21]

וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־יְהוָה לֵאמֹר   27:15

Numb. 27:15   Then Moses spoke to the Lord saying,

יִפְקֹד יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי הָרוּחֹת לְכָל־בָּשָׂר אִישׁ עַל־הָעֵדָה   27:16

Numb. 27:16   “Let the Lord, God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

אֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵא לִפְנֵיהֶם וַאֲשֶׁר יָבֹא לִפְנֵיהֶם וַאֲשֶׁר יֹוצִיאֵם וַאֲשֶׁר יְבִיאֵם וְלֹא תִהְיֶה עֲדַת יְהוָה כַּצֹּאן    27:17

אֲשֶׁר אֵין־לָהֶם רֹעֶה

Numb. 27:17   who can go out before them, and who can come in before them, and who can take them out, and who can bring them in, so the congregation of the Lord will not be like sheep for which there is no shepherd.”

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה קַח־לְךָ אֶת־יְהֹושֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־רוּחַ בֹּו וְסָמַכְתָּ אֶת־יָדְךָ עָלָיו   27:18

Numb. 27:18   Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun to you, a man in whom there is spirit, and you shall lay your hand on him,

וְהַעֲמַדְתָּ אֹתֹו לִפְנֵי אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן וְלִפְנֵי כָּל־הָעֵדָה וְצִוִּיתָה אֹתֹו לְעֵינֵיהֶם   27:19

Numb. 27:19   and you shall set him before Eleazar, the priest, and before the entire congregation, and give him a command in their sight.”

וְנָתַתָּה מֵהֹודְךָ עָלָיו לְמַעַן יִשְׁמְעוּ כָּל־עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל   27:20

Numb. 27:20   “And you shall put some of your glory on him so that all of the congregation of the children of Israel will give heed.”

וְלִפְנֵי אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן יַעֲמֹד וְשָׁאַל לֹו בְּמִשְׁפַּט הָאוּרִים לִפְנֵי יְהוָה עַל־פִּיו יֵצְאוּ וְעַל־פִּיו יָבֹאוּ הוּא   27:21

וְכָל־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אִתֹּו וְכָל־הָעֵדָה

Numb. 27:21   “And he shall stand before Eleazar, the priest, and shall himself inquire about the judgment of the Urim before the Lord.  On his word they shall go forth, and on his word they shall come in, he and all the children of Israel with him, with the whole congregation.”

וַיַּעַשׂ מֹשֶׁה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֹתֹו וַיִּקַּח אֶת־יְהֹושֻׁעַ וַיַּעֲמִדֵהוּ לִפְנֵי אֶלְעָזָר הַכֹּהֵן וְלִפְנֵי כָּל־הָעֵדָה   27:22

Numb. 27:22   And Moses did as the Lord had commanded him.  So he took Joshua and placed him before Eleazar, the priest, and before the whole congregation,

וַיִּסְמֹךְ אֶת־יָדָיו עָלָיו וַיְצַוֵּהוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁה   27:23

Numb. 27:23   and he laid his hands on him and charged him as the Lord had spoken through the hand of Moses.

In vss. 27:22 and 27:23 we have another example of the scribe’s fairly consistent technique by which he provides a description of actions to be performed that is introduced by the words “and ... did [so].”  This technique was evident in Genesis 1 already.

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

381. You shall follow the order of inheritance.    V. 27:8 - 27:11


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