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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 27

 

 

Verses 1-23


The Law of the Inheritance of Daughters. Joshua appointed as the Success or of Moses

1-11. According to Numbers 26:53 (Cp. Numbers 27:2) the land was to be apportioned to the males. Zelophehad, of the tribe of Manasseh, had died leaving no sons (Numbers 26:33); and his daughters, fearing that they would have no inheritance, request that they and their sons should succeed to the inheritance of their father, and thus perpetuate his name. Their claim is pronounced to be just, and it is enacted that daughters should inherit where there are no sons, and, failing daughters, the nearest relatives of the father. It was afterwards further enacted (Numbers 36) that daughters succeeding to an inheritance must marry within their own tribe, in order that the property should remain in that tribe and not be alienated to another.

3. Died in his own sin] These words have led Jewish commentators to identify Zelophehad with the man who was stoned for sabbath breaking (Numbers 15:32-36). But their meaning rather is that Zelophehad had not forfeited his inheritance by any specially heinous act of transgression, but had died the common death of all men (cp. Numbers 16:29).

12-23. Moses receives intimation of his approaching death, and Joshua is appointed leader in his place.

12. This command is repeated in Deuteronomy 32:48,. and its fulfilment related in Deuteronomy 34. In the interval before his death, Moses delivered the concluding laws contained in the book of Numbers and the addresses in the book of Deuteronomy. The conquest of the Midianites seems also to have taken place in this interval, if at least the order of the narrative corresponds to the actual order of events (see Numbers 31). Mount Abarim] see on Numbers 23:24.

13. Gathered unto thy people] see on Numbers 20:24;

14. To sanctify me] see on Numbers 20:12.

15. Moses stifles his personal feelings of disappointment and grief, and thinks only of the flock he is leaving behind. This noble selfeffacement was conspicuous on other occasions: see Exodus 32:32; Numbers 11:29; Numbers 14:12-13; If the work goes on, he is content that God should bury the workman: cp. Romans 9:1-3; Philippians 1:18.

17. To lead out (to pasture) and to bring in (to the fold) is the work of the shepherd: cp. John 10:3, John 10:4.

18. The spirit] i.e. the necessary qualification: see on Exodus 28:3; Exodus 31:4. Joshua had no doubt learned much from his close association with Moses as his attendant: see Exodus 24:13; Exodus 32:17; Exodus 33:11; Numbers 11:28. He had also some experience as leader of the army of Israel (Exodus 17:9). Moreover, he had given evidence of his faith and courage at Kadesh, being the only one save Caleb who was prepared to go forward in reliance on the divine promises and help (Numbers 14:6). Lay thine hand upon him] in token of consecration: cp. Acts 6:6; Acts 13:3; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6. Observe that the three marks of a regularly consecrated minister of God are present here, viz. the call of God, the necessary gifts, and a public and solemn ordination to office.

19. Give him a charge] see Deuteronomy 31:7-8, Deuteronomy 31:23.

21. Urim] see on Exodus 28:30.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Numbers 27:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/numbers-27.html. 1909.

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