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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 27

 

 

Verses 1-23

Numbers 27:1-11. The Right of Daughters to Inherit, in Default of Male Issue.—To guard against the alienation of property from a family through the absence of male heirs by natural descent, the system of the Levirate marriage was instituted (Deuteronomy 25:5-10*, p. 109); and that law, which assumed that only males could inherit, is here supplemented by another law allowing daughters, in default of sons, to become heirs. For a qualification of the present law, see Numbers 36; and for the fulfilment of the claim made by Zelophehad's daughters, see Joshua 17:3 f *.

Numbers 27:3. The denial that Zelophehad (a Manassite) was implicated in the rebellion of Korah presumes that Korah led a movement of the secular tribes against the Levites, not a movement of the Levites against Aaron. This passage thus agrees with the earlier, not the later, version of the Korah story in Numbers 16.

Numbers 27:4. Zelophehad, being no worse than the rest of his generation, did not deserve to have his name extinguished through the want of male heirs.

Numbers 27:12-23. The Nomination of Joshua to be Moses' Successor.—Between the announcement of Moses' approaching death and the account of its occurrence, not only the rest of Nu. but the whole of Dt. intervene, this being due to the arrangement of the Pentateuch (or Hexateuch) by the final compiler. Numbers 27:12-14 is virtually repeated in Deuteronomy 32:48-52. Though Joshua is named as Moses' destined successor, the position which he is to enjoy is inferior to that of Moses; for whereas Moses received Yahweh's communications directly (Numbers 12:8), Joshua is to receive them through Eleazar the priest.

Numbers 27:12. this mountain: i.e. Nebo (so LXX); cf. Deuteronomy 32:49.

Numbers 27:14. See Numbers 20:2-13.

Numbers 27:18. lay . . . upon him: here the action is doubtless symbolical (cf. Acts 6:6; Acts 13:3), but originally such physical contact was probably thought to be a magical means of conveying special powers

Numbers 27:21. the Urim: Exodus 28:30*, pp. 100f.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 27:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/numbers-27.html. 1919.

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