English Standard Version
They said, “The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters.
King James Bible
And they said, The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.
American Standard Version
and they said, Jehovah commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by Jehovah to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.
The Lord hath commanded thee, my lord, that thou shouldst divide the land by lot to the children of Israel, and that thou shouldst give to the daughters of Salphaad our brother the possession due to their father:
English Revised Version
and they said, The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.
Webster's Bible Translation
And they said, The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters.
Numbers 36:2 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
If, therefore, the confinement of the unintentional manslayer in the city of refuge was neither an ordinary exile nor merely a means of rescuing him from the revenge of the enraged goel, but an appointment of the just and merciful God for the expiation of human blood even though not wilfully shed, that, whilst there was no violation of judicial righteousness, a barrier might be set to the unrighteousness of family revenge; it was necessary to guard against any such abuse of this gracious provision of the righteous God, as that into which the heathen right of asylum had degenerated.
(Note: On the asyla, in general, see Winer's Real-Wrterbuch, art. Freistatt; Pauly, Real-encyckl. der class. Alterthums-wissenschaft, Bd. i. s. v. Asylum; but more especially K. Dann, "ber den Ursprung des Asylrechts und dessen Schicksale und Ueberreste in Europa," in his Ztschr. fr deutsches Recht, Lpz. 1840. "The asyla of the Greeks, Romans, and Germans differed altogether from those of the Hebrews; for whilst the latter were never intended to save the wilful criminal from the punishment he deserved, but were simply established for the purpose of securing a just sentence, the former actually answered the purpose of rescuing the criminal from the punishment which he legally deserved.")
The instructions which follow in Numbers 35:29-34 were intended to secure this object. In Numbers 35:29, there is first of all the general law, that these instructions (those given in vv. 11-28) were to be for a statute of judgment (see Numbers 27:11) for all future ages ("throughout your generations," see Exodus 12:14, Exodus 12:20). Then, in Numbers 35:30, a just judgment is enforced in the treatment of murder. "Whoso killeth any person (these words are construed absolutely), at the mouth (the testimony) of witnesses shall the murderer be put to death; and one witness shall not answer (give evidence) against a person to die;" i.e., if the taking of life were in question, capital punishment was not to be inflicted upon the testimony of one person only, but upon that of a plurality of witnesses. One witness could not only be more easily mistaken than several, but would be more likely to be partial than several persons who were unanimous in bearing witness to one and the same thing. The number of witnesses was afterwards fixed at two witnesses, at least, in the case of capital crimes (Deuteronomy 17:6), and two or three in the case of every crime (Deuteronomy 19:15; cf. John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Hebrews 10:28). - Lastly (Numbers 35:31.), the command is given not to take redemption money, either for the life of the murderer, who was a wicked man to die, i.e., deserving of death (such a man was to be put to death); nor "for fleeing into the city of refuge, to return to dwell in the land till the death of the high priest:" that is to say, they were neither to allow the wilful murderer to come to terms with the relative of the man who had been put to death, by the payment of a redemption fee, and so to save his life, as is not unfrequently the case in the East at the present day (cf. Robinson, Pal. i. p. 209, and Lane's Manners and Customs); nor even to allow the unintentional murderer to purchase permission to return home from the city of refuge before the death of the high priest, by the payment of a money compensation.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
The Lord commanded. To one division of the tribe of Manasseh, a portion had been assigned eastward of Jordan; but Zelophehad was of that division, to which an inheritance was afterwards allotted west of Jordan; yet, expecting the promised land, the elders of the Manassites now propose a difficulty, upon the adjudged case of Zelophehad's daughters. If the females should inherit, in defect of male issue, and should intermarry with other tribes they would diminish the interest, and weaken the influence of their own tribes, and give occasion to future confusion, and perhaps contention. The Manassites therefore referred the case to Moses; and he, by the authority of God, annexed a clause, which would effectually keep the tribes and inheritances distinct, as long as it was observed. Heiresses were not allowed to marry out of their own tribe, though within those bounds they might consult their own inclinations.
Moses brought their case before the LORD.
"The daughters of Zelophehad are right. You shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father's brothers and transfer the inheritance of their father to them.
But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.