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Numbers 36 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 36

Inheritance of Daughters. The heads of the ancestral houses in a clan of the descendants of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh—one of the Josephite clans—came up and spoke before Moses and Eleazar the priest and before the leaders who were the heads of the ancestral houses of the Israelites. They said: “The Lord commanded my lord to apportion the land by lot for a heritage among the Israelites; and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the heritage of Zelophehad our kinsman to his daughters. But if they marry into one of the other Israelite tribes, their heritage will be withdrawn from our ancestral heritage and will be added to that of the tribe into which they marry; thus the heritage that fell to us by lot will be diminished. When the Israelites celebrate the jubilee year,[a] the heritage of these women will be added to that of the tribe into which they marry and their heritage will be withdrawn from that of our ancestral tribe.”

[b]So Moses commanded the Israelites at the direction of the Lord: “The tribe of the Josephites are right in what they say. This is what the Lord commands with regard to the daughters of Zelophehad: They may marry anyone they please, provided they marry into a clan of their ancestral tribe, so that no heritage of the Israelites will pass from one tribe to another, but all the Israelites will retain their own ancestral heritage. Every daughter who inherits property in any of the Israelite tribes will marry someone belonging to a clan of her own ancestral tribe, in order that all the Israelites may remain in possession of their own ancestral heritage. Thus, no heritage will pass from one tribe to another, but all the Israelite tribes will retain their own ancestral heritage.”

10 The daughters of Zelophehad did exactly as the Lord commanded Moses. 11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah, Zelophehad’s daughters, married sons of their uncles on their father’s side. 12 They married within the clans of the descendants of Manasseh, son of Joseph; hence their heritage remained in the tribe of their father’s clan.

Conclusion. 13 These are the commandments and decisions which the Lord commanded the Israelites through Moses, on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan opposite Jericho.


  1. 36:4 Before the jubilee year various circumstances, such as divorce, could make such property revert to its original tribal owners; but in the jubilee year it became irrevocably attached to its new owners.
  2. 36:5–9 This is a supplement to the law given in 27:5–11.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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