Inheritance of Zelophehad’s daughters

The leaders of the households of the clans of Gilead, Machir’s son and Manasseh’s grandson, of Joseph’s clans, approached and spoke before Moses and the chiefs, who were the leaders of the Israelite households. They said, “The Lord commanded my master to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the Israelites. But my master was also commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. If they are married to someone from another Israelite tribe, their inheritance will be taken away from our household and given to another tribe into which they marry. Then it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. At the Israelite Jubilee, their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they married. Then their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of our ancestral tribe.”

Then Moses commanded the Israelites according to the Lord’s word: “The tribe of Joseph’s descendants are correct in what they’re saying. This is the word that the Lord commands to Zelophehad’s daughters: They may marry whomever seems best to them, but they may only marry into one of the clans of their ancestral tribe, so that the inheritance of the Israelites doesn’t transfer from one tribe to another. The Israelites will each retain the tribal inheritance of his ancestral tribe. Every daughter who inherits land from an Israelite tribe must marry into one of the clans of her father’s tribe. In this way each Israelite will own the land of his ancestors. An inheritance of land may not be transferred from one tribe to another, for the Israelite tribes will each retain its own inheritance.”

10 Zelophehad’s daughters did as the Lord commanded Moses. 11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, Zelophehad’s daughters, married their cousins. 12 They married into the clan of Manasseh, Joseph’s son. Their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father’s clan.


13 These are the commandments and the case laws that the Lord commanded the Israelites through Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.