Lesson 10 | Sabbath, 5 September 2020
The root word of Zelophehad means “united.”
“And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.” Numbers 26:33.
“In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” –The Ministry of Healing, 183.
- What was one of the royal cities in Israel? For whom was this beautiful place named?
1 Kings 15:33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.
Song of Solomon 6:4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.
Numbers 27:1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.
Appealing to God
- What request did the daughters of Zelophehad bring to Moses and Eleazar the high priest? When there is an ecclesiastical matter to resolve, to whom is one not to turn?
Numbers 27:2-4 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 3Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons. 4Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give to us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.
1 Corinthians 6:1, 2, 6 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?… 6But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
“Those church members who appeal to the courts of the world show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and their names are registered in heaven as one with unbelievers. How eagerly the world seizes the statements of those who betray sacred trusts!…
“The saints are to judge the world. Then are they to depend upon the world, and upon the world’s lawyers to settle their difficulties? God does not want them to take their troubles to the subjects of the enemy for decision. Let us have confidence in one another.” –Selected Messages, book 3, pp. 302, 303.
- Who decided the matter concerning the daughters of Zelphehad, and what did He say? Therefore, on the new earth and among the 144,000, who will also have an eternal inheritance?
Numbers 27:5-8 And Moses brought their cause before the Lord. 6And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 7The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. 8And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
“Here are the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life. Your obedience to God’s commandments will prove your right to an inheritance with the saints in light. God has elected a certain excellence of character; and every one who, through the grace of Christ, shall reach the standard of His requirement, will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory. All who would reach this standard of character, will have to employ the means that God has provided to this end. If you would inherit the rest that remaineth for the children of God, you must become a co-laborer with God. You are elected to wear the yoke of Christ–to bear His burden, to lift His cross. You are to be diligent ‘to make your calling and election sure.’ Search the Scriptures, and you will see that not a son or a daughter of Adam is elected to be saved in disobedience to God’s law. The world makes void the law of God; but Christians are chosen to sanctification through obedience to the truth. They are elected to bear the cross, if they would wear the crown.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 125.
- However, who disagreed with the inheritance granted to the daughters of Zelphehad? What was the reasoning behind this?
Numbers 36:1-3 And the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel: 2And 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. 3And if they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance.
“The whole land, both the parts already conquered and that which was yet unsubdued, was to be apportioned among the tribes. And it was the duty of each tribe to fully subdue its own inheritance. If the people should prove faithful to God, He would drive out their enemies from before them; and He promised to give them still greater possessions if they would but be true to His covenant. To Joshua, with Eleazar the high priest, and the heads of the tribes, the distribution of the land was committed, the location of each tribe being determined by lot. Moses himself had fixed the bounds of the country as it was to be divided among the tribes when they should come in possession of Canaan, and had appointed a prince from each tribe to attend to the distribution. The tribe of Levi, being devoted to the sanctuary service, was not counted in this allotment; but forty- eight cities in different parts of the country were assigned the Levites as their inheritance.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 511.
“Naboth valued his vineyard highly because it had belonged to his fathers, and he refused to part with it. ‘The Lord forbid it me,’ he said to Ahab, ‘that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.’ According to the Levitical code no land could be transferred permanently by sale or exchange; every one of the children of Israel must ‘keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.’ Numbers 36:7.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 205.
- To what period of time did those who protested against the daughters of Zelophehad receiving an inheritance specifically refer? When will the final spiritual jubilee take place?
Numbers 36:4 And when the jubile of the children of Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.
Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. “And although one might for a time dispose of his possession, he could not permanently barter away the inheritance of his children. When able to redeem his land, he was at liberty at any time to do so. Debts were remitted every seventh year, and in the fiftieth, or year of jubilee, all landed property reverted to the original owner.
“Thus every family was secured in its possession, and a safeguard was afforded against the extremes of either wealth or want.” –The Ministry of Healing, pp. 184, 185.
“But that which especially distinguished the year of jubilee was the reversion of all landed property to the family of the original possessor. By the special direction of God the land had been divided by lot. After the division was made no one was at liberty to trade his estate. Neither was he to sell his land unless poverty compelled him to do so, and then, whenever he or any of his kindred might desire to redeem it, the purchaser must not refuse to sell it; and if unredeemed, it would revert to its first possessor or his heirs in the year of jubilee….
“The regulations that God established were designed to promote social equality. The provisions of the sabbatical year and the jubilee would, in a great measure, set right that which during the interval had gone wrong in the social and political economy of the nation.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 533, 534.
- What solution and command did the Most High give so that the daughters of Zelophehad could retain their rights of inheritance? In the same manner, whom should single and widowed women marry so as not to lose their heavenly inheritance?
Numbers 36:5-8 And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph hath said well. 6This is the thing which the Lord doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry. 7So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. 8And every daughter, that possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers.
1 Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
“The apostle Paul declares that it is impossible for the children of God to unite with worldlings: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.’ This does not refer to marriage alone; any intimate relation of confidence and co-partnership with those who have no love for God or the truth is a snare.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 13.
“One of the greatest dangers that besets the people of God today, is that of association with the ungodly; especially in uniting themselves in marriage with unbelievers. With many, the love for the human eclipses the love for the divine. They take the first step in backsliding by venturing to disregard the Lord’s express command; and complete apostasy is too often the result. It has ever proved a dangerous thing for men to carry out their own will in opposition to the requirements of God. Yet it is a hard lesson for men to learn that God means what He says. As a rule, those who choose for their friends and companions, persons who reject Christ and trample upon God’s law, eventually become of the same mind and spirit.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 165.
The eternal, celestial inheritance
- Whom did the daughters of Zelophehad marry, thus retaining their inheritance in Israel? Likewise, whose relative did Jesus become so that they would not lose their inheritance in the new earth?
Numbers 36:10-12 Even as the Lord commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad: 11For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to their father’s brothers’ sons. 12And they were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father.
Hebrews 2:11, 14 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren…. 14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
“Our Saviour declares that He brought from heaven as a donation eternal life. He was to be lifted up upon the cross of Calvary to draw all men unto Him. How then shall we treat the purchased inheritance of Christ? Tenderness, appreciation, kindness, sympathy, and love should be shown to them. Then we may work to help and bless one another.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 229.
Additional study – the jubilee
“In every sacrifice Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 211.
“Then commenced the jubilee, when the land should rest. I saw the pious slave rise in victory and triumph, and shake off the chains that bound him, while his wicked master was in confusion and knew not what to do, for the wicked could not understand the words of the voice of God.” –The Story of Redemption, p. 410.