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(from Good Word Online):

Basic Human Rights (Numbers 26-27)

TEXT: Numbers 26:51-56

51 The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730. 52 The LORD said to Moses, 53 “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names. 54 To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed. 55 Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe. 56 Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups.”

  • How does the total number of the Israelites in this passage compare with the number from the census in the Desert of Sinai?
  • Was it fair to distribute the land based on the number of people?
  • What measures were taken to prevent the large tribes from expanding at the expense of the smaller tribes?

TEXT: Numbers 27:5-11

5 So Moses brought their case before the LORD 6 and the LORD said to him, 7 “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and turn their father’s inheritance over to them. 8 “Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to be a legal requirement for the Israelites, as the LORD commanded Moses.’ “

  • What do we know about the rights of women in Bible times?
  • What can we learn from the attitude of the five brave sisters?
  • How was their problem resolved?

Lesson: A God-given heritage should not be monopolized by a privileged group.