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Justice and the daughters of Zelophehad

From the December 2019 issue of The Christian Science Journal

In the societies we read about in the Bible, women were generally powerless and unable to do much without permission from the men of the family. Yet some of the Bible’s most beloved stories depict women who courageously stood up for themselves and were able to find justice. 

The story of Zelophehad’s daughters is an inspiring example. The book of Numbers tells us Zelophehad had five daughters but no sons. When he died, Hebrew law mandated that his possessions be given to his brothers, rather than being inherited by his daughters. Wanting to protect his inheritance, these women challenged the law, bringing their case before Moses and their whole community. 

Moses, in turn, took the case to God. And God said, “The daughters of Zelophehad speak right” (Numbers 27:7). So the unjust law was corrected, and the women received their rightful inheritance. 

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