Numbers 27:1-23


I.    Verse 1-11 - The inheritance to the daughters of Zelophehad.

A.  They are mentioned as a special case in Numbers 26:33.

1.   We are led to believe this is the only case like this in all Israel.

a.   Some would consider the case of Ohad, compare Ex. 6:15 and Num. 26:12, to be a like case.

b.   But Ohad evidently had no descendants at all.

c.   The family of Ohad disappeared from Israel during the 40 years wilderness wandering.

d.   There will be no efforts to give any inheritance to rebels.

e.   There will be no inheritance in heaven for those who rebel against God's Word.

2.      They bring their case before God.

a.   They do not bicker and complain to their neighbors that they are being treated wrong.

b.   Many people have such a weak case, they will not speak of those things openly, but will do their talking secretly (behind backs).

c.   This is a method of Satan, not of God.

3.      They bring the case to God themselves for it is really an open and shut case.

4.      They know they have a good, honest case and do not mind speaking before God.

5.      This ought to show the "women libbers" that their stand against God's Word is not right.

a.   Moses and the spiritual leaders of Israel listened to these women.

b.   They were not told to shut their mouths because they had no right to talk.

c.   They even spoke before the door of the tabernacle, in the very presence of God.

d.   They were not usurping the authority of anybody, for they were speaking for themselves.

B.   What is their case?

1.      Their father had died in the wilderness.

a.   He had died as a result of the common sin, not because he rebelled against Moses in the matter of Korah or any other matter.

b.   Zelophehad had no sons, only these four daughters.

2.   The land is being divided according to the census, and they only counted sons.  Therefore, the name of their father would be done away with.

C.   Moses reaction.

1.   He makes no decision on his own, but brings this special case before God.

2.   We have no right to make decisions without consulting the Word of God.

D.  God's answer.  See Joshua 17:3,4 for the carrying out of this command.

1.      Zelophehad's daughters are right.

2.      They shall receive an inheritance among their fathers brethren.

3.   God includes other laws of inheritance.

a.   The son would normally inherit the land left by the father, but if there were no sons, the daughter would inherit the land so the name of the father wouldn't be left out.

b.   If there is no daughter, the land would go to the fathers brethren.

c.   If the father has no brethren, the land would go to the kinsman that is nearest of kin.

4.      This makes more clear the law of kinsman redeemer.

a.   In Ruth 4:17, the child born to Ruth and Boaz is called the child of Naomi.

b.   This is because Boaz is marrying into that family, Ruth is not marrying into the family of Boaz.

c.   The law of kinsman redeemer is that the near kinsman would give up his inheritance to accept the inheritance of his brother.


II.   Verse 12-23.  Joshua being set up as leader of Israel.  These verses are divided into three sections.

1.      Verse 12-14, God tells Moses he will die after he views the promised land.

2.      Verse 15-17, Moses praying that God would give a successor.

3.      Verse 18-23, God appoints Joshua and Moses lays hands on him.

A.  Verse 12-14 - God tells Moses he will die after he views the promised land.

1.      Notice the order of the events in verses 12-14.

a.   God tells Moses to view the promised land.

b.   God tells Moses he must die.

c.   God repeats to Moses why he must die.

d.   This order shows us that God does not intend to hurt Moses or destroy him, but it reveals his judgment for Moses rebellion.

e.   When we rebel against God and He chastens us, this doesn't mean He doesn't love us.  He would show his hatred for us if He didn't chasten us.

2.      Notice the phrase, "gathered unto thy people".

a.   This is a different way to think about dying.

b.   Moses will be gathered to his people; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.

c.   If a lost man dies, he will be gathered to his people, and his father the Devil.  The children of the devil are in hell, and the lost will be gathered to them in hell.

3.   The reason for Moses dying "before his time" is because of the striking the rock instead of speaking to it.  Compare Ex. 17:1-7, and Numbers 20:1-13.

a.   Some would deny that Moses died before his time, or that it could be possible to do so.

b.   See Eccl. 7:16,17, Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

c.   There is no mention anywhere that Moses would not lead Israel into the promised land.  It is only after his rebellion that God says he will not enter into the promised land.

d.   Therefore, we can conclude that Moses did die before his time.

e.   Compare this with Joshua and Caleb.  These two men didn't rebel against God at all and entered the promised land, fought with those men who were 40 years younger than they and helped capture and possess the land.

B.   Verse 15-17 - Moses praying that God would give him a successor.

1.      Only God can give his people the right leader.

a.   Moses knows God called him to lead Israel.

b.   Moses knows that only God can call the right man.

2.   God is the God of all spirits of all flesh.

a.   This means that only God can put the right spirit into a man that he would have the proper burden for the people of God.

b.   Only a true leader of Israel, or any people, would have this kind of burden.

c.   There is such a thing as a "hired" leader.  (John 10:13)  This kind of leader would run when there was trouble.  He would destroy the people for he wouldn't really care if they were true to God or not.

3.      Moses desired God to set a man over the congregation.

a.   Every congregation needs a leader to guide them.

b.   Some people today think a woman ought to be the leader, but God says a man ought to do it.

4.   In verse 17, there are four things the leader ought to do.

a.   Section one:  This is talking about the personal walk of the leader.

1.      Go out before them.

2.      Go in before them.

b.   Section two:  This is talking about the leadership abilities of the leader.

1.      Which may lead them out.

2.      And bring them in.

c.   This teaches us that a leader must be able to direct his own life before he is able to lead others in the direction they ought to go.

5.   As sheep which have no shepherd.

a.   Rev. 3:14-22 - The Laodicean church is a symbol of the church of the last days.

b.   The name means "justice of the people".  In other words, the people are no longer listening to the Word of God, but they are deciding among themselves what they ought to do.

c.   A low point in the history of Israel is recorded in Judges 17:6, "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

d.   Matt. 9:36 - Jesus was sorrowful for Israel for they were scattered as sheep not having a shepherd.  They really had a shepherd, but they refused to believe that Jesus was that shepherd.

C.   Verse 18-23 - God appoints Joshua, and Moses lays hands on him.

1.      Joshua had the "spirit".

a.   This is not the spirit according to Pentecostalism.

b.   This is the spirit that enables him to be a follower of God's Word, even at personal cost to himself.

2.      Joshua was with Caleb in trying to persuade the people to enter Canaan 40 years ago.

a.   Joshua was not a newcomer (novice) to faithfulness, or leadership.

b.   Joshua 2:8, Joshua is about 40 years younger than Moses.

3.   Lay hands on him.

a.   This does not transfer any power through Moses hands to Joshua.

b.   This is like laying hands on a preacher today. (ordaining)

c.   This is a public recognition of Joshua as the next leader.

4.      Before Eleazar the priest.

a.   Eleazar is God's representative.

b.   Therefore, Moses is presenting Joshua before God.

5.      Before the entire congregation.

a.   This is to let the entire congregation know that Joshua is the approved leader.

b.   The congregation should approve Joshua as their leader because God established him.

6.      Give a charge in their sight.

a.   This is comparable to the charge preached at an ordination service.

b.   This would let Joshua and all the congregation know what God expected of a leader.

c.   It really doesn't matter what people expect, it's what God expects that really counts.

7.   Put honor on Joshua.

a.   When Moses publicly voiced his approval and acceptance of Joshua as the next leader, this would help him to be accepted by the people.

b.   Moses would not put his reputation or authority on Joshua.  He would have to gain these for himself.  I don't believe he would have much trouble along these lines for all the people already knew where he stood.

8.      Asking counsel of Urim before the Lord.

a.   This is referring to Joshua receiving directions from the Lord.

b.   This is very important, for at his word Israel shall go out and come in again.  They want and need somebody that will lead them God's way, not man's way.

9.      Moses again obeyed God.

a.   He is not jealous of the new leader, but adds his support to him.

b.   Moses is not mad at God for keeping him out of the promised land, but he is glad for he's going home to be with the Lord.

10.            Conclusion:  Deut. 34:9 - After Moses died, Joshua was full of the spirit because Moses had laid his hands on him.  Israel could continue because the former leader did what he ought to do.