Five courageous sisters

Hebrew reveals true Biblical strength

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    A sonless man dies in the wilderness

    In the biblical Book of Numbers, there is one short episode that we often skip over. This is the story of an Israelite man named Zelophehad who left Egypt under Moses and died in the wilderness, before entering the Promised Land. At the time of his death, he had five daughters. Tragically, according to biblical law, there simply was no way for his property to stay in the family because only male heirs could inherit one’s assets. 

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    The courage of five young women

    Zelophehad’s five daughters were too young to marry, but they were not willing to stand by passively. They bravely approached Moses, asking that the law of inheritance be revised to include female offspring. Their request was simple, “Why should the name of our father be taken away from his clan because he had no son? Give to us a possession among our father’s brothers” (Num. 27:4). When we read this verse in translation it does not strike us as particularly special. 

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    It is time to grasp the true meaning

    In the original Hebrew, the word for “possession” is aḥuza (אחוזה), from the root AḤZ (אחז), meaning “to grasp”. Throughout the Bible, this powerful term indicates dynamism and confidence. This same Hebrew word describes Jacob “grasping” Esau’s heel in the womb (Gen. 25:26) and Moses “grasping” the snake by the tail (Ex. 4:4). The daughters of Zelophehad bravely petitioned to amend the law God gave on Mount Sinai. Enroll in our live online Biblical Hebrew course and learn to grasp the true meaning of the scriptures. 

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