Numbers 36


The inconveniences which might be produced by daughters,

inheritances, marrying out of their own tribe, remedied on the

recommendation of certain chiefs of the tribe of Joseph, who

stated the case of the daughters of Zelophehad, 1-4.

The daughters of Zelophehad are commanded to marry in their own

tribe, 5, 6;

which is to be an ordinance in all similar circumstances, 7-9.

The daughters of Zelophehad marry their father's brother's sons,

and thus their inheritance is preserved in their own tribe,


The conclusion of the commandments given by the Lord to the

Israelites in the plains of Moab, 13.


Verse 2. To give the inheritance of Zelophehad-unto his

daughters.] See this case spoken of at large on Nu 27:1-11.

Either the first eleven verses of Nu 27:1-11 should come in

before this chapter, or this chapter should come in immediately

after those eleven verses; they certainly both make parts of the

same subject.

Here Moses determines that heiresses should marry in their own

tribe, that no part of the ancient inheritance might be alienated

from the original family.

Verse 6. Let them marry to whom they think best] Here was

latitude sufficient, and yet a salutary and reasonable restraint,

which prevented a vexatious mixture of property and possession.

Verse 8. Every daughter that possesseth an inheritance] This

law affected none but heiresses; all others were at liberty to

marry into any of the other tribes. The priests and Levites, who

could have no inheritance, were exempt from the operation of this

law. Jehoiada had the king of Judah's daughter to wife,

2Ch 22:11. And another priest had for wife one of the daughters

of Barzillai the Gileadite, Ezr 2:61. "By reason of such

marriages," says Mr. Ainsworth, "there might be kindred between

Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, who was of the

daughters of Aaron, and Mary the virgin, the mother of our Lord,

who was of the lineage of David, and tribe of Judah;" Lu 1:5, 36;

Lu 3:23-31.

Verse 11. Mahlah, Tirza, &c.] For a curious account of these

names, See Clarke on Nu 27:7.

Verse 12. And their inheritance remained in-the family] "By

this example, and the law of inheritances in the Holy Land, the

people of God," says Ainsworth, "are taught to hold fast their

inheritance in his promises, and their right in Christ, which they

hold by faith; that as the Father hath made them meet to be

partakers of the inheritance among the saints in light, Col 1:12,

so they may keep the faith and grace which they have received to

the end."

Verse 13. These are the commandments, &c.] See these different

terms analyzed and explained, Clarke "Le 26:15".

THUS ends the book of Numbers, containing a series of

astonishing providences and events. Scarcely any piece of history

in the sacred writings is better calculated to impress the mind of

a serious reader with a sense of the goodness and severity of God.

In every transaction his holiness and justice appear in closest

union with his benevolence and mercy. From such a Being what have

the wicked not to fear! From such a Father and Friend what have

the upright not to hope! His justice requires him to punish

iniquity, but his mercy inclines him to pardon all who truly

repent and believe in the Son of his love.

The journeyings of this people, from the time they left Egypt,

exhibit a series of providential wonders. Every where, and in

every circumstance, God appears: and yet there is no circumstance

or occasion that does not justify those signal displays of his

GRACE and his JUSTICE. The genuine history of God's providence

must be sought for in this book alone; and as every occurrence

happened as an example, we have authority to conclude that in

every case where his own glory and the salvation of man are

interested, he will interfere and give the fullest proofs that he

is the same to-day that he was yesterday, and will continue

unchangeable for ever and ever. Reader, are these matters

ensamples to thee? Art thou, like the Israelites, come into the

plains of Moab, on the very verge of the promised land? Jordan

alone separates thee from the promised inheritance. O, watch and

pray, that thou come not short of the glory of God. The last

enemy that shall be destroyed is death; see then that the sting of

death, which is sin, be extracted from thy soul, that, being

justified by Christ's blood, thou mayest be made an heir according

to the hope of an eternal life. Amen, amen.

"I will bring you into the WILDERNESS of the people, and there

will I plead with you face to face, like as I pleaded with your

fathers in the WILDERNESS of the land of Egypt. And I will cause

you to pass under the rod, and bring you into the bond of the

covenant," Eze 20:35-37.

"He (Christ) is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means

of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under

the first testament, they which are called might receive the

promise of eternal inheritance," Heb 9:15.

SECTIONS In the Book of Numbers, carried on from Leviticus,

which ends with the THIRTY-THIRD.

The THIRTY-FOURTH, called bemidbar, begins Nu 1:1,

and ends Nu 4:20.

The THIRTY-FIFTH, called nasa, begins Nu 4:21, and ends

Nu 7:89.

The THIRTY-SIXTH, called behaalothecha, begins

Nu 8:1, and ends Nu 12:16.

The THIRTY-SEVENTH, called shelach, begins Nu 13:1, and

ends Nu 15:41.

The THIRTY-EIGHTH, called korach, begins Nu 16:1, and

ends Nu 18:32.

The THIRTY-NINTH, called chukkath, begins Nu 19:1, and

ends Nu 22:1.

The FORTIETH, called balak, begins Nu 22:2, and ends

Nu 25:9.

The FORTY-FIRST, called pinechas, begins Nu 25:10,

and ends Nu 30:1.

The FORTY-SECOND, called mattoth, begins Nu 30:2, and

ends Nu 32:42.

The FORTY-THIRD, called masey, begins Nu 33:1, and

ends Nu 36:13.


The number of verses in this book is 1,288, of which is

the symbol: for aleph stands for 1,000, , resh for 200,

phe for 80, and cheth for 8.

The middle verse is Nu 17:20. And the man's rod

whom I shall choose shall blossom. (N. B. In our English Bibles

this is Nu 17:5.)

Its pareshioth, or larger sections, are 10, expressed by the

letters of the word badad, alone: The Lord ALONE did lead

him, De 32:12.

daleth stands for 4, repeated here, 8, and beth for 2.

Its sedarim, or Masoretic sections, are 32, expressed by the

word leb, heart, Ps 51:12:

Create in me a clean HEART, O God; in which word beth

stands for 2, and lamed for 30.

Its chapters are 36, expressed by the word lu,

O! De 32:29:

O that they were wise! in which word lamed stands for 30,

and vau for 6.

The number of its open sections is 92; its close or shut

sections, 66; together 158; expressed in the memorial word

chelkecha: I am THY PORTION; in which word koph stands for 100,

lamed for 30, caph for 20, and , cheth for 8.

Though this sort of notations may appear trifling to some, yet

to an upright Jew they were of much consequence. The very

technical words used in such cases put him always in mind of

something in which the glory of God and the happiness and

salvation of his own soul were concerned. See the note at the end

of Genesis, See Clarke on Ge 50:26, and see the concluding notes on

the Book of Deuteronomy. See Clarke on De 34:10.

Revised and corrected for a new edition, August 4th, 1827.-A. CLARKE.

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