Contents Calendar Find Reference
Navigating the Bible
Numbers Chapter 36
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Intermarriage Between Tribes
36:1 The paternal leaders of the family of Gilead, son of Makhir, son of Manasseh (which was one of the families from Joseph's sons), came forth and spoke before Moses and the leaders who were the paternal heads of the Israelites.
36:2 They said, 'God has commanded you to give the land to the Israelites as hereditary property through a lottery system. You have also been commanded by God to give the hereditary property of Tzelafchad our brother to his daughters.
36:3 'But if they marry a member of another Israelite tribe, then the hereditary property coming to us from our fathers will be diminished, since it will be added to the tribe into which they marry. Our hereditary property from the lottery system will thus be diminished.
36:4 Even if the Israelites have the jubilee, their hereditary property will be added to the property of the tribe into which they marry, and it will be subtracted from the property of our fathers' tribe.'
36:5 Moses gave the Israelites instructions at God's command, saying, 'The tribe of Joseph's descendants have a just claim.
36:6 This is the word that God has commanded regarding Tzelafchad's daughters: You may marry anyone you wish as long as you marry within your father's tribe.
36:7 The hereditary property of the Israelites will thus not be transferred from one tribe to another, and each person among the Israelites will remain attached to the hereditary property of his father's tribe.
36:8 'Thus, every girl who inherits property among the Israelite tribes shall marry a member of her father's tribe. Each Israelite will then inherit his fathers' hereditary property,
36:9 and the hereditary property will not be transferred from one tribe to another. Each of the Israelite tribes will then remain attached to its hereditary property.'
36:10 Tzelafchad's daughters did exactly as God had commanded Moses.
36:11 Machlah, Tirtzah, Chaglah, Milcah and No'ah, the daughters of Tzelafchad, married their cousins.
36:12 They thus married into the families of Manasseh son of Joseph, and their hereditary property remained with their father's family.
36:13 These are the commandments and laws that God instructed the Israelites through Moses in the West Plains of Moab on the Jericho Jordan.


  See Numbers, 26:29-33.

  Literally, 'my lord.'

lottery system
  Numbers 26:55.

to his daughters
  Numbers 27:7.

just claim
  See Numbers 27:7.

This is the word
  The rule that the tribes were not allowed to intermarry was only true for the generation that entered the Holy Land (Bava Bathra 120a). On 15 Av it was finally permitted for the tribes to intermarry, and that day was made into a festival (Taanith 30b). This was the anniversary of the day that the 40 year decree in the desert ended (see note on Numbers 33:45).

Machlah, Tirtzah...
  Here Tirtzah is listed before No'ah, since Tirtzah was older. However, in Numbers 27:1, No'ah is listed first, because she was more intelligent (Bava Bathra 120a; Rashi).

  Literally, 'uncles' sons.' See Numbers 26:30-32.

These are the commandments...
  From Numbers 26:52 to here (Chizzkuni).

Copyright © 2000 World ORT
Notice: This computer program is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.