Numbers: fair distribution…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Numbers 26:1-29:11

Focus: Numbers 26:52-27:11

Today, we hear stories of families fighting over the inheritance at a person’s death. Where the will does not satisfy one party, lawsuits break out between rival factions and the settlement of an estate may take months, if not years. The reasons: “It’s not fair! Why should they get that? Why should they get more than me? I was the one who cared for the old geezer…” There’s plenty of TV dramas to fill our imaginations.

As God took His people into the Promised Land, He made it clear how the land should be divided among the tribes, clans and families. Basically, it came down to size. The land would be divided among the tribes according to their population; then the tribal lands would be divided among the clans according to their population; then the land of the clans would be divided among families according to their population.

What is, interestingly, included is the story of a family of daughters where no sons had been borne. The father had died, naturally, but there was no male heir to carry on the family name and legacy. As such, the daughters approached Moses who sought God’s decision. Before God, they were not forgotten and given an allotment among their relatives so that their father’s name might not be forgotten.

It’s a far cry from the distribution of inheritance today. It was a system which made sure that everyone was looked after appropriately.

Next Reading: Numbers 29:12-32:42