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The Value of Women

Words of Faith Final

The Value of Women

Words of Faith 8-6-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 27

    The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They approached [2] the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly, and said, [3] "Our father died in the desert. He was not among Korah's followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. [4] Why should our father's name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father's relatives."

    [5] So Moses brought their case before the Lord [6] and the Lord said to him, [7] "What Zelophehad's daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father's relatives and turn their father's inheritance over to them.

    [8] "Say to the Israelites, 'If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to his daughter. [9] If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. [10] If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father's brothers. [11] If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to be a legal requirement for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.' "


         In Sunday school, you probably never acted out the story of Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.  Or at least not this Noah!  But these five are very important.  These five daughters of Zelophehad brought their case before Moses. An important precedent was made regarding inheritance and the rights of women.

         Their question concerned the inheritance of daughters when there are no sons. This was a very different time. In the ancient world, women were viewed as property and never inherited.  It is often assumed that this was the case in Judaism when, in fact, we see the movement of God among the Hebrew people as one of progressive equality in many regards. 

         Judaism certainly saw different defined roles for men and women, but also championed the value and rights of women in a world where this did not exist.  The fact that Miriam was such a central leader in the Exodus movement is enormously powerful.  Now the question arose concerning property rights. 

        In most of the ancient world, the rights of women to inherit property simply did not exist.  If a man did not have sons, the male relatives would take the inheritance and leave his daughters destitute.   

        Now, as former slaves coming into the land of promise, there was the important issue of families that did not have sons.  Who would inherit?  Daughters normally would marry into another family and the Law defined the way that sons would inherit.  But the Law did not mention the case of a family with only daughters.

           Moses took the case before the Lord.  What a great plan!  The answer came back from the Lord defining the way that daughters were to inherit if there were no sons and also if there were no daughters.  The Lord extended the requested plan to include not only land but all material goods.  In the ancient world, this was extremely progressive in forwarding the rights of women. 

          Today, in many places, women are still viewed as property and are oppressed in the name of religion. It is very important to realize the truth of the one true God.  God values people, both men, and women, who are created in His image.

         The church was birthed with an even broader mandate of reform. When interpreting the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter defined the new era using the words of the Prophet Joel: 

        But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.  (Acts 2:16-18)

       The value of men and women, sons, and daughters, is the same in the eyes and heart of God. Our spiritual inheritance in Christ is equal and lavish. He pours out His Spirit on all flesh. Our job is not to argue over our rights, but simply to receive our inheritance.


          Lord, help me to see people as You do.  Help me to see the value of people, both men, and women, and the unique contributions each make to Your plan and the life You have planned. Help my eyes to be open and my heart to be engaged to receive the inheritance You have for me. In Jesus’ name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.