Numbers Chapter 27

The Israelites had been numbered for a second time, as they were encamped in the land of Moab. Eleazar, the son of Aaron, was serving as the high priest at this time. Moses was still leading the Israelites, however, he had been told that he would not remain to enter the land of promise with the people. All of the older generation, which had been led from Egypt, had passed away, except for Joshua and Caleb. This chapter begins:

1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.
2 And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
3 Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
4 Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.
5 And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.

There was a family in the tribe of Manasseh, which had no sons to take an inheritance for them, so the women were left without any support. They went to Moses, Eleazar and the other leaders, seeking to have an inheritance with the families of their uncles. They took the matter to the Lord.

6 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
7 The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.
8 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.
9 And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.
10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father’s brethren.
11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Lord told Moses to give them the inheritance with their extended family. A new law of inheritances was given to the Israelites. The inheritance of a man without any sons, would go to his living daughters. If he had no daughters, the inheritance of that man would go to his brothers. If he had no brothers, the inheritance would go to the brothers of his father. If the man had no uncles, the inheritance would go to the next kinsmen in his family. Because of this, these women were not left without support, just because their father had died.

The Lord can help us with any problems we have in life. Just as He did for the ancient Israelites, if we seek to know His will in all things, he will help us. It is always amazing to me, when I receive inspiration on the small and seemingly trivial parts of my life. These are the moments that I feel that I am truly loved by the Lord as an individual. God cares for every part of our life, spiritual or physical. I feel that part of this is because our spirits are healthier, when our physical needs are being met. When we are stressed, run down, depressed, or in pain, we are not fully able to focus on the spiritual needs of our life. He will bless us in all things, so that we can succeed in life, because that is what He sent us here to do. All we are expected to do, is to ask Him and hearken to the answers and inspiration He gives us.

12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.
13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.
14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

Moses was called by the Lord to mount Abarim, more specifically Mount Nebo, to see the land that would be given to the Israelites.


Moses was told that after he saw the promised land, he would be gathered or be taken from the people to be gathered with those who had died before him. He was reminded that he had been disobedient when he was to give the people water in the name of the Lord, which was in Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, when he was told he would not enter the promised land for his rebellion. (For more on this story, see Numbers 20) In Deuteronomy 32 we read the following additional verses:

51 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
52 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.

Moses and Aaron trespassed against the Lord. He had sinned, and the consequence from the Lord, was this promise that he would not enter the land of promise. No sin can go without consequences, even (or especially) when one is the prophet of the Lord. In the Doctrine and Covenants, section 84, we read another reason that the Lord took Moses at this time.

23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

The people had to go on without the fullness of the priesthood which Moses held. Part of the consequences for the rebellion among the older generation, was that the lesser portion of the authority of the priesthood would remain with them. There are greater purposes to all that the Lord does, and I am sure we could not even begin to really understand them in our mortal state. They are wise beyond our understanding, but I know that they are right and will give us the greatest opportunities for growth and progression. This is where our faith is required, in order for us to place our trust in all that the Lord does in our lives.

15 And Moses spake unto the Lord, saying,
16 Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,
17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

A new man was to be called of God, to be over the Israelites. The people needed a leader, or they would have been like sheep without a shepherd. Any time there has been a church of the covenant people of God on the earth, the Lord has called a prophet to be over them. Even today, as the gospel has been restored and we are once again able to make sacred covenants with God, the Lord calls a prophet to lead the people.

18 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;
19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.
20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
22 And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:
23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.

The Lord told Moses that Joshua, who was the faithful servant of Moses, was to be called, sustained, and set apart before the people. Joshua, with a portion of the priesthood authority that had been given to Moses, would be able to lead the people in obedience. The people would be able to receive the direction of the Lord, through Joshua. Moses called Joshua and set him apart to lead the Israelites. This pattern of how members of the church are called, continues today. Individuals are called through inspiration, sustained in front of the members, and set apart by the laying on of hands. This is how the Lord has led his church throughout time. I am grateful to see that things are done the same today, to know that the Lord does not change.

I know that Moses had been a righteous leader for the people. He transgressed, which we all do throughout our lives. This does not mean that he was not forgiven and accepted of the Lord. In Alma 45:19 we read, “. . . and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken up by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord, even as Moses. But behold, the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself; . . .”. Moses was taken up by the Spirit, or translated, to be with the faithful and covenant fathers of old, even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His mission for the people of the world was not over then, but he came to restore a portion of the keys of the priesthood in this modern dispensation of time. In the book of Doctrine and Covenants, we learn that Moses came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery while in the Kirtland Temple. In section 110, verse 11 we read, “After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.” Since, those keys have been restored, the gathering of Israel is in progress today.

It is such a blessing to live in a time, when there are prophets on the earth. Without a leader, chosen and called by God, people flounder and go astray. That is why there has apostasy in this world throughout the ages. When people choose not to follow the prophet, or when there is none to lead, they become lost without direction from the Lord. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God, called for our day, to be the prophet of the world at our time. I have had my own personal revelation of this truth and I cannot deny it. I know that his counsel comes from the Lord and I have seen my life greatly enriched and blessed by following the things he asks of us.


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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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