Did God account for every gender situation in the Bible?
Does God make new rules?
Yes. Let’s learn why from Zelophehad’s daughters.
Moses counts the Israelites
Through Moses, God delivered the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt—you know, the whole Charlton Heston Ten Commandments thing: stubborn Pharaoh, ten plagues, the Passover, crossing the Red Sea, and traveling around the mountain for forty years.
In Numbers chapter 26, God directs Moses to take a census of the Israelites so that land could be divided among the sons of those who escaped from slavery in Egypt.
Did you get that?
SONS. Males, men, guys.
Then a peculiar situation arose.
1 The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher…, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward
2 and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said,
3 “Our father died in the wilderness. He… 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.”
–Numbers 27:1–4 NIV
Zelophehad, who died in the desert, had sired only daughters.
These four women approached Moses at the Tent of Meeting, the place where Moses met with God. This was a few thousand years before the 1970s and the Women’s Lib movement; in an ancient Middle Eastern culture, it was a bold act.
The women presented their situation to Moses: “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 give their father’s inheritance to them.
8 “Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance 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 have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”
–Numbers 27:5-11 NIV
God makes new rules
Ponder these intriguing points:
- When God told Moses that land was to be divided among the sons of the Israelites, didn’t God know that Zelophehad had only daughters?
If not, then God is not omniscient—a biggie among divine attributes, along with omnipotence and omnipresence.
- If the situation where a couple bore only daughters was inherently wrong in God’s plan, then why did God not design genetics to work so that a son was always born—so that all God’s rules of inheritance could be followed?
This is silly, of course; we know it’s not inherently wrong that a couple bears only daughters—it’s merely one possible outcome because of how genetics do work.
- If God knew there was a family in Israel that had only daughters and God had not misdesigned genetics to break the rules of property inheritance, then why did God not mention this special case in the first place when initially handing down the laws of property inheritance?
Did God forget, make an oversight, was the fine print too small to chisel in stone?
When a class of people with a special circumstance brought their case before the Lord, God confirmed that they were right, and added a special exception to account for it (see vv. 8–11). God said this decision, previously unaccounted for, was to become a new legal requirement.
Based on God’s own fairness and unchanging nature, God still does this today. GOD MAKES NEW RULES!
Exceptional situations occur because of how genetics work. This includes 3.5% or more of the population being born gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This possibility happens through genetics, which the Creator designed.
Why? Because God doesn’t know about these situations, or doesn’t care about the people they affect?
Of course not.
Predicated on our understanding of God’s goodness, fairness, and character, we must make our own decisions concerning such situations that arise in the course of human development based on the love and acceptance of God.
Will you accept like God accepts?
Should LGBTQ+ people be denied an inheritance in God’s kingdom? Zelophehad’s daughters weren’t. God accepted them and gave them an inheritance among God’s people.
Acceptance is what LGBTQ+ people need today—not continued judgment and rejection by those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ, the only One who never turned anybody away.
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
–Ephesians 1:5 NKJV
This post is taken from Response to a Concerned Heterosexual Christian
2 thoughts on “Zelophehad’s Daughters Were Right”
Lee, you are wonderful and amazing. This will make me look it up! haha I appreciate your insight and teaching.
I’m glad you enjoyed it. More power to women!