Why should the name of our father be done away from among his
family, because he hath no son
&c.] Or be withdrawn, and his family lose their part and share on that account; this they thought was unreasonable: according to the Targum of Jonathan, to prevent the name of their father being lost, and his part in the land, their motion was, that their mother might marry their father's brother, according to the law in ( Deuteronomy 25:5 Deuteronomy 25:6 ) , with which Jarchi agrees; but it does not appear that that law was as yet in being; though how otherwise the name of their father would be preserved, than by raising up seed in that way, is not easy to say; except, as some think, it was done by a son of one of those heiresses, or by the first son of everyone of them, being called after the name of their grandfather Zelophehad, or their mother's grandfather Hepher; though the Jews F20 commonly by the "name" understand no other than the "inheritance", which seems to be confirmed by what follows:
give us therefore a possession among the brethren of our fathers;
a part with their uncles, or their children; by which they express their faith that the children of Israel would inherit the land, though as yet it was not conquered, nor even entered into; and might signify, as some think, their concern to have a part and portion in the heavenly inheritance the land of Canaan was typical of; and if so, as Ainsworth observes, they may be considered as five wise virgins indeed.
F20 Pesikta, T. Bab. Jebamot, fol. 49. 1. Moses Cotzensis Praecept. Affirm. 51. Apud Selden. de Succession. ad leg. Ebra. c. 14. p. 97, 98.