The heads of the ancestral clan of Gilead son of Makir, the son of Manasseh - they were from the clans of the descendants of Joseph - approached Moses and the leaders who were heads of the families in the People of Israel.
They said, "When God commanded my master to hand over the inheritance-lands by lot to the People of Israel, my master was also commanded by God to hand over the inheritance-land of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters.
But what happens if they marry into another tribe in the People of Israel? Their inheritance-land will be taken out of our ancestral tribe and get added into the tribe into which they married.
And then when the Year of Jubilee comes for the People of Israel their inheritance will be lumped in with the inheritance of the tribe into which they married - their land will be removed from our ancestors' inheritance!"
Moses, at God's command, issued this order to the People of Israel: "What the tribe of the sons of Joseph says is right.
This is God's command to Zelophehad's daughters: They are free to marry anyone they choose as long as they marry within their ancestral clan.
The inheritance-land of the People of Israel must not get passed around from tribe to tribe. No, keep the tribal inheritance-land in the family.
Every daughter who inherits land, regardless of the tribe she is in, must marry a man from within her father's tribal clan. Every Israelite is responsible for making sure the inheritance stays within the ancestral tribe.
No inheritance-land may be passed from tribe to tribe; each tribe of the People of Israel must hold tight to its own land."
Zelophehad's daughters did just as God commanded Moses.
Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, Zelophehad's daughters, all married their cousins on their father's side.
They married within the families of Manasseh son of Joseph and their inheritance-lands stayed in their father's family.
These are the commands and regulations that God commanded through the authority of Moses to the People of Israel on the Plains of Moab at Jordan-Jericho.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)