Then the heads of the clan of Gilead -- descendants of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph -- came to Moses and the family leaders of Israel with a petition.
They said, "Sir, the LORD instructed you to divide the land by sacred lot among the people of Israel. You were told by the LORD to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters.
But if any of them marries a man from another tribe, their inheritance of land will go with them to the tribe into which they marry. In this way, the total area of our tribal land will be reduced.
Then when the Year of Jubilee comes, their inheritance of land will be added to that of the new tribe, causing it to be lost forever to our ancestral tribe."
So Moses gave the Israelites this command from the LORD: "The men of the tribe of Joseph are right.
This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: Let them marry anyone they like, as long as it is within their own ancestral tribe.
None of the inherited land may pass from tribe to tribe, for the inheritance of every tribe must remain fixed as it was first allotted.
The daughters throughout the tribes of Israel who are in line to inherit property must marry within their tribe, so that all the Israelites will keep their ancestral property.
No inheritance may pass from one tribe to another; each tribe of Israel must hold on to its allotted inheritance of land."
The daughters of Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded Moses.
Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah all married cousins on their father's side.
They married into the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. Thus, their inheritance of land remained within their ancestral tribe.
These are the commands and regulations that the LORD gave to the people of Israel through Moses while they were camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)