The story of the daughters of Zelophehad appears twice in the Torah (Book of Numbers): the first time in chapter 27 and the second time in chapter 36.
The request of the daughters of Zelophehad is a logical one.
This is the thing which the Lord has commanded concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying: Let them be married to those who are pleasing in their eyes; yet only to the family of their father's tribe shall they become wives.
This legal argument was deemed correct and in order to prevent such a loss of property [yiggara], an amendment to the first ruling was made, that the daughters of Zelophehad must marry within their father's tribe.
But then you hit verse 33: Now Zelophehad, son of Hep her, had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah; then the census goes on its humdrum way as if nothing has happened.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "The daughters of Zelophehad are right in what they are saying; you shall indeed let them possess an inheritance among their father's brothers and pass the inheritance of their father on to them.
Challenging conventional inheritance laws, Moses sides with the daughters, setting a legal precedent: "Rightly the daughters of Zelophehad
He pointed out that keyn also means "right": "Keyn benot Zelophehad dovrot": "The daughters of Zelophehad
are right" (Numbers 27:7).
To dispel any conclusion that the Book of Numbers as a source for Jewish law presents only negative case histories, we should consider the story of the daughters of Zelophehad
In addition to some rather esoteric material (the second census, the daughters of Zelophehad
, the festival calendar, the route to the promised land, and the tribal territories), this part of Numbers also contains the story of the brazen serpent, the Balaam account, and the sin at Baal Peor.
God not only sides with the daughters of Zelophehad
in this instance, He also declares that henceforth, in the absence of sons, daughters shall inherit from their fathers.
This verse appears after the plea of the daughters of Zelophehad
to inherit their father's portion: Moses brought their case [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] before the Lord (Num.