The family heads in the clan of the descendants of Gilead son of Machir son of Manasseh, one of the Josephite clans, came forward and appealed to Moses and the chieftains, family headsaI.e., tribal heads. of the Israelites.
They said, “The LORD commanded my lord to assign the land to the Israelites as shares by lot, and my lord was further commanded by the LORD to assign the share of our kinsman Zelophehad to his daughters.
Now, if they marry persons from another Israelite tribe, their share will be cut off from our ancestral portion and be added to the portion of the tribe into which they marry; thus our allotted portion will be diminished.
And even when the Israelites observe the jubilee, their share will be added to that of the tribe into which they marry, and their share will be cut off from the ancestral portion of our tribe.”
So Moses, at the LORD’s bidding, instructed the Israelites, saying: “The plea of the Josephite tribe is just.
This is what the LORD has commanded concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: They may marry anyone they wish, provided they marry into a clan of their father’s tribe.
No inheritance of the Israelites may pass over from one tribe to another, but the Israelites must remain bound each to the ancestral portion of his tribe.
Every daughter among the Israelite tribes who inherits a share must marry someone from a clan of her father’s tribe, in order that every Israelite may keep his ancestral share.
Thus no inheritance shall pass over from one tribe to another, but the Israelite tribes shall remain bound each to its portion.”
The daughters of Zelophehad did as the LORD had commanded Moses:
Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, Zelophehad’s daughters, were married to sons of their uncles,
marrying into clans of descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph; and so their share remained in the tribe of their father’s clan.
These are the commandments and regulations that the LORD enjoined upon the Israelites, through Moses, on the steppes of Moab, at the Jordan near Jericho.