Chapter 36

1The family heads in the clan of the descendants of Gilad son of Machir son of Menashe, one of the Yosefite clans, came forward and appealed to Moshe and the chieftains, family heads of the Israelites.

אוַיִּקְרְבוּ רָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת לְמִשְׁפַּחַת בְּנֵי־גִלְעָד בֶּן־מָכִיר בֶּן־מְנַשֶּׁה מִמִּשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי יוֹסֵף וַיְדַבְּרוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי הַנְּשִׂאִים רָאשֵׁי אָבוֹת לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2They said, “Hashem commanded my lord to assign the land to the Israelites as shares by lot, and my lord was further commanded by Hashem to assign the share of our kinsman Tzelofchad to his daughters.

בוַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶת־אֲדֹנִי צִוָּה יְהֹוָה לָתֵת אֶת־הָאָרֶץ בְּנַחֲלָה בְּגוֹרָל לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאדֹנִי צֻוָּה בַיהֹוָה לָתֵת אֶת־נַחֲלַת צְלָפְחָד אָחִינוּ לִבְנֹתָיו׃

3Now, 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.

v'-ha-YU l'-e-KHAD mi-b'-NAY shiv-TAY v'-nay yis-ra-AYL l'-na-SHEEM v'-nig-r'-AH na-kha-la-TAN mi-na-kha-LAT a-vo-TAY-nu v'-no-SAF AL na-kha-LAT ha-ma-TEH a-SHER tih-YE-nah la-HEM u-mi-go-RAL na-kha-la-TAY-nu yi-ga-RAY-a

גוְהָיוּ לְאֶחָד מִבְּנֵי שִׁבְטֵי בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל לְנָשִׁים וְנִגְרְעָה נַחֲלָתָן מִנַּחֲלַת אֲבֹתֵינוּ וְנוֹסַף עַל נַחֲלַת הַמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר תִּהְיֶינָה לָהֶם וּמִגֹּרַל נַחֲלָתֵנוּ יִגָּרֵעַ׃

 36:3   Their share will be cut off from our ancestral portion 

Motivated by a deep sense of passion for the Land of Israel, Tzelofchad’s daughters pleaded with Moshe for the right to inherit their father’s land in the absence of sons, and their request was granted (see Chapter 27). Now, the elders of the tribe of Menashe, who share the same love of the land, approach Moshe concerned that this ruling could adversely affect their tribe. The Land of Israel will soon be divided among the tribes through lots, for eternal inheritance. If Tzelofchad’s daughters would marry men from other tribes, their father’s land that they inherit, which will ultimately be inherited by their husbands and sons, will be permanently transferred to other tribes. The prospect of their tribe losing title to a piece of Eretz Yisrael is distressing to the tribal leaders, and they approach Moshe with their dilemma. To resolve the issue, the daughters of Tzelofchad are instructed to marry men from their own the tribe, thus guaranteeing that the tribe of Menashe will maintain every inch of the precious land in its possession. The Book of Bamidbar tells the story of many times that the Children of Israel provoked Hashem in the desert. The most unsettling of these was the sin of the spies, the rejection of the Promised Land that led to forty years of wandering in the desert and the death of an entire generation. However, in contrast, the book concludes with an inspiring example of deep love for Eretz Yisrael.

4And 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.”

דוְאִם־יִהְיֶה הַיֹּבֵל לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנוֹסְפָה נַחֲלָתָן עַל נַחֲלַת הַמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר תִּהְיֶינָה לָהֶם וּמִנַּחֲלַת מַטֵּה אֲבֹתֵינוּ יִגָּרַע נַחֲלָתָן׃

5So Moshe, at Hashem's bidding, instructed the Israelites, saying: “The plea of the Josephite tribe is just.

הוַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר כֵּן מַטֵּה בְנֵי־יוֹסֵף דֹּבְרִים׃

6This is what Hashem has commanded concerning the daughters of Tzelofchad: They may marry anyone they wish, provided they marry into a clan of their father's tribe.

וזֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהֹוָה לִבְנוֹת צְלָפְחָד לֵאמֹר לַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֵיהֶם תִּהְיֶינָה לְנָשִׁים אַךְ לְמִשְׁפַּחַת מַטֵּה אֲבִיהֶם תִּהְיֶינָה לְנָשִׁים׃

7No 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.

זוְלֹא־תִסֹּב נַחֲלָה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמַּטֶּה אֶל־מַטֶּה כִּי אִישׁ בְּנַחֲלַת מַטֵּה אֲבֹתָיו יִדְבְּקוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

8Every 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.

חוְכָל־בַּת יֹרֶשֶׁת נַחֲלָה מִמַּטּוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְאֶחָד מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת מַטֵּה אָבִיהָ תִּהְיֶה לְאִשָּׁה לְמַעַן יִירְשׁוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ נַחֲלַת אֲבֹתָיו׃

9Thus no inheritance shall pass over from one tribe to another, but the Israelite tribes shall remain bound each to its portion.”

טוְלֹא־תִסֹּב נַחֲלָה מִמַּטֶּה לְמַטֶּה אַחֵר כִּי־אִישׁ בְּנַחֲלָתוֹ יִדְבְּקוּ מַטּוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

10The daughters of Tzelofchad did as Hashem had commanded Moshe:

יכַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה כֵּן עָשׂוּ בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד׃

11Machla, Tirtza, Chagla, Milka, and Noa, Tzelofchad's daughters, were married to sons of their uncles,

יאוַתִּהְיֶינָה מַחְלָה תִרְצָה וְחָגְלָה וּמִלְכָּה וְנֹעָה בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד לִבְנֵי דֹדֵיהֶן לְנָשִׁים׃

12marrying into clans of descendants of Menashe son of Yosef; and so their share remained in the tribe of their father's clan.

יבמִמִּשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי־מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן־יוֹסֵף הָיוּ לְנָשִׁים וַתְּהִי נַחֲלָתָן עַל־מַטֵּה מִשְׁפַּחַת אֲבִיהֶן׃

13These are the commandments and regulations that Hashem enjoined upon the Israelites, through Moshe, on the steppes of Moab, at the Yarden near Yericho.

יגאֵלֶּה הַמִּצְוׂת וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהֹוָה בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁה אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב עַל יַרְדֵּן יְרֵחוֹ׃