Zelophehad’s family life through his daughters story

In Numbers 27 verses 1- 8, we read of some five sisters. These 5 daughters (Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, and Milcah and Tirzah) were daughters of excellence. Unlike Lot’s daughters who introduced incest, they demanded for a legacy that last forever. They arose for the continuity of their father’s name.

The Bible does not tell us about their mother, but one thing is certain, they were daughters who showed Biblical womanhood.

They worked in unity, just as Ps133 says there is goodness and pleasantness for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is described as precious ointment. And where there is unity, you will find the blessedness of God and even life for evermore.

These daughters understood this, so they maintained oneness amongst one another as siblings. Sibling rivalry is a big deal amongst siblings, particularly sisters. But on the contrary, these daughters were daughters who were in unity. What a challenge for us mothers of girls to labour to see our daughters grow together in unity. Building a pattern of praying together as siblings, discussing their views, challenges or lessons they are learning from their individual walk with God. A mother of girls must deliberately create sisters together time for her daughters to pray together or discuss a matter or project.

These daughters may have been encouraged by their mother in the past to have time together to discuss their views on matters at an early age. Maybe their mother would have created topics for these sisters to go and discuss amongst themselves, or she may have given them few minutes a week or so to go and pray together over some current affairs or a course that touches their hearts.  Whatever initiative their mother introduced had definitely established their relationship together as siblings.

The relationship they had built together from childhood now needed to be portrayed to the world. The five of them marched like an army even when there wasn’t any parental guidance. (Prov 30:27)

Just like the daughters of Lot who agreed together to get their father drunk for their own selfish gain, the daughters of Zelophehad also agreed together to arise to secure their father’s name.

These 5 sisters must have been raised to have an awareness of what the law says concerning both male and female and the law of property.  They must have also been trained to value their father’s name. They must have been told what would happen if their father’s name was done away with from among his family. They may have been daughters whose mother had raised to value and respect their father.  Whatever upbringing these girls had is a challenge for us.

These sisters knew what to do. They knew that they needed to arise and act on behalf of their father. They knew they needed to see to the continuation of their father’s name. They were daughters who knew their identity was not in seeking for men after the manner of the earth like the daughters of Lot said. But they knew they had lived under the leadership of a man for years whose name they must now protect.

These daughters’ conviction and agreement took them before the priest, princes, the congregation of Israel and even Moses.

They wondered why their father’s name should be forgotten because he has no son. They knew that all their father’s name needed in order for it to continue was sustaining an inheritance in His name.

Is this not the issue in our days? The need for daughters who would proclaim Jesus’ generation (Is53:8).  Daughters of modest hearts are needed. Daughters who will extend modest clothes in the fashion industry are needed; daughters who will write hymns, books, and songs are needed for their generations.

These daughters of Zelophehad finally married amongst their clan. Numbers 36:10-11. What a joy to have daughters who would grow up to marry in the household of faith!

The life of these daughters of Zelophehad was in contrast to that of Lot’s daughters. The daughters of Lot also sought for continuity of their own names, they got their father drunk and got themselves pregnant through him. They are the parents of the Ammonites and Moabites.

They left a legacy which was contrary to God. The daughters of Zelophehad also left a legacy, because of their arising, their father’s name was sustained and the law of the land was changed to favour women whose fathers died with no sons.

A charge to keep we are given as mothers, a charge to raise biblical daughters who will turn the course of history for our God.  Our place in our homes must be for the shaping of the future generation that God has kept in our homes for a season. The time will come when we would no longer be there with them. The lifestyle we’ve raised them with will become their own lifestyle and bedrock for their daily living. The principles we’ve built them upon will become the principles they’ll live on. Our attitude to life generally, becomes their attitudes to life also.

What a glorious and delicate position God has put a mother, to shape the future leaders.

Lot’s wife failed in her role in her home. She was given 2 daughters to occupy with till God comes, but she occupied herself with the affairs of this world. Her daughters borrowed the ideas of the world and they lived out the lifestyle they’d secretly seen when their mother was no longer there again.

The mother of the daughters of Zelophehad is an unsung hero, her name is not written in the Bible, but the legacy she lived in her home, lived on even after her departure. Her secret and silent labour over her daughters paid off.

These daughters in Lot’s family, and those in Zelophehad family turned out the way they did probably because of their mothers. How are you doing in your mother and daughter relationship? Are you there for your daughters, are you laying the future foundation now? Are you preparing your daughters for the future God has in store for them?  This is a challenge. A saying in Ezekiel 16:44 says “Behold, everyone that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, as is the mother, so is her daughter.”

May our daughters become as pillars indeed, may God make us mothers who are keepers of the destiny of our daughters in our homes. May our daughters yield to our moulding hands. May the future rejoice to have our daughters. May heaven also rejoice that our daughters’ generation came as they arise to declare the generation of our Lord. Amen.

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