“We are not getting anything out of all of this?” I couldn’t believe it, why does this have to happen? Every family got their own lot, their own part of the promise, their own land, but us. Why, because we are fatherless and brother-less, because we are what, girls? I don’t believe this, there must be an exception. This land was promised to all of us and we are legitimate children so we must be given a share of the inheritance. I am sure my sisters are thinking the same way too, I must gather them, they must not cause any trouble about this; we must state our matter but respectfully and in honour to God.
I looked around and in a minute my eyes caught Hoglah’s, I motioned her to join me on the other side. I asked her for the others as she stood by me and she went away in search for them. I continued looking around in the crowd hoping to find all three of them. We need to do this quick before the elders and other tribes and families settle down in their portions. I felt a gentle tap on my shoulders and saw Milcah and Noah with a questioning look in their eyes. I told them we needed to find Tirzah and get out of the crowd to discuss all that had happened. Now we cannot find Hoglah and Tirzah, I bet she (Tirzah) has wondered off again, as usual. I wondered what I could do to make her realize we cannot keep looking for her all the time. She should get a grip on this curiosity trait of hers and allow us all some peace. After a long while, I saw Hoglah pulling her gently behind, as they approached us, I stepped out of the crowd and they all followed my lead. We sat down under the tree and I told them what I had been thinking.
We have to go to Moses and the Princes and let them know what we think about what had happened, We cannot simply let the name of our father be done away with just because he had no sons, we must fight to keep his name; we must not let his name die! I fought to breathe as we approached, no one in front, no one behind, we all walked together as if in a preplanned straight line.
This had never happened before, going to Moses with such a demand looked very ludicrous and dangerous. What if we get stoned to death, what if they didn’t even give us audience, what if Moses has gone off for another forty days? So many what ifs… If Moses gets upset we could pay dearly for this… but it is something must do, it was a matter of life and death, of our Father’s name.
As we approached the door of the tabernacle with Moses, Eleazar, the princes and all the congregation, I felt like my heart had stopped beating but in a moment our father’s face flashed across my eyes and I received fresh courage in time to speak just as Moses ordered audience for us. When we finished, Moses asked to go and inquire from God; we stood there waiting for what seemed like eternity with hearts skipping multiple beats at a time. When he finally returned to us and told us that God had granted our request, we only must marry in the tribe of Manasseh, to make sure the inheritance remained in the family.
We were elated to say the least. We all hugged tightly in sobs of victory and relief. God had used us to change a law. Can you imagine us? We caused an eternal change for all generations to come!
That day my sisters and I learnt the power of faith in the promise of God – He had promised the land all of us, regardless of our gender.
We learnt that when you desire something so strongly and pursue it, whether or not it has ever been done, you would accomplish it.
Culled from the story of Zelophehad’s daughter’s in the Book of Numbers 26 and 27.
I write this with no thoughts about women’s liberation or anything of sort. It just goes to tell that we all can cause a positive change if we believe it, desire it and pursue it to the end, giving it all that it takes.
What do you think of this? How does this true story affect you?
© 2013 Teshuva