1. Zelophehad, son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph, had daughters named Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They came forward,
2. and standing in the presence of Moses, the priest Eleazar, the princes, and the whole community at the entrance of the meeting tent, said:
3. "Our father died in the desert. Although he did not join those who banded together against the LORD (in Korah's band), he died for his own sin without leaving any sons.
4. But why should our father's name be withdrawn from his clan merely because he had no son? Let us, therefore, have property among our father's kinsmen."
5. When Moses laid their case before the LORD,
6. the LORD said to him,
7. "The plea of Zelophehad's daughters is just; you shall give them hereditary property among their father's kinsmen, letting their father's heritage pass on to them.
8. Therefore, tell the Israelites: If a man dies without leaving a son, you shall let his heritage pass on to his daughter;
9. if he has no daughter, you shall give his heritage to his brothers;
10. if he has no brothers, you shall give his heritage to his father's brothers;
11. if his father had no brothers, you shall give his heritage to his nearest relative in his clan, who shall then take possession of it." This is the legal norm for the Israelites, as the LORD commanded Moses.
12. The LORD said to Moses, "Go up here into the Abarim Mountains and view the land that I am giving to the Israelites.
13. When you have viewed it, you too shall be taken to your people, as was your brother Aaron,
14. because in the rebellion of the community in the desert of Zin you both rebelled against my order to manifest my sanctity to them by means of the water." (This is the water of Meribah of Kadesh in the desert of Zin.)
15. Then Moses said to the LORD,
16. "May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, set over the community a man
17. who shall act as their leader in all things, to guide them in all their actions; that the LORD'S community may not be like sheep without a shepherd."
18. And the LORD replied to Moses, "Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man of spirit, and lay your hand upon him.
19. Have him stand in the presence of the priest Eleazar and of the whole community, and commission him before their eyes.
20. Invest him with some of your own dignity, that the whole Israelite community may obey him.
21. He shall present himself to the priest Eleazar, to have him seek out for him the decisions of the Urim in the LORD'S presence; and as he directs, Joshua, all the Israelites with him, and the community as a whole shall perform all their actions."
22. Moses did as the LORD had commanded him. Taking Joshua and having him stand in the presence of the priest Eleazar and of the whole community,
23. he laid his hands on him and gave him his commission, as the LORD had directed through Moses.