Pinhas: A Summary of the Parsha
God gives Pinhas a covenant of peace; God explains the apportionment of the Land of Israel; the daughters of Tzelophechad petition to inherit their father's portion; Moses appoints Joshua his successor.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Jewish Family & Life!
God said to Moses, "The priest Pinhas turned My anger away from the sons of Israel by bringing My rights to bear in their midst. Therefore, I shall give to him My covenants of Peace and everlasting priesthood."
After the death of the idolatrous Israelites, God told Moses to take a count of the entire community of the sons of Israel from 20 years old and upward, according to their father's houses. Each of the families was counted and numbered as God commanded.
After the people were counted, God told Moses, "The land shall be apportioned as an inheritance according to the number of names. To the numerous, you shall give a large inheritance, and to the few, a small inheritance. By lot this land shall be divided and it shall be received as a possession according to the names of the tribes of the fathers."
Now during this counting and apportionment of land, the five daughters of Zelophehad, came near and placed themselves before Moses and Eleazar the priest and the entire community in the entrance of the Tent of Appointed Meeting. They said, "Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among the company that banded together against God. He was not among Korah's allies, but he died because of his own sin, and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father disappear from the midst of his family, just because he did not have a son? Please give us a possession too."
Moses brought their legitimate claim before God. And God responded, "The daughters of Zelophehad speak justly. Certainly you shall give them, according to the legal right of males, a hereditary possession, and you shall cause their father's inheritance to pass to them. And to the sons of Israel, you shall say: if a man dies and he has no son, you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. If he has no daughter, you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, you shall give his inheritance to his kin that is closest to him from among his family. This shall remain for Israel as a legal norm."
God then said to Moses, "Go to the Mountain of Transitions and look at the land that I have given to the sons of Israel. And when you have seen it, you too shall be gathered to your people as your brother Aaron was gathered. For you acted against My words in the wilderness of Tzin."
Moses responded, "Let God appoint a man over the community who will lead them so that the community of God should not be like sheep who have no shepherd."
God said to Moses, "Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man to whom there is spirit, lean your hand upon him and present him to Eleazar the priest and to the entire community, and charge him before their eyes. You will thus place some of your prestige upon him so that the entire community and the sons of Israel will obey him." Moses did with Joshua as God commanded.