Daughters Who Claim Their Inheritance
March 28, 2008
There are three short, obscure stories within the Old Testament that give me hope for women being empowered to reclaim their full spiritual inheritance in The Kingdom of God. So certain people don’t have an aneurysm, I am not claiming that this hope is the definitive meaning of these scriptures or that they necessarily “prove” anything. They are just tiny glimmers of comfort that God has used in my own journey because I personally struggle with much of the old testament.
J. Lee Grady expounds on this passage:
“In that moment, God contradicted centuries of prejudice and wrong-headed tradition. He made it clear that in His kingdom, women are not afterthoughts or domestic appendages…When God looks at redeemed mankind through the blood of Jesus Christ, He does not limit women from full participation in His kingdom.”
So, God gives Zelophehad’s daughters their inheritance, demonstrating His tender concerns for their well being and their due as human beings. God commands that Israel’s legal code be changed as a result of Zelophehad’s daughters, legislating that daughters were to receive the full inheritance, if the father had no sons. Not exactly what we would consider today to be full equality, but for a time when women weren’t considered worthy to own anything, this was a miraculously liberating development. Their courage benefited many other women, who would have been “disowned” and left with nothing. If Moses is a picture of Christ, then him bringing these women’s case before the Lord becomes all the more meaningful.
In Joshua 15:18-19, we meet Achsah, the daughter of Caleb. When Caleb acquires a lush portion of land in Judah, his daughter asks him for part of land. Again, in a time when women were traditionally not permitted to own anything, let alone property, this is shockingly bold. Caleb gives her the land of Negev. Achsah then asks for more: “Give me a blessing since you have given me the land of Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gives her the “upper and lower springs.” His daughter receives a triple portion, above and beyond what she asks for. She receives her own land, and two sets of springs. Having access to fresh water was considered a great luxury in ancient times. The story of Caleb and Achsah paints a beautiful picture of a father’s love for his daughter, a love that empowers her.
And my favorite instance is found in Job 42: 12-15.
The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren–Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.