My grandfather was Hepher, the son of Gilead, of the family of Manasseh. My father had no sons, but I have plenty of sisters. I think my parents must have been hard up for girls’ names, since all of us got –ah at the end. I am Noah. Can you believe it? Just like the guy who built the ark and saved his family and the animals. My sisters’ names are even worse. But I’m being foolish.
My father was faithful to God, but Jehovah only gave him daughters.
When our father passed away, my sisters and I were single women. We had no brother to take care of us. Our father’s wealth would pass to no one if we couldn’t inherit. So, all five of us got our heads together and came upon a plan. It was bold, but we figured it never hurt to ask. The result would determine if we’d be destitute and the community would need to help us, or we would be able to inherit, just as if we were sons.
We presented ourselves to the leader, the priest, princes, and the congregation by the door of the tabernacle. My eldest sister spoke, “Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.”
The leader turned his back on us and walked away. We later found out he’d taken our cause before the Lord.
After a half hour, he returned and told everyone that God had spoken to him, saying, “The daughters … speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.”
This ruling became a precedent. God said women could inherit if there were no brothers.
God said something else to our leader: we could only marry within our tribe. If we did not, we wouldn’t keep our inheritance. All of us ended up marrying our father’s brothers’ sons. Thus, we kept our wealth in the tribe of Manasseh.
Through my sisters and me, God showed the generations to come that He is fair and loving, and that He takes care of women left fatherless.
I am thankful for an older sister who was brave enough to speak up; for our leader, who went to God with our petition; and most of all, to God, for pleading our case—and providing for the rights of many young women which would follow.
Praise Jehovah, for He is good.
Who are we? You already know my name. Who are my sisters? And, who was our father?