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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Massei 43-7

The journeys of

Numbers 36:1-13

This is the thing which HaShem does command concerning the daughters of Tzelophchad, saying, Let them be married to whom they think best; only into the family of the tribe of their father shall they be married.

Num. 36:6 HNV revised

Can you marry whoever you want?

Primarily it was the sons who inherited land in Israel. When a daughter married, she would have land and a house through her husband's tribe. This, however, is a case where daughters inherit their father's land, since they did not have any brothers. Therefore they could not marry anyone from another tribe, so that the land from their father's tribe would not go to another tribe.

"Let them be married to whom they think best". This teaches us that HaShem has not predetermined only one person that one could marry. There is not only one suitable match. HaShem gives the freedom to marry the one that seems best, on the condition that it is within the tribe.

The same thought is found in 1 Corinthians 7:39: "A wife is bound by law for as long as her husband lives; but if the husband is dead, she is free to be married to whoever she desires, only in the Lord." (HNV) This text says that a widow has the right to marry anyone she wishes, as long as it is in the Lord, i.e. one who has faith in Yeshua.

Naturally, she does not have the right to desire one who is already in a covenant of marriage with someone else; she cannot desire her neighbour's husband. A divorced woman has the same status as a widow, since she no longer has a husband. Through divorce, she is free from the man who was her husband previously.

So, this text cannot be used in order to stop divorced people from remarrying. If, however, the husband is a believer, she does not have the right to remarry, according to 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, but she ought to seek reconciliation with him.

If, in spite of everything, the believing former husband enters a new marriage covenant with another, then the divorced woman is free to marry whomever she wishes, just like a widow.

One who is a believer does not have the right to marry one who does not believe in Yeshua, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18: "Don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers (those who do not believe in Yeshua), for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what communion has light with darkness? What agreement has Messiah with Beliya`al? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever? What agreement has a temple of Elohim with idols? For you are a temple of the living Elohim. Even as Elohim said, ?I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people. Therefore, ?Come out from among them, And be separate, says the Lord, ?Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you. I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (HNV revised).

May the Eternal who is good supply those who are not married with spouses!

Shabbat shalom,


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