How to Pronounce Zelophehad

We’ve all struggled to pronounce Bible names and places, especially those pesky Old Testament names! This free audio Bible name pronunciation guide is a valuable tool in your study of God’s word. Click the PLAY button below to hear how to pronounce Zelophehad . There is also a phonetic guide to use to see the proper pronunciation of Zelophehad . For more information about Zelophehad , check out the Easton Bible dictionary entry as well.

Audio Pronunciation of Zelophehad

Phonetic Pronunciation of Zelophehad


How to Say Zelophehad

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Learn more about Zelophehad

Zelophehad is an intriguing character in the Bible, primarily recognized through the brave actions of his daughters. Hailing from the tribe of Manasseh, one of the descendants of Joseph, Zelophehad's narrative is deeply interwoven with matters of inheritance and the status of women during the biblical era.

Meaning and Significance of Zelophehad

The name "Zelophehad" has its roots in the Hebrew language. Although its exact meaning remains uncertain, the name is believed to suggest notions of "firstborn" or possibly "shadow from fear." However, the significance of Zelophehad is seen more through the legal implications arising from his family circumstances than from the etymology of his name.

Role in Biblical Accounts and References

One of the remarkable facets of Zelophehad's story is that he had no sons. Instead, he was survived by his five daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. In a time when inheritance typically flowed through the male lineage, the absence of male heirs for Zelophehad created a legal dilemma (Numbers 27:1-11).

With the looming issue of their inheritance, Zelophehad's daughters took the bold step of presenting their case before Moses and the assembly at the Tent of Meeting. Their primary contention was the rightful claim to their father's land, ensuring the property stayed within their patriarchal lineage. Following this presentation, Moses sought the Lord's direction on this matter. The response from the divine was clear: the daughters were right in their claim, and if a man had no sons, his inheritance would transfer to his daughters (Numbers 27:5-8).

This groundbreaking decision was revisited in Numbers 36, as concerns grew about the implications of inheriting daughters marrying men from other tribes. This could potentially disrupt the distribution of tribal lands. The resolution was that such daughters must marry within their tribe, ensuring the land remained within tribal boundaries (Numbers 36:1-12).

The tale of Zelophehad and his daughters serves as a testament to the courage and determination of five women who challenged societal norms of their time, bringing about a transformative change in Israel's inheritance laws.

Zelophehad in Easton's Bible Dictionary

First-born, of the tribe of Manasseh, and of the family of Gilead; died in the wilderness. Having left no sons, his daughters, concerned lest their father's name should be "done away from among his family," made an appeal to Moses, who, by divine direction, appointed it as "a statute of judgment" in Israel that daughters should inherit their father's portion when no sons were left (Num. 27:1-11). But that the possession of Zelophehad might not pass away in the year of jubilee from the tribe to which he belonged, it was ordained by Moses that his daughters should not marry any one out of their father's tribe; and this afterwards became a general law (Num. 36).