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Challenging the Law: The Influence of Five Women

Carole Urbas

Carole Urbas

October 8, 2021

The Bible gives clear examples of how a woman’s influence is felt throughout the generations. Women influenced society in a variety of ways: through their households, religious life, economics, hospitality, service, and their overall generous nature. From Esther’s path to queen, to the determination of Mary Magdalene, generational change was affected by multiple women.

There are several instances of this seen in the Old Testament, including the story of the five daughters of Zelophehad and their quest for an estate. These five vulnerable women came before their community and challenged the law of inheritance. Where a man’s property was to be inherited by his sons, the five daughters of Zelophehad were unwed and had no brothers upon their father’s passing. What happens in this case? The women made a plea for further explanation and terms in their desire to maintain their father’s legacy. They did not act in a hierarchical manner but presented their case by saying “let not our father’s name be lost.”

Moses took the issue before the Lord who responded in support of the sisters’ plea.

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘The plea of Zelophehad’s daughters is just: you should give them a hereditary holding… Further, speak to the Israelite people as follows: If a man dies without leaving a son, you shall transfer his property to his daughter.’”

Numbers 27: 6—8

The daughters would inherit the land and their case would become precedent for other families in which there were no sons. The boldness of the daughters of Zelophehad provides an example for women today who desire to leave a legacy. Their zeal for bonding the family and carrying on resources is an important model for many women tasked with this today.

Not only are women influential in day-to-day life, women now hold a major stake in financial influence. For example, intergenerational wealth set to be inherited by women is $28.7 trillion over the next 40 years. Women also control 51% of all personal wealth in the United States and now hold the majority (52%) of management, professional, and related positions. Financial blessings coupled with the life-giving nature of women is a recipe for impact in families, churches, and charities serving the Kingdom on a global level.

The Signatry would like to help you rediscover what is it that inspires you, as God designed you, and to live from those passions every day – regardless of the season of life you are in or the barriers holding you back. We want to offer you a place to hold meaningful conversations about the causes you care about whether it is solving a world problem or helping a neighbor. Discover more and start a partnership today by exploring the pages above, opening a donor advised fund, starting a giving circle, or contacting us to help you fuel your impact.

About Carole Urbas

Carole Urbas

Carole Urbas is the co-founder of Jeremiah’s Call Ministries, a women’s ministry focused on unapologetically teaching biblical truth and disciplining believers. Previously, Carole served as Director of Curriculum Development at The Signatry.

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