In my 61 years, I have seen so much history in the making, things I never dreamed or imagined I would see if my life time. It really becomes overwhelming at times for me, not sure about the rest of y’all. And, especially, of course, depending on the subject matter. I was very sad at the passing of Muhammad Ali over the weekend and really thought about how #Courageous he was inside and outside of the boxing ring.
Then, Monday and Tuesday, another milestone made history. Today, I am excited about being a woman, not particularly about politics and what party you side with but just the incredible history we are witnessing.
On the political scene in the U.S., its believed to have all began with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other comrades in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY … how ironic then, that a woman who was a Senator from New York at one time, now be nominated to move forward in the election of 2016 for President of the United States … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Cady_Stanton
Let’s just remember the significance of the history and share with our daughters, sisters, granddaughters, mothers, aunties, cousins, etc.
I am reminded of the story of The Daughters of Zelophehad (Hebrew: בְּנוֹת צְלָפְחָד) were five sisters – Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah – mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, (Numbers 27) who lived at the end of the Israelites‘ Exodus from Egypt as they prepared to enter the Promised Land and who raised before the Israelite community the case of a woman’s right and obligation to inherit property in the absence of a male heir in the family. Zelophehad (possibly meaning “first born”), a man of the Tribe of Manasseh, had five daughters but no sons, and therefore no male heirs.[
The biblical text tells little of Zelophehad himself, save that he died during the 40 years when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, and explicitly that he played no part in Korah’s rebellion. Numbers 16 does not in any case cite the tribe of Manasseh as being involved in the rebellion against Moses.
Zelophehad’s daughters petitioned Moses, Eleazar the priest, the chieftains, and the whole assembly, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting for their right to inherit his property rights in the Land of Israel. Zelophehad’s daughters noted that their father Zelophehad had not taken part in Korah’s rebellion, but only died in his own sin. Zelophehad’s daughters argued that were they not to inherit, then Zelophehad’s name would be lost to his clan. Moses took their case to God. God told Moses that the plea of Zelophehad’s daughters was just, and that they should be granted their father’s hereditary holding.
Later, the family heads of the clan of Manasseh’s grandson Gilead appealed to Moses and the chieftains, arguing that if Zelophehad’s daughters married men from another Israelite tribe, then their share would be lost to the tribe of Manasseh and be added to the portion of the tribe into which they married. So Moses, at God’s bidding, instructed the Israelites that the plea of the tribal leaders was just and that Zelophehad’s daughters could marry anyone they wished, but only among the men of the tribe of Manasseh.
Zelophehad’s daughters did as God had commanded in the instructions conveyed to Moses, and each married a son of an uncle. When the Israelites entered the land, Zelophehad’s daughters appeared before Eleazer the priest, Joshua (who by then had assumed leadership from Moses), and the chieftains, reminding them that God had commanded Moses to grant them a portion among their kinsmen, and Zelophehad’s daughters received a portion in the holdings of Manasseh, probably on the east side of the Jordan River.
Summary of Issues
Throughout the world, control of resources, particularly property, is generally a privilege dominated by men in this setting. Possession of the land is assumed to be a male prerogative. The sisters’ petition establishes a new interpretation of justice in Israelite society that is initiated by divine response to women’s claims. This interpretation, however, is limited to specific circumstances where there is no male heir. Nonetheless, the bold action that Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah take establishes a significant precedent for proactive initiative-taking to redress the injustices of established social order. The divine affirmation is also a significant precedent for those who wield power to seek to refine their concepts of justice and respond positively to new righteous claims.
Noam Zohar (cited above link) discusses the possibility that the sisters’ request is a textual device – the pretense for introducing the already formulated, divinely-intended inheritance legislation. Accrediting Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah with the initiative is a tremendous honor to the sisters. How do you understand the narrative of the text – is it historical,symbolic, didactic, mythic, divine mystery etc? Also, what do you reflect on the historical contexts and moments of both shared stories today?
Okay Fast Wednesday family, I always send you at least a song. With today being about a historical moment for women, per Nicole, who usually provides songs as a part of her anointing, please send us your song that ministers to or reflects this moment. There are several we thought of but they were just a little too cliche. We will be waiting…
Dear Father, we can become frustrated when we feel you are not answering our prayers as quickly as we would like, especially when we are praying for you to work in our family life as women. Give us the peace to trust you to act in your own good time, knowing that you already “Got That!” Please, increase our faith, knowing that you will not only keep your promises but also will do so in the best way and the perfect time (exceedingly and abundantly) above all we can ask or think. Help us to be our #Sisterkeepers. I also pray specifically for cousin Jazmyn Dillard who wants to work with young ladies. Give her vision, make it plain, and help us to help her see it to fruition. And, finally, I pray for all the women of the universe, in all capacities, and especially those who are pushing the glass ceiling on behalf of others, not being mediocre or taking “no” for an answer. Refresh, restore, renew, redeem and revive them. AMEN.
To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want—even president. Tonight is for you. -H
Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Ellis
Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!
The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (email@example.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press: https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com