Numbers 36:1

Hebrew Bible

3 Now if they should be married to one of the men from another Israelite tribe, their inheritance would be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. As a result, it will be taken from the lot of our inheritance. 4 And when the Jubilee of the Israelites is to take place, their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of our ancestral tribe.” 5 Then Moses gave a ruling to the Israelites by the word of the Lord: “What the tribe of the Josephites is saying is right. 6 This is what the Lord has commanded for Zelophehad’s daughters: ‘Let them marry whomever they think best, only they must marry within the family of their father’s tribe. 7 In this way the inheritance of the Israelites will not be transferred from tribe to tribe. But every one of the Israelites must retain the ancestral heritage.

Tobit 6:12


12 He has no male heir and no daughter except Sarah only, and you, as next of kin to her, have before all other men a hereditary claim on her. Also it is right for you to inherit her father's possessions. Moreover, the girl is sensible, brave, and very beautiful, and her father is a good man." 13 He continued, "You have every right to take her in marriage. So listen to me, brother; tonight I will speak to her father about the girl, so that we may take her to be your bride. When we return from Rages we will celebrate her marriage. For I know that Raguel can by no means keep her from you or promise her to another man without incurring the penalty of death according to the decree of the book of Moses. Indeed he knows that you, rather than any other man, are entitled to marry his daughter. So now listen to me, brother, and tonight we shall speak concerning the girl and arrange her engagement to you. And when we return from Rages we will take her and bring her back with us to your house."

 Notes and References

"... Tobias’s claim to marrying Sarah is rooted in the Mosaic stipulation that a woman who stands to inherit her parents’ estate (in the absence of sons) must marry a man from her father’s tribe, a stipulation originally intended to preserve the tribal allotments of land in Israel (Numbers 36:1–9; Tobit 6:12–13; 7:10). The book’s commitment to endogamy (marrying within one’s own people group), to the point that marrying a foreign woman is equated with fornication (Tobit 4:12), promoted the preservation of Jewish identity during a period in which intermarriage was being pursued as a strategy for promoting unity throughout the Hellenistic kingdoms. Tobit tells his son not to regard marriage with a fellow Jew with contempt, a timely word in a period in which many Jews would have seriously weighed the social, political, and economic advantages of marrying into a well-placed Gentile family ..."

DeSilva, David A. The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (p. 92) Oxford University Press, 2012

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.