Judges 12:13: "Outside"

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Thu Mar 1 18:53:23 EST 2001

Little did I think when I read Judges 12 this morning that this obscure
chapter would come up on b-hebrew twice in one day!

On this one, you should also look at the several passages about the
inheritance of the daughters of Zelophehad: Numbers 26:33, 27:1-11, 36:1-12,
Joshua 17:3-4. I have always assumed that the rule here was that an heiress
was to marry within her own tribe or clan, Numbers 36:6,8. But I am basing
my understanding here on the English, so I suggest a check against the

Peter Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: David Stabnow [mailto:dstabno at lifeway.com]
Sent: 01 March 2001 17:02
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Judges 12:13: "Outside"

The question is the meaning of "outside" when in Judg 12:9 Ibzan married
off his sons and daughters to people from "outside."

Dt 25:5 is a related text, though it does not shed a lot of light on the
problem. Here, when brothers are living together (perhaps on the same
compound, under the same "head of his father's house") and one dies without
siring a son, the woman is not to have _HXWC L)Y$_ "an outsider for a
husband," a *zar* "stranger," but one of the brothers is to sire a son
through her.

Perhaps we can assume that here it means that she must not marry outside
the family, but rather to his brother inside the family. That is, "outside"
is opposed to "all in the family." This would provide offspring for the
dead man and thereby keep his portion of the inheritance within the family.
There might also be an assumption that it would be out of the question to
marry outside Israel, so this must refer to outside this particular family
or clan.

On the other hand, *zar* "stranger" often means "foreigner," i.e.,
non-Israelite. For my argument to stand it would have to mean, generically,
"outsider," i.e., someone outside the group under discussion.

Dave Stabnow

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