Deuteronomy 25:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.

New Living Translation
"If two brothers are living together on the same property and one of them dies without a son, his widow may not be married to anyone from outside the family. Instead, her husband's brother should marry her and have intercourse with her to fulfill the duties of a brother-in-law.

English Standard Version
“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.

New American Standard Bible
"When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.

King James Bible
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When brothers live on the same property and one of them dies without a son, the wife of the dead man may not marry a stranger outside the family. Her brother-in-law is to take her as his wife, have sexual relations with her, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law for her.

International Standard Version
"When two brothers are living together and one of them dies without leaving a son, his widow must not be married outside the family to a foreigner. Instead, the brother-in-law must go to her, take her as his wife, and by doing so perform the duty of a brother-in-law.

NET Bible
If brothers live together and one of them dies without having a son, the dead man's wife must not remarry someone outside the family. Instead, her late husband's brother must go to her, marry her, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law.

New Heart English Bible
If brothers dwell together, and one of them die, and have no son, the wife of the dead shall not be married outside to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her to him as wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When brothers live together and one of them dies without having a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother must marry her and sleep with her. He must do his duty as her brother-in-law.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not be married abroad unto one not of his kin; her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her.

New American Standard 1977
“When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.

Jubilee Bible 2000
When brethren dwell together and one of them dies and has no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside unto a stranger; her husband's brother shall go in unto her and take her to him to wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her.

King James 2000 Bible
If brethren dwell together, and one of them dies, and has no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him as wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her.

American King James Version
If brothers dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother to her.

American Standard Version
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no son, the wife of the dead shall not be married without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When brethren dwell together, and one of them dieth without children, the wife of the deceased shall not marry to another: but his brother shall take her, and raise up seed for his brother:

Darby Bible Translation
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no son, the wife of the dead shall not marry a stranger abroad: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him as wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her.

English Revised Version
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no son, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

Webster's Bible Translation
If brethren shall dwell together, and one of them shall die and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her to him for a wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.

World English Bible
If brothers dwell together, and one of them die, and have no son, the wife of the dead shall not be married outside to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her to him as wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.

Young's Literal Translation
'When brethren dwell together, and one of them hath died, and hath no son, the wife of the dead is not without to a strange man; her husband's brother doth go in unto her, and hath taken her to him for a wife, and doth perform the duty of her husband's brother;
Study Bible
Widowhood and Marriage
4"You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing. 5"When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. 6"It shall be that the firstborn whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.…
Cross References
Matthew 22:24
"Teacher," they said, "Moses declared that if a man dies without having children, his brother is to marry the widow and raise up offspring for him.

Mark 12:19
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man should marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.

Luke 20:28
"Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man should marry his brother's widow and raise up offspring for him.

Genesis 19:31
Then the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth.

Genesis 38:8
Then Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother."

Ruth 1:11
But Naomi said, "Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

Ruth 3:2
"Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.

Ruth 3:13
"Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning."

Ruth 4:5
Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance."
Treasury of Scripture

If brothers dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother to her.

brethren

Matthew 22:24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his …

Mark 12:19 Master, Moses wrote to us, If a man's brother die, and leave his …

Luke 20:28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, If any man's brother die, having …

husband's brother. or, next kinsman

Genesis 38:8,9 And Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother's wife, and marry her, …

Ruth 1:12,13 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an …

Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who are you? And she answered, I am Ruth your handmaid: …

Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day you buy the field of the hand of Naomi, …

Deuteronomy 25:5-10. LEVIRATE MARRIAGES.

(5) If brethren dwell together.--This law is made the subject of a whole treatise in the Talmud, called Yebmth. The object of the law was held to be attained if the family of the dead man was perpetuated, and did not become extinct. And therefore the marriage specified was not necessarily between the brother and the brother's wife, but might be between other representatives of the two persons in question. (See Ruth 4)

The law is older than Moses. We first hear of it in the household of Judah the son of Jacob (Genesis 38:8). The violation of the law then was punished with death, not with disgrace only.

But that which makes the law most memorable, is the teaching elicited from the lips of our Saviour by the question which the Sadducees raised upon it (see marginal reference). It is worth while to observe that the law itself demands that in some sense there should be a resurrection. Boaz puts it thus (Ruth 4:5), "to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance." Why should the name of the dead be kept up, if the dead has passed out of existence? We may well believe that this law was partly intended (like baptism for the dead, or like giving children the names of their departed progenitors) for the express purpose of keeping alive the hope of resurrection in the minds of the chosen people.

(11,12) When men strive together. . . .--Another precept of humanity. In Exodus 21:22, "If men strive and hurt a woman with child," punishment or compensation must follow. The law in this place is the counterpart of that. Men must be protected as well as women.

Putteth forth her hand and taketh him.--"Him," i.e., him that smiteth her husband. The precept is to enforce modesty as well as to protect humanity.

Verses 5-10. - Levirate marriages. If a man who was married died without issue, his surviving brother was required to marry the widow, so as to raise up a successor to the deceased, who should be his heir. The brother who refused this duty must be publicly disgraced. The design of this institution - which was not originated by Moses, but came down from early times (Genesis 38:8), and is to be found amongst ether nations than the Jews, and that even in the present day - was to preserve a family from becoming extinct and to secure the property of a family from passing into the hands of a stranger. The notion that the usage "had its natural roots in the desire inherent in man who is born for immortality, and connected with the hitherto undeveloped belief in an eternal life, to secure a continued personal existence for himself and immortality for his name through the perpetuation of his family, and in the life of the son who took his place" (Keil), seems wholly fanciful. Verse 5. - Dwell together; i.e. not necessarily in the same house, but in the same community or place (cf. Genesis 13:6; Genesis 36:7). And have no child; literally, have no son; but this is rightly interpreted as meaning child (so the LXX.; Vulgate; Josephus, 'Antiq.,' 4:8, 23; Matthew 22:25; Madmen., 'In Jibbum.,' 2:6-9); for, if the deceased left a daughter, the perpetuation of the family and the retention of the property might be secured through her (cf. Numbers 27:4, etc.). If brethren dwell together,.... Not only in the same country, province, town, or city, but in the same house; such who had been from their youth brought up together in their father's house, and now one of them being married, as the case put supposes, they that were unmarried might live with him, and especially if the father was dead; and so may except such as were abroad, and in foreign countries, or at such a distance that this law coals not well be observed by them; though the Targum of Jonathan, and so Jarchi, interpret it of their being united in an inheritance, all by virtue of relation having a claim to their father's inheritance; so that it mattered not where they dwelt, it is the relation that is regarded, and their right of inheritance; and the above Targum describes them as brethren on the father's side, and so Jarchi says excepts his brother on the mother's side; for brethren by the mother's side, in case of inheritance, and the marrying of a brother's wife, were not reckoned brethren, as Maimonides (h) observes; who adds, that there is no brotherhood but on the father's side. Some think that when there were no brethren in a strict and proper sense, the near kinsmen, sometimes called brethren, were to do the office here enjoined, and which they conclude from the case of Boaz and Ruth; but Aben Ezra contradicts this, and says that instance is no proof of it, it respecting another affair, not marriage, but redemption; and says that brethren, absolutely and strictly speaking are here meant; which is agreeably to their tradition (i):

and one of them die, and have no child: son, or daughter, son's son, or daughter's son, or daughter's daughter, as Jarchi notes; if there were either of these, children or grandchildren, of either sex, there was no obligation to marry a brother's wife; so, in the case put to Christ, there was no issue, the person was childless, Matthew 22:24,

the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; by whom is meant not a Gentile, or a proselyte of the gate, or of righteousness, but any Israelite whatever, that was not of her husband's family; she might not marry out of the family; that is, she was refused by all, the design of the law being to secure inheritances, and continue them in families to which they belonged:

her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife; that is, supposing him to be unmarried, and this is indeed supposed in the first clause of the text, by dwelling with his brother; for had he been married, he would have dwelt with his wife and family apart; besides, if this law obliged a married man to marry his brother's wife, polygamy would be required and established by a law of God, which was never otherwise than permitted. This is to be understood of the eldest brother, as Jarchi, who is in an unmarried state; so it is said in the Misnah (k),"the command is upon the eldest to marry his brother's wife; if he will not, they go to all the brethren; if they will not, they return to the eldest; and say to him, upon thee is the commandment, either allow the shoe to be plucked off, or marry;''and such a course we find was taken among the Jews in our Lord's time, Matthew 22:25,

and perform the duty of an husband's brother to her; cohabit together as man and wife, in order to raise up seed to his brother, and perform all the offices and duties of an husband to a wife; but the marriage solemnity was not to take place when it was agreed to, until three months or ninety days had passed from the death of the brother, that it might be known whether she was with child or no by her husband, and in such a case this law had no force; so runs the Jewish canon (l)"a brother's wife may not pluck off the shoe, nor be married, until three months;''that is, after her husband's death.

(h) Hilchot Yebum Vechalitzah, c, 1, sect, 7. (i) Misn. Yebamot, c. 4. sect. 5. (k) Yebamot, c. 4. sect. 5. (l) Ib. sect. 10. 5-10. the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother … shall take her to him to wife—This usage existed before the age of Moses (Ge 38:8). But the Mosaic law rendered the custom obligatory (Mt 22:25) on younger brothers, or the nearest kinsman, to marry the widow (Ru 4:4), by associating the natural desire of perpetuating a brother's name with the preservation of property in the Hebrew families and tribes. If the younger brother declined to comply with the law, the widow brought her claim before the authorities of the place at a public assembly (the gate of the city); and he having declared his refusal, she was ordered to loose the thong of his shoe—a sign of degradation—following up that act by spitting on the ground—the strongest expression of ignominy and contempt among Eastern people. The shoe was kept by the magistrate as an evidence of the transaction, and the parties separated.25:5-12 The custom here regulated seems to have been in the Jewish law in order to keep inheritances distinct; now it is unlawful.
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