Deuteronomy 25:8
Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak to him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.The law of levirate marriage. The law on this subject is not unique to the Jews, but is found (see Genesis 38:8) in all essential respects the same among various Oriental nations, ancient and modern. The rules in these verses, like those upon divorce, do but incorporate existing immemorial usages, and introduce various wise and politic limitations and mitigations of them. The root of the obligation here imposed upon the brother of the deceased husband lies in the primitive idea of childlessness being a great calamity (compare Genesis 16:4; and note), and extinction of name and family one of the greatest that could happen (compare Deuteronomy 9:14; Psalm 109:12-15). To avert this the ordinary rules as to intermarriage are in the case in question (compare Leviticus 18:16) set aside. The obligation was onerous (compare Ruth 4:6), and might be repugnant; and it is accordingly considerably reduced and restricted by Moses. The duty is recognized as one of affection for the memory of the deceased; it is not one which could be enforced at law. That it continued down to the Christian era is apparent from the question on this point put to Jesus by the Sadducees (see the marginal references).

Deuteronomy 25:5

No child - literally, "no son." The existence of a daughter would clearly suffice. The daughter would inherit the name and property of the father; compare Numbers 27:1-11.

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. Speak unto him, to convince him of the duty, and persuade him to it.

If he stand to it; if he obstinately refuse it. Then the elders of his city shall call him,.... Require him to come, before them, and declare his resolution, and the reasons for it; recite this law to him, and explain the nature of it, and exhort him to comply with it, or show reason why he does not, at least to have his final resolution upon it:

and speak unto him; talk with him upon this subject, and give him their best advice; and what that was Maimonides (o) more particularly informs us; if it is good and advisable to marry, they advise him to marry; but if it is better advice to pluck off the shoe, they give it; as when she is young and he is old, or she is old and he young, they advise him to allow the shoe to be plucked off:

and if he stand to it: and say, I like not to take her; if, after all the conversation, debate, and counsel between them, he is resolute, and abides by his first determination, that he will not marry her, then the following method was to be taken.

(o) Yebum Vechalitzab, c. 4. sect. 1.

Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. This v. really continues the protasis of the cond. sentence which starts in Deuteronomy 25:7; the apodosis begins with Deuteronomy 25:9.If the guilty man was sentenced to stripes, he was to receive his punishment in the presence of the judge, and not more than forty stripes, that he might not become contemptible in the eyes of the people. הכּות בּן, son of stripes, i.e., a man liable to stripes, like son (child) of death, in 1 Samuel 20:31. "According to the need of his crime in number," i.e., as many stripes as his crime deserved.
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