Matthew 22:24
Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Matthew 22:24-28. Master, Moses said, If a man die, &c. — “The argument by which the Sadducees endeavoured to confute the notion of a future state was taken from the Jewish law of marriage, which, to give their objection the better colour, they observed was God’s law, delivered by Moses. As they believed the soul to be nothing but a more refined kind of matter, they thought if there was any future state, it must resemble the present; and, that men being in that state material and mortal, the human race could not be continued, nor the individuals made happy, without the pleasures and conveniences of marriage. Hence they affirmed it to be a necessary consequence of the doctrine of the resurrection, or future state, that every man’s wife should be restored to him.” — Macknight.

22:23-33 The doctrines of Christ displeased the infidel Sadducees, as well as the Pharisees and Herodians. He carried the great truths of the resurrection and a future state, further than they had yet been reveled. There is no arguing from the state of things in this world, as to what will take place hereafter. Let truth be set in a clear light, and it appears in full strength. Having thus silenced them, our Lord proceeded to show the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection from the books of Moses. God declared to Moses that he was the God of the patriarchs, who had died long before; this shows that they were then in a state of being, capable of enjoying his favour, and proves that the doctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New. But this doctrine was kept for a more full revelation, after the resurrection of Christ, who was the first-fruits of them that slept. All errors arise from not knowing the Scriptures and the power of God. In this world death takes away one after another, and so ends all earthly hopes, joys, sorrows, and connexions. How wretched are those who look for nothing better beyond the grave!Saying, Master, Moses said ... - Deuteronomy 25:5-6. This law was given by Moses in order to keep the families and tribes of the Israelites distinct, and to perpetuate them.

Raise up seed unto his brother - That is, the children shall be reckoned in the genealogy of the deceased brother; or, to all civil purposes, shall be considered as his.

Mt 22:15-40. Entangling Questions about Tribute, the Resurrection, and the Great Commandment, with the Replies. ( = Mr 12:13-34; Lu 20:20-40).

For the exposition, see on [1343]Mr 12:13-34.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:28".

Saying, master,.... Rabbi, or doctor, as he was usually called;

Moses said, in Deuteronomy 25:5

if a man die having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother; which, though not expressed in the self same words, yet is the sense of the passage referred to, and was a practice in use before the times of Moses, as appears from the case of Er and Onan; the design of which was, to preserve families, and keep their inheritances distinct and entire. This law only took place, when a man died without children; for if he left any children, there was no need for his brother to marry his wife; yea, as a Jewish writer observes (x), she was forbidden, it was not lawful for him to marry her, and was the case if he had children of either sex, or even grandchildren: for as another of their commentators notes (y), his having no child, regards a son or a daughter, or a son's son, or a daughter's son, or a daughter's daughter; and it was the eldest of the brethren, or he that was next in years to the deceased, that was obliged by this law (z), though not if he had a wife of his own; and accordingly in the following case proposed, each of the brethren married the eldest brother's wife in their turn, according to the course of seniority; and by this law, the first child that was born after such marriage, was reckoned the seed of the deceased, and was heir to his inheritance. The Jews in their Misna, or oral law, have a whole tract on this subject, called Yebamot, which contains various rules and directions, for the right observance of this law.

(x) Aben Ezra in Deuteronomy 25.5. (y) Jarchi in ib. Vid. Maimon. Hilch. Yebum, c. 1. sect. 3.((z) Jarchi in Deuteronomy 25.5. Misn. Yebamot, c. 2. sect. 8. & 4, 5. Maimon. Hilch. Yebum, c. 2. sect. 6.

Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no {m} children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

(m) Daughters are also included by this word children, but even though they were part of his family and bore his name, the man who had only daughters was in the same position as the man who had no children at all; this is because daughters were not at this time able to carry on the family name. Therefore, by children here, we should understand it to be referring to sons.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 22:24 ff. A free citation of the law respecting levirate marriage, Deuteronomy 25:5, and that without following the Septuagint, which in this instance does not render יִבֵּם by the characteristic ἐπυγαμβρ. If a married man died without male issue, his brother was required to marry the widow, and to register the first-born son of the marriage as the son of the deceased husband. See Saalschütz, M. R. p. 754 ff.; Ewald, Alterth. p. 276 ff.; Benary, de Hebraeor. leviratu, Berl. 1835. As to other Oriental nations, see Rosenmüller, Morgenl. V. p. 81; Bodenstedt, d. Völker des Kaukasus, p. 82; Benary, p. 31 ff.

ἐπιγαμβρεύειν, to marry as brother-in-law (levir. יבם). Comp. Genesis 38:8; Test. XII. patr. p. 599. Differently ἐπιγαμβρ. τινι in 1Ma 10:54; 1 Samuel 18:22.

ἕως τῶν ἑπτά] until the seven, i.e. and in the same manner they continued to die until the whole seven were dead. Comp. Matthew 18:22; 1Ma 2:38.

ὕστερον πάντων] later than all the husbands.

Matthew 22:24. Μωσῆς εἶπεν, what is put into the mouth of all is a free combination of Deuteronomy 25:5-6, with Genesis 38:8. In the latter text the Sept[125] has ἐπιγαμβρεύσαι for the Heb. יַבֵּם = to perform the part of a levir (Latin for brother-in-law) by marrying a deceased brother’s widow having no children. An ancient custom not confined to Israel, but practised by Arabians and other peoples (vide Ewald, Alterthümer, p. 278; Benzinger, H. A, p. 345).

[125] Septuagint.

24. his brother shall marry his wife] This is sometimes called the “levirate law,” from Lat. levir, a brother-in-law; see Deuteronomy 25:5. “The law on this subject is not peculiar to the Jews, but is found amongst various Oriental nations, ancient and modern.” Speaker’s Comment., Deuteronomy 25:5.

Matthew 22:24. Τέκνα, children) sc. a son or a daughter, or more, see Deuteronomy 25:5.

Verse 24. - Moses said. They quote the substance of the law of the levirate (i.e. the brother-in-law) in Deuteronomy 25:5, 6, by which it was enacted that if a married man died without a son, his brother or the next of kin should marry the widow, and the firstborn son of this union should be regarded and registered as the son of the deceased. This was a law not peculiar to the Hebrews, but prevalent from immemorial times among many ancient peoples, e.g. Persians, Egyptians, and found in force among some nations in modern times, as Arabians, Druses, Cireassians, etc. It seems not to have been enforced in any case, but to have been left to the good will of the survivor, who might escape the obligation by submitting to a certain social obloquy (Deuteronomy 25:7-10). The motive of the regulation was the maintenance of a family and the non-alienation of property. Many authorities assert that the law did not apply in the case of a man who left daughters (Numbers 27:8), but only in that of a childless widow. Later rabbinism limited the obligation to a betrothed woman, not yet actually married. But whatever may have been the limitations allowed in these days, the question of the Sadducees took its stand on the old legal basis, and endeavoured to draw therefrom a ridiculous inference. Shall marry; ἐπιγαμβρεύσει. The verb, found in the Septuagint, is used properly signifying "to take a woman to wife as the husband's kinsman" (γαμβρός), and generally, "to contract affinity by marriage." Raise up seed. The firstborn son of such a marriage was the legal heir of the deceased brother, and bore his name. The natural and the legal paternities are seen in the genealogies of our Lord, and occasion some difficulties in adjustment. Matthew 22:24Shall marry (ἐπιγαμβρεύσει)

From γαμβρός, a word used in classical Greek to denote any one connected by marriage' a brother-in-law, father-in-law, even a bridegroom. The word is appropriate here because it refers to marriage between marriage-relatives.

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