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Deuteronomy 25:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “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.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— 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.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— When brethren dwell together, and one of them dieth, having, no son, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside, to a stranger,—her husband's brother, shall go in unto her, and take her unto him to wife, and do for her as a husband's brother.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— '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;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— 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:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and haue no child, the wife of the dead shall not marrie without, vnto a stranger: her husbands brother shall go in vnto her, and take her to him to wife, and performe the duetie of an husbands brother vnto her.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And if brethren should live together, and one of them should die, and should not have seed, the wife of the deceased shall not marry out [of the family] to a man not related: her husband's brother shall go in to her, and shall take her to himself for a wife, and shall dwell with her.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— 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.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
If x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
brethren 251
{0251} Prime
אָח
'ach
{awkh}
A primitive word; a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance (like H0001)).
dwell 3427
{3427} Prime
יָשַׁב
yashab
{yaw-shab'}
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
together, 3162
{3162} Prime
יַחַד
yachad
{yakh'-ad}
From H3161; properly a unit, that is, (adverbially) unitedly.
and one 259
{0259} Prime
אֶחָד
'echad
{ekh-awd'}
A numeral from H0258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first.
of x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
them die, 4191
{4191} Prime
מָמוֹת
muwth
{mooth}
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
and have no x369
(0369) Complement
אַיִן
'ayin
{ah'-yin}
As if from a primitive root meaning to be nothing or not exist; a non-entity; generally used as a negative particle.
child, 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
the wife 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
of the dead 4191
{4191} Prime
מָמוֹת
muwth
{mooth}
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
z8801
<8801> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 309
shall not x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
marry x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
without 2351
{2351} Prime
חוּץ
chuwts
{khoots}
(Both forms feminine in the plural); from an unused root meaning to sever; properly separate by a wall, that is, outside, outdoors.
unto a stranger: 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
2114
{2114} Prime
זוּר
zuwr
{zoor}
A primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery.
z8801
<8801> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 309
her husband's brother 2993
{2993} Prime
יָבָם
yabam
{yaw-bawm'}
From (the original of) H2992; a brother-in-law.
shall go in 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
her, and take 3947
{3947} Prime
לָקַח
laqach
{law-kakh'}
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
her to him to wife, 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
and perform the duty of an husband's brother 2992
{2992} Prime
יָבַם
yabam
{yaw-bam'}
A primitive root of doubtful meaning; used only as a denominative from H2993; to marry a (deceased) brother's widow.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
unto her.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Deuteronomy 25:5-10

_ _ 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 (Genesis 38:8). But the Mosaic law rendered the custom obligatory (Matthew 22:25) on younger brothers, or the nearest kinsman, to marry the widow (Ruth 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.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Deuteronomy 25:5-12

_ _ Here is, I. The law settled concerning the marrying of the brother's widow. It appears from the story of Judah's family that this had been an ancient usage (Genesis 38:8), for the keeping up of distinct families. The case put is a case that often happens, of a man's dying without issue, it may be in the prime of his time, soon after his marriage, and while his brethren were yet so young as to be unmarried. Now in this case, 1. The widow was not to marry again into any other family, unless all the relations of her husband did refuse her, that the estate she was endowed with might not be alienated. 2. The husband's brother, or next of kin, must marry her, partly out of respect to her, who, having forgotten her own people and her father's house, should have all possible kindness shown her by the family into which she was married; and partly out of respect to the deceased husband, that though he was dead and gone he might not be forgotten, nor lost out of the genealogies of his tribe; for the first-born child, which the brother or next kinsman should have by the widow, should be denominated from him that was dead, and entered in the genealogy as his child, Deuteronomy 25:5, Deuteronomy 25:6. Under that dispensation we have reason to think men had not so clear and certain a prospect of living themselves on the other side death as we have now, to whom life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel; and therefore they could not but be the more desirous to live in their posterity, which innocent desire was in some measure gratified by this law, an expedient being found out that, though a man had no child by his wife, yet his name should not be put out of Israel, that is, out of the pedigree, or, which is equivalent, remain there under the brand of childlessness. The Sadducees put a case to our Saviour upon this law, with a design to perplex the doctrine of the resurrection by it (Matthew 22:24, etc.), perhaps insinuating that there was no need of maintaining the immortality of the soul and a future state, since the law had so well provided for the perpetuating of men's names and families in the world. But, 3. If the brother, or next of kin, declined to do this good office to the memory of him that was gone, what must be done in that case? Why, (1.) He shall not be compelled to do it, Deuteronomy 25:7. If he like her not, he is at liberty to refuse her, which, some think, was not permitted in this case before this law of Moses. Affection is all in all to the comfort of the conjugal relation; this is a thing which cannot be forced, and therefore the relation should not be forced without it. (2.) Yet he shall be publicly disgraced for not doing it. The widow, as the person most concerned for the name and honour of the deceased, was to complain to the elders of his refusal; if he persist in it, she must pluck off his shoe, and spit in his face, in open court (or, as the Jewish doctors moderate it, spit before his face), thus to fasten a mark of infamy upon him, which was to remain with his family after him, Deuteronomy 25:8-10. Note, Those justly suffer in their own reputation who do not do what they ought to preserve the name and honour of others. He that would not build up his brother's house deserved to have this blemish put upon his own, that it should be called the house of him that had his shoe loosed, in token that he deserved to go barefoot. In the case of Ruth we find this law executed (Ruth 4:7), but because, upon the refusal of the next kinsman, there was another ready to perform the duty of a husband's brother, it was that other that plucked off the shoe, and not the widow — Boaz, and not Ruth.

_ _ II. A law for the punishing of an immodest woman, Deuteronomy 25:11, Deuteronomy 25:12. The woman that by the foregoing law was to complain against her husband's brother for not marrying her, and to spit in his face before the elders, needed a good measure of assurance; but, lest the confidence which that law supported should grow to an excess unbecoming the sex, here is a very severe but just law to punish impudence and immodesty. 1. The instance of it is confessedly scandalous to the highest degree. A woman could not do it unless she were perfectly lost to all virtue and honour. 2. The occasion is such as might in part excuse it; it was to help her husband out of the hands of one that was too hard for him. Now if the doing of it in a passion, and with such a good intention, was to be so severely punished, much more when it was done wantonly and in lust. 3. The punishment was that her hand should be cut off; and the magistrates must not pretend to be more merciful than God: Thy eye shall not pity her. Perhaps our Saviour alludes to this law when he commands us to cut off the right hand that offends us, or is an occasion of sin to us. Better put the greatest hardships that can be upon the body than ruin the soul for ever. Modesty is the hedge of chastity, and therefore ought to be very carefully preserved and kept up by both sexes.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Deuteronomy 25:5

Together — In the same town, or at least country. For if the next brother had removed his habitation into remote parts, on were carried thither into captivity, then the wife of the dead had her liberty to marry the next kinsman that lived in the same place with her. One — Any of them, for the words are general, and the reason of the law was to keep up the distinction of tribes and families, that so the Messiah might be discovered by the family from which he was appointed to proceed; and also of inheritances, which were divided among all the brethren, the first — born having only a double portion. A stranger — To one of another family.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Deuteronomy 25:5

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 (d) 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.

(d) Because the Hebrew word does not signify the natural brother, and the word that signifies a brother, is taken also for a kinsman: it seems that it does not mean that the natural brother should marry his brothers wife, but some other kindred that was in the degree that might marry.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
brethren:

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.
Mark 12:19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave [his] wife [behind him], and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
Luke 20:28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

husband's brother:
or, next kinsman,
Genesis 38:8-9 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. ... And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled [it] on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
Ruth 1:12-13 Turn again, my daughters, go [your way]; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, [if] I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; ... Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who [art] thou? And she answered, I [am] Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou [art] a near kinsman.
Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy [it] also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
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Gn 38:8. Ru 1:12; 3:9; 4:5. Mt 22:24. Mk 12:19. Lk 20:28.

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