Levirate marriage is one response to the challenges that arose when an Israelite man died leaving a widow but no children. What becomes of a widow with no children to care for her? What becomes of a man’s “name” and property in the absence of direct heirs? Levirate marriage, as described in Deut 25:5-10, offers a solution to both questions: Let the dead man’s brother marry the widow and let the children, or at least the first child of this union, be “accounted” to the deceased.Some past PaleoJudaica posts on Levirate marriage in the Talmud are here and here.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
BIBLE ODYSSEY: Levirate Marriage (Dvora E. Weisberg).