Levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
In this passage, the practice of levirate marriage is described. This custom instructs that if a man dies without having any children, his brother is expected to marry his widow in order to provide an heir for the deceased brother.
The passage displays that if a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have children with her. The first son that they have together will be regarded as the son of the deceased brother, and the inheritance of the deceased brother will pass to this son. If the brother is unwilling to marry the widow, she can take off his sandal and spit in his face as a sign of disgrace, and the matter will be settled publicly. It is an act of shame not to follow the custom.
The purpose of this custom was to ensure that a man's family line would continue even if he died without children. It was also a way to provide for widows who might otherwise be left without a husband or means of support.
|כִּי||for, that, when|
|ישׁב||sit, sit down, dwell, be inhabited|
|מִן||from, out of|
|אַיִן||there is not; non-existence|
|היה||to be, become|