from Latin levir, "a husband's brother," the name of an ancient custom ordained by Moses, by which, when an Israelite died without issue, his surviving brother was required to marry the widow, so as to continue his brother's family through the son that might be born of that marriage ( Genesis 38:8 ; Deuteronomy 25:5-10 ; Compare Ruth 3 ; 4:10 ). Its object was "to raise up seed to the departed brother."
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Levirate Law". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".