Deuteronomy 25:5-12

5 If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.
6 The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.
7 However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.”
8 Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,”
9 his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.”
10 That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.
11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts,
12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

Deuteronomy 25:5-12 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 25

Several laws are contained in this chapter, as concerning beating such whose crimes required it, De 25:1-3; of not muzzling the ox in treading out the corn, De 25:4; of marrying a deceased brother's wife, when there was no issue, and of the disgrace of such that refused it, De 25:5-10; of the punishment of an immodest woman, De 25:11,12; and against bad weights and measures, De 25:13-16; and for the utter destruction of Amalek, De 25:17-19.

Deuteronomy 25:5-12 In-Context

3 but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes.
4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.
5 If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.
6 The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.
7 However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.”
8 Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,”
9 his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.”
10 That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.
11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts,
12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.
13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light.
14 Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small.

Cross References 8

  • 1. Ruth 4:10,13; Matthew 22:24; Mark 12:19; Luke 20:28
  • 2. Genesis 38:9; Ruth 4:5,10
  • 3. Ruth 1:15
  • 4. S Genesis 23:10
  • 5. Ru 4:1-2,5-6
  • 6. Joshua 24:22; Ru 4:7-8,11
  • 7. Numbers 12:14; Job 17:6; Job 30:10; Isaiah 50:6
  • 8. S Deuteronomy 7:2; Deuteronomy 19:13