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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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A custom was prevalent in patriarchal times, Genesis 38:1-30 , and was afterwards confirmed by the Mosaic law, Deuteronomy 25:5-10 , that a widow without children, in order to preserve the family name and inheritance, should marry the brother of her deceased husband; or he failing his nearest kinsman, Ruth 3:12,13 4:1-11 Matthew 22:23-30 . The high-priest was forbidden to marry a widow, Leviticus 21:14 . The humanity and justice of true religion are shown in the Bible, as might be expected, by numerous indications that God and the friends of God sympathize with the sorrows, supply the wants, and defend the rights of the widow, Exodus 22:22-24 Deuteronomy 16:11 24:17,19 Psalm 68:5 Isaiah 1:17 10:2 Jeremiah 22:3 Matthew 23:14 .

The apostolic church was not negligent in providing for widows, Acts 6:1-3 1 Timothy 5:16 ; and James makes this duty an essential part of true piety, James 1:27 . Heathenism, on the contrary, makes those who have been slaves to a husband's caprices during his life, either victims upon the funeral pile at his death, or forlorn and hopeless sufferers under destitution and contempt. The duties of Christian widows are specified in 1 Timothy 5:3-16 .

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Widow'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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