Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak to him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Genesis 38:8) in all essential respects the same among various Oriental nations, ancient and modern. The rules in these verses, like those upon divorce, do but incorporate existing immemorial usages, and introduce various wise and politic limitations and mitigations of them. The root of the obligation here imposed upon the brother of the deceased husband lies in the primitive idea of childlessness being a great calamity (compare Genesis 16:4; and note), and extinction of name and family one of the greatest that could happen (compare Deuteronomy 9:14; Psalm 109:12-15). To avert this the ordinary rules as to intermarriage are in the case in question (compare Leviticus 18:16) set aside. The obligation was onerous (compare Ruth 4:6), and might be repugnant; and it is accordingly considerably reduced and restricted by Moses. The duty is recognized as one of affection for the memory of the deceased; it is not one which could be enforced at law. That it continued down to the Christian era is apparent from the question on this point put to Jesus by the Sadducees (see the marginal references).
No child - literally, "no son." The existence of a daughter would clearly suffice. The daughter would inherit the name and property of the father; compare Numbers 27:1-11.Speak unto him, to convince him of the duty, and persuade him to it.
If he stand to it; if he obstinately refuse it.
and speak unto him; talk with him upon this subject, and give him their best advice; and what that was Maimonides (o) more particularly informs us; if it is good and advisable to marry, they advise him to marry; but if it is better advice to pluck off the shoe, they give it; as when she is young and he is old, or she is old and he young, they advise him to allow the shoe to be plucked off:
and if he stand to it: and say, I like not to take her; if, after all the conversation, debate, and counsel between them, he is resolute, and abides by his first determination, that he will not marry her, then the following method was to be taken.Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. This v. really continues the protasis of the cond. sentence which starts in Deuteronomy 25:7; the apodosis begins with Deuteronomy 25:9.1 Samuel 20:31. "According to the need of his crime in number," i.e., as many stripes as his crime deserved.
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