A widow is a woman who has lost her husband by death or has legitimately divorced her husband. A widow is also a woman who has divorced her husband for no good Biblical reason. She is the female survivor of a marriage.
The principles of the protection of the helpless apply to widows and children, Exodus 22:22.
- Ps 68:5-6 says that God protects widows and children.
- According to Ps 146:9 and Ps 94:6-12, God punishes those who attack or abuse the helpless.
- Divine judgment is pronounced on those who bully and abuse the helpless, Mal. 3:5.
- It was considered a tragedy in Israel for a man to die without an heir .
- It was desirable to perpetuate the name of everyone in Israel so as to avoid the inheritance being transferred to another family.
- Therefore, the law of the dead man’s brother was instituted .
- It was the custom that when a man died without a male heir, the nearest relative, generally his brother, should marry his widow and continue the family of the dead man so that every family in Israel would be perpetuated.
- The first born son of the marriage between the dead man’s brother and his widow would be the heir and perpetuate the line.
- Therefore, the family name was perpetuated through this law, stated in Deut. 25:5-10 .
- A pre-Mosaic law illustrates in Gen 38:6 and following.
- This same law was used by the Sadducees to attempt to discredit Christ, Matt. 22:23-33.
Widows are used in the condemnation of the Pharisees, Matt. 23:14; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47.
Neglect of widows resulted in the origin of deacons, Acts 6:1-6.
Paul advises widows to remain unmarried, 1 Cor 7:8-9.
Paul indicates that widows qualified for support in the local church, and warned against widows becoming troublemakers by their gossip, 1 Tim 5:3-16.
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