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Verses 5-19

Family and business relationships (25:5-19)

If a man died having no son, his brother was to have a temporary marital relation with the widow for the purpose of helping her produce a son. Legally, this son would be considered son of the dead man and so would receive his inheritance and carry on his name. If the brother refused to cooperate, he was to be publicly disgraced for allowing the dead man’s name to die out (5-10). (If, however, there were surviving daughters, they could receive the father’s inheritance; see Numbers 27:1-11.) This desire to protect even the closest of relatives was no excuse for indecency, and the person guilty of indecency had to be punished (11-12).

People were not to act dishonestly in business dealings, such as through using undersized measures when selling grain and extra heavy weights when weighing the buyer’s money (13-16). In commanding Israel to destroy the Amalekites, God showed that he would surely punish those who brutally attacked the weak and defenceless (17-19).

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