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NAVE: Widow
SMITH: WIDOW
ISBE: WIDOW
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Widow

Widow [NAVE]

WIDOW
Vows of, binding, Num. 30:9.
When daughters of priests, to be supported by their fathers, Lev. 22:13.
Priests forbidden to marry, Lev. 21:14.
Marriage of, authorized, Rom. 7:3; 1 Cor. 7:39.
Widows' Inheritance, See: Dowry.
Unclassified Scriptures Relating to
Ex. 22:22-24; Deut. 10:18; Deut. 14:28, 29; Deut. 16:11-14; Deut. 24:17, 19-21; Deut. 25:5-10; Deut. 27:19; Job 22:5, 9; Job 24:3, 21; Job 29:13; Job 31:16, 22; Psa. 68:5; Psa. 94:6; Psa. 146:9; Prov. 15:25; Isa. 1:17, 23 Ezek. 22:7. Isa. 10:1, 2; Jer. 7:6, 7; Jer. 22:3; Jer. 49:11; Zech. 7:10; Mal. 3:5; Matt. 23:14 Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47. Acts 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:3-6, 9-12, 16; Jas. 1:27
Instances of
Naomi, Ruth 1:3.
Ruth, Ruth 1-4.
The widow of Zarephath, who sustained Elijah during a famine, 1 Kin. 17.
The woman whose sons Elisha saved from being sold for debt, 2 Kin. 4:1-7.
Aa, Luke 2:36, 37.
The woman who gave two peies in the temple, Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:2; of Nain, whose only son Jesus raised from the dead, Luke 7:11-15.
See: Women; Marriage, Levirate.

WIDOW [SMITH]

Under the Mosaic dispensation no legal provision was made for the maintenance of widows. They were left dependent partly on the affection of relations, more especially of the eldest son, whose birthright, or extra share of the property, imposed such a duty upon him, and partly on the privileges accorded to other distressed classes, such as a participation in the triennial third tithe, (14:29; 26:12) in leasing, (24:19-21) and in religious feasts. (16:11,14) With regard to the remarriage of widows, the only restriction imposed by the Mosaic law had reference to the contingency of one being left childless in which case the brother of the deceased husband had a right to marry the widow. (25:5,6; Matthew 22:23-30) In the apostolic Church the widows were sustained at the public expense, the relief being daily administered in kind, under the superintendence of officers appointed for this special purpose, (Acts 6:1-6) Particular directions are given by St.Paul as to the class of persons entitled to such public maintenance. (1 Timothy 5:3-16) Out of the body of such widows a certain number were to be enrolled, the qualifications for such enrollment being that they were not under sixty years of age; that they had been "the wife of one man," probably meaning but once married ; and that they had led useful and charitable lives. vs. (1 Timothy 5:9,10) We are not disposed to identify the widows of the Bible either with the deaconesses or with the presbutides Of the early Church. The order of widows existed as a separate institution, contemporaneously with these offices, apparently for the same eleemosynary purpose for which it was originally instituted.

WIDOW [ISBE]

WIDOW - wid'-o ('almanah; chera): In the Old Testament widows are considered to be under the special care of Yahweh (Ps 68:5; 146:9; Prov 15:25). Sympathetic regard for them comes to be viewed as a mark of true religion (Job 31:16; Jas 1:27). Deuteronomy is rich in counsel in their behalf (24:17, etc.).

The word is first mentioned in the New Testament in Acts 6:1: "There arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration." Paul charges that they be particularly cared for, especially those that are "widows indeed," i.e. poor, without support and old (1 Tim 5:2-16). Some try to find proof in this passage of that ecclesiastical order of widows mentioned in post-apostolic writings.

See LITERATURE, SUB-APOSTOLIC; WOMAN, IV, 5.

George B. Eager


Also see definition of "Widow" in Word Study


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