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Luke 20:28

Context
20:28 They asked him, 1  “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no children, that man 2  must marry 3  the widow and father children 4  for his brother. 5 

1 tn Grk “asked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

2 tn Grk “his brother”; but this would be redundant in English with the same phrase “his brother” at the end of the verse, so most modern translations render this phrase “the man” (so NIV, NRSV).

3 tn The use of ἵνα (Jina) with imperatival force is unusual (BDF §470.1).

4 tn Grk “and raise up seed,” an idiom for procreating children (L&N 23.59).

5 sn A quotation from Deut 25:5. Because the OT quotation does not include “a wife” as the object of the verb, it has been left as normal type. This practice is called levirate marriage (see also Ruth 4:1-12; Mishnah, m. Yevamot; Josephus, Ant. 4.8.23 [4.254-256]). The levirate law is described in Deut 25:5-10. The brother of a man who died without a son had an obligation to marry his brother’s widow. This served several purposes: It provided for the widow in a society where a widow with no children to care for her would be reduced to begging, and it preserved the name of the deceased, who would be regarded as the legal father of the first son produced from that marriage.



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