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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.

  1. Ps 68:5-6 says that God protects widows and children.

  2. According to Ps 146:9 and Ps 94:6-12, God punishes those who attack or abuse the helpless.

  3. Divine judgment is pronounced on those who bully and abuse the helpless, Mal. 3:5.

The Law of the Levirate Marriage.

  1. It was considered a tragedy in Israel for a man to die without an heir .

  2. It was desirable to perpetuate the name of everyone in Israel so as to avoid the inheritance being transferred to another family.

  3. Therefore, the law of the dead man’s brother was instituted .

  4. 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.

  5. The first born son of the marriage between the dead man’s brother and his widow would be the heir and perpetuate the line.

  6. Therefore, the family name was perpetuated through this law, stated in Deut. 25:5-10 .

  7. A pre-Mosaic law illustrates in Gen 38:6 and following.

  8. This same law was used by the Sadducees to attempt to discredit Christ, Matt. 22:23-33.

Additional Notes

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.