Read chapter in full:


Deuteronomy 25 (ESV)

1 “If there is a dispute between men and they come into court and the judges decide between them, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty, 2 then if the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense. 3 Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.

4 “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.

Laws Concerning Levirate Marriage

5 “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6 And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. 7 And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ 9 then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’ 10 And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.’



There is again a common theme in the various laws in this chapter: to care for the welfare and dignity of others.  The first 3 verses talks about the care of those who have been convicted of guilt, verse 4 is about the benefit of animals.  The concept of animal protection has been in place since the ancient Israelite society.

The next section deals issues facing a widow without a son.  It’s not only her daily needs, but the dignity of this family and that of the dead.  Marrying the widowed sister-in-law and bearing a son will ensure her long-term economic welfare, and preserve the identity of this family.



In my daily work, living and interaction with others, how much of my behavior is based on my concern for the welfare of others?

Ask the Holy Spirit to show me, in what way, in this coming week, that I may demonstrate my genuine concern for other people.  Write it down and share it at the next cell meeting.