A woman whose husband has died. The status of the widow in ancient society could be precarious. Israel’s legal corpus provided some measure of security for widows. A levirate marriage could be arranged, but this was not always done (Deut 25:5-10; Gen 38). A priest’s daughter could return to her father’s house (Lev 22:13). Sometimes, however, widows had no respectable recourse but to rely on public charity. God’s concern for the plight of widows is revealed throughout the OT (Deut 10:14-19; Deut 14:29; Deut 24:17-22; Deut 27:19; Jer 49:11; Ps 68:5; Ps 146:9); neglect or oppression of widows provoked divine wrath (Ps 94:1-7; Job 22:9-11; Job 29-30:9; Isa 1:16-17; Isa 21-25:16). Stories in the Gospels also reveal Jesus’s sensitivity to widows’ marginal existence: he restored to life “the only son” of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), he criticized scribes for exploiting widows (Mark 12:40), and he declared that a poor widow’s copper coins exceeded the scribes’ large gifts to the Temple treasury (Mark 12:38-44). The early church was attentive to the care of widows (Acts 6:1-6; 1Tim 5:3-16).

Deut 25:5-10

Levirate Marriage
5When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a str ... View more

Gen 38

Judah and Tamar
1It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and settled near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.2There Judah saw the ... View more

Lev 22:13

13but if a priest's daughter is widowed or divorced, without offspring, and returns to her father's house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father's food. No ... View more

Deut 10:14-19

14Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it,15yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors ... View more

Deut 14:29

29the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and e ... View more

Deut 24:17-22

17You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow's garment in pledge.18Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and t ... View more

Deut 27:19

19“Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”

Jer 49:11

11Leave your orphans, I will keep them alive;
and let your widows trust in me.

Ps 68:5

5Father of orphans and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.

Ps 146:9

9The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

Ps 94:1-7

God the Avenger of the Righteous
1O Lord, you God of vengeance,
you God of vengeance, shine forth!2Rise up, O judge of the earth;
give to the proud what they de ... View more

Job 22:9-11

9You have sent widows away empty-handed,
and the arms of the orphans you have crushed.10Therefore snares are around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,11or d ... View more

Job 29-30:9

Job Finishes His Defense
1Job again took up his discourse and said:2“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me;3when his ... View more

Isa 1:16-17

16Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,17learn to do good;
seek justice,
rescue the oppr ... View more

Isa 21-25:16

Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia
1The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.

As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
it comes from the desert,
f ... View more

Luke 7:11-17

Jesus Raises the Widow's Son at Nain
11Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him.12As he approached the g ... View more

Mark 12:40

40They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Mark 12:38-44

Jesus Denounces the Scribes
38As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the market ... View more

Acts 6:1-6

Seven Chosen to Serve
1Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows w ... View more

1Tim 5:3-16

3Honor widows who are really widows.4If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some re ... View more

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