Deut 25:5

25:5 Her husband’s brother. The law of levirate marriage (from the Latin word levir, meaning “husband’s brother”) is given only here. The limitation to brothers who “dwell together” may indicate that it applied to an unmarried brother, but it is doubtful that this limitation held in practice. The obvious purpose of the arrangement was to maintain the property rights of the deceased’s family line. The levirate custom dates to patriarchal times and is mentioned in Gen. 38:8–11; Ruth 3:1–4:12; Matt. 22:23–28; Mark 12:18–23; and Luke 20:27–33.