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If the first wife was opposed to the marriage, or was related to the widow within the defined prohibitions, then she became the responsibility of the next nearest kin.
The brother of the deceased was generally the obvious choice, although a widow's marriage to her father in law was fairly common.
Some may use that as proof that God gave only generalities. When a woman was left widowed, the men in her husband's family were required to take responsibility of the woman.
This is a common misunderstanding; however, God did not forbid uncles and nieces from marriage. The deceased husband's nearest kin was commanded to take her as his wife.
For further information on these individuals and the circumstances, you may choose to read the scriptural passages associated with each.
More detailed information will be included in the forthcoming book, which will be made available on this website upon completion.
However, the nearest kin was also required to have the approval of his first wife before taking on a second.
Although he immediately fell in love and became engaged to his cousin Rachel, his uncle tricked him into first marrying Rachel's sister Leah.
Although God blessed Jacob greatly, Jacob suffered much grief and heartache for having married both sisters.
(For a complete discussion on the Catholic Church, please see our Chat with an Expert page.) For much of the world's population, the Bible is the final authority on right and wrong.
This is true both of devout Christians as well as those who may have some vague, indiscernible root in the Christian faith.