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Deuteronomy 25:9

    Deuteronomy 25:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then shall his brother's wife come to him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done to that man that will not build up his brother's house.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto the man that doth not build up his brother's house.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then his brother's wife is to come to him, before the responsible men of the town, and take his shoe off his foot, and put shame on him, and say, So let it be done to the man who will not take care of his brother's name.

    Webster's Revision

    then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto the man that doth not build up his brother's house.

    World English Bible

    then his brother's wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from 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."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto the man that doth not build up his brother's house.

    Clarke's Commentary on Deuteronomy 25:9

    And loose his shoe - It is difficult to find the reason of these ceremonies of degradation. Perhaps the shoe was the emblem of power; and by stripping it off, deprivation of that power and authority was represented. Spitting in the face was a mark of the utmost ignominy; but the Jews, who are legitimate judges in this case, say that the spitting was not in his face, but before his face on the ground. And this is the way in which the Asiatics express their detestation of a person to the present day, as Niebuhr and other intelligent travelers assure us. It has been remarked that the prefix ב beth is seldom applied to פני peney; but when it is it signifies as well before as in the face. See Joshua 21:44; Joshua 23:9; Esther 9:2; and Ezekiel 42:12; which texts are supposed to be proofs in point. The act of spitting, whether in or before the face, marked the strong contempt the woman felt for the man who had slighted her. And it appears that the man was ever after disgraced in Israel; for so much is certainly implied in the saying, Deuteronomy 25:10 : And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

    Barnes' Notes on Deuteronomy 25:9

    Loose his shoe from off his foot - In token of taking from the unwilling brother all right over the wife and property of the deceased. Planting the foot on a thing was an usual symbol of lordship and of taking possession (compare Genesis 13:17; Joshua 10:24), and loosing the shoe and handing it to another in like manner signified a renunciation and transfer of right and title (compare Ruth 4:7-8; Psalm 60:8, and Psalm 108:9). The widow here is directed herself, as the party slighted and injured, to deprive her brother-law of his shoe, and spit in his face (compare Numbers 12:14). The action was intended to aggravate the disgrace conceived to attach to the conduct of the man.