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A relative who volunteered to take responsibility for the extended family.
Read about Ruth's Kinsman Redeemer in
The Story of Three Women- Ruth Chapter 1 and The Romance - The Book of Ruth
Don't miss the final chapter. The Happy Ending

From the Bible:
Deuteronomy 25:5-10
“If two brothers are living together on the same property and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Instead, her husband’s brother must marry her and fulfill the duties of a brother-in-law. 6 The first son she bears to him will be counted as the son of the dead brother, so that his name will not be forgotten in Israel. 7 But if the dead man’s brother refuses to marry the widow, she must go to the town gate and say to the leaders there, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to preserve his brother’s name in Israel—he refuses to marry me.’ 8 The leaders of the town will then summon him and try to reason with him. If he still insists that he doesn’t want to marry her, 9 the widow must walk over to him in the presence of the leaders, pull his sandal from his foot, and spit in his face. She will then say, ‘This is what happens to a man who refuses to raise up a son for his brother.’ 10 Ever afterward his family will be referred to as ‘the family of the man whose sandal was pulled off’!

If the dead man had no brothers, the nearest relative of the deceased husband could be the kinsman-redeemer. He was not obligated and if he chose not to marry the widow, the next nearest relative could step in.

If no one chose to help the widow, she would probably live her life in poverty because in Israel, a man’s property was passed on to the son or nearest relative, not to his wife.

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