Recognized HTML document

4.8   RESTRICTIONS IN MARRIAGE.

individual preferences. The Mosaic law actually compelled a man to marry the widow of his brother if he left no male issue. (Deuteron. xxv.) Should the brother refuse,

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. And his name shall be called in Israel the house of him that hath his shoe loosed." The form of this custom survives to the present day and is fully described and illustrated under the article " Halizah" taking off, untying) in the Jewish Cyclopes ia. Jewish widows are now almost invariably remarried with this ceremony. They are as we might describe it, " given away " by a kinsman of the deceased husband, who puts on a shoe of an orthodox shape which is kept for the purpose, the widow unties the shoe, spits, but now on the ground, and repeats the specified words.

The duties attached to family property led to the history, which is very strange to the ideas of the present day, of Ruth's advances to Boaz under the advice of her mother. "It came to pass at midnight" that Boaz "was startled (see marginal note in the Revised Version) and turned himself, and behold a woman lay at his feet," who had come in " softly and uncovered his feet and laid her down." He told her to lie still until the early morning and then to go away. She returned