Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Orphans and Widows

Though Old Testament society did not value orphans or widows, God made sure that they were taken care of. The Bible is filled with instructions to ensure the protection for orphans and widows and to provide provision for their needs.

After God gave Moses the ten basic commandments, he went on to deliver laws concerning servants, violence, animal control, property, moral and ceremonial principles, and in Exodus 22:22-24 He says, “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.” (ESV)

Moses reiterates the sentiment in Deuteronomy 10:18 when he says that God administers justice for the fatherless and the widows.

In Deuteronomy 14:29 God provided for widows by requiring that every third year the Israelites were to bring out the tithe of their produce, and it would be for the Levites, the fatherless, the widows, and any strangers in the land.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 covers the provision for childless widows. Moses explained that if a man died leaving a widow with no son, then the man’s brother was to marry her. Her firstborn son with the brother would bear the name of her dead husband so that he wouldn’t be forgotten.

It’s easy to skim over the multitude of Old Testament laws, but they reveal to us the character of God. God is an advocate for victims. He protects the weak and speaks out for the voiceless.  

We can find comfort in knowing that whatever our situation, we are not alone. God is with us, watching out for us, protecting us, and providing for us.

Read about orphans and widows in Scripture: Exodus 22:22-24, Deuteronomy 10:18, 14:29, 25:5-10

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