Deuteronomy 25:5–10 : a rite for the living or for the dead?

by Thomas Kelly Sowards

Institution: University of Texas – Austin
Department: Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
Degree: MA
Year: 2015
Keywords: Rite; Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Anthropology; Hebrew Bible
Record ID: 2060903
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/28657


This work looks at the rite presented in Deut 25:5–10 through a sociological framework. As such, it argues that ritual is a social act aimed at protecting communal interests over the interests of its individual members. More specifically, the rite described in Deut 25:5–10 was meant to act as a bulwark against infiltration of tribal land through exogamy. In later periods, it is argued that the focus of the rite narrowed to the priestly class.