It is my conclusion Jesus had two wives, Martha and Mary Magdalene, who were his brother’s wives. Mary as a widow resorted to prostitution until her kinsman-redeemer to her to wed. There were other widow-prostitutes that went with the first church, who did not have a kinsman-redeemer, and were wed to the Rabbi-King in a ritual manner. These were the first Nuns. Many widows sold themselves into servitude and were set free by the Jubilee Jesus.
Levirate marriage is a type of marriage in which the brother of a deceased man is obliged to marry his brother’s widow, and the widow is obliged to marry her deceased husband’s brother.
Levirate marriage has been practiced by societies with a strong clan structure in which exogamous marriage (i.e., that outside the clan) was forbidden. It has been known in many societies around the world. The practice is similar to widow inheritance, where, for example, the deceased husband’s kin can dictate whom the widow may marry.
The term is a derivative of the Latin word levir, meaning “husband’s brother”.
Levirate marriage can, at its most positive, serve as protection for the widow and her children, ensuring that they have a male provider and protector. This can be a positive in a society where women can not have self-sufficiency and must rely on men to provide, especially in societies where women are under the authority, dependent on, in servitude, and/or possessions of their husbands, to ensure the survival of the clan. Thus practice of levirate marriage is strongly associated with patriarchal societies. The practice was extremely important in ancient times (e.g., History of ancient Arab Near East), and remains so today in parts of the world. Having children enabled the inheritance of land, which offered security and status. A levirate marriage might only occur if a man died childless, in order to continue his family line. The anthropologist Ruth Mace also found that the practice of widow inheritance by younger brothers, common in many parts of Africa, serves to reduce population growth, as these men will be forced to marry older (and hence, less fertile) women.
A levirate marriage (Hebrew: yibbum) is mandated by Deuteronomy 25:5-6 of the Hebrew Bible and obliges a brother to marry the widow of his childless deceased brother, with the firstborn child being treated as that of the deceased brother, (see also Genesis 38:8) which renders the child the heir of the deceased brother and not the genetic father.
There is another ritual known as halizah (Deuteronomy 25:9-10), which may be performed if a man refuses to enter into a levirate marriage. In that situation the woman must spit in his presence, remove one of his shoes, and the others in the town referring to him as ‘the one without a shoe’. While this provision implies that a brother may opt out of levirate marriage, there is no provision in the Torah for the widow to do so.