Mark 12:21

And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.

The second took her,.... To wife, married her, as the next eldest brother, by the above law was obliged to: and so the Jewish {l} canon upon it runs thus;

"the command is, lwdgb, "for the eldest" to marry his brother's wife: if he will not, they go to all the brethren; if they will not, they return to the eldest, and say, the command is upon thee, either pluck off the shoe, or marry.''

Maimonides {m} relates it in this manner;

"if a man dies, and leaves many brethren, the command is upon the eldest to marry, or pull off the shoe; as it is said, Deuteronomy 25:6, "and it shall be the firstborn which she beareth". From tradition, it is learned that it does not speak but of the firstborn among the brethren; and it is all one as if it was said, the eldest of the brethren shall succeed in the name of his brother that is dead; and this is what is said, "which she beareth": the sense is, which the mother has borne, and not which the brother's wife beareth; if the eldest will not marry her, they go round to all the brethren; and if they will not, they return to the eldest, and say, upon thee is the command, either pluck off the shoe, or marry; and they do not compel him to marry, but they compel him to pluck off the shoe;''

i.e. in case he will not marry.

and died, neither left he any, seed, and the third likewise; married her, and died without issue, as the second did. The Persic version adds, "and the fourth, and fifth"; for so they all did to the seventh.

{l} Misn. Yebamot, c. 4. sect. 5. & T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 39. 1.
{m} Hilch. Yebum Uchalitza, c. 2, sect. 6, 7. Vid. Jarchium in Deut. xxv. 6.