Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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terms when applied to human kindred are very emphatic; and they are evidently in this law not confined to consanguinity, but express in general, propinquus a kinsman, or affinis one related by marriage, as well as cognatus a relative by blood.

2. The phrase to uncover the nakedness is used to signify sexual commerce or marriage. The meaning cannot be mistaken.

3. The term wife in this law indisputably signifies widow. The word is often used in scripture to denote widow; see Genesis xxxviii. 8.   Ruth iv. 5. 10. It must mean widow here, for were the husband still alive, it would be adultery, which is not the crime intended or designated in this law.

4. In the enumeration of the degrees of relation, the sources by consanguinity and affinity are indiscriminately blended. The relations of the husband, and the relations of the wife, in consequence of the union produced by marriage, are considered as equally near to both. No distinction is made in the direct or lateral line, between those who are related by blood or by marriage.


5. Consistent with the principle upon which the law is founded, it is evident, that wherever a degree of kindred is named and prohibited, all the relations, either in consanguinity or affinity, which are in the same degree, and especially such as are nearer, than that which is mentioned, are necessarily included and equally forbidden.

The same prohibition which binds a man is equally binding upon a woman. To say that men preserve the name of the house, which is lost by the marriage of a woman into another family, and that therefore men alone are comprehended in this law is trifling, and prevaricating. As an intelligent being and equally under the obligation of the divine law, the female is as fully included in these precepts as the male. Whatever relation then, the law expressly names upon the part of the husband, must be considered as implicitly intended and actually comprehended upon the part of the wife.

7. Every relation of the same degree, when reversed, must be understood to be as much included in the precept as if it had been specifically mentioned. To have repeated all these, vice versa, would


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