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In the Bible, widows represent some of the most vulnerable members of society. Their treatment and care are given significant importance, reflecting God’s compassion and justice. This theme runs consistently throughout both the Old and New Testaments.


God’s command through Moses highlights the seriousness with which He views the care of widows. In Exodus 22:21-23, it is written: “You shall not wrong an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them at all, and they cry at all to me, I will surely hear their cry; and my wrath will grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” This passage underscores the gravity of neglecting or harming widows and orphans.

God’s anger is kindled against those who oppress them, demonstrating His protective stance towards the vulnerable. In Psalm 68:5, God is described as: “A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” This portrayal reinforces God’s role as a defender and protector, ensuring justice for those who are marginalized.

The Israelites were instructed to include widows in their celebrations, ensuring their inclusion and care within the community. In Deuteronomy 16:11-14, God commands: “You shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, in the place which Yahweh your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there.”


Jesus continued this emphasis on the care for widows during His ministry. In Luke 7:11-17, He raises the dead son of a widow in Nain, demonstrating His compassion and power: “When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Don’t cry.’ He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I tell you, arise!’ He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.” This miracle not only alleviated the widow’s immediate sorrow but also restored her social and economic security.

Jesus also praised the sacrificial giving of a poor widow in Mark 12:42-44: “A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, which equal a quadrans coin. He called his disciples to himself and said to them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.'” This act of the widow was highlighted by Jesus to show true generosity and faithfulness, contrasting it with the superficial giving of the wealthy.

Moreover, Jesus criticized the Scribes for their exploitation of widows in Luke 20:47: “Who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these will receive greater condemnation.” This condemnation of the Scribes’ hypocrisy and exploitation highlights Jesus’ advocacy for justice and righteousness.

In one of His final acts, Jesus ensured the care of His own mother, who was likely widowed, by entrusting her to John, as recorded in John 19:25-27: “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.”

Early Church

In the early Christian church, widows were particularly vulnerable and often lacked means of support. Recognizing this, the apostles took measures to ensure their needs were met. Acts 6:1-6 describes the appointment of seven deacons to oversee the daily distribution of resources to widows, ensuring fairness and proper care. Additionally, 1 Timothy 5:3-16 provides guidelines on how to support widows, emphasizing the church’s responsibility to care for those who are truly in need.


The consistent biblical theme of caring for widows challenges us as Christians to reflect God’s compassion and justice in our own lives. The teachings and actions of both the Old Testament and Jesus emphasize that we are to protect and provide for the vulnerable among us. James 1:27 encapsulates this call to action: “Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

As followers of Christ, we are called to emulate His compassion, generosity, and advocacy for justice. By caring for widows and others in need, we reflect God’s heart and demonstrate the transformative power of His love in our communities. Let us strive to be a church that actively supports and uplifts the vulnerable, fulfilling God’s command to be their defenders and protectors.

As Christians, we are reminded of our duty to embody Christ’s love through acts of kindness and support. Let us commit to being instruments of God’s grace, providing comfort and aid to those who are struggling. By doing so, we not only fulfill a biblical mandate but also demonstrate the transformative power of God’s love in our communities.

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