DAUGHTER-IN-LAW The wife of one's son. Famous daughters-in-law include Sarah, daughter-in-law of Terah (Genesis 11:31); Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah (Genesis 38:11,Genesis 38:16; 1 Chronicles 2:4); and Ruth, daughter-in-law of Naomi (Ruth 2:20,Ruth 2:22; Ruth 4:15). Daughters-in-law might be addressed simply as daughter (Ruth 2:2,Ruth 2:8,Ruth 2:22). Marriage made them an integral member of the family. Ruth was hailed as more to Naomi than seven sons (Ruth 4:15). The breakdown of the relationship between mother-in-laws and daughters-in-law illustrated the collapse of moral society (Micah 7:6). In the New Testament, differing responses to the gospel created the same breakdown of relationship (Matthew 10:35; Luke 12:53). Jewish law prohibited incest between a man and his daughter-in-law (Leviticus 18:15). This crime was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:12). In Ezekiel 22:11 this crime illustrates the moral decline of the nation. See Family.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.