In the ancient world, ensuring a family line was absolutely necessary for security and survival. What else could a person leave behind? Books and writings? Probably not. Money? Yes, the family property might insure prosperity for a generation or two. Sons and daughters? Definitely. Without heirs, why accumulate an estate?
Descendants, especially sons, were all important. They perpetuated the family’s name. They carried on the family’s story to another generation at a time when memory was a matter of the mind, not a computer chip.
RUTH 4:11-12 – 11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.