From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

This is a sweet and precious name when applied to the person of the Lord Jesus, and full of very blessed signification as relating to the church of God in him. In order to enter into a proper apprehension of its delightful meaning, it will be necessary to remark, that sometimes the same word which we translate kinsman is also translated Redeemer. Thus  Ruth 4:14 "Naomi saith, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman. (Goel.)" In the margin of the Bible the same word Goel is translated Redeemer; therefore, the sense is, hath not left thee this day without a Redeemer. So again  Job 19:25 "For I know that my Redeemer liveth," In the original it is the same word Goel, meaning kinsman, Redeemer. So once more, ( Isaiah 44:6) the same word Goel, which is rendered kinsman in Ruth, is rendered Redeemer here.—"Thus saith the Lord, king of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts." Hence, therefore, from these and the like passages, it is blessed to see that one and the same person is all along spoken of under both characters, our kinsman, Redeemer. Having premised these things by way of illustration, it will be proper next to enquire, what was the special relation and duty of the kinsman in the church of God, and how was the office to be performed. To answer this enquiry it should be observed, that the right of redemption belonged to this kinsman, for thus the law enjoined: "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold." ( Leviticus 25:25) And hence we find in the case of Ruth the Moabitess, the right of redemption founded upon this law was first proposed to the kinsman that was nearest of kin, and upon his refusal Boaz claimed the privilege as the next of kin. The reader may see this stated at large very particularly  Ruth 4:1-12. Now then we come to the marrow of the whole subject, as it relates to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ in the redemption, of our nature. Jesus, by virtue of taking our nature, becomes the nearest of kin to our nature, and is, to all intents and purposes, our Goel, our kinsman, Redeemer. He is the brother born for adversity, and is not ashamed to call us brethren. Now as Jesus's poor brother, our whole nature was waxen poor, and had by sin and rebellion sold away some of our possession, and had both brought our souls into captivity and mortgaged our inheritance, to him alone belonged the right of redemption for both; and Jesus hath fully and completely redeemed both. Hence he hath proved himself to be our Goel in the full sense of the word, our kinsman, and our Redeemer, and our kinsman-Redeemer; and very blessed it is to know the Lord Jesus Christ in those united characters. Job found it so in an eminent degree; and so ought all the faithful. "I know (said he) that my (Goel, my kinsman) Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold for myself, and not another for me." ( Job 19:25-26) Reader! if you can join the man of Uz in this precious testimony, and his creed and your creed on this great point are the same, you will enter into the beauty and blessedness of this relationship of kinsman as belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ, and enjoy the privilege of it in your heart.

See Brother.

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

Certain obligations were laid on the kinsman. In the case of an untimely death of a husband without a son, the law of levirate marriage becomes operative—that is, the husband's brother was obligated to raise up a male descendant for his deceased brother and thus perpetuate the deceased's name and inheritance. The living brother was the dead brother's goel—his redeemer ( Genesis 38:8;  Deuteronomy 25:5-10;  Ruth 3:9-12 ). See Levirate Law .

The kinsman was also the blood avenger. A wrong done to a single member of the family was considered a crime against the entire tribe or clan. The clan had an obligation, therefore, to punish the wrongdoer. In the case of a murder committed, the kinsman should seek vengeance. According to the imagery of ancient people, the blood of the murdered man cried up from the ground for vengeance, and the cry was heard loudest by that member of the clan who stood nearest to the dead in kinship; therefore, the closest of kin followed through with the blood avenger responsibility (compare  Genesis 4:1-16 , especially  Genesis 4:10 ). See Vengeance

The kinsman was also responsible to redeem the estate which his nearest relative might have sold because of poverty ( Leviticus 25:25;  Ruth 4:4 ). It was the kinsman's responsibility also to ransom a kinsman who may have sold himself ( Leviticus 25:47-48 ).

The Old Testament Book of Ruth is the most striking example of a kinsman who used his power and Jewish law to redeem. Boaz demonstrated one of the duties of the kinsman—that of marrying the widow of a deceased kinsman. A correlation is sometimes made between the redemption of Ruth by Boaz and the redemption of sinners by Christ. See Avenger; Cities Of Refuge; Redemption RedeemerRedeem .

Gary Bonner

Easton's Bible Dictionary [3]

  • The goel also was the avenger (q.v.) of blood ( Numbers 35:21 ) in the case of the murder of the next of kin.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Kinsman'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

    Beside the common signification of this term for a male relative, it is used typically in reference to the Lord Jesus in His relationship with Israel. As their kinsman He has the right of redemption, and will undertake their cause in a future day, as Boaz did the cause of Naomi and Ruth.  Ruth 2 —   Ruth 4 .

    Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [5]

     Ruth 4:14 (c) This may be taken as a type of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ who bought us with His Blood and has taken us to be His bride.

    King James Dictionary [6]

    KINS'MAN, n. kin and man. A man of the same race or family one related by blood.

    Webster's Dictionary [7]

    (n.) A man of the same race or family; one related by blood.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

    Of the four Hebrew words thus translated in the A.V., three, שְׁאֵר ( Numbers 27:11; "kinswoman,"  Leviticus 18:12-13; elsewhere "kin," etc.; and so, שִׁאֲרָה , "kinswomen,"  Leviticus 18:17), מוֹדִע (literally Acquaintance, Ruth ii, 1), and קָרוֹב ( Psalms 38:12 [ 11];  Job 19:14, A.V. " kinsfolk," literally Near, as often), indicate simple relationship. The remaining one, גֹּאֵל , along with that, implies certain obligations arising out of that relationship. The term גֹּאֵל , goal', is derived by the lexicographers from the verb גָּאֵל , To Redeem. That the two are closely connected is certain, but whether the meaning of the verb is derived from that of the noun, or the converse, may be made matter of question. The comparison of the cognate dialects leads to the conclusion that the primary idea lying at the basis of both is that of coming to the help or rescue of one, hence giving protection, redeeming, avenging. In this case the גֹּאֵל of the O.T. would, in fundamental concept, answer pretty nearly to the Παράκλητος Or Paraclete of the N.T. The goal among the Hebrews was the nearest male blood relation alive. To him, as such, three rights specially belonged, and on him corresponding duties devolved towards his next of kin. (See Kindred).

    1. When an Israelite through poverty sold his inheritance and was unable to redeem it, it devolved upon one of his kin to purchase it ( Leviticus 25:25-28; Ruth 3; Ruth 4). So also, when an Israelite had through poverty sold himself into slavery, it devolved upon the next of kin, as his goel, to ransom him in the jubilee year ( Leviticus 25:47 sq.). (See Year Of Jubilee). In allusion to this, God is frequently represented as the goel of his people, both as he redeems them from temporal bondage ( Exodus 6:6;  Isaiah 43:1;  Isaiah 48:20;  Jeremiah 50:34, etc.) and from the bondage of sin and evil ( Isaiah 41:14;  Isaiah 44:6;  Isaiah 44:22;  Isaiah 49:7;  Psalms 103:4;  Job 19:25, etc.). In some of these passages there is an obvious Messianic reference, to which the fact that our redemption from sin has been effected by one who has become near of kin to us by assuming our nature gives special force (comp.  Hebrews 2:14). (See Redeemer).

    2. When an Israelite who had wronged any one sought to make restitution, but found that the party he had wronged was dead without leaving a son, it fell to the next of kin of the injured party, as his goel, to represent him and receive the reparation ( Numbers 5:6 sq.). The law provided that in case of his having no one sufficiently near of kin to act for him in this way, the property restored should go to the priest, as representing Jehovah, the King of Israel-a provision which the Jews say indicates that the law has reference to strangers, as " no Israelite could be without a redeemer, for if any one of his tribe was left he would be his heir" (Maimon. in Baba Kama, 9:11). (See Goel).

    3. The most striking office of the goel was that of acting as the avenger of blood in case of the murder of his next of kin; hence the phrase גּאֵל הִדָּם , The Blood Avenger. In the heart of man there seems to be a deeprooted feeling that where human life has been destroyed by violence the offence can be expiated only by the life of the murderer; hence, in all nations where the rights of individuals are not administered by a general executive acting under the guidance of law, the rule obtains that where murder has been committed the right and duty of retaliation devolves on the kindred of the murdered person. Among the Shemitic tribes this took the form of a personal obligation resting on the nearest of kin a custom which still prevails among the Arabs (Niebuhr, Des. D'Arabie, ch. 7). This deep- rooted feeling and established usage the Mosaic legislation sought to place under such regulations as would tend to prevent the excesses and disorders to which personal retaliation is apt to lead, without attempting to preclude the indulgence of it. (Mohammed also sought to bring the practice under restraint without forbidding it [see Koran, ii, 173-5; 17:33].) Certain cities of refuge were provided, to which the manslayer might endeavor to escape. If the goel overtook him before he reached any of these cities, he might put him to death; but if the fugitive succeeded in gaining the asylum, he was safe until at least an investigation had been instituted as to the circumstances of the murder. If on inquiry it was found that the party had been guilty of deliberate murder, the law delivered him up to the goel, to be put to death by him in any way he pleased; but if the murder was accl. dental, the manslayer was entitled to the protection of the asylum he had reached. (See City Of Refuge). He was safe, however, only within its precincts, for if the goal found him beyond these he was at liberty to kill him. Among some of the Oriental nations the right of blood-revenge might be satisfied by the payment of a sum of money, but this practice, which obviously gave to the rich an undue advantage over the poor in matters of this sort, the law of Moses absolutely prohibits ( Numbers 35:31). (See Blood-Revenge).

    From the narrative in Ruth 3, 4 it has been concluded that among the duties of the goel was that of marrying the widow of a deceased kinsman, so as to raise up seed to the deceased, thus identifying the office of the goel with that of the levi, as provided for in  Deuteronomy 25:5-10. (See Marriage). But the levirate law expressly limits the obligation to a brother, and, according to the Jewish commentators, to a full brother by the father's side (Maimonides, quoted by Otho, Lex. Rabbin. p. 372), and in this relation neither Boaz nor the other kinsman stood to Elimelech or his sons. It is further evident that the question was one of right rather than one of duty, and that the kinsman who waived his right incurred no disgrace thereby, such as one who declined to fulfil the levirate law incurred. The nearest kinsman had the right to redeem the land, and the redemption of the land probably involved the marrying of the widow of the deceased owner, according to usage and custom; but the law did not enjoin this, nor did the goil who declined to avail himself of his right come under any penalty or ban. The case of the goel and that of the levir would thus be the converse of each other: the goel had a right to purchase the land, but in so doing came under an obligation from custom to marry the widow of the deceased owner; the levir was bound to marry the widow of his deceased brother, which involved, as a matter of course, the redemption of his property if he had sold it (see Selden, De Success. in bon. defunct. c. 15; Benary, De Hebrceorumu Leviratu, p. 19 sq.; Bertheau, Exeyet. IIdb. zum A. T. pt. 6:p. 249; Michaelis, On the Laws of Moses, ii, 129 sq.) (See Levirate Law),