Redeemer?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jbergsing

Puritan Board Sophomore
Ruth 3:9:
  • "He said, "Who are you?" And she answered, "I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer."(ESV)
  • "He said, "Who are you?" And she answered, "I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative." (NASB)
I've never examined Ruth before today. This popped out at me so I have to ask: When Ruth calls Boaz, a close relative, a "redeemer" (ESV), is she implying there was an extension to other relatives in the custom of levirate marriage? Having read the story through, it makes sense to me.
 
Last edited:

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't believe Boaz was under any obligation to marry her, however. He was being gracious to her as there would have been no shame in not marrying her.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The social convention of levirate marriage, clearly in evidence even among the patriarchs, continued to evolve into a social institution among the Israelite nation, even to the point that God incorporates provisions for it in the Mosaic code.

We can only draw out some of the goel, or "redeemer" principles, because there is no elaborate treatment of the institution preserved in or out of the holy records. But as expressed in Moses and the Hebrew culture, it certainly was utilized as a type of the Messiah to come.

I plan to post something I wrote on Ruth in the "Theological Journal" forum, and link to it from this page, hopefully to address this question, and other questions related to the goel. Suffice to say for now that the OT book "Ruth" indicates, to my reading, that by a transition from convention (in the loose sociology of the patriarchal era) to institution (in the sociology of a complex civilizational order) the goel came to be an office of sorts.

By way of illustration, consider the role of "avenger of blood," part of the goel responsibilities. Unless this was a recognized office, chaos and mayhem would naturally result, as clan-based feuds tore the whole society apart, if anyone could simply declare himself "the avenger." As we read in Ruth, there is a definite "hierarchy" of rank (determined by what we may not tell), but which must be publicly acknowledged when transferred.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Here is the article.

Note: this was written for a seminary class. This is not a popular treatment, ESPECIALLY part 1.

Parts 2-3 are much more relevant to the board, but I left the first part attached for completeness.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top