b-greek-digest V1 #660
b-greek-digest Tuesday, 11 April 1995 Volume 01 : Number 660
In this issue:
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 00:30:44 -0400
Subject: Re: Redeemer
Terry A. Larm (firstname.lastname@example.org ) asked us
last week (4/8/95) the following question......
>My question is more theological, but it's the
>Greek that is confusing me. GO'EL can be used
>of God as a kinsman-redeemer. Isaiah 63:16
>especially seems to be using GO'EL to say
>that God is Israel's kinsman-redeemer. But I
>cannot find the kinsman-redeemer motif in the
>New Testament. If it is, and someone out
>there can point me to it I would be happy. If
>it is not, I am wondering why not? Could it
>be because the LXX makes no distinction
>between GO'EL and PADA or KOPER. Atonement
>and ransom seem to be present in the New
>Testament, but not kinsman-redeemer (or even
Terry, my Hebrew isn't the greatest, but since no one has addressed your
question, I thought I'd challenge myself here and venture to give you what
help I could.
From what I can tell, it seems that GO'EL doesn't always carry the
connotation of "acting as a kinsman", or as "Kinsman-Redeemer". It generally
means "Redeemer", and carries the kinsman connotation in certain contexts--
depending on what is redeemed and who redeems it.
GO'EL as "Kinsman-Redeemer" of property/woman is clearly found in Lev
25:25 and in Ruth 2:20; 3:9,12; 4:1-14;
In Num 5:8 a Kinsman (GO'EL) can make restitution.
In Num 35:12 the Kinsman (GO'EL) is an Avenger of Blood!
and 1 Kings 16:11 I think GO'EL may mean simple "Kinsman".
The verb GA'AL (to redeem) occurs _with_ a kinsman doing the redeeming in
Ruth 3:13 (a kinsman's widow); Lev 25:48,49 (a relative from slavery); Lev 25:
26,33 (a field-- also in Ruth 4:4,6).
However, GA'AL occurs _without_ the "kinsman" concept in many instances,
as in redeeming property (Lev 27:13-31), or God's redeeming individuals (from
death Ps 103:4; Lam 3:58; Hos 13:14) and orphans (Pr 23:11; Jer 50:34; etc);
Israel from slavery (Ex 6:6; 15:3; Ps 74:2; etc) and from exile (Is 43:1;
44:22,23; 48:20; 52:9; 63:9; Mic 4:10 etc). Also one can redeem one's self
Isaiah particularly loves to call God GO'EL: Is 41:14; 43:14; 44:6,24;
47:4; 48:17; 49:7,26; 54:5,8; 59:20; 60:16; 63:16.
In all these instances there is the idea of Yahweh redeeming Israel from
exile. [and Israel is called Ge' WULIM (redeemed ones).].
Yahweh as Father the Redeemer of Israel in 63:16 isn't necessarily
"Kinsman-Redeemer", but it could be.
However, God as Kinsman-Redeemer is clearly found in Is 54:5,8 Yahweh is
a husband redeeming a wife who was a widow (54:4) or an abandoned wife
Your comments about the LXX usage are accurate.
Now to the NT. I was hard pressed to find anywhere in the NT where
kinsman and redeemer had a connection. There were two passages that I
thought were close.
1 Tim 2:5,6 reads "there is also one mediator [MESITHS] between God and
human being, the human being Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom [ANTILU
TRON] for all".
This is the only occurance of ANTILUTRON in the NT. I cite it because
Christ is mentioned as a "mediator" who is a "human being", ie related to us.
Christ is the GO' EL as well as the KePHER (GR: LUTRON).
It is believed that the [Dt-]Pauline author patterned this verse (a
hymn?) on Mk 10:45 "The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to
give his life a ransom [LUTRON] for many", where "Son of man" is emphasized
by 1 Timothy as Christ Jesus' relationship to us as a human being.
John 8:36 states "Then if the Son sets you free [ELEUTHERWSH], you shall
be free [ELEUTHEROI] indeed."
Here we have a _son_ setting free those who are "children of Abraham", a
redeeming by a relative? However, ELEUTHEROW (to set free) and LUTROW (to
free by ransom) may be close in meaning, but they are not exactly the same.
End of b-greek-digest V1 #660
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