Names of God: Goel

The term Goel drives from the Hebrew word lig’ol.

The term means to redeem or redeemer.

“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”  {Isaiah 41:14, NIV}

Boaz was Naomi’s kinsman redeemer

The authorized version of the Bible translates this word into kinsman. This is derived from the Jewish law in which the next closest relative has the right to “redeem and repurchase, as well as avenge blood”.  If you remember the story of Ruth, Boaz is referred to as her kinsman redeemer.

However, the kinsman not only has the right as in the book of Ruth to purchase land and marry widow, but also to avenge blood. {Ruth 3:12, 4:1, 6:8}

Joshua 20:5 says, “If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought.”

Other duties include:

Redeem from slavery and receive restitution:   “they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves.”   {Leviticus 25:48-49}

Marry brother’s widow: “If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. 6The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.”   {Deuteronomy 25:5-6}

Defend Killing: “This is the rule concerning anyone who kills a person and flees there for safety–anyone who kills a neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought.”   {Deuteronomy 19:4} and  “Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise.”   Psalm 119:154

Of course, the ultimate goel or redeemer is Jesus Christ, who served as the Passover lamb and died to redeem our sins.

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”   {Job 19:25}

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