In the Jubilee text of Leviticus 25, regarding "untrimmed vines" and other matters, God commands:
You shall count off seven weeks of years—seven times seven years—so that the period of seven weeks of years gives you a total of forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the horn loud; in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month—the Day of Atonement—you shall have the horn sounded throughout your land and you shall hallow the fiftieth year. You shall proclaim release throughout the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: each of you shall return to his holding and each of you shall return to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you: you shall not sow, neither shall you reap the aftergrowth or harvest the untrimmed vines, for it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you: you may only eat the growth direct from the field. . . . Do not wrong one another, but fear your God; for I the Lord am your God.The nearest redeemer, closest kin had the responsibility of redeeming his kinsman's lost opportunities. Personal note: "lost opportunities," for whatever reason, is exactly what I need to get bought back!
If your kinsman is in straits and has to sell part of his holding, his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his kinsman has sold.
Continuing with the topic: If a person was forced into slavery, his redeemer purchased his freedom. In the case of overwhelming debt, the kinsman stepped in to redeem his homestead and let the family live.
Another note from me: in Hebrew culture, "debt" and "Sin" essentially are synonymous.
More from the actual notes: If a family member died without an heir the kinsman married the widow and grew a son in order to hand down his name to future generations (Deuteronomy 25:5-6; Genesis 38:8; Ruth 3-4). In case of murder, the redeemer acted as blood avenger and pursued the killer (Numbers 35:12-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-3). Originally kinsman marriage applied only to brothers, but by Ruth's time it had extended to any close relative.
Another word: reclaim, get back, regain, retrieve, recover, repossess, recoup, rescue - notice all those "re" words, and they all have economic implications!
The Kinsperson Redeemer:
- Had to be close kin, near relative to the one needing redemption.
- Had to be able to pay the ransom or redemption price in full—to "possess the ability to redeem."
- Had to be willing to redeem the fallen relative out of love and free will as an act of grace; he couldn't be coerced or forced.
- Had to be free and unbounded himself
The English words "kinsman" (Ruth 3:9) and "redeemer" (Job 19:25) both translate the Hebrew goel. The word means "to set free" and has two different meanings:
- To redeem or buy back what was lost.
- To require blood, to avenge—only someone near of kin could seek vengeance.
Related to the familiar agora/town square/marketplace, the word agorazo means "to buy," or "to buy in the bazaar"; exagorazo means, "to buy out of the marketplace" with the intention the person so purchased might never return to such a state of slavery again, so that unbounded liberty became a permanent state of being: *delivered* from bondage into freedom.
- Leviticus 25:25
- Job 19:25 Though Job complained that no one came to redeem him, he still proclaimed Yahweh would be his Goel/Redeemer! "As for me, I know that my redeemer (kinsman) lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth" (Job 19:25).
- Ruth 4:3-6 Boaz redeemed Ruth
Go on over to the groc store and redeem your cents-off (is that all you get?!) coupon!
Ransom; release; deliverance; liberation