Word Studies

The Examination of Biblical Words in Their Context

by James T. Bartsch

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." Ruth 3:9

The Duties of a Relative Redeemer

(ga’al) or (goel) (1350)

Redeem the Property of a Relative to Keep it in the Family

Leviticus 25:25
25  'If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold.

Exact Vengeance for the Murder of a Relative

Deuteronomy 19:11-13
11  "But if there is a man who hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up against him and strikes him so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities,
12  then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
13  "You shall not pity him, but you shall purge the blood of the innocent from Israel, that it may go well with you.

Marry a Dead Brother’s Son-less Widow to Perpetuate the Deceased Brother’s Name

Deuteronomy 25:5-10
5  "When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her.
6  "It shall be that the firstborn whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.
7  "But if the man does not desire to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.'
8  "Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, 'I do not desire to take her,'
9  then his brother's wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare, 'Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.'
10  "In Israel his name shall be called, 'The house of him whose sandal is removed.'

(Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.)

Updated April 2, 2014

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