George Athas gathas at
Wed Aug 25 22:17:58 EDT 1999

Matthew Anstey wrote:

> GDay all,
> What do people think of the translation of go'el in Ruth as
> kinsman-redeemer? What are the arguments fro and against this, and what are
> other options? Is perhaps "kinsman" a simpler alternative? Thanks for your
> opinions.

A go'el was not just a kinsman, but someone who would act as a legal representative and/or avenger
for another person. A go'el was legally the equivalent of his kinsman whom he represented. Thus,
the go'el in Ruth is not just a kinsman (ie, a relative), but a legal position and relationship.
This is always what a go'el is, especially in the legal portions of the Torah and in Job 19:25.

Best regards.
 Dept of Semitic Studies,
 University of Sydney
Tel Dan Inscription Website is at

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