peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Thu Aug 26 19:37:41 EDT 1999

I wonder if the best single English equivalent might be "guardian". In 
English, normally only an orphaned child would have a guardian 
(commonly a close relative), but in some cultures an orphan's 
guardian's responsibilities continue at least until the orphan is 
married. This is not so far from the situation in Ruth.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Kinsman-redeemer
Author:  gathas at at internet
Date:    25/08/1999 21:17

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 a
This is always what a go'el is, especially in the legal portions of the Torah an
in Job 19:25.

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

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