Mark O'Brien markus at
Mon Aug 30 09:39:51 EDT 1999


At 09:35 AM 8/30/99 +1000, you wrote:
>peter_kirk at wrote:
>> 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.
>That's one of the better suggestions, I think, Peter. However, 'guardian'
doesn't quite capture the
>full role of the go'el, who also acted as an avenger of blood. The go'el
had the following traits:
>(1) a relative
>(2) a guardian
>(3) a legal representative
>(4) an avenger of blood
>(5) a redeemer
>(6) a restorer of familial order
>I suggested "vindicator" to Matthew privately, but I wonder if "defender"
might also suffice? This
>takes in the idea of "guardian" which Peter suggested, but adds the role
of 'avenger' too.
>The difficulty in translating this word is that our language is not
adapted to an ancient culture
>and its social structures from 3000 years ago, so we'll always have some
deficiency in translating
>this. It is a label for a specific cultural role which we don't have in
our current western

I like the "vindicator" slant...  seems to me that this is how the word
functions in Job, particularly.



Revd. Mark B. O'Brien
Assoc. Pastor, Subiaco Church of Christ, Western Australia
Lecturer in Biblical Studies, South Perth Christian College 
                 (Sydney College of Divinity), Western Australia

markus at
"Knowing demands discipline! Knowing is not a weekend on a tropical beach!"
           -- Paulo Freire

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