What did Boaz mean by "do the part of a kinsmen"?


Ruth 3:13

NKJV - 13 "Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you - good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives! Lie down until morning."

Clarify Share Report Asked June 19 2015 1420468925 virginia watts

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The kinsman-redeemer was a male relative who, according to various passages in the Mosaic Law, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The title kinsman-redeemer designated one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6), or who redeems property or person (Leviticus 25:47-55 and Leviticus 27:9-25).

In the book of Ruth, Ruth (who was a Moabite by birth, rather than an Israelite) and her mother-in-law Naomi returned to Bethlehem (the original home of Naomi, her husband, and their two sons, one of whom had been Ruth's husband) from Moab where they had been living. Naomi’s husband and both of her sons had died, leaving the women penniless and without a male protector.

Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Naomi sent Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi. Naomi instructed Ruth on how to go about making an appeal to Boaz as their kinsman-redeemer to marry Ruth and raise a family with her (Ruth 3:1-11), in order to assure that the local property that had been owned by Naomi's husband and sons would remain in the family.

In the passage being asked about, Boaz (in response to Ruth's appeal to him) expressed his willingness to take on the role of the kinsman-redeemer. However, there was another local man who was more closely related to Naomi than Boaz was, and Boaz had to seek that man's agreement to give up his own rights as the kinsman-redeemer.

Boaz spoke with the man in question in the presence of witnesses (Ruth 4:1-8), inquiring as to his interest in acquiring the piece of local land that had belonged to Ruth's husband, which would involve marrying Ruth as well in order to assure that the property would remain in Naomi's family. 

However, the man said that he could not take on this role, since it would affect the rights to the inheritance that he planned to pass on to his own two sons. He therefore gave up his rights as the kinsman-redeemer for Naomi and Ruth in the presence of the witnesses, and transferred those rights to Boaz.

Boaz subsequently married Ruth, and they had a son (Obed), who later became the grandfather of King David. As such, they were part of David's family line through which Jesus was later born as the Messiah, as God had promised David, and as had also subsequently been predicted through the prophets of the Old Testament. 

In performing the role of the kinsman-redeemer, Boaz was a forerunner of the role that would later be accomplished by Christ in the New Testament (as noted in the epistle to the Hebrews), since Christ redeemed us from the consequences of sin in a manner that only He -- as both true God and true man, whose humanity makes him our brother (Hebrews 2:11), and whose deity makes him the kinsman-redeemer of all who place their faith in him -- could accomplish.

June 20 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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