April 29, 2024

What is a Kinsman Redeemer?

The book of Ruth is a fascinating and enthralling narrative - one drawing us into the story of redemption and the grafting of Gentiles into the family of God. It begins with the family of Naomi, an Israelite woman who finds herself in a tough situation, as both her sons and husband pass away. Left with no family, and in a foreign land, Naomi decides to leave the country of Moab and head back to Bethlehem. She heard the LORD had come to the aid of her people in Bethlehem by providing food and decided to make the journey back home with her daughters-in-law.


Tonderai Bassoppo-Moyo

Associate Pastor

However, upon reflection, she decides it would be better for her daughters-in-law to remain in Moab and make lives for themselves there, as she was returning to Judah with nothing. It is through this encounter that we are introduced to the character of Ruth and her tenacity to remain with Naomi in which she makes this declaration in Ruth 1:16 (NIV): “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” This courageous act would soon place her in the annals of biblical history and the genealogy of the Messiah.

How does this come about? Intro a legal term known as the Kinsman Redeemer. To understand this, we have to go back to Leviticus 25:

“‘Throughout the land that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land. If one of your fellow Israelites becomes poor and sells some of their property, their nearest relative is to come and redeem what they have sold. If, however, there is no one to redeem it for them but later on they prosper and acquire sufficient means to redeem it themselves, they are to determine the value for the years since they sold it and refund the balance to the one to whom they sold it; they can then go back to their own property. But if they do not acquire the means to repay, what was sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and they can then go back to their property.’” ‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭25‬:‭24‬-‭28‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

A kinsman redeemer was a close relative who bought property in the event that a family became poor, or if a male family member died and left no son to inherit the land. This was done to protect the inheritance and made sure the poor relative would not be left destitute. In the case of death, the close relative was commanded to take the widow as his wife to provide a son to carry on the deceased father’s name. Naomi indicates (Ruth 2:20) that one such kinsman redeemer (or guardian redeemer) in their family was Boaz. Because he had already shown great kindness to Ruth, Naomi and Ruth came together to formulate a plan to draw Boaz’s full attention to the need for this role to be filled. Their plan works - Ruth makes known to Boaz her desire for him to act as kinsman redeemer (Ruth 3:9) and Boaz fulfills this role, showing great compassion and loving-kindness.

In the tale of Ruth, we can notice there is hardly any mention of God saying or doing anything. Yet, we can see His hand directing the events that unfold. Ruth is a Moabite woman. She has not grown up with the law, nor any knowledge of God, beyond what the family she married into have told her. Yet she personifies the woman written about in Proverbs 31. She is described as a Godly woman. In fact, the very language used to describe the Proverbs 31 woman of character whose “works praise her in the gates” (in Proverbs 31:31) is used regarding Ruth in 3:11, which reads “all the gate of my people knows that you are a woman of worth.”

Ruth bore a son - a son from which the royal lineage would grow. Not only was King David born out of this line as Ruth’s great-grandson, but the greatest king would eventually come from her line and this story of redemption. King Jesus is a descendant of Boaz & Ruth!

Ruth is a story of redemption, one with great foreshadowing at play. Jesus came and redeemed a bride for himself - the church. Just like Ruth, we were strangers with our intended, alienated from God. We had no access to His promises. We were destitute, with nothing to offer. Yet, just as Boaz saw a worthy woman, Christ saw us as worthy to die for. Though Ruth came from a family that had turned their back on God, He turned His face toward Ruth through Boaz. As a people, while we had gone astray and turned our backs on God, through His Son Jesus Christ, God turned His face towards us. Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer, who paid the bridal price for us and satisfied our debt so we would not have to lose our inheritance. The debt He paid, such a great debt it was, was only possible through God’s loving-kindness and compassionate grace. Jesus Christ is the ultimate kinsman redeemer.

· 6 min read
What Are We Looking For in the Tabernacle?

The construction of the tabernacle found in Exodus can be one of those sections of scripture that can be easy for us to simply skim through, as a new covenant believing American Gentile. We are thousands of years removed from the culture, tools, materials, and measurements. What does acacia wood look like? How many feet are in a cubit? I didn’t even know you could weave thread from goat hair. Furthermore, the significance of the fixtures and furniture commanded by God to be constructed for consecration and worship are incredibly alien to us who worship God in renovated buildings with screens and speakers. In light of all this, we tend to exegete, or interpret the meaning or application of these chapters in Scripture, in one of two ways:


David Terry

Executive Worship Pastor

· 6 min read
What Does it Mean to Desecrate the Sabbath?

Exodus 31:14
You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people.


Sarah Blount

Lead Pastor