What was a guardian-redeemer?


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What was a guardian-redeemer?
=============================
Ruth 2:20; 3:12;
4:3–6

A guardian-redeemer was a close, influential relative to whom
members of the
extended family could turn for help, usually when the family
line or
possessions were in danger of being lost. He was responsible for
buying back
family land sold during a crisis (see Lev 25:25), buying back
enslaved
relatives (see Lev 25:47–49), providing an heir for a dead brother
(see Dt
25:5–10), avenging the killing of a relative (see Nu 35:19–21) and caring for
relatives in difficult circumstances (see Jer 32:6–25).

The
idea of the guardian-redeemer is also used at times to refer to God and
his redemption of Israel (see Ex 6:6–8; Job 19:25; Ps 19:14; 69:18; Isa 43:1).
In
these passages, God is Israel’s nearest redeemer, stepping in to bring
the
nation back into his family when the people could not do it
themselves.

The word guardian-redeemer finds ultimate fulfillment in the
coming of the
Messiah (see Isa 59:20). Jesus is our near guardian who came to
buy us back
into God’s family. In the New Testament the concept is reflected
in the
various words for redeem, which suggest paying a ransom, making a
purchase or
saving from loss.

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