2014-03-23 - The Work of the
Ruth ~ Part 29
First lets summarize the relevant passages. There are three factors
involved with the work of the redeemer. I am quoting here from both McGee
and MacArthur. The three factors are:
A close relative could redeem a family member sold into
If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes
rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien
living among you or to a member of the aliens clan, he retains the
right of redemption after he has sold himself. One of his relatives may redeem
him: An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in his clan may redeem him.
Or if he prospers, he may redeem himself
Now a man may have been in very unfortunate circumstances. He not
only lost his property, but perhaps due to drought and famine in the land,
his children are hungry and he sells himself into slavery in order to feed
he has a rich relative and one day
he sees that rich uncle coming down the road, taking his checkbook out of
his pocket. He says, Look, I dont want my nephew to be in
slavery, and he pays off the price of this mans slavery. He has
redeemed him, you see, and the man can go
Land that needed to be sold under economic hardship, 4
The land must not be sold permanently, because
the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country
that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the
If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some
of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman
has sold. If, however, a man has no one to redeem it for him but he himself
prospers and acquires sufficient means to redeem it, he is to determine the
value for the years since he sold it and refund the balance to the man to
whom he sold it; he can then go back to his own property. But if he does
not acquire the means to repay him, what he sold will remain in the possession
of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee,
and he can then go back to his property
Now lets see that in operation. When these people came into
the land God gave them the Promised Land; it was theirs. But they occupied
it only as they were faithful to God.
God put them in the land according
to tribes. A certain tribe had a certain section of the land.
each family within each tribe had a particular plot of land. He could never
leave it. But suppose he becomes poor. Perhaps hes had two or three
years of crop failure.
And a man has to get rid of his land. Now he
has a rich neighbor who sees the opportunity to take a mortgage.
suppose he has a rich relative, a cousin for example, and that rich cousin
is moved toward him, and wants to help him. Well, that rich cousin can come
right in and pay the mortgage off, and restore it to the owner
And the family name by virtue of a levirate marriage. 6
If brothers are living together and one of them
dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her
husbands brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty
of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name
of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from
However, if a man does not want to marry his brothers
wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, My
husbands brother refuses to carry on his brothers name in Israel.
He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me. Then the elders
of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, I
do not want to marry her, his brothers widow shall go up to him
in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face
and say, This is what is done to the man who will not build up his
brothers family line. That mans line shall be known in
Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled
To the provision of the kinsman-redeemer she (Naomi) links a further
levitical provision of what is called levirate marriage (from
the Latin word Levir, meaning brother-in-law). This refers to the provision
in Jewish law for a man to marry the widow of his deceased brother if no
heir has been born. The widow was not to remarry outside the family, but
the brother of the deceased husband was to raise up an heir for his dead
brother so that his name might be perpetuated and his family inheritance
continue to be possessed. 7
Does this sound familiar? Jesus got into a discussion with the Sadducees
of this aspect of the Law, when they were trying to make him look bad.
Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,
came to him with a question. Teacher, they said, Moses
wrote for us that if a mans brother dies and leaves a wife but no children,
the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there
were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children.
The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It
was the same with the third. In fact, none of the seven left any children.
Last of all, the woman died too. At the resurrection whose wife will she
be, since the seven were married to her?
Jesus replied, Are you not in error because you
do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they
will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels
in heaven. Now about the dead rising have you not read in the
book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, I am
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not
the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!
To be continued.
MacArthur, John, Ruth & Esther, Word Publishing, Nashville, TN,
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee,
Vol. 2, Joshua-Psalms, Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville, TN 1982,
McGee, p. 104
Jackman, David, The Communicators Commentary, Vol.
7, Judges, Ruth, Word Books, Dallas, TX, 1997, p. 343.
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