From today and for the next couple of posts, we’re going to be talking about the concepts and duties of the Kinsman Redeemer.
The Kinsmen Redeemer had three different roles to fulfill.
We’ve already discussed the first role which was to rescue the land owned by a family member that was in danger of being lost to someone else or to rescue the family member himself from being sold into bond servitude.
Recall that in these situations, the TORAH provided for the Right of Redemption.
Either a family member (a kinsman redeemer) paid off the debt or if the person who had lost his land or had become a bond servant was somehow able to come up with enough money on his own, he rescued himself.
Now understand that it was considered the high duty of a family relative to redeem the land or purchase the bond servant’s freedom
Usually it was the CLOSEST family relative who took on the role of Kinsman Redeemer.
However, if the closest family relative didn’t have the financial means to step in and become a kinsman redeemer, then the duty fell to the next closest family member in line.
And if that family member didn’t have the means, then the duty fell to the next closest family member in line and so on.
Recall that the Kinsman Redeemer didn’t get to keep the land he had redeemed, or if he had rescued a relative from bond servitude, the rescued family member didn’t then become the kinsman redeemer’s bondservant.
However, out of simply pure gratitude, the rescued relative could offer to stay under the authority of the Kinsman Redeemer who had paid for his freedom.
But per the law, the Kinsman Redeemer was to receive no personal benefit from his LEGALLY REQUIRED acts of kindness.
It was the rescued family member who received all the benefits and got his land or his freedom back.
Let’s take a look at the two other roles a Kinsman Redeemer fulfilled.
The second role was that of an AVENGER.
If a family member was “killed”, it was the duty of the kinsman redeemer to hunt down the killer and avenge his death.
Here’s the thing.
It didn’t really matter whether the killing of the family member was accidental or premeditated murder, or even a tragic accident that happened in the heat of a violent fight.
Regardless of how the death occurred, it was the Kinsman Redeemer’s high duty to track down the person responsible for the death of the family member and take his life in revenge.
Although I’m getting ahead of myself, the main purpose of the 40 Levite cities in Israel was to serve as places of refuge from a kinsman redeemer hell-bent on revenge.
These places were to serve as safe-havens for the person who had “unintentionally” killed somebody.
A person who had committed pre-medidated murder was not afforded sanctuary.
There was a board of elders in each city appointed for the very purpose of judging whether a fleeing refugee should be granted sanctuary or not.
The key point you need to remember is that sanctuary was NOT about “guilt” or “innocence” per say.
It was about protection from the avenging Kinsman Redeemer.
Finally, the 3rd purpose of the Kinsman Redeemer was to step in and marry a female family member who had lost her husband to death if she had not yet given birth to a son for her now-deceased husband.
The point here is that the Kinsman Redeemer was to impregnate the childless widow so that she would have a son who would carry on the NAME of the deceased husband, in order that the husband’s name and line would not be ended.
In this case, rather than donating money, the Kinsman Redeemer was donating his sperm.
And again, in every one of these cases, the Kinsman Redeemer gained nothing.
He didn’t gain land, a bond servant, or even a son (per the last example).
This discussion of the Kinsman Redeemer will be continued from the next post when we start discussing the connections to Yeshua who is considered to be our Kinsman Redeemer.