The kinsman-redeemer serves as a Messianic type, the gō’ēl who fulfills the following qualifications and functions of his kinsmen:

  1. be must be a blood relative (even as Christ became a blood relative of man by the virgin birth);

  2. he must have the money to purchase the forfeited inheritance (4:10—even as Christ alone had the merit to pay the price for sinners);

  3. he must be willing to buy back that forfeited inheritance (4:9—even as Christ laid down His life on His own volition);

  4. he must be willing to marry the wife of a deceased kinsman (4:10— typical of the bride and groom relationship between Christ and His church). From this standpoint, therefore, the little book of Ruth is one of the most instructive in the Old Testament concerning the mediatorial work of the Lord Jesus.

The kinsman-redeemer four responsibilities (cf. Ruth 2:20, note):

  1. if a kinsman was forced to sell his property, he was to redeem it (v. 25);

  2. if a kinsman became a slave, he was to redeem him or her (vv. 47-49);

  3. if a kinsman died without an heir, he was to redeem his name by marrying the widow and rearing a son (Deut 25:5-10; cf. Matt 22:24; Mark 12:19; Luke 20:28);

  4. if a kinsman was slain, it was his sacred duty to act as the avenger of blood (Num 35:9-28).

The common denominator of all four circumstances is simply that the kinsman-redeemer did for his relative what that relative could not do for himself. It is also significant that, in the Scriptures, the kinsman-redeemer serves as a type of Christ.