The root for the word go’el is used in specific situations regarding the things a righteous man would do for his near-kinsman:
- Repurchase a field which was sold in time of need (that is, buy back the property of a relative that had fallen into debt (Lev 25:25 ff))
- Free an Israelite slave who sold himself in time of poverty (Lev 25:48ff)
- Avenge the blood for a murdered close relative. The next of kin must effect the payment of life for life. The kinsman is the avenger of blood, called go’el haddam.
From the idea of the human "go'el" as a redeemer of his kinsmen in their troubles, there are to be found many allusions to YHVH as the Divine Go'el, redeeming His people from their woes (compare Ex. 6:6, 15:13; Ps. 72:2), and of the people themselves becoming the "redeemed" ones of YHVH (Ps. 107:2; Isa. 62:12).
In the Psalms and prophets God is described as Israel's Redeemer who will stand up for his people and vindicate them. Since God is considered “near kin” or owner of Israel, a redemption price (or ransom) is included in the idea of redemption (see Isa. 43:1-3).
References: Job 19:25; Ps. 19:14; 78:35; Prov. 23:11; Isa. 41:14; 43:14; 44:6, 24; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7, 26; 54:5, 8; 59:20; 60:16; 63:16; Jer. 50:34.
References: Lev. 25:26; Num. 5:8; 35:19, 21, 24f, 27; Deut. 19:6, 12; Jos. 20:5, 9; Ruth 3:9, 12; 4:14; 2 Sam. 14:11; Isa. 49:7. The role of the near kinsmen is depicted beautifully in the book of Ruth.
The Redeemer of Israel
The Redeemer of Israel.
Reference: Isa. 49:7.
The Avenger of blood
Avenger of blood; blood avenger; (1 Sam. 6:20).
YHVH my Rock and Redeemer
Adonai Tsuri v’go’ali.
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14[5-H]]).