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The best threshing floors involved rock outcrops on hilltops The hard surface was needed to keep the grain free of dirt and to facilitate sweeping up.

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Presentation on theme: "The best threshing floors involved rock outcrops on hilltops The hard surface was needed to keep the grain free of dirt and to facilitate sweeping up."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The best threshing floors involved rock outcrops on hilltops The hard surface was needed to keep the grain free of dirt and to facilitate sweeping up the grains at the end of the day The hilltop location was required to take advantage of the wind that would blow away the chaff when the threshold grain was tossed in the air with a fork, allowing the separated heavier kernels of grain to fall to the floor In the ancient near east, threshing floors where known places of illicit sexual behavior … realizing that the men would spend the night in the fields next to the piles of grain, prostitutes would go out to them and offer their services Ancient threshing floor

3 Hosea 9:1 – “Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute's wages on all threshing floors.” Hosea 9:1 – “Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute's wages on all threshing floors.” Sources:  Block, Daniel I. Judges, Ruth. The New American Commentary, 1999.  Bush, Frederick W. Ruth, Esther. Word Biblical Commentary, 1996.  Hubbard, Robert L. The Book of Ruth. New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1988.  James, Carolyn Curtis. The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules. 2008.  Ulrich, Dean R. From Famine to Fullness: The Gospel According to Ruth. 2007.  Younger, K. Larson. Judges/Ruth. NIV Application Commentary, 2002. Beatie, D.R.G. The Targum of Ruth. 1994. Beatie, D.R.G. The Targum of Ruth. 1994. Campbell, E. F. Ruth. Anchor Bible, 1990. Campbell, E. F. Ruth. Anchor Bible, 1990. Nielsen, K. Ruth: A Commentary. Old Testament Library, 1997. Nielsen, K. Ruth: A Commentary. Old Testament Library, 1997. Trible, P. God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality. 1977. Trible, P. God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality. 1977. Botterweck, G.J. and Ringgren, H. “Threshing Floor,” Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 1982. Botterweck, G.J. and Ringgren, H. “Threshing Floor,” Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 1982. Carmichael, C.M. “ ‘Treading’ in the Book of Ruth,” ZAW 92:248-266 (1980). Carmichael, C.M. “ ‘Treading’ in the Book of Ruth,” ZAW 92:248-266 (1980). Green, B. “The Plot of the Story of Ruth,” JSOT 23:161 (1982) Green, B. “The Plot of the Story of Ruth,” JSOT 23:161 (1982) Ryken, Leland and Longman, Tremper. “Sex,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. 1998. Ryken, Leland and Longman, Tremper. “Sex,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. 1998. Sakenfeld, Katharine. “At the Threshing Floor,” Old Testament Essays, 15:164-178 (2002). Sakenfeld, Katharine. “At the Threshing Floor,” Old Testament Essays, 15:164-178 (2002). Robertson, E. “The Plot of the Book of Ruth,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 32: 207-228 (1950). Robertson, E. “The Plot of the Book of Ruth,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 32: 207-228 (1950). Younger, K. Larson. “Two Comparative Notes on the Book of Ruth, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Society 26:121-132 (1998). Younger, K. Larson. “Two Comparative Notes on the Book of Ruth, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Society 26:121-132 (1998). Andersen, F.I. and Freedman, D. N. Hosea. Anchor Bible Commentary, 1996. Andersen, F.I. and Freedman, D. N. Hosea. Anchor Bible Commentary, 1996. Dearman, J. Andrew. The Book of Hosea. New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 2010. Dearman, J. Andrew. The Book of Hosea. New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 2010. Smith, Gary V. Hosea, Amos, Micah. NIV Application Commentary, 2001. Smith, Gary V. Hosea, Amos, Micah. NIV Application Commentary, 2001. Stuart, Douglas. Hosea-Jonah. Word Biblical Commentary, 1987. Stuart, Douglas. Hosea-Jonah. Word Biblical Commentary, 1987. Threshing Floor Associated with Licentiousness

4 Anders, Max and Phillips, W. Gary. Judges, Ruth. Holman Old Testament Commentary, 2004. Anders, Max and Phillips, W. Gary. Judges, Ruth. Holman Old Testament Commentary, 2004. Atkinson, David. The Wings of Refuge: The Message of Ruth, 1983. Atkinson, David. The Wings of Refuge: The Message of Ruth, 1983. Crabb, Larry. Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy. 2001. Crabb, Larry. Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy. 2001. Keil, C.F. and Delitzch, F. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. Commentary on the Old Testament Keil, C.F. and Delitzch, F. Joshua, Judges, Ruth. Commentary on the Old Testament Huey, F.B. Ruth. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1992. Huey, F.B. Ruth. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1992. LaCocque, Andre. Ruth. A Continental Commentary, 2004. LaCocque, Andre. Ruth. A Continental Commentary, 2004. Morris, Leon. Ruth. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 1968. Morris, Leon. Ruth. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 1968. Additional Ruth Sources

5 The narrator has deliberately created a scene riddled with sexual tension The narrator has deliberately created a scene riddled with sexual tension Not to spice up the story for the sake of sensationalism, but to drive home an important point Not to spice up the story for the sake of sensationalism, but to drive home an important point Namely, that God’s people are perpetually confronted with difficult situations and hard choices Namely, that God’s people are perpetually confronted with difficult situations and hard choices Will you be guided by self-interest or will hesed cause you to set aside self-interest and freely sacrifice for others? Will you be guided by self-interest or will hesed cause you to set aside self-interest and freely sacrifice for others? In every episode of the book of Ruth, one of more of the central characters face that kind of decision, and we repeatedly observe them going above and beyond what duty, custom, and the law required In every episode of the book of Ruth, one of more of the central characters face that kind of decision, and we repeatedly observe them going above and beyond what duty, custom, and the law required Facing Hard Choices

6 What happens at the threshing floor is as essential to the author’s purpose as what happened: What happens at the threshing floor is as essential to the author’s purpose as what happened: – On the Moabite highway between Ruth and Naomi – In the harvest scene when Boaz praised an impoverished widow who was gleaning – In the solemn civil hearing at the city gate At each of these points in the story, a moment of choice is presented to both actors and audience At each of these points in the story, a moment of choice is presented to both actors and audience At each of these points the choice is made in favor of what righteous living calls for At each of these points the choice is made in favor of what righteous living calls for Ruth and Boaz: People of Unmatched Integrity

7 Ancient Family Laws In every Israelite family, two issues were paramount: the survival of the family name and keeping family land in family hands In every Israelite family, two issues were paramount: the survival of the family name and keeping family land in family hands The family of Elimelech ran into trouble on both counts: The family of Elimelech ran into trouble on both counts: – Famine drove them off their land – The deaths of Elimelech and his two sons threatened the family with extinction Mosaic law, however, carried provisions to save a dying family and to protect ownership of “their” land Mosaic law, however, carried provisions to save a dying family and to protect ownership of “their” land

8 Theological Significance of the Land: A Stage for Mission In the Bible, the land (or earth) always belonged to God simply because He created it In the Bible, the land (or earth) always belonged to God simply because He created it Psalm 24:1-2 Psalm 24:1-2 “The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” Psalm 95:5 Psalm 95:5 “The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”

9 As rightful owner, God could give land to whomever He wished, whether for His people or the other nations As rightful owner, God could give land to whomever He wished, whether for His people or the other nations He promised the patriarchs all the land encompassed by the dimensions in Joshua 1:4 He promised the patriarchs all the land encompassed by the dimensions in Joshua 1:4 However, God forbade the Israelites to dispossess certain nations, including Moab, of the territory that He had allotted for them (Deut 2:9) However, God forbade the Israelites to dispossess certain nations, including Moab, of the territory that He had allotted for them (Deut 2:9) God gave all peoples a share in His creation God gave all peoples a share in His creation “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” (Deuteronomy 32:8) Theological Significance of the Land: A Stage for Mission

10 Neither the Israelites nor the nations ever assumed ultimate ownership of their divinely allotted land Neither the Israelites nor the nations ever assumed ultimate ownership of their divinely allotted land – YHWH gave the kings of the earth their momentary dominion and domains and then took them away (Daniel 2:21) – He held them accountable for whether they ruled for the good or hurt of others (Jeremiah 22:11-17; Amos 1:6-8) The Israelites were aliens and tenants on YHWH’s land. Land was a gift; a trust. As such, the land was not to be used only for personal advancement The Israelites were aliens and tenants on YHWH’s land. Land was a gift; a trust. As such, the land was not to be used only for personal advancement – God would bless Israel’s working of the land for the provision of their needs (Deuteronomy 9:7-9; 28:8) – But provision of needs and wants was not to consume Israel’s attention; instead, the land was to be the stage for ministry … an instrument of generosity – They were to use economics to address felt needs of one another and others with a view to gaining opportunities to discuss their beliefs, theology and ethics – This ministerial view of economics would get attention of people outside of Israel and promote conversation and even conversion God is Always the Ultimate Owner The Israelites faced the same challenges, hardships, and reversals as anyone else The Israelites faced the same challenges, hardships, and reversals as anyone else How they handled them (and those beset by them) would present a marked alternative to the business-as-usual and dog-eat-dog mentality of human commerce How they handled them (and those beset by them) would present a marked alternative to the business-as-usual and dog-eat-dog mentality of human commerce The bottom line was not supposed to be the bottom line! The bottom line was not supposed to be the bottom line!

11 The Kinsman-Redeemer (Go’el) The Go’el was the nearest adult male relative The Go’el was the nearest adult male relative He served as an advocate for any vulnerable and/or unfortunate clan member He served as an advocate for any vulnerable and/or unfortunate clan member His purpose was to correct any disruption to clan wholeness, well- being, or peace (especially through the redemption or restoration of property, persons, or lineage) His purpose was to correct any disruption to clan wholeness, well- being, or peace (especially through the redemption or restoration of property, persons, or lineage) He is essentially responsible for the economic well-being of a relative and comes into play especially when the relative is in distress and cannot get himself/herself out of the crisis He is essentially responsible for the economic well-being of a relative and comes into play especially when the relative is in distress and cannot get himself/herself out of the crisis There is no similar institution in modern Western societies, thus there is no word in English remotely equivalent There is no similar institution in modern Western societies, thus there is no word in English remotely equivalent Go’el’s basic meaning of “redeem, buy back, recover, restore” is derived from its use in law and custom of the Israelite clans Go’el’s basic meaning of “redeem, buy back, recover, restore” is derived from its use in law and custom of the Israelite clans While the go’el has the responsibility to perform redemption/ restoration, he was not obligated to do so While the go’el has the responsibility to perform redemption/ restoration, he was not obligated to do so There was an apparent hierarchy of response (Lev 25:48-49) that indicates volition, choice, determination, etc. There was an apparent hierarchy of response (Lev 25:48-49) that indicates volition, choice, determination, etc. This is where the concept of hesed comes into play … the go’el must be willing to perform redemption/restoration This is where the concept of hesed comes into play … the go’el must be willing to perform redemption/restoration

12 Recognizing that life in a fallen world holds no guarantees, Lev 25:23-28 speaks of several ways that the Israelites could do business distinctly and to the glory of God: Recognizing that life in a fallen world holds no guarantees, Lev 25:23-28 speaks of several ways that the Israelites could do business distinctly and to the glory of God: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the country you possess, you shall allow a redemption of the land. “If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer (go’el) shall come and redeem what his brother has sold. If a man has no one to redeem it and then himself becomes prosperous and finds sufficient means to redeem it, let him calculate the years since he sold it and pay back the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and then return to his property. But if he does not have sufficient means to recover it, then what he sold shall remain in the hand of the buyer until the year of jubilee. In the jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his property.” Conducting Business for the Glory of God How is the LORD described in relation to the land? How are the Israelites described in relation to the land? Was an Israelite allowed to sell “his” land? What was forbidden? What was he really selling? By selling his land, a poor man did not cease to be the rightful owner of the property Lev 25:23 forbade permanent sale of land and transfer of ownership Instead, the debtor would in essence rent his land by selling its usufruct or potential produce He sold future harvests and these over time paid down the debt What redemptive role does the “kinsman-redeemer” (go’el) serve here? The redemption of property (through monetary payment) This was done to ensure hereditary property never passes out of the clan What happens if there is no kinsman-redeemer? How long could one suffer the loss of ancestral land? What was the purpose of the Year of Jubilee? This law reinforced God’s ownership of the land & protected everybody’s share Every fifty years, all debts were cancelled and all property returned The jubilee would wipe the slate clean and give everyone a fresh start

13 To maintain the freedom of individuals within the clan by buying back those who have sold themselves into slavery to a resident alien or another Israelite because of poverty (Lev 27:47-55) To maintain the freedom of individuals within the clan by buying back those who have sold themselves into slavery to a resident alien or another Israelite because of poverty (Lev 27:47-55) To act as the blood redeemer; to track down, avenge and execute murderers of near relatives, hence restoring clan wholeness (Num 35:12, 19-27; Duet 19:6, 12; Josh 20:2-3, 5, 9) To act as the blood redeemer; to track down, avenge and execute murderers of near relatives, hence restoring clan wholeness (Num 35:12, 19-27; Duet 19:6, 12; Josh 20:2-3, 5, 9) To receive restitution money on behalf of a deceased clan relative who was a victim of a crime, hence restoring clan wholeness (Num 5:8) To receive restitution money on behalf of a deceased clan relative who was a victim of a crime, hence restoring clan wholeness (Num 5:8) To ensure that justice is served in a lawsuit involving a relative (Job 19:25; Ps 119:154; Prov 23:11; Jer 50:34; Lam 3:58) – note that the Lord is the go’el in some of these passages To ensure that justice is served in a lawsuit involving a relative (Job 19:25; Ps 119:154; Prov 23:11; Jer 50:34; Lam 3:58) – note that the Lord is the go’el in some of these passages To redeem the wife of the deceased (i.e, acquire legal right) in order to “raise up the name of the deceased upon his property” by acquiring “the wife of the deceased” (Deut 25:5-10). This restores clan wholeness To redeem the wife of the deceased (i.e, acquire legal right) in order to “raise up the name of the deceased upon his property” by acquiring “the wife of the deceased” (Deut 25:5-10). This restores clan wholeness To redeem or restore a clan widow facing old age alone without anyone to care for her (Ruth 4:14-15) To redeem or restore a clan widow facing old age alone without anyone to care for her (Ruth 4:14-15) Other Aspects of a Go’el’s Redemptive Role

14 An ancient Israelite custom by which the nearest unmarried relative of a man who died without progeny would marry his widow and preserve the family by fathering a child on his behalf An ancient Israelite custom by which the nearest unmarried relative of a man who died without progeny would marry his widow and preserve the family by fathering a child on his behalf The “levirate” derives from the Latin levir, “brother-in-law;” it has nothing to do with Levi or Levitical The “levirate” derives from the Latin levir, “brother-in-law;” it has nothing to do with Levi or Levitical By definition a levirate marriage represents a legally sanctioned union between a yebama, a widow whose husband has died without fathering any offspring, and a yabam, the brother of the deceased. By definition a levirate marriage represents a legally sanctioned union between a yebama, a widow whose husband has died without fathering any offspring, and a yabam, the brother of the deceased. Levirate marriage is found in three passages: Levirate marriage is found in three passages: – Deut 25:5-10 is the defining text regarding the legal custom of levirate marriage in Israel – Gen 38 (Judah and Tamar) is the first account found in the Bible – Ruth 4 (Boaz and Ruth) Levirate Marriage

15 Deuteronomy 25:5-10 5 “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. 6 And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. 7 And if the man does not wish to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.’ 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ 9 then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.’ 10 And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.’ Who was required to fulfill the levirate law? What do the words “if brothers dwell together” in verse 5 mean? What does verse 5 tell us about the legal status of the widow? Why was it imperative for an Israelite man who died childless to be provided with a son through the levirate law? A rite of refusal took place when an Israelite man declined to perform his levirate obligation. This is described in verses 7-10. Who initiated the refusal ceremony and why? Where did the ceremony take place and why? What did the widow do to the levir who refused to fulfill his duty? How did the refusal ceremony protect the rights of the widow? What from the refusal ceremony shows that the levirate duty was considered an act of love and not of compulsion?

16 Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38:1-11) It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her and went in to her, and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him. And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother's wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother's wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother. And what he did was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death also. Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father's house, till Shelah my son grows up”—for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained in her father's house. Why did the LORD put Er to death? What did Judah tell Onan to do after Er’s death? Why did Onan refuse to do as Judah had instructed? Had Onan refused outright, he would have gained nothing, since either his father or younger brother could have performed the levirate and thus produced an heir to Er Moreover, as the firstborn, Er was entitled to a double share, as would be his fictional son, so Onan’s potential loss was even greater Thus, Onan devised a subterfuge or trick. He had intercourse with Tamar but made sure that he did not impregnate her. By doing this (i.e., performing the duty in form but not in fact), he hoped to gain for himself his dead brother’s inheritance (along with his own). Greed for property was thus Onan’s motivation. What happened to Onan? Consider Judah’s reaction to the deaths of his two oldest sons. What did Judah promise to do for Tamar? Why did he break his promise? What does this indicate about his faith at this time? What was Tamar’s status at the end of verse 11? Why from her point of view was her situation an impossible one to endure?

17 Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38:12-19) In the course of time the wife of Judah, Shua's daughter, died. When Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And when Tamar was told, “Your father- in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” she took off her widow's garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood. What did Tamar do when she realized that Judah did not intend to keep his promise to her? What do Tamar’s actions reveal about her?

18 Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38:20-30) When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman's hand, he did not find her. And he asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute who was at Enaim at the roadside?” And they said, “No cult prostitute has been here.” So he returned to Judah and said, “I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, ‘No cult prostitute has been here.’” And Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.” About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.” Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again. When the time of her labor came, there were twins in her womb. And when she was in labor, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” But as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out. And she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore his name was called Perez. Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah. What did Judah mean by his words in verse 26, “She is more righteous than I …? Judah’s son Perez became the ancestor of the most powerful and influential clan of the tribe of Judah. David and all the kings of Judah were members of this clan. What does this reveal about the way God works?

19 The levirate law addressed the situation where a man died without an heir The levirate law addressed the situation where a man died without an heir – Under this law, his brother was required to marry and impregnate his widow – The son born from this union would carry forward the line of the deceased; as an added benefit, the widow would be sheltered – This was the duty of a brother-in-law, and great shame and dishonor fell on the man who refused to fulfill this family obligation The kinsman-redeemer law focused on the land and encompassed a wider range of relatives The kinsman-redeemer law focused on the land and encompassed a wider range of relatives – When a man fell onto hard times and was forced to sell his land, his nearest relative (or kinsman-redeemer) was called to step in and purchase the land (or buy it back from an outsider) – This was done to keep his relative’s property from coming under the ownership of someone outside their tribe Summary

20 Both laws were costly and involved enormous sacrifice Levirate Implications Since a father’s estate was divided among his sons, when one son died childless, the surviving brothers’ inheritance automatically increased Since a father’s estate was divided among his sons, when one son died childless, the surviving brothers’ inheritance automatically increased The family pie was sliced into fewer (and therefore larger) pieces The family pie was sliced into fewer (and therefore larger) pieces The levir whose duty it was to marry the widow was spoiling his own inheritance if he succeeded in fathering a son by her The levir whose duty it was to marry the widow was spoiling his own inheritance if he succeeded in fathering a son by her The newborn would replace his deceased brother – and those lovely larger pieces of pie would shrink in size again because now there was one more heir to include in dividing family property The newborn would replace his deceased brother – and those lovely larger pieces of pie would shrink in size again because now there was one more heir to include in dividing family property  According to these calculations, becoming your brother’s keeper is a losing proposition  But it is the hesed-way of doing things Gospel of the Old Testament

21 Both laws were costly and involved enormous sacrifice Kinsman-Redeemer Implications The kinsman-redeemer faced a similar conflict of interest, for rescuing his relatives’ property involved the outlay of large sums of money The kinsman-redeemer faced a similar conflict of interest, for rescuing his relatives’ property involved the outlay of large sums of money The price of a field was calculated by the number of harvests until the Year of Jubilee – a national celebration every 50 years where the land would automatically revert to the original owner The price of a field was calculated by the number of harvests until the Year of Jubilee – a national celebration every 50 years where the land would automatically revert to the original owner So a man could be paying for one year’s harvest or fifty, depending on where they were on the nation’s calendar So a man could be paying for one year’s harvest or fifty, depending on where they were on the nation’s calendar In the process of redeeming his relative’s land, the kinsman- redeemer was siphoning off financial resources from his own estate, so his sons would inherit less In the process of redeeming his relative’s land, the kinsman- redeemer was siphoning off financial resources from his own estate, so his sons would inherit less  The law wasn’t simply a legal code, but a heart-piercing call to a higher way of living  It was a call to sacrifice; it is the gospel in the OT Gospel of the Old Testament


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