9 “Who are you?” he asked. And she replied, “I am your handmaid Rut. Spread your robe over your handmaid, for you are a redeeming kinsman.”
va-YO-mer mee AT va-TO-mer a-no-KHEE RUT a-ma-TE-kha u-fa-ras-TA kh’-na-FE-kha al a-ma-t’-KHA KEE go-AYL A-tah
ט וַיֹּאמֶר מִי־אָתּ וַתֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי רוּת אֲמָתֶךָ וּפָרַשְׂתָּ כְנָפֶךָ עַל־אֲמָתְךָ כִּי גֹאֵל אָתָּה׃
3:9 For you are a redeeming kinsman
The concept of the “redeeming kinsman,” goel (גואל) in Hebrew, had great significance in biblical times. In Megillat Rut, the word goel is used to refer to a relative in the context of a levirate marriage, which occurs when a man dies without children. In such a case, his brother is supposed to marry his widow and perpetuate the name of the deceased. In the Tanakh, the term goel is also used in another context. Vayikra (25:25) says “his nearest redeemer shall come,” referring to someone so deeply in debt that he is forced to sell his property until his closest relative comes to bail him out. Once again, a person’s redeemer is his closest relative. Hashem has many names in the Bible, one of which is Redeemer, as in the “Redeemer of Yisrael” (Isaiah 49:7). By referring to God as our Redeemer, we are stating that He is even closer to us than any of our nearest relations.