In Hebrew the phrase blood avenger is "goel haddam."
As outlined in the table on Kinsman-Redeemer (click), Jesus Christ is the NT fulfillment of the OT shadow of the Kinsman Redeemer as portrayed by Boaz in the book of Ruth. In the NT we learn that our Kinsman Redeemer will redeem and restore all that man lost when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden and will avenge Adam's "murder."
What happened as a result of man's fall in the Garden?
What else happened in the Garden?
Adam and Eve were "'murdered''! You may never have thought of their "death" in the Garden as "murder", but God called it that in the NT. They were alive but when they sinned they died spiritually and from that time on they were dead in their trespasses and sins (Ge 2:17, Ro 5:12+, Eph 2:1+). In John 8:43 we learn that Jesus turns to the Jewish religious leaders and asks them...
Why do you not understand what I am saying? (And before they can answer Jesus explains that...) It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the Devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies."
So Jesus calls Satan a murderer and the time phrase "in the beginning" carries us back to Genesis 3. God's promise of death was fulfilled to the letter (as it always is - both the positive and negative promises) when Adam and Eve sinned (Ge 2:17).
What was God's original intention for Adam and Eve in regard to the earth?
CREATED TO BE
The writer of Hebrews confirms God's original plan for man writing...
"THOU HAST MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; THOU HAST CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAST APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS; THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET (dominion over all -Ge 1:26,28)." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. (He 2:7+, He 2:8+)
Comment: While some interpret this passage as referring to Jesus, the context favors this as a reference to man (notice that He 2:9-note opens with a contrast "but we..." and clearly refers to Jesus. Note also the context of the original source -- Ps 8:4, 5, 6, especially verse 4). The writer of Hebrews points out that man is not, as evolutionists foolishly reason, "a little higher than the apes," but rather "a little lower than the angels." The Psalmist refers to God's purpose in creating man with his original destiny being to reign as master over all nature. The verb stephanoo [word study] means to crown with honor and indeed when God created Adam and Eve sinless, pure and innocent, He bestowed on them honor and glory. When they sinned they lost their regal rule. Someday, this honor and the right to rule over the earth will be restored but not until Jesus our Kinsman Redeemer completes His work of redemption and restoration of creation.
KJV Bible Commentary: This Psalm (Heb 2:7, 8 quotes Psalm 8:5, 6) does not speak both of man and Christ; it is not messianic. The son of man is not to be distinguished from man. The phrases are merely an example of the common synonymous parallelism in Hebrew poetry. “Hence this passage was not regarded as a messianic prediction by Jewish teachers, but as a description of what God intended man to be” (Kent, p. 53). God made man a little lower than the angels. (KJV Bible Commentary)
William MacDonald: (1) Ps 8:5 refers to man's unfallen state; (2) Heb 2:7 pictures man's fallen state; (3) Heb 2:9 denotes Christ's human and unglorified state (cf. Heb 2:7-9). (Believer's Bible Commentary)
Kenneth Wuest commenting on Hebrews 2:7-8: Adam was therefore made for a little time lower than the angels. In his position as the federal head of the race, in his unfallen state, God crowned him with glory and honor. This is a picture of Adam in the paradise of Eden, before he sinned...The position of Adam as the federal head of the human race, his control of the animal kingdom through love, all spoke of his exalted position. And he was given honor and glory in view of it.... (He 2:8) God put all things in subjection to Adam. He was the head of the human race, the lord of the earth. Even the animal kingdom was in subjection to him. But now comes a sad note. The words, “But now we see not yet all things put under him,” point to the fact that Adam through his fall into sin, lost the dominion he had before enjoyed. He was no longer master of himself. He had become a fallen creature, with a totally depraved nature. He was a slave to sin. The animal kingdom was subservient to him not now through affection but fear. The ground, instead of yielding only good things, now produced also thorns, weeds, and other harmful things. Extremes of heat and cold, poisonous reptiles, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, all conspired to make his life a constant battle to survive. He had lost the dominion over all these things. But now, in the midst of this dark picture of man’s lost dominion, the writer (in He 2:9) calls our attention to a bright beam of light that pierces the surrounding gloom. It is Jesus. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
John MacArthur: Did you know that God's original design destiny for man was that man is to be the king of the earth? And that everything in existence was to be in subjection to man...God originally intended that man in innocence was king over the undefiled earth. It also tells us here that he was created a little lower than the angels, so the chain of command is God, angels, man, and earth...It was not that man was lower than angels in the sense of importance to God. It was only that man was lower than angels in the sense that He was physical and angels were spiritual. (See his full discussion of The Rediscovery of Man's Lost Destiny)
Richard Phillips commenting on He 2:8 writes: the author points out how thorough mankind's dominion was: "Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control." Such was the lordship man was given over all the creation. Yet, the writer points out, this is not the situation we currently enjoy: "At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him." Here is a statement of the problem of our race—the problem of dominion lost. What God intended for man in creation is not what we see at present. What an understatement! As we look around, the Bible says, it certainly doesn't appear as if man has everything under control!...
Thus man—created by God as his image-bearer, crowned with glory and honor and dominion—became subject to God's curse even to the point of death. That curse marks mankind even now, with all its frustration and futility. Far from reigning over the creation, each and every one of us instead will return to the dust from which we came. This is the problem of mankind: Paradise lost, and with it the dominion and blessing offered by God. This is the problem of history—the basic problem set forth at the beginning of the Bible—the answer to which is unfolded in all the rest of Scripture. God's creation of mankind, recorded in Genesis 1:26 and poetically celebrated in Psalm 8, has been spoiled by Adam's sin and the resulting curse of death...When we see that man's fall into sin and death is the great problem of history, it is easier to see the focus of God's redemptive work in the achievement of Jesus Christ....
On one hand there is man, captured in the darkness of his Paradise lost. Then onto the stage God sends his own Son (He 2:9), the New Man and Second Adam. He is the answer both to man's problem and to the problem of history. He is the great, the last, the only hope of a dying race; in him is the fulfillment not only of man's promised destiny but of God's plan as set forth in Psalm 8. History has become his story. Jesus is the new Adam of the new creation; what Adam lost he has regained. All who are found in him through faith will partake of the new humanity's reclaimed glory and honor and dominion. "We see Jesus." This is the aim of the book of Hebrews from start to finish, to show us Jesus as the Answer, the One who reclaims what mankind was created to be and to do. (Reformed Expository Commentary – Hebrews)
And so we observe that Adam and Eve lost their crown and their right to rule over the earth, which had been God's original intention before sin entered the world...
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule (have dominion, subdue, prevail) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule (have dominion, subdue, prevail) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:26, 27, 28)
MURDER IN THE
And thus before the Fall of man, the earth was under the dominion of Adam and Eve, but Satan crept in the perfect environment and craftily deceived them, tempting them to commit sin, and in effect (to use Jesus' words) "murdered" them "in the beginning". (Ge 3:1-6+). Having accomplished his goal, Satan, the great usurper, became the ruler, the prince over the world (Eph 2:2+)
In the temptation of Christ we read...
And he (Devil) led Him (Jesus) up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain (exousia = the right and the might) and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. (Luke 4:5,6+)
Comment: Notice that Jesus does not dispute Satan's claim as ruler over all the kingdoms of the earth. As discussed below Satan's rule is temporary and will terminated by our Kinsman Redeemer, who fulfills His obligation as the Avenger of Blood.
Other passages refer to Satan's present dominion over the whole world...
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power ("the power" not in the original Greek but implied by the context) of the evil one (implying Satan, cp 2Co 4:4). (1Jn 5:19+)
(Paul was given the gospel to take to the Gentiles) to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion (exousia = the right and the might) of Satan (Satan has been given temporary rule over fallen man and the entire world) to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:18+)
Paul explains the effect of Adam's sin on the whole of creation noting that...
the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (describing the believer's future glorified state that follows the time of the Rapture and the believer's change in the twinkling of an eye). For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (birth pains speak of a "delivery", in context this is the time when Creation will be redeemed by the Kinsman Redeemer) And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption (apolutrosis [word study]) of our body. (Ro 8:20, 21+, Ro 8:22, 23+)
Comment: We who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer, are awaiting a future redemption which culminates when we receive our glorified bodies (glorification) an event sometimes referred to as future tense salvation (see Three Tenses of Salvation) (See similar truth taught in 1Pe1:5+, 1Pe 1:13+, Ro 8:30+). At the time of this "future redemption" believers will finally be freed even from the presence of Sin .
The divine curse on the ground (Ge 3:17+) extends through the entire created cosmos, not just the earth inhabited by man. And so we find that the creation is now travailing like a woman about to deliver a child. The "ETA" or delivery date of a glorious new age is intimately linked with the revealing of the redeemed children of God in glory.
And so creation is groaning and suffering, awaiting the glorious day when man receives back his crown and his right to rule!
Let's review -- What did man lose when Adam sinned?
The answer can be summarized as....
(1) The land and the right to rule the land.
(2) His life -- He died and was in murdered by Satan (Jn 8:44, Ge 2:16, 17)!
(3) His freedom -- Men became enslaved to sin and Satan and in so doing lost their freedom.
Jesus by becoming our Kinsman Redeemer (Goel) effectively and forever "reverses" every one of these losses!
Review - How did Jesus become our Kinsman Redeemer?
As outlined in the table(click), Jesus became our Kinsman by emptying "Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man." (Phil 2:7+, Php 2:8+) As the perfect God-Man He was now able to relate to men, meeting the qualifications (becoming a "kinsman") to provide the payment for our redemption. He had the desire to redeem us (Ro 5:8+). He had the adequate means to pay for the redemption price (1Pe 1:18, 19-+), a payment He accomplished on Calvary His death on Calvary, in which He gave "Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:14+) His precious blood also paid the price to bring about the redemption of Creation including the land (the earth) over which sinful man had forfeited rule.
We see Jesus beginning His redemption of the land in Revelation first taking the "book" or scroll from God the Father. This is described in more detail below.
What is the relationship of the Kinsman-Redeemer to the Avenger of Blood?
In the OT, the Kinsman-Redeemer would also function as the Avenger of Blood (Blood Avenger) under certain circumstances, Moses recording that...
The blood avenger himself shall put the murderer to death; he shall put him to death when he meets him. (Nu 35:19+, see Nu 35:20-27).
Under this law, when someone intentionally put another person to death, the slain person's kinsman would have the right to put the murderer to death. Note that the Avenger of Blood is not also committing an act of murder, but an act of capital punishment which God, a principle God had established before the Law was given (Ge 9:6), and which Moses reaffirmed under the Law (Ex 21:12+). What is forbidden in Exodus 20:13+ is the crime of murder, and what is permitted in Numbers 35:19ff is the responsibility of of the Avenger of Blood to carry out capital punishment.
We allude to the "crime against man" earlier, but who murdered Adam and Eve (and in so doing the entire human race)?
The Serpent of Old, Satan, for as Jesus explained...
the devil...was a murderer from the beginning (beginning of time = the Garden of Eden), and does not stand in the truth (implying that the "weapon" he used to "murder" us was "the lie" - see below) (Jn 8:44)
What was the lie?
Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'? (Placing Doubt about God's Word in her mind)...And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely shall not die! (Directly contradicting God's Word) For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Brought God's goodness into question)." (Ge 3:1, 4, 5+)
So in the book of beginnings, we can see that the Devil became our murderer and also the usurper, who took man's ordained role to rule over the earth. In a sense Satan became a "temporary squatter" for although he was given the right and the might over the whole earth, this dominion was to be temporary and he did not receive the "title deed" (see below) of the earth. As we discover in Revelation 5 Jesus functioning as our Kinsman Redeemer receives the "title deed" of the earth and as our Blood Avenger, He avenges our murder by Satan in Revelation 20.
What is the Scroll (biblion) in Revelation 5 and what role does it play in the redemption and restoration of the world?
Although there is not uniform agreement regarding the meaning of the scroll, most conservative literal interpreters of the Revelation (e.g., John MacArthur, Warren Wiersbe, Henry Morris - The Revelation Record) hold that the scroll represents the the "Title Deed" to the earth.
Revelation 5+ records what John saw...
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book (scroll) written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book (scroll) and to break its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book (scroll), or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy (axios [word study]) to open the book (scroll), or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome (nikao [word study] in the perfect tense = ) so as to open the book (scroll) and its seven seals." 6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain (perfect tense = past completed action [The Crucifixion] with continuing results/effect, speaks of the permanence of His past slaying, and it testified to by His scars, His marks of the new covenant, an unbreakable, eternal covenant), having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
The description of Jesus' "as if slain" needs to be further examined because of the beautiful picture it paints of the Passover Lamb, our Kinsman Redeemer....
In Isaiah the Lion of the tribe of Judah declares...
"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands..." (Isaiah 49:16+)
Dave Guzik writes (and I agree) that...
This has obvious and beautiful fulfillment in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus.
John records this description of the resurrection body of Jesus...
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (Jn 20:19-20)
Compare the response of "doubting" Thomas...
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore were saying to him , "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26 And after eight days again His disciples were inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, "Peace be with you." 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing." 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." (Jn 10:25-29).
A Debtor to Mercy
—Original words by Augustus M. Toplady
music and alt. words by Bob Kauflin
My name from the palms of His hands
A debtor to mercy alone
Of covenant mercy I sing
I come with Your righteousness on
My humble offering to bring
The judgments of Your holy law
With me can have nothing to do
My Savior’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions
The work which Your goodness began
The arm of Your strength will complete
Your promise is yes and amen
And never was forfeited yet
The future or things that are now
No power below or above
Can make You Your purpose forego
Or sever my soul from Your love
My name from the palms of Your hands
Eternity will not erase
Impressed on Your heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace
Yes I, to the end will endure
Until I bow down at Your throne
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
A debtor to mercy alone
What transpires when our "worthy" Kinsman Redeemer breaks the seal and opens the Seven Sealed Scroll?
As the Lamb broke the first seal of the Seven Sealed Scroll, He set in motion the sequential events through the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowl judgments, which culminate in the kingdom of this world becoming the kingdom of our Christ.
What about the redemption of the land that had been temporarily given to Satan?
Jesus becomes the REDEEMER OF THE LAND that had been "sold to another". In the OT God provided the year of Jubilee every 50 years, and at this time the slaves were to be set free and the land returned to its original owner (cp Lev 25:10, 13, 39, 40, 41, 53, 54+), these events in a sense pre-figuring the return of the land to mankind who had forfeited it when Adam sinned. To be sure, the Jews were excited in the year of Jubilee. But we as blood bought, heaven bound believers have a "Jubilee" coming like no one has ever seen because we have a KINSMAN REDEEMER that is going to take the scroll out of the hand of Him Who sits on the throne and He is going to break the seals which lead to the trumpets, the seventh culminating in the Kingdom of this world becoming the Kingdom of His Christ. John alludes to this glorious of restoration of the land...
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase (agorazo [word study]) for God with Thy blood (a picture of redemption) men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom (Adam relinquished his rule, but the Last Adam [1Co 15:45], our Redeemer, restores rule to the redeemed) and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." (Rev 5:9+, Rev 5:10+)
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power (all who are overcomers - see 1Jn 5:4, 5 = all believers), but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Rev 20:6-note)
By Christ Redeemed, in Christ Restored,
We keep the memory adored,
And show the death of our dear Lord,
Until He come, Until He come.
The "land" redeemed by the precious blood of our Kinsman Redeemer and returned to men and women who have been reborn by placing their faith in their Redeemer. Then our Kinsman Redeemer fulfills one final role of Avenging our blood, by punishing our murderer Satan.
And what happens to the "great dragon...the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world"?
After describing the glorious period of 1000 years (Millennium) in which Satan is bound (Rev 20:1, Rev 20:2, Rev 20:3), John describes his brief "unleashing" and his final punishment...
And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Rev 20:7-note, Rev 20:8-note, Rev 20:9-note, Rev 20:10-note)
Comment: The devil is finally and eternally cast into the lake of fire, where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched. This is the destination for all who fail to believe in Messiah as their Redeemer, but it was not originally prepared for man but for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41)
So Jesus our KINSMAN-REDEEMER has also became our BLOOD AVENGER.
TRUMPET WILL SOUND
John writes these fitting words...
And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become (prophetic aorist - see comment) the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign. 18 "And the nations were enraged, and Thy wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth." (Rev 11:15-18+)
Comment: Garland explains that "has become" is the "prophetic aorist. The event is so certain in the sounding of the seventh angel that it is treated as if already past. However, the kingdom will not have arrived in totality until all seven bowl judgments are poured forth (Rev. 16:17+) and the King Himself returns to earth to defeat the armies of the nations (Isa. 63:1-6+; Zec. 12:1-9+; Zech 14:1-8+; Rev. 19:11-21+).
John MacArthur explains: The sounding of the 7th trumpet marks a significant milestone in the book of Revelation. It sets in motion the final events leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of His earthly millennial kingdom. Rev 10:7 expresses the finality of the seventh trumpet: “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.” That mystery is the full revelation of the consummation of God’s plan. It was prophesied by the Old Testament preachers, but its fullness was never revealed until the book of Revelation.
The seventh trumpet sets in motion the final consummation of God’s redemptive plan for the present universe. During its tenure will come the final fury of the Day of the Lord judgments (Rev 16:1-21), the final harvest of judgment on earth (Re 11:18; 16:19), and the Lamb’s defeat of the kings of the earth (Rev 17:12-18), culminating in the final, climactic triumph of Christ at Armageddon (Re 19:11-21). The sounding of the seventh trumpet signals God’s answer to the prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10). That answer sweeps through Rev 12:1-22:21 as God finishes His mighty work of reclaiming creation from the usurper, Satan...Though its effects on earth were delayed (as with the seventh seal; Rev 8:2, 3, 4, 5), there was an immediate response in heaven when the seventh angel sounded his (7th) trumpet...That dramatic proclamation is obviously connected to the effects of the seventh trumpet. There is unrestrained joy that the power of Satan is to be forever broken, and Jesus Christ is to reign supreme as King of kings and Lord of lords. With the defeat of the usurper, the question of sovereignty over the world will be forever settled. What Jesus refused to take on Satan’s terms (cf. Lk 4:5-8+) He will take on His own terms. Heaven rejoices that the long rebellion of the world against God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is about to end. The setting up of Christ’s long-awaited kingdom (Ed: See discussion of Millennium 2 and Millennium 3) is the apex of redemptive history. (Macarthur J. Revelation 1-11. and Revelation 12-22. Moody) (Bolding added)
WORTHY IS THE LAMB!
BREAK YOUR SEALS!
LET THE FOUR RIDERS
OF THE APOCALYPSE COME FORTH!
LET THY KINGDOM COME!