Relative, either by common ancestry or by marriage. Kinsman has special reference to a male relative. There are several words in the original Bible languages having the following meanings and usages.
Go·ʼel’ (from Hebrew ga·ʼalʹ, meaning “to redeem” or “to buy back”) has reference to the nearest male relative with the right of a repurchaser or an avenger of blood. Willful murderers were to be put to death by the “avenger of blood.” (Num. 35:16-19) Boaz’ relationship to Naomi and Ruth was as a “repurchaser.” (Ruth 2:20; 3:9, 12, 13; 4:1, 3, 6, 8, 14) Jehovah himself, the Great Father or Life-giver, is both an Avenger and a Repurchaser for his servants.—Ps. 78:35; Isa. 41:14; 43:14; 44:6, 24; 48:17; 54:5; 63:16; Jer. 50:34.
Sheʼerʹ (Hebrew, meaning “flesh”) has reference to a fleshly relative or blood relative. God’s laws forbade having sexual relations with a close “blood relation,” such as one’s aunt. (Lev. 18:6-13; 20:19) If a fellow Israelite fell into debt to an alien, then a brother, an uncle, a cousin or any other “blood relative,” could buy him back. (Lev. 25:47-49) Or if one died having no sons, daughters, brothers or uncles, then the next closest “blood relation” received the inheritance.—Num. 27:10, 11.
Qa·rohvʹ (Hebrew, meaning “near”) includes, not only one closely related, but also an intimate acquaintance. If a brother became so poor that he had to sell his possessions, then one “closely related” had to buy them back for him. (Lev. 25:25) Job grieved that his “intimate acquaintances” had left him, and David lamented that his “close acquaintances” also stood aloof.—Job 19:14; Ps. 38:11.
Ya·dhaʽʹ (Hebrew, meaning to “know,” “to be acquainted”) could mean a kinsman or just an acquaintance. Naomi had a “kinsman of her husband” named Boaz. Jehu executed all of Ahab’s house including his “acquaintances.”—Ruth 2:1; 2 Ki. 10:11.
In the Christian Greek Scriptures we find syg·ge·nesʹ (kin, relative), meaning a relative by blood, but it is never used in speaking of the relation between parents and children. Following this rule, note that Jesus said to his followers: “You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives [syg·ge·nonʹ] and friends.” (Luke 21:16) When the twelve-year-old Jesus was missing, his parents began looking for him among the “relatives.” (Luke 2:44) When you spread a feast, Jesus counseled, do not invite your “relatives” who could pay you back, but, rather, the poor people. (Luke 14:12-14) When Peter brought the good news of salvation to Cornelius his “relatives” were also present. (Acts 10:24) Paul, in his letter to the Romans, referred to the Israelites as well as a number of individuals as his “relatives.”—Rom. 9:3; 16:7, 11, 21.