Boaz Calls into Judgment the Next
1. Then went Boaz up to the gate of the
city—a roofed building, unenclosed by walls; the place where,
in ancient times, and in many Eastern towns still, all business
transactions are made, and where, therefore, the kinsman was most
likely to be found. No preliminaries were necessary in summoning one
before the public assemblage; no writings and no delay were required.
In a short conversation the matter was stated and
arranged—probably in the morning as people went out, or at noon
when they returned from the field.
2. he took ten men of the elders of the
city—as witnesses. In ordinary circumstances, two or three
were sufficient to attest a bargain; but in cases of importance, such
as matrimony, divorce, conveyancing of property, it was the Jewish
practice to have ten (1Ki 21:8).
3. Naomi … selleth a parcel of
land—that is, entertains the idea of selling. In her
circumstances she was at liberty to part with it (Le 25:25). Both Naomi and Ruth had an interest in
the land during their lives; but Naomi alone was mentioned, not only
because she directed all the negotiations, but because the introduction
of Ruth's name would awaken a suspicion of the necessity of marrying
her, before the first proposition was answered.
4. there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I
am after thee—(See on De 25:5). The
redemption of the land of course involved a marriage with Ruth, the
widow of the former owner.
He Refuses the Redemption.
6. The kinsman said, I cannot redeem it …,
lest I mar mine own inheritance—This consequence would
follow, either, first, from his having a son by Ruth, who, though heir
to the property, would not bear his name; his name would be
extinguished in that of her former husband; or, secondly, from its
having to be subdivided among his other children, which he had probably
by a previous marriage. This right, therefore, was renounced and
assigned in favor of Boaz, in the way of whose marriage with Ruth the
only existing obstacle was now removed.
7, 8. a man plucked off his shoe—Where
the kinsman refused to perform his duty to the family of his deceased
relation, the widow was directed to pull off the shoe with some
attendant circumstances of contemptuous disdain. But, as in this case,
there was no refusal, the usual ignominy was spared; and the plucking
off the shoe, the only ceremony observed, was a pledge of the
transaction being completed.
He Marries Ruth.
9. Boaz said unto the elders, Ye are witnesses
this day, that I have bought all that was … Chilion's and
Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi—Although the widow of Chilion
was still living, no regard was paid to her in the disposal of her
husband's property. From her remaining in Moab, she was considered to
have either been married again, or to have renounced all right to an
inheritance with the family of Elimelech.
10. Ruth the Moabitess … have I purchased to
be my wife—This connection Boaz not only might form, since
Ruth had embraced the true religion, but he was under a legal necessity
of forming it.
11. all the people and the elders, said, We are
witnesses—A multitude, doubtless from curiosity or interest,
were present on the occasion. There was no signing of deeds; yet was
the transfer made, and complete security given, by the public manner in
which the whole matter was carried on and concluded.
the Lord make the woman that is come into thine
house like Rachel and like Leah—This was the usual bridal
12. let thy house be like the house of
Pharez—that is, as honorable and numerous as his. He was the
ancestor of the Beth-lehem people, and his family one of the five from
which the tribe of Judah sprang.
Ru 4:13-18. She Bears
17. Obed—means "servant."
18-22. these are the generations of
Pharez—that is, his descendants. This appendix shows that the
special object contemplated by the inspired author of this little book
was to preserve the memory of an interesting domestic episode, and to
trace the genealogy of David. There was an interval of three hundred
eighty years between Salmon and David. It is evident that whole
generations are omitted; the leading personages only are named, and
grandfathers are said, in Scripture language, to beget their
grandchildren, without specifying the intermediate links.