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4. Boaz Marries Ruth

1Now Boaz went up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. 2And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. 3And he said unto the near kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth the parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's: 4And I thought to disclose it unto thee, saying, Buy it before them that sit here, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is none to redeem it besides thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it. 5Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. 6And the near kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: take thou my right of redemption on thee; for I cannot redeem it.

7Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel. 8So the near kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thyself. And he drew off his shoe. 9And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. 10Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. 11And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. Jehovah make the woman that is come into thy house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 12and let thy house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which Jehovah shall give thee of this young woman.

13So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in unto her, and Jehovah gave her conception, and she bare a son. 14And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be Jehovah, who hath not left thee this day without a near kinsman; and let his name be famous in Israel. 15And he shall be unto thee a restorer of life, and a nourisher of thine old age, for thy daughter-in-law, who loveth thee, who is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him. 16And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. 17And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

18Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez begat Hezron, 19and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, 20and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, 21and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, 22and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

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Ru 4:1-5. Boaz Calls into Judgment the Next Kinsman.

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.

Ru 4:6-8. 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.

Ru 4:9-12. 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 benediction.

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 Obed.

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.