Ruth 4

Chapter 4

Boaz Marries Ruth. 1 So Boaz went to the city gate and sat down there. The relative of whom Boaz had spoken was passing by, so he said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he came over and sat down.[a] 2 He gathered ten of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down,” and they sat down.

3 Then he said to the next of kin, “Naomi has come back from the land of Moab and is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. 4 I thought that I would tell this to you. Buy it in the presence of those who dwell here and in the presence of the elders. If you intend to redeem it as next of kin, then redeem it. If you do not intend to redeem it, then tell me so that I can know, for there is no one else besides you to redeem the land, and then I am next in line.” He said, “I will redeem it.” 5 Then Boaz said, “When you acquire the field, you also receive the hand of Ruth the Moabite, the wife of the deceased, to raise up the name of the deceased for an inheritance.” 6 But the kinsman said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I endanger my own inheritance. You can exercise my right of next of kin, for I cannot redeem it.”

7 Now in those days in Israel it was the custom that when there was an act of redemption or of the exchange of lands, one man would take off his sandal and give it to the other in order to confirm the action. This was an act of confirming actions in Israel. 8 So the kinsman said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” and he took off his sandal.

9 Boaz then said to the elders and to all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have bought from Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech, and all that belonged to Chilion and all that belonged to Mahlon. 10 Moreover, I have acquired Ruth, the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the deceased for an inheritance so that the name of the deceased not disappear from among his brethren nor from the gates of his native place. You are witnesses today.”

11 All the people who were in the gateway and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the house of Israel. May you prosper in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem. 12 May your home be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the children that the Lord will give you through this young woman.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. He slept with her, and the Lord granted that she conceive, and she bore a son. 14 The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you without a next of kin; may his name be famous throughout Israel.[b] 15 He will renew your life and support you in your old age. Your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is worth more than seven sons to you, has borne him.”

16 Naomi then took the child and laid him in her lap. She became his nurse. 17 The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “A son is born to Naomi.” They called him Obed.[c] He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 [d]This is the genealogy of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron; 19 Hezron was the father of Ram; Ram was the father of Amminadab; 20 Amminadab was the father of Nahshon; Nahshon was the father of Salmon; 21 Salmon was the father of Boaz; Boaz was the father of Obed; 22 Obed was the father of Jesse; and Jesse was the father of David.

Footnotes

  1. Ruth 4:1 Boaz was well aware that he could find his relative at the city gate which was the center of activity and a place to conduct business.
  2. Ruth 4:14 The good news about the birth of a son, “the redeemer of the family,” as well as Ruth’s devoted loyalty to Naomi is acknowledged publicly.
  3. Ruth 4:17 Obed means “servant (of God).”
  4. Ruth 4:18 This list seems to have been added by a different writer in order to emphasize the lesson of the Book of Ruth. When Matthew uses this list in constructing the genealogy of Jesus, he does not forget to introduce the name of Ruth the Moabite, because salvation is offered to all human beings (Mt 1:3-5).

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