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Old and New Testament.
redeem it for myself,
because I would
jeopardize my own
Redeem it for yourself; you may have
redemption, for I
redeem it." (NASB:
BBE: And the near relation said, I am
not able to do the relation's part, for fear of damaging the heritage
I have: you may do it in my place, for I am not able to do it myself.
CEV: The man answered, "If
that's the case, I don't want to buy it! That would make problems with
the property I already own. You may buy it yourself, because I
GWT: The man replied, "In that case I
cannot assume responsibility for her. If I did, I would ruin my
inheritance. Take all my rights to buy back the property for yourself,
because I cannot assume that responsibility." (GWT)
KJV: And the kinsman said, I
cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem
thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
NJB: The man with the right of redemption then said, 'I cannot use
my right of redemption without jeopardizing my own inheritance. Since
I cannot use my right of redemption, exercise the right yourself.'
Young's Literal: And
the redeemer saith, 'I am not able to redeem it for myself, lest I
destroy mine inheritance; redeem for thyself -- thou -- my right of
redemption, for I am not able to redeem.'
(1SFMI) agchisteusai (AAN)
Click here for explanation of verb
abbreviations in parentheses after each verb
Septuagint: And the
kinsman said, I shall not (note "ou" = absolute
negation) be able to redeem it for myself, lest
I mar my own inheritance; do thou redeem my right for thyself,
for I shall not be able to redeem it
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:1.mp3
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:2-5.mp3
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:6-7.mp3
J Vernon McGee -- Ruth 4:8-22.mp3
John Piper -- Ruth 4 - The Best is Yet to Come.mp3
AND THE CLOSEST RELATIVE SAID
I CANNOT REDEEM IT FOR MYSELF LEST I JEOPARDIZE MY OWN INHERITANCE:
cannot redeem it - "John Doe" quickly changes from I
will to I
when the reality of his responsibility for Ruth the Moabitess entered
the picture. He
experiences a "sudden" change of heart. The nearest kinsman
in not choosing to redeem Ruth passes off the pages of history
Morrison writes that...
The moment that Ruth was referred
to as the inseparable appurtenance of Elimelech's estate, a total
change came over the feelings of the anonymous relative.
Note that the "go'el"
uses a form of the Hebrew verb ga'al
five times in one sentence for the
words "closest relative"
and "redeem" are identical (01350)
(ga'al) (click word study of ga'al and go'el).
The Hebrew word is actually a verb which as its active participle the
word Go'el, (which is
usually translated as a noun = kinsman, redeemer, avenger). The basic idea
of the verb ga'al/go'el is to redeem or perform the role of a kinsman and redeem a kin from difficulty
(especially financial encumbrance).
The first use of Ga'al (01350)
in the Hebrew OT is by Jacob as he was blessing Joseph's sons
The angel (A "theophany" and
more specifically a "Christophany" in the form of the
Angel of the LORD)
who has redeemed (ga'al) me from all evil, bless the lads; and
may my name live on in them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and
Isaac (this invokes the idea of the unconditional Abrahamic covenant);
and may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. (Ge
In the next use of ga'al
Jehovah Himself declares...
Say, therefore, to the sons of
Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the
burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage.
I will also redeem (Literally Jehovah says "I will be a
Kinsman-Redeemer" to) you with an outstretched arm and with great
judgments. (Ex 6:6)
In the song of Moses celebrating
Israel's redemption from Egyptian bondage...
In Thy lovingkindness (God's hesed
= His loyal, covenant love) Thou hast led the people whom Thou hast
redeemed (ga'al); In Thy strength Thou hast guided them to Thy
holy habitation. (Ex 15:13)
In the fourth OT use of ga'al
we see the direct application to the book of Ruth...
'If a fellow countryman of yours
becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his
nearest kinsman (ga'al/go'el - his kinsman-redeemer) is to come
and buy back what his relative has sold. 26 Or in case a man has no
kinsman (ga'al), but so recovers his means as to find sufficient
for its redemption, 27 then he shall calculate the years since its
sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so
return to his property. (Lev 25:25)
means to spoil, to ruin, to destroy, to pervert, to corrupt, to
become corrupt, to wipe out. Shachath is used 3 times by Moses to
describe the condition of the world in the days of Noah which was the
reason God sent the worldwide flood...
Now the earth was corrupt (shachath/shahat)
in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God
looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt (shachath/shahat);
for all flesh had corrupted (shachath/shahat)
their way upon the earth. (Genesis 6:11, 12)
This verb describes what God did to
wicked Sodom and Gomorrah...
And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw
all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere--
this was before the LORD destroyed (shachath/shahat)
Sodom and Gomorrah-- like the garden of the LORD, like the land of
Egypt as you go to Zoar. (Genesis 13:10)
Jeopardize is translated in the
using the Greek verb diaphtheiro,
(1311) (from dia = intensives
the meaning of verb + phtheiro = to shrivel, destroy, defile)
which means to cause the complete destruction of something. It conveys
the idea of something that is utterly corrupted and gives us our
English word for the deadly disease known as "diphtheria"! The
kinsman redeemer is concerned that to fulfill the role of the goel
might "utterly corrupt" his estate, for he would have both Naomi and
Ruth to support. Furthermore he did not want the field to be inherited
by Ruth’s future son instead of members of his own family.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
explains the Goel's quick change of heart, writing that
involve financial loss to the purchaser. The prospective goel would
mar his own inheritance by spending money on land that would belong
not to him but to a son of Ruth. The Targum suggests that the relative
was already married, but this would not have relieved him of
C F: Wycliffe Bible Commentary. 1981. Moody)
If he had a son by Ruth, and that son were his only
surviving heir, Mahlon’s property and part of his own estate would go
to Elimelech’s family. The fact that Ruth was a Moabitess may also
have been a problem to him. (Both Mahlon and Chilion had married
Moabite women and died!) Boaz was undoubtedly relieved when his
relative stepped aside and opened the way for Ruth to become his wife.
explains it this way...
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. (Ruth 4)
may give the
proper sense of this passage (although it is still conjectural because
there is no specific statement regarding his marital status):
"I cannot redeem it, because I have a
wife already; and it is not fit for me to bring another into my house,
lest brawling and contention arise in it; and lest I hurt my own
inheritance. Do thou redeem it, for thou has no wife; which hinders me
from redeeming it."
REDEEM IT FOR YOURSELF.
YOU MAY HAVE MY RIGHT OF REDEMPTION FOR I CANNOT REDEEM:
Redeem it for
- This verb is
in the imperative mood (command) and in the Hebrew sentence is in the
emphatic position, and so reads
"redeem for you, you, my right of redemption".
The redeemer must not only be a
kinsman, must be willing and must have the means to pay the redemption price.
Right of redemption (01353)
(geullah) is given a Strong's number different than (ga'al) (01350)
but both Strong's definition and the respected
Theological Wordbook of the Old
Testament state that
geullah (or ge'ulla) is a feminine passive participle of ga'al
and functions as a feminine noun in
the Hebrew. Don't let this technical explanation sidetrack you from
the essence of the meaning of this word geullah, which
expresses the action of a relative in setting free a member of his
family or buying back his property (geullah is found in
Leviticus 25:24:26, 25:29, 25:31, 32, 25:48, 49, 25:51, 52). Geullah
was also used in general
of purchasing something for a price. A ransom-price is paid to
secure the release of that which would otherwise be forfeited.
The nearest kinsman's refusal to
assume the role of kinsman-redeemer serves to further highlight the
kindness and generosity of Boaz toward the two widows, even as as the
Moabitess Orpah’s return to her pagan family highlighted Ruth’s
selfless devotion and loyalty to Naomi.
John MacArthur explains
He was unwilling to have the family
portfolio split between his existing children and the potential
offspring of a union with Ruth. (MacArthur,
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word Pub)
When the go'el
says "I cannot", he is for all practical purposes saying "I will
not". Lest we be too hard on the nearest "John Doe" go'el, we need to be reminded that as
believers we often take the same tact when confronted with a "pet sin"
that we really don't want to be set free from -- we say "I cannot
stop" when what we really mean to say is "I will not stop".
In fairness, it should also be
mentioned that some commentators feel that the reason the nearest
kinsman said "I cannot" is that if he paid the price for the
land, and took on the added expense of caring for a wife, he would be
The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Perhaps he was too poor to sustain
the land and a wife. Or, as some have suggested, perhaps he feared to
marry a Moabitess lest the fate of Mahlon, Ruth’s first husband (Ru
4:10), befall him. Perhaps the best view is that when he learned from
Boaz that Ruth owned the property along with Naomi (Ru 4:5), he knew
that if Ruth bore him a son, that son would eventually inherit not
only the redeemed property but probably part of his own estate too. In
that sense the nearer redeemer would “endanger” his estate. However,
if only Naomi were the widow (not Naomi and Ruth), then no son from
the levirate marriage would inherit part of the redeemer’s estate
because Naomi was past childbearing. (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985.
Believer's Study Bible says
Boaz was bringing together two
originally separate obligations: (1) buying the land of Naomi (Lev.
25:25, 26, 27, 28), and (2) marrying Ruth to perpetuate the inheritance of
Mahlon (Dt. 25:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Nu 27:9, 10, 11). This was too difficult for the
nearer kinsman, but Boaz was able.
W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas
A G Auld has a thought
provoking common by way of application writing that...
Service beckons—and we do not know
whether it is an opportunity or an obligation. Our excuses are often
expressed in terms of solemn undertakings already given such as our
family commitments. “I cannot...lest I impair my own inheritance.”
Those who seek to shape their lives by the gospel tradition must
remember the several sayings which warn against giving the family an
ultimate veto. Jesus talks of those who have left house or brothers or
sisters or mother or father or children or land for his sake and for
the gospel (Mark 10:29); and he also notes that “Whoever does the
will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mark 3:35).
Christians may not readily think of themselves as sharing in the
responsibility of redemption. Yet solidarity with brother and
neighbour is precisely our calling—with brothers who are not of our
own family, and with neighbours who are far from our own doors. (Auld,
A. G. Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. The Daily Study Bible
Series page 276. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press)
Warren Wiersbe applies this
teaching on redemption to believers writing that...
When it comes to spiritual
redemption, all people are in bondage to sin and Satan (Ep 2:1, 2, 3;
Jn 8:33, 34) and are unable to set themselves free. Jesus Christ gave
His life as a ransom for sinners (Mk 10:45; Rev 5:9, 10), and faith
in Him sets the captive free. Each time I visit a bookstore, I try to
observe what subjects are getting prominent notice; and in recent
years, it’s been the theme of deliverance. I see shelves of books
about addiction and codependence and how to find freedom. In a world
that’s enjoying more political freedom than ever before, millions of
people are in bondage to food, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, work,
and dozens of other “masters.” While we thank God for the help
counselors and therapists can give, it is Jesus Christ Who alone can
give freedom to those who are enslaved. “Therefore if the Son makes
you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36NKJV). (Wiersbe,
W: Be Committed: An Old Testament Study. Ruth and Esther. Victor. 1993)
this was the custom in
redemption and the
exchange of land to
gave it to
this was the manner of
BBE: Now, in earlier times this was the
way in Israel when property was taken over by a near relation, or when
there was a change of owner. To make the exchange certain one man took
off his shoe and gave it to the other; and this was a witness in
CEV: To make a sale legal in
those days, one person would take off a sandal and give it to the
GWT: (This is the way it used to be in
Israel concerning buying back property and exchanging goods: In order
to make every matter legal, a man would take off his sandal and give
it to the other man. This was the way a contract was publicly approved
KJV: Now this was the
manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning
changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and
gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
NJB: Now, in former times, it was the custom in Israel to
confirm a transaction in matters of redemption or inheritance by one
of the parties taking off his sandal and giving it to the other. This
was how agreements were ratified in Israel. (NJB)
Young's Literal: And this is formerly in Israel for redemption and for changing, to
establish anything: a man hath drawn off his sandal, and given it to
his neighbour, and this is the testimony in Israel.
Septuagint: And this was
in former time the ordinance in Israel for redemption, and for a
bargain, to confirm every word: A man loosed his shoe, and gave
it to his neighbour that redeemed his right; and this was a
testimony in Israel
NOW THIS WAS
IN FORMER TIMES IN ISRAEL CONCERNING THE REDEMPTION
AND THE EXCHANGE OF LAND :
"This is the way it used to
be in Israel concerning buying back property and exchanging goods:"
Note that "the custom" is
not present in the original Hebrew text but is added by the
translators, which is certainly reasonable in light of the fact that
translation literally renders it "the ordinance (1345)
[word study]) in Israel for redemption". The Greek word
dikaioma is derived from dike = right and means primarily
that which is deemed right, so as to have the force of law; hence an
ordinance (an authoritative decree or direction, a law set
forth by a governmental authority).
(geullah) is a feminine passive participle of ga'al
and functions as a noun in the
Hebrew expressing the action of a relative in setting free a member of
his family or buying back his property that had been sold for debt.
The law required that the "right of redemption" of land and of persons
be protected (geullah is used with this meaning in Leviticus
25:24:26, 25:29, 25:31-32, 25:48-49, 25:51-52). A ransom-price is paid
to secure the release of what would otherwise be under forfeit.
ANY MATTER A MAN REMOVED HIS SANDAL AND GAVE IT TO ANOTHER
AND THIS WAS THE MANNER OF ATTESTATION IN ISRAEL:
"In order to make every matter legal, a man would take off his sandal
and give it to the other man. This was the way a contract was publicly
approved in Israel." (GWT)
(te'uwdah/te'uda) was a method of legalizing transactions, and
formally was a testimony, an act. of making a binding agreement.
Deut 25:7, 8, 9, 10 states that
if the man does not desire to take his brother’s wife, then his
brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My
husband’s brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in
Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband’s brother
to me. “Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him.
And if he persists and says, ‘I do not desire to take her,’ then his
brother’s wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, and pull
his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare,
‘Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s
house.’ “And in Israel his name shall be called, ‘The house of him
whose sandal is removed.’
The explanation of the shoe removal in the overall transaction
is not entirely clear and the following comments are somewhat
conjectural in the absence of clear Scriptural guidelines. Clearly the
exact practice described in (Deut 25:7-10) was not invoked in the
current transaction between Boaz and the nearer goel. Instead of the
woman taking off her shoe and spitting in the face of the man who
refused to be her goel, here we see one of the two men pluck off his
shoe, and give it to the other man. Presumably the man who took off
his shoe renounced any legal rights he had in the matter, and thus
symbolically transferred ownership. A similar custom is mentioned in
the Nuzu tablets. This practice of taking off one's shoe may relate to
the divine commandment to walk on the land and take possession (Ge
13:17; Dt. 11:24; Josh. 1:3). The the passing of the sandal may have symbolized Boaz’s right to walk on the land as
his property. The closer
relative legally transferred his right to the property as symbolized
by the sandal, most likely that of the nearer relative, although the
text does not state who took the sandal off!
Ridout writes that...
The shoe was that which trod upon
the land, and to draw it off and pass it to another would seem to
indicate that all claims upon the property had passed from the one to
Warren Wiersbe comments that on
the shoe removal that
In years to come, the ten witnesses would be able to testify that the
transaction had been completed because they saw the kinsman hand his
shoe to Boaz. It symbolized the kinsman’s forfeiture of his right to
possess the land. Boaz now had the land—and Ruth! (Wiersbe,
W: Be Committed: An Old Testament Study. Ruth and Esther. Victor. 1993)
"Buy it for
yourself." And he
BBE: So the near relation said to Boaz,
Take it for yourself. And he took off his shoe.
CEV: So after the man had
agreed to let Boaz buy the property, he took off one of his sandals
and handed it to Boaz. (CEV)
GWT: So when the man said to Boaz, "Buy
it for yourself," he took off his sandal. (GWT)
KJV: Therefore the kinsman said
unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
NJB: So, when the
man with the right of redemption said to Boaz, 'Acquire it for
yourself,' he took off his sandal. (NJB)
Young's Literal: And the redeemer saith to Boaz, 'Buy it for thyself,' and
draweth off his sandal.
Septuagint: And the kinsman said
to Booz, Buy my right for thyself: and he took off his shoe and
gave it to him
SO THE CLOSEST RELATIVE SAID TO BOAZ
"BUY IT FOR YOURSELF" AND HE REMOVED HIS SANDAL:
Closest relative is
again the verb (01350) (ga'al).
"Mr John Doe (“peloni almoni” Ru 4:1) now disappears from the
scene and because he has relinquished his rights in the present
context his name also disappears from history!
Baker's Evangelical Theological
Dictionary summarizes this section observing that...
Boaz went to the city gate and
shrewdly began the process of acquiring Elimelech's inheritance and
Ruth. The other near relative was happy to acquire more land, but not
at the costs associated with Ruth. Apparently the inheritance rights
also required the kinsman to raise up a child for the deceased if
there were any possibility of doing so. Naomi was probably too old to
bear a child for Elimelech, but not so Ruth. The near relative would
need to spend assets from his own inheritance to gain Elimelech's
land, but the child, when of age, could claim back the purchased land.
Thus he determines it is not profitable for him to acquire the land;
Boaz, whose circumstances are substantially different, willingly
offers to redeem the land and raise up a child to Elimelech. Boaz and
his near relative, in the presence of witnesses at the gate, sealed
their transaction by the accepted custom of trading sandals. Once
again, the sovereignty of God is seen to extend over all the practical
details of everyday life, including strategic legal transactions. (Ruth,
Theology of - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
(qanah) (in the form of an imperative or a command) means to
buy, to purchase, to acquire, to possess. This is the very word used
to describe God Himself "buying back" His people...
"Terror and dread fall upon them;
By the greatness of Thine arm they are motionless as stone; Until Thy
people pass over, O LORD, Until the people pass over whom Thou hast
purchased (qanah)." (Exodus 15:16)
"Remember Thy congregation, which
Thou hast purchased (qanah) of old, which Thou hast
to be the tribe of Thine inheritance; And this Mount Zion, where Thou
hast dwelt." (Psalm 74:2)
Then it will happen on that day
that the Lord will again recover (qanah) the second time
with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From
Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the
islands of the sea.
Comment: Refers to a yet
future regathering of the Jewish people at the second coming of Christ
-- Mt 24:31-- the first being the regathering under Zerubbabel in 537
God gave Boaz
the honor to be part of the line of the Messiah, while the
"John Doe" kinsman, who was afraid of lessening himself, and marring his
inheritance, and as a result had his name, family, and inheritance forgotten.
Removed his sandal - The
IVP Background Commentary has the
following note of explanation regarding the sandal scene:
Sandals were the ordinary footwear in the ancient Near East, but they
were also a symbolic item of clothing, especially in the relationship
between the widow and her legal guardian. This may have been due to
the fact that land was purchased based on whatever size triangle of
land the buyer could walk off in an hour, a day, a week or a month
(1Ki 21:16, 17). Land was surveyed in triangles, and a benchmark was
constructed of fieldstones to serve as a boundary marker (Dt 19:14).
Since they walked off the land in sandals, the
sandals became the moveable title to that land. By removing the
sandals of her guardian, a widow removed his authorization to
administer the land of her household. Land transfers in the Nuzi texts
also involved replacing the old owner’s foot on the land with that of
the new owner. (Matthews,
V. h., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. The IVP Bible background
commentary : Old Testament . Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press)
said to the
today that I
bought from the
BBE: Then Boaz said to the responsible
men and to all the people, You are witnesses today that I have taken
at a price from Naomi all the property which was Elimelech's, and
everything which was Chilion's and Mahlon's.
CEV: Boaz told the town
leaders and everyone else: All of you are witnesses that today I have
bought from Naomi the property that belonged to Elimelech and his two
sons, Chilion and Mahlon. (CEV)
GWT: Then Boaz said to the leaders and
to all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from
Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion
and Mahlon. (GWT)
KJV: And 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.
NJB: Boaz then said to the
elders and all the people there, 'Today you are witnesses that from
Naomi I acquire everything that used to belong to Elimelech, and
everything that used to belong to Mahlon and Chilion (NJB)
Young's Literal: And Boaz saith to the elders, and to all the people, 'Witnesses are
ye to-day that I have bought all that is to Elimelech, and all that is
to Chilion and Mahlon, from the hand of Naomi;
Septuagint: And Booz said to the
elders and to all the people, Ye are this day witnesses, that I
have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that belonged to
Chelaion and Maalon, of the hand of Noemin
THEN BOAZ SAID
TO THE ELDERS AND ALL THE PEOPLE YOU ARE WITNESSES TODAY THAT I HAVE
BOUGHT FROM THE HAND OF NAOMI ALL THAT BELONGED TO ELIMELECH
AND ALL THAT BELONGED TO CHILION AND MAHLON: (Ge 23:16-18;
('ed) refers to someone who will be accepted to bear a true
testimony in various situations for various reasons. Boaz as a wise
businessman makes sure the deal is "ironclad" as we might say today.
(qanah) means to buy, to purchase, to acquire, to possess.
Remember what is Boaz's motive for doing
this? HE LOVES RUTH. Ruth's first son would rightly be known as
the `son of Elimelech', thus perpetuating the name of the dead. This
son would also be heir to the property, so ensuring continuation of
the family's name and possessions.
In verses 9-10 all the family
members were mentioned again except Orpah. She had also faded into
anonymity with the nameless nearer kinsman.
Mahlon, to be
wife in order
raise up the
name of the
deceased on his
name of the
off from his
court of his
place; you are
BBE: And, further, I have taken Ruth,
the Moabitess, who was the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to keep the
name of the dead man living in his heritage, so that his name may not
be cut off from among his countrymen, and from the memory of his town:
you are witnesses this day.
CEV: You are also witnesses
that I have agreed to marry Mahlon's widow Ruth, the Moabite woman.
This will keep the property in his family's name, and he will be
remembered in this town. (CEV)
GWT: In addition, I have bought as my
wife the Moabite Ruth, Mahlon's widow, to keep the inheritance in the
dead man's name. In this way the dead man's name will not be cut off
from his relatives or from the public records. Today you are
KJV: Moreover 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.
that I am also acquiring Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, to be my
wife, to perpetuate the dead man's name in his inheritance, so that
the dead man's name will not be lost among his brothers and at the
gate of his town. Today you are witnesses to this.' (NJB)
Young's Literal: and also Ruth the Moabitess, wife of Mahlon, I have bought to
myself for a wife, to raise up the name of the dead over his
inheritance; and the name of the dead is not cut off from among his
brethren, and from the gate of his place; witnesses ye are to-day.'
Septuagint: Moreover I have bought for myself for a wife
Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Maalon, to raise up the name of the
dead upon his inheritance; so the name of the dead shall not be
destroyed from among his brethren, and from the tribe of his people:
ye are this day witnesses
MOREOVER I HAVE ACQUIRED RUTH THE MOABITESS
THE WIDOW OF MAHLON TO BE MY WIFE: (Ge 29:18,19,27 29:19;
29:27 Pr 18:22; 19:14; 31:10 31:11; Hos 3:2; 12:12; Eph 5:25)
(qanah) means to purchase and here means to possess.
Boaz acted more nobly in that he acted as goel willingly, without
compulsion, showing no reluctance to state openly that he had acquired
the Moabitess. Boaz obviously is not ashamed of her past and he accepts her for who she is now
(cp Ru 1:16, Ru 2:12), not where
she came from (Moab, a land of idol worshippers). Jesus Christ, the greater Kinsman Redeemer is likewise
ashamed to call us brothers even though we once hated Him! The writer
of Hebrews says that since Jesus
Who sanctifies and those who are
sanctified are all from one Father... He is not ashamed to call them
brethren. (Heb 2:11-note)
the Moabitess - The
author designates Ruth with this specific title 5x (Ru 1:22, 2:2,
2:21, 4:5, 4:10)
IN ORDER TO RAISE UP THE NAME OF THE
DECEASED ON HIS INHERITANCE SO THAT THE NAME OF THE DECEASED
MAY NOT BE CUT OFF
FROM HIS BROTHERS OR FROM THE COURT OF HIS BIRTH PLACE YOU ARE
WITNESSES TODAY: (Dt 25:6; Josh 7:9; Ps 34:16; 109:15; Isa
48:19; Zech 13:2) (Isa 8:2 8:3; Mal 2:14; Heb13:4)
Raise up (06965)
(qum) literally was used to describe the physical action of rising up
but here is clearly is figurative conveying the idea of reviving the
name of the deceased.
Perpetuation of the family name (1Sa 24:21) was
an important feature that the levirate process provided (cf.
Cut off (03772)
(karat/karath) means literally to severe something from its
source and implies a violent action. The most important use of the
root is “to cut” a covenant. Here in Ruth 4:10 the meaning is of
course figurative and conveys the idea of exclusion from an
If Boaz a mere human being could
love an outcast, redeem her, and bring her into fellowship with
himself, God could love all the outcasts of the world, redeem them,
and bring them into fellowship with himself.
Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It!
Redeemed, how I love to
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.
-- Fanny Crosby
Our Daily Bread applies
Ruth's redemption by Boaz to the lives of believers in the following
During the American Revolution, the
British Crown offered General Joseph Reed a bribe. He replied at an
August 11, 1778, meeting of the Continental Congress by saying,
"I am not worth purchasing, but
such as I am, the King of Great Britain is not rich enough to do it."
Boaz was rich enough to take Ruth
as his wife. As a close relative of Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, Boaz
paid the price out of duty, but apparently he also loved Ruth. The
Old Testament redeemer had to be a near relative, be willing, and be
able to pay the price. Although love for the redeemed was not a
requirement, it sometimes motivated the redeemer. More important, God
Himself redeemed Israel because He loved the people.
Roman law added an obligation to the rules of redemption: The redeemed
had to repay the ransom price. Redeemed people were in debt to their
redeemer until they cleared the liability. Like Joseph Reed, we were
not worthy of being purchased, but God loved us so deeply that He
bought us with His Son's life. And we can only repay the Redeemer by
offering our own lives in return. (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
F B Meyer writes...
So this exquisite idyll, which
began with three deaths and famine, ends with marriage rejoicings.
Shall not all God’s idylls end thus? Shall it be left to the dream of
the novelist only to make happy for ever after? God has eternity at
his disposal, as well as time. Only trust Him; “thy darkest night
shall end in brightest day.”
It is impossible not to read
between these lines and see the foreshadowing of another marriage,
when the purchase of the Church shall issue in her everlasting union
with the Son,
in the presence of God the Father. Let us, however, apply these words
to ourselves as individuals.
The Lord Jesus has purchased us to
be his own, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with
his precious blood. He has also won back our patrimony;
this earth is his; and shall be yet rid of all intruding evil, to
shine as the brightest jewel in his crown.
He has received the shoe,
symbol of dominion and authority. He is not only our lover, but our
He waits to take us to Himself, in
love that shall not cease, and
compared to which all the love we have ever known is as moonlight
compared with sunshine. (Meyer, F. B.
Our Daily Homily)
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