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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Ruth 4

 

 

Verses 1-22

Boaz marries Ruth (4:1-22)

Feeling the effects of the poverty of widowhood, Naomi decided to sell her late husband's land. To prevent the land from passing out of the family, she had to ensure that it was bought (or redeemed) by the nearest relative (cf. Leviticus 25:23-28). In this case that person was the same one who had to produce through Ruth an heir who could carry on the names of the late Elimelech (Naomi's husband) and Mahlon (Elimelech's son and Ruth's husband). But should such an heir be born, he would also inherit the family property. That meant that the close relative who bought Naomi's land would later lose it if he produced a son through Ruth. The man was willing to buy Naomi's land if that was all he was required to do, but to marry Ruth as well would cause him financial loss (4:1-6).

By the ceremony of handing over his shoe, the man with the right to buy Naomi's property indicated that he was handing this right over to Boaz. The way was now clear for Boaz to marry Ruth. This gave Boaz the chance to keep alive the family name of Elimelech (and Mahlon), to hold on to their family property, and to marry the woman he loved (7-10). The witnesses and onlookers at the ceremony blessed Boaz and Ruth with the wish that God would make them as fruitful and prosperous as Israel's ancestors (11-12).

The child born to Boaz and Ruth meant a lot to Naomi, but what most enriched her life was the love and care of her daughter-in-law Ruth (13-15). History shows that the onlookers' good wishes for Boaz and Ruth's child were fulfilled in a greater way than they could possibly have expected. The child not merely carried on the name of Naomi's husband and son, but he became the grandfather of King David and an ancestor of Jesus the Messiah (16-22; cf. Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:5).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ruth 4:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/ruth-4.html. 2005.

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