|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:6-13 What in one age or nation would be improper, is not always so in another age or another nation. Being a judge of Israel, Boaz would tell Ruth what she should do; also whether he had the right of redemption, and what methods must be taken, and what rites used, in order to accomplishing her marriage with him or another person. The conduct of Boaz calls for the highest praise. He attempted not to take advantage of Ruth; he did not disdain her as a poor, destitute stranger, nor suspect her of any ill intentions. He spoke honourably of her as a virtuous woman, made her a promise, and as soon as the morning arrived, sent her away with a present to her mother-in-law. Boaz made his promise conditional, for there was a kinsman nearer than he, to whom the right of redemption belonged.
Verse 12. - And now it is the case of a truth that while I am a kinsman, there is yet a kinsman nearer than I. Or the rendering might with greater brevity be given thus: And now of a truth I am a kinsman; and yet there is a kinsman nearer than I. The survivals of a very ancient style of elaborately-detailed composition are here preserved. The archaism, however, was not quite appreciated by the Mazorites, who, in accordance with the spirit of the age in which they flourished, took but little note of the philological development, historical and prehistorical, of the language they were handling. Hence they suppressed the אִם in K'ri, though faithfully preserving it in C'tib. The particles, standing up and semi-isolated, palaeolithic-wise, might be accounted for in some such way as is shown in the following paraphrase: "And now (I declare) 'that' of a truth (it is the case) 'that if (I declare the whole truth) I (am) a kinsman, and also there is a kinsman nearer than I." Boas was of that strictly honorable cast of mind that he could not for a moment entertain any project that might amount to a disregard of the rights of others, even although these rights should fly violently in the teeth own personal desires.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And now it is true, that I am thy near kinsman,.... Her husband and he being brothers' sons, so own cousins:
howbeit, there is a kinsman nearer than I, who was, the Jews say (w), the brother of her husband's father, and so his uncle, which was a nearer relation than an own cousin.
(w) Midrash Ruth, ut supra. (31. 4. & 34. 2) Jarchi in loc.
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