Ruth 4:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
At this, the guardian-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it."

New Living Translation
"Then I can't redeem it," the family redeemer replied, "because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it."

English Standard Version
Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

New American Standard Bible
The closest relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The redeemer replied, "I can't redeem it myself, or I will ruin my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption, because I can't redeem it."

International Standard Version
At this, the nearer related redeemer replied, "Then I am unable to act as related redeemer, because that would complicate my own inheritance. You act instead as the related redeemer, because I cannot do so."

NET Bible
The guardian said, "Then I am unable to redeem it, for I would ruin my own inheritance in that case. You may exercise my redemption option, for I am unable to redeem it."

New Heart English Bible
The near kinsman said, "I can't redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption for yourself; for I can't redeem it."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
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."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And 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.'--

New American Standard 1977
And the closest relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the redeemer said, I cannot redeem it for myself lest I ruin my own inheritance; redeem thou; I cede my right to you, for I shall not be able to redeem it.

King James 2000 Bible
And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem you my right to yourself; for I cannot redeem it.

American King James Version
And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem you my right to yourself; for I cannot redeem it.

American Standard Version
And 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He answered: I yield up my right of next akin: for I must not cut off the posterity of my own family. Do thou make use of my privilege, which I profess I do willingly forego.

Darby Bible Translation
And he that had the right of redemption said, I cannot redeem [it] for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance. Redeem thou for thyself what I should redeem, for I cannot redeem [it].

English Revised Version
And 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

World English Bible
The near kinsman said, "I can't redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption for yourself; for I can't redeem it."

Young's Literal Translation
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.'
Study Bible
Boaz Redeems Ruth
5Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance." 6The closest relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it." 7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.…
Cross References
Leviticus 25:25
'If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold.

Deuteronomy 25:7
"But 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.'
Treasury of Scripture

And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem you my right to yourself; for I cannot redeem it.

I cannot The Targum seems to give the proper sense of this passage: `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.'

(6) Lest I mar . . .--The redemption of the land would involve the spending of money, drawn away from the Goel's own estate; but the land thus acquired would not belong to the Goel himself, but to the son he should have by Ruth, who would yet be, in the eyes of the law, the son of Mahlon. It would, therefore, be like mortgaging one's own estate, and that for the benefit of another. Josephus and the Targum explain it by saying that he already had a wife, and feared the discord that might arise.

Verse 6. - And the kinsman said, I am not able to perform, for myself, the kinsman's part, lest I should destroy my inheritance. Perform thou, for thyself, the kinsman's part devolving on me, for I am not able to perform it. 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 and the spirit of his dream. He "could not," so he strongly put it, perform the kinsman's part. The probability is that he already had a family, but was a widower. This being the state of the case, it followed that if he should acquire Ruth along with her father-in-law's property, there might be an addition, perhaps a numerous addition, to his family; and if so, then there would be more to provide for during his lifetime, and at his death an increased subdivision of his patrimony. This, as he strongly put it, would be to "destroy" his patrimony, inasmuch as it might be frittered into insignificant fractions. There can be no reference, as the Chaldee Targumist imagined, to his fear of domestic dissensions. Or, if he did indeed think of such a casualty, he certainly did not give the idea expression to Boaz and the assessors. Cassel takes another view. "It must be," he says, "her Moabitish nationality that forms the ground, such as it is, of the kinsman's refusal. Elimelech's misfortunes had been popularly ascribed to his emigration to Moab; the death of Chillon and Machlon to their marriage with Moabitish women. This it was that had endangered their inheritance. The goal fears a similar fate. He thinks that he ought not to take into his house a woman, marriage with whom has already been visited with the extinguishment of a family in Israel." But if this had been what he referred to when he spoke of the "destruction" of his inheritance, it was not much in harmony with the benevolence which he owed to Boaz, and to which he so far gives expression in the courtesy of his address, that he should have gratuitously urged upon his relative what he declined as dangerous for himself. The expressions "for myself" and "for thyself" (לִי and לְך) are significant. The anonymous relative does not conceal the idea that it would be only on the ground of doing what would be for his own interest that he could entertain for consideration the proposal of Naomi. He likewise assumed that if Boaz should be willing to act the kinsman's part, it would be simply because it could be turned to account for his own interest. He did not know that there was in Boaz's heart a love that truly "seeketh not her own," but in honor prefers the things of another. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself,.... On such a condition, because he had a wife, as the Targum suggests; and to take another would, as that intimates, tend to introduce contention into his family, and make him uncomfortable; so Josephus says (h), he had a wife and children, for that reason it was not convenient for him to take the purchase on such a condition:

lest I mar my own inheritance; he considered, that as he had a wife and children already and as he might have more by marrying Ruth, his family expenses would be increased, and his estate diminished; and what would remain must be divided among many, and this estate in particular go to Ruth's firstborn, whereby his own inheritance would be scattered and crumbled, and come to little or nothing; add to all which, he might suppose that her ancient mother Naomi would be upon his hands to maintain also:

redeem thou my right for thyself which I am ready to give up to thee, for thou hast no wife, as the Targum expresses it:

for I can not redeem it; in the circumstances I am, and upon the condition annexed to the purchase.

(h) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 4. 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.4:1-8 This matter depended on the laws given by Moses about inheritances, and doubtless the whole was settled in the regular and legal manner. This kinsman, when he heard the conditions of the bargain, refused it. In like manner many are shy of the great redemption; they are not willing to espouse religion; they have heard well of it, and have nothing to say against it; they will give it their good word, but they are willing to part with it, and cannot be bound to it, for fear of marring their own inheritance in this world. The right was resigned to Boaz. Fair and open dealing in all matters of contract and trade, is what all must make conscience of, who would approve themselves true Israelites, without guile. Honesty will be found the best policy.
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OT History: Ruth 4:6 The near kinsman said I can't redeem (Ru Rut.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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