Ruth 4:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

New Living Translation
Now in those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction.

English Standard Version
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel.

New American Standard Bible
Now 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.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
At an earlier period in Israel, a man removed his sandal and gave it to the other party in order to make any matter legally binding concerning the right of redemption or the exchange of property. This was the method of legally binding a transaction in Israel.

International Standard Version
During Israel's earlier history, all things concerning redeeming or changing inheritances were confirmed by a man taking off his sandal and giving it to the other party, thereby creating a public record in Israel.

NET Bible
(Now this used to be the customary way to finalize a transaction involving redemption in Israel: A man would remove his sandal and give it to the other party. This was a legally binding act in Israel.)

GOD'S WORD® Translation
(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 in Israel.)

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now for a long time in Israel there had been this custom concerning redemption or contracts, that for the confirmation of all matters: one plucked off his shoe and gave it to his neighbour, and this was a testimony in Israel.

King James 2000 Bible
Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, for to confirm all things; a man took off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel.

American King James Version
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 neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel.

American Standard Version
Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now this in former times was the manner in Israel between kinsmen, that if at any time one yielded his right to another: that the grant might be sure, the man put off his shoe, and gave it to his neighhour; this was a testimony of cession of right in Israel.

Darby Bible Translation
Now this [was the custom] in former time in Israel concerning redemption and concerning exchange, to confirm the whole matter: a man drew off his sandal, and gave it to his neighbour, and this was the [mode of] attestation in Israel.

English Revised Version
Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, for to confirm all things; a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.

Webster's Bible Translation
Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for confirming all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel.

World English Bible
Now this was [the custom] in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man took off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the [way of] attestation in Israel.

Young's Literal Translation
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.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - And this was formerly a custom in Israel, on occasion of surrendering rights of kinship, or of selling and buying land, in order to confirm any matter; a man drew off his shoe and gave it to the other contracting party. This was attestation in Israel. We give a free translation. The custom was significant enough. He who sold land, or surrendered his right to act as a kinsman in buying land, intimated by the symbolical act of taking off his shoe, and handing it to his friend, that he freely gave up his right to walk upon the soil, in favor of the person who had acquired the possession. Corresponding symbolical acts, in connection with the transfer of lands, have been common, and probably still are, in many countries. No doubt the shoe, after being received, would be immediately returned.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming,.... It is a custom, and not a law, that seems here referred to, when an estate was bought and sold; not the law in Leviticus 25:25, though that respects the redemption of an estate by a near kinsman, yet no such manner was enjoined as here practised afterwards, made mention of; nor the law in Deuteronomy 25:5 which does not concern the redemption of estates, nor a kinsman's marrying the widow of a deceased kinsman, but a brother's marrying the widow of a deceased brother, and the rites and ceremonies there enjoined upon refusal are different from those here used; though Josephus (i) is express for it, that the law is here referred to; but this is not only concerning purchase of estates, but "concerning changing" also one field for another as Aben Ezra interprets it: "for to confirm all things"; the following custom was observed for the confirmation of any bargain whatever, whether by sale or barter, and where there was no marriage in the case:

a man plucked off his shoe and gave it to his neighbour; signifying thereby, that he yielded his right to him in the thing sold or bartered; the Targum says, he plucked off the glove of his right hand, which perhaps was then in use, when the Targumist wrote, and answered the same purpose; and, according to Jarchi, it was a linen cloth, vail, or handkerchief, that was used, and delivered by the one to the other; and of this way of buying writes Elias (k); at this day, says he, we purchase by a linen cloth or handkerchief called "sudar", which is a garment; and this two witnesses take, and explain before them the words of their agreement, and each of the witnesses stretches out the skirt of the garment, and those that take upon them to confirm every matter, touch the skirt of their garments; and this is called purchasing by "sudar", or the linen cloth:

and this was a testimony in Israel; a witness to, or a confirmation of the bargain made; but who gave the shoe, whether the kinsman or Boaz, is not certain from the text; and about which the Jewish writers are divided, as Jarchi observes.

(i) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 4. (k) Tishbi, p. 207. See Leo Modena's History of the Rites, &c. of the present Jews, part 2. c. 6.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

7, 8. a man plucked off his shoe—Where the kinsman refused to perform his duty to the family of his deceased relation, the widow was directed to pull off the shoe with some attendant circumstances of contemptuous disdain. But, as in this case, there was no refusal, the usual ignominy was spared; and the plucking off the shoe, the only ceremony observed, was a pledge of the transaction being completed.

Ruth 4:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
Boaz Redeems Ruth
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. 8So the closest relative said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself." And he removed his sandal.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 25:8
Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, "I do not want to marry her,"

Deuteronomy 25:9
his brother's widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, "This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother's family line."

Ruth 4:8
So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself." And he removed his sandal.
Treasury of Scripture

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 neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel.

a man plucked off. This custom does not refer to the law about refusing to marry a brother's widow, but was usual in the transfer of inheritances: for this relative was not a brother, but simply a kinsman; and the shoe was not pulled off by Ruth, but by the kinsman himself. The Targumist, instead of {his shoe}, renders `his right hand glove,' it probably being the custom, in his time, to give that instead of a shoe. Jarchi says, `When we purchase any thing new, it is customary to give, instead of a shoe, a handkerchief or veil.'

Deuteronomy 25:7-10 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his …

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Alphabetical: Now a and another any attestation become concerning confirm custom earlier exchange final for former gave his in Israel Israel it land legalizing man manner matter method Now of off one other party property redemption removed sandal the This times to took transactions transfer was

OT History: Ruth 4:7 Now this was the custom in former (Ru Rut.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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