Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
Ru 4:1-5. Boaz Calls into Judgment the Next Kinsman.
1. Then went Boaz up to the gate of the city—a roofed building, unenclosed by walls; the place where, in ancient times, and in many Eastern towns still, all business transactions are made, and where, therefore, the kinsman was most likely to be found. No preliminaries were necessary in summoning one before the public assemblage; no writings and no delay were required. In a short conversation the matter was stated and arranged—probably in the morning as people went out, or at noon when they returned from the field.
And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
2. he took ten men of the elders of the city—as witnesses. In ordinary circumstances, two or three were sufficient to attest a bargain; but in cases of importance, such as matrimony, divorce, conveyancing of property, it was the Jewish practice to have ten (1Ki 21:8).
And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
3. Naomi … selleth a parcel of land—that is, entertains the idea of selling. In her circumstances she was at liberty to part with it (Le 25:25). Both Naomi and Ruth had an interest in the land during their lives; but Naomi alone was mentioned, not only because she directed all the negotiations, but because the introduction of Ruth's name would awaken a suspicion of the necessity of marrying her, before the first proposition was answered.
And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
4. there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee—(See on De 25:5). The redemption of the land of course involved a marriage with Ruth, the widow of the former owner.
Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
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.
Ru 4:9-12. He Marries Ruth.
9. Boaz said unto the elders, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was … Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi—Although the widow of Chilion was still living, no regard was paid to her in the disposal of her husband's property. From her remaining in Moab, she was considered to have either been married again, or to have renounced all right to an inheritance with the family of Elimelech.
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.
10. Ruth the Moabitess … have I purchased to be my wife—This connection Boaz not only might form, since Ruth had embraced the true religion, but he was under a legal necessity of forming it.
And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
11. all the people and the elders, said, We are witnesses—A multitude, doubtless from curiosity or interest, were present on the occasion. There was no signing of deeds; yet was the transfer made, and complete security given, by the public manner in which the whole matter was carried on and concluded.
the Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah—This was the usual bridal benediction.
And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
12. let thy house be like the house of Pharez—that is, as honorable and numerous as his. He was the ancestor of the Beth-lehem people, and his family one of the five from which the tribe of Judah sprang.
So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.
Ru 4:13-18. She Bears Obed.
And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
17. Obed—means "servant."
Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
18-22. these are the generations of Pharez—that is, his descendants. This appendix shows that the special object contemplated by the inspired author of this little book was to preserve the memory of an interesting domestic episode, and to trace the genealogy of David. There was an interval of three hundred eighty years between Salmon and David. It is evident that whole generations are omitted; the leading personages only are named, and grandfathers are said, in Scripture language, to beget their grandchildren, without specifying the intermediate links.
And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.