Ruth 4:1
Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; to whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Went up.—Inasmuch as the town stood on a hill: so in Ruth 3:3, Ruth is bidden to go down to the threshing-floor.

The kinsman.—The Goel. (See Ruth 3:12).

Turn aside.—The form of the imperative is such as to give a hortatory turn, pray turn aside and sit down.

Such a one.—Heb.,p’loni almoni. This phrase is used like the English so-and-so, such-and-such, of names which it is thought either unnecessary or undesirable to give. The derivation is probably from palah, to mark out, to separate, to distinguish, and alam, to hide, giving the twofold notion of one who is indicated, though in a certain sense concealed. The phrase is used of places, 1Samuel 21:2, 2Kings 6:8; see also Daniel 8:13. Why the name is not recorded here does not appear; possibly it was not known to the writer, or it may have been thought unworthy of recording, since he neglected his plain duty in refusing to raise up seed to the dead. We know nothing of this unnamed person save the fact of the offering of the redemption set before him, and his refusal of it, an offer which involved the glory of being the ancestor of the Christ who was to be born in the far-off ages.

Ruth 4:1. Then went Boaz up to the gate — Where the elders sat. The Chaldee interprets it, “He went up to the gate of the house of judgment, where the Sanhedrim sat.” Behold, the kinsman came by — Providence so ordering it that he should come by thus opportunely when the matter was ready to be proposed to him. Great affairs are frequently much furthered and expedited by small circumstances.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.The gate is the place of concourse, of business, and of justice in Oriental cities (see Judges 19:15 note; Genesis 34:20; Deuteronomy 16:18).

Ho, such a one! - Indicating that the name of the kinsman was either unknown or purposely concealed 1 Samuel 21:2; 2 Kings 6:8.

CHAPTER 4

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.Boaz goeth up to the gate, calleth his kinsman; inquires whether he would redeem and marry Ruth, Ruth 4:1-5. He refuseth, Ruth 4:6-8. Boaz, the people witnessing and congratulating, buyeth the inheritance, and marrieth Ruth, Ruth 4:9-12. She beareth Obed the grandfather of David, Ruth 4:13-17. The genealogy from Pharez unto David, Ruth 4:18-22.

The gate; the place where controversies were decided, and the people assembled, and where they used to go out and come in to the town; where he was most likely to find his kinsman. Ho, such a one! doubtless Boaz both knew his name, and called him by it; but it is omitted by the holy writer, partly because it was unnecessary to know it; and principally in way of contempt, as is usual, and as a just punishment upon him, that he who would not preserve his brother’s name might lose his own, and be buried in the grave of perpetual oblivion.

Sit down here, I have some business of importance with you.

Then went Boaz up to the gate,.... In the middle of the day, as Josephus (d) says, to the gate of the city, where people were continually passing and repassing to and from the country, and where he was most likely to meet with the person he wanted to see and converse with, and where courts of judicature were usually held, and where it was proper to call one to determine the affair he had in hand; so the Targum,"and Boaz went up to the gate of the house of judgment of the sanhedrim:''

and set him down there; waiting for the person or persons passing by, with whom be chose to speak:

and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; the kinsman that was nearer than he, of whom he had spoke to Ruth, that if he would not redeem her, he would; a "behold" is prefixed to this, to observe the providence of God that ordered it so, that he should come that way just at the time Boaz was sitting there, and waiting for him; who perhaps was going into his field to look after his threshers and winnowers, as Boaz had been:

unto whom he said, ho, such an one; calling him by his name, though it is not expressed; which the writer of this history might not know, or, if he did, thought it not material to give it, some have been of opinion that it is purposely concealed, as a just retaliation to him, that as he chose not to raise up seed to his kinsman, to perpetuate his name, so his own is buried in oblivion; though it might be done in his favour, that his name might not be known, and lie under disgrace, for refusing to act the part he ought according to the law to have done; hence the plucking off the shoe, and spitting in his face, were done to such an one by way of contempt and reproach. The words are "peloni almoni", words used by the Hebrews of persons and places, whose names they either could not, or did not choose to mention, which two words are contracted into "palmoni" in Daniel 8:13. The name of this man was "Tob" or "Tobias", according to some Jewish writers; see Gill on Ruth 3:13, to him Boaz said,

turn aside, and sit down here; and he turned aside, and sat down; instead of going right forward, as he intended, about his business, he turned on one side as he was desired, and sat down by Boaz.

(d) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 4.

Then went Boaz up to the {a} gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, {b} Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

(a) Which was the place of judgment.

(b) The Hebrews here use two words which have no proper meaning, but serve to denote a certain person, as we would say, Ho, so-and-so.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ch. 4. Ruth’s marriage and descendants

1. Now Boaz went up] He had decided to redeem Elimelech’s estate if the next of kin refused the obligation; this is the primary meaning of the transaction about to be described. went up, i.e. from the threshing-floor; cf. go down Ruth 3:3, of the opposite direction. Bethlehem is situated on the summit of two knolls.

the gate] where family law was administered, Deuteronomy 25:7; cf. Deuteronomy 3:11 n. Boaz knew that the Go’el would be passing out of the town in the morning.

Ho, such a one!] A form of address indicating a definite person without expressly naming him; cf. 1 Samuel 21:2, 2 Kings 6:8 (of a place).Verse 1. - And Boaz went up, to the gate, and sat there. He "went up," for the city stood, as it still stands, on a ridge (see on Ruth 1:1; 3:6). "And sat there," on one of the stones, or stone benches, that were set for the accommodation of the townsfolk. The gateway in the East often corresponded, as a place of meeting, to the forum, or the market-place, in the West. Boaz had reason to believe that his kinsman would be either passing out to his fields, or passing in from his threshing-floor, through the one gate of the city. And lo, the kinsman of whom Boaz had spoken was passing; and he said, Ho, such a one I turn hither and sit here. And he turned and sat down. Boaz called his kinsman by his name; but the writer does not name him, either because he could not, or because he would not. The phrase "such a one," or "so and so," is a purely idiomatic English equivalent for the purely idiomatic Hebrew phrase פְלֹנִי אַלְמֹנִי. A literal translation is impossible. The Latin N.N. corresponds. Boaz praised her conduct: "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter (see Ruth 2:20); thou hast made thy later love better than the earlier, that thou hast not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. " Ruth's earlier or first love was the love she had shown to her deceased husband and her mother-in-law (comp. Ruth 2:11, where Boaz praises this love); the later love she had shown in the fact, that as a young widow she had not sought to win the affections of young men, as young women generally do, that she might have a youthful husband, but had turned trustfully to the older man, that he might find a successor to her deceased husband, through a marriage with him, in accordance with family custom (vid., Ruth 4:10). "And now," added Boaz (Ruth 3:11), "my daughter, fear not; for all that thou sayest I will do to thee: for the whole gate of my people (i.e., all my city, the whole population of Bethlehem, who go in and out at the gate: see Genesis 34:24; Deuteronomy 17:2) knoweth that thou art a virtuous woman." Consequently Boaz saw nothing wrong in the fact that Ruth had come to him, but regarded her request that he would marry her as redeemer as perfectly natural and right, and was ready to carry out her wish as soon as the circumstances would legally allow it. He promised her this (vv. 12, 13), saying, "And now truly I am a redeemer; but there is a nearer redeemer than I. Stay here this night (or as it reads at the end of v. 13, 'lie till the morning'), and in the morning, if he will redeem thee, well, let him redeem; but if it does not please him to redeem thee, I will redeem thee, as truly as Jehovah liveth." אם כּי (Kethibh, v. 12), after a strong assurance, as after the formula used in an oath, "God do so to me," etc., 2 Samuel 3:35; 2 Samuel 15:21 (Kethibh), and 2 Kings 5:20, is to be explained from the use of this particle in the sense of nisi, except that, equals only: "only I am redeemer," equivalent to, assuredly I am redeemer (cf. Ewald, 356, b.). Consequently there is no reason whatever for removing the אם from the text, as the Masorites have done (in the Keri).

(Note: What the ל maju sc., in ליני signifies, is uncertain. According to the smaller Masora, it was only found among the eastern (i.e., Palestinian) Jews. Consequently Hiller (in his Arcanum Keri et Ctibh, p. 163) conjectures that they used it to point out a various reading, viz., that לנּי should be the reading here. But this is hardly correct.)

Ruth was to lie till morning, because she could not easily return to the city in the dark at midnight; but, as is shown in Ruth 3:14, she did not stay till actual daybreak, but "before one could know another, she rose up, and he said (i.e., as Boaz had said), It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing-floor." For this would have injured the reputation not only of Ruth, but also of Boaz himself.

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