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Ruth Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Ruth 4:1 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.

to the gate. In that age and earlier (e.g., Genesis 19:1) legal business was commonly handled at the gate of the city.

Ruth 4:2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.

Ruth 4:3 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:

Ruth 4:4 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.

Ruth 4:5 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.

buyest the field. The right of a kinsman-redeemer to redeem the property of a dead relative, thereby preventing it from passing outside the family, is set forth in Leviticus 25:25-34. These events described in the book of Ruth indicate that this right of property redemption was also directly linked to the responsibility of raising up children to preserve “the name of the dead upon his inheritance” (Ruth 4:10).

Ruth 4:6 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.

cannot redeem it. The redeemer must not only be a kinsman (Leviticus 25:25), but must also be willing, free and have the necessary price. As our great Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ indeed fulfills all the conditions (see notes on Revelation 5:1-10).

Ruth 4:7 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.

Ruth 4:8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

drew off his shoe. This act symbolized the fact that he was no longer able to walk on the tract of land under discussion and was giving up his right as kinsman to claim it for himself.

Ruth 4:9 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.

Ruth 4:10 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.

Ruth 4:11 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:

Ruth 4:12 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.

Ruth 4:13 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.

Ruth 4:14 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.

Ruth 4:15 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.

Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

Ruth 4:17 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.

Ruth 4:18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,

Pharez. Pharez was the son of Judah, so this genealogical summary clearly shows that David is descended from Judah, and thus able to fulfill Jacob's prophecy (Genesis 49:10) of the sceptre.

Ruth 4:19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,

Ruth 4:20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,

Salmon. According to Matthew 1:5, Salmon married Rahab the converted harlot, sometime after the fall of Jericho, and therefore Boaz was their son. (See introductory notes concerning gaps that may have occurred between Salmon and Boaz.)

Ruth 4:21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,

Ruth 4:22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

David. David was evidently born near the end of the judges period and Salmon near the beginning. The four generations between Salmon and David thus seem to have spanned the entire period “when the judges ruled” (Ruth 1:1), although it is possible that there are gaps in this genealogy. Note also that ten names are listed in the genealogy from Pharez to David. Deuteronomy 23:2 says that an illegitimate son could “not enter into the congregation of the Lord” until “the tenth generation.” Pharez, of course, was the illegitimate son of Judah and Tamar, but this genealogy indicates that David was free from this exclusion, even if there are no gaps in the genealogy.