Ruth 4

1 Now Boaz went up to the gate, and sat down there. Behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by. He said to him, “Come over here, friend, and sit down!” He turned aside, and sat down. 2 He took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here,” and they sat down. 3 He said to the near kinsman, “Naomi, who has come back out of the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s. 4 I thought I should tell you, saying, ‘Buy it before those who sit here, and before the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know. For there is no one to redeem it besides you; and I am after you.” He said, “I will redeem it.” 5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must buy it also from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance.” 6 The near kinsman said, “I can’t redeem it for myself, lest I endanger my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption for yourself; for I can’t redeem it.” 7 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 legalizing transactions in Israel. 8 So the near kinsman said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” then he took off his shoe. 9 Boaz said to the elders, and to all the people, “You are witnesses today, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I have purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from amongst his brothers, and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses today.” 11 All the people who were in the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which both built the house of Israel; and treat you worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 Let your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the offspring which the LORD will give you by this young woman.” 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she bore a son. 14 The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you today without a near kinsman. Let his name be famous in Israel. 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life, and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Naomi took the child, and laid him in her bosom, and became nurse to it. 17 The women, her neighbors, gave him a name, saying, “A son is born to Naomi”. They named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now this is the history of the generations of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19 and Hezron became the father of Ram, and Ram became the father of Amminadab, 20 and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon became the father of Salmon, 21 and Salmon became the father of Boaz, and Boaz became the father of Obed, 22 and Obed became the father of Jesse, and Jesse became the father of David.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 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.

Verses 9–12

Men are ready to seize opportunities for increasing their estates, but few know the value of godliness. Such are the wise men of this world, whom the Lord charges with folly. They attend not to the concerns of their souls, but reject the salvation of Christ, for fear of marring their inheritance. But God did Boaz the honour to bring him into the line of the Messiah, while the kinsman, who was afraid of lessening himself, and marring his inheritance, has his name, family, and inheritance forgotten.

Verses 13–22

Ruth bore a son, through whom thousands and myriads were born to God; and in being the lineal ancestor of Christ, she was instrumental in the happiness of all that shall be saved by him; even of us Gentiles, as well as those of Jewish descent. She was a witness for God to the Gentile world, that he had not utterly forsaken them, but that in due time they should become one with his chosen people, and partake of his salvation. Prayer to God attended the marriage, and praise to him attended the birth of the child. What a pity it is that pious language should not be more used among Christians, or that it should be let fall into formality! Here is the descent of David from Ruth. And the period came when Bethlehem-Judah displayed greater wonders than those in the history of Ruth, when the outcast babe of another forlorn female of the same race appeared, controlling the counsels of the Roman master of the world, and drawing princes and wise men from the east, with treasures of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh to his feet. His name shall endure for ever, and all nations shall call Him blessed. In that Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

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