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.
Ruth 4:2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
It seems that Boaz didn’t waste any time to position himself at the gate of the city. This was the recognized place of business transactions and at which the elders of the city often met. He knew that he was sure to meet his kinsman there. As soon as he saw the man, he let him know that he had business to conduct with him and then gathered ten elders of the city to serves as witnesses to their transaction.
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.
Boaz informed the man that Naomi had returned from Moab and needed to sell the land that had belonged to Elimelech. As the one possessing the privilege of first right, he asked the man to agree to buy it before the witness of these elders; if he did not want to, Boaz wanted it. The kinsman immediately agreed to buy the land.
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.
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.
Boaz then informed him that the transaction included not only Naomi, but also Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Elimelech’s dead son. The transaction would include marrying Ruth to produce a son to continue the name of Elimelech and preserve the land inheritance of the family. Once the kinsman heard this, he declared himself unable to do this since it might put his own inheritance at risk and yielded his right to Boaz.
I think Boaz was well aware of the character of this kinsman and was quite sure that he would not accept the role of kinsman-redeemer knowing that his investment would not result in profit to himself or his family. Boaz, however, was ready to accept the responsibility of taking care of Naomi and to accept the financial loss incurred from producing an heir for Elimelech. I think this testifies to the fact that Ruth had won his heart.
Personally, I think that though his child would be recognized as Elimelech’s heir, Boaz knew he would still be the child’s father—and what father would not want to bless his son.
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.
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.
There was a custom in Israel that the transaction be confirmed by the first kinsman removing his shoe and giving it to the next as a public declaration of ceding his rights in the matter, and the kinsman did just that. Boaz then appealed to the elders and others that had stopped to see what was going on and had also witnessed the transaction to give testimony to the fact that Boaz had bought all that belonged to Elimelech from Naomi. He also wanted them to affirm that he had agreed to take Ruth as his wife and produce an heir to protect the land inheritance for Elimelech’s family.
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.
The people and the elders all publicly affirmed their witness. They then pronounced a blessing upon Boaz and his house. That called for Ruth to be as favored as Rachel and Leah, the mothers of the men that fathered the twelve tribes of Israel. They called for Boaz to be a man of great respect and honor for all he did in Bethlehem. Most interesting to me is that they called for Boaz to have sons like the house of Pharez, the son of Tamar and Judah.
David Guzik explains that Boaz was a descendant of Pharez through his son Hezron and his son Ram (as shown in verses 18-22 below). Another descendant of Pharez is actually named as the father of Bethlehem (see the genealogy in 1Chronicles 2).
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.
So…..Boaz married Ruth and wasted no time in producing an heir for Elimelech to carry on the family name and inheritance. I think it is significant to note that it is recognized that it was the LORD enabled Ruth to conceive. Scripture is clear in declaring that it is the LORD that opens and closes wombs and that children are a gift from Him.
Genesis 29:31 “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb….”
Genesis 30:1–2 “And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?”
Psalms 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Isaiah 44:24 “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things….”
Naomi’s friends all congratulated her for God’s blessings upon her and called for God to make this boy famous in Israel. This pronounced blessing would find fulfillment in the fact that he would become the grandfather of King David.
They acknowledged Ruth, the mother of this child, as one who loved Naomi better than seven sons could have.
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,
Ruth 4:19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
Ruth 4:20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
Ruth 4:21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
Ruth 4:22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Naomi was a very loving grandmother and immediately became the child’s caretaker; I think this means she was very “hands on” in the training up of her grandchild.
Interestingly, the record notes that Naomi’s neighbors named the child and called him Obed, meaning servant—I think because of the expectation that he would be the one who would ensure that Naomi was taken care of in her old age.
There is one other interesting note regarding the genealogy of Boaz; he was the son of Rahab, the harlot that was instrumental in saving the two Jewish spies who were sent to Jericho prior to that first battle in taking the Promised Land.
Joshua 6:22–25 “But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel….And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.”
Matthew 1:5 “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab….” (NKJ)
It is really amazing to me that God goes into such detail to help us understand His amazing love and grace. Though the Savior was to be born of the nation of Israel from the seed of Abraham, God graciously points out that a Gentile harlot was included in his lineage. Though God chose the people of Israel as His special possession among the nations, His plan for salvation has always included the peoples of all nations. He loves each and every person born in this world and hates the thought of any one of them choosing eternal death over the eternal gift of life that He offers so freely through His Son.
Ezekiel 33:11 “…As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live….”
John 3:16–17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”