Ruth 4:1-12

Boaz marries Ruth

1 In the morning, Boaz went to the gate of the town and he sat down there. Later, the family-redeemer that Boaz had talked about to Ruth came there. Boaz said to him, ‘Come here, my friend, and sit down.’ So, the man went to sit with Boaz.

4:1The gate of the town was an important place. The town's leaders met there to decide important things.

2 Boaz chose ten of the town's leaders and he said to them, ‘Come and sit here.’ So they sat down. 3 Then Boaz said to the family-redeemer, ‘Naomi has returned from Moab. She wants to sell the piece of land that belonged to our relative, Elimelech. 4 I thought that I must tell you about this, in front of the leaders of our town. Tell us if you will buy this land from Naomi, so that all the people who sit here know what you decide. If you want to buy it, then you should buy it. If you do not want to buy it, then you must tell me. Then I will know what to do. You are the person who must decide. If you do not choose to buy the land, then I can buy it.’ The relative said, ‘I will buy it.’

5 Then Boaz said, ‘You should also know this: When you buy the land from Naomi, you also have to marry the Moabite woman, Ruth. She is the widow of Elimelech's son. She will give birth to your children and Elimelech's land will continue to belong to his family.’

6 When Boaz said that, the relative replied, ‘If that is true, I cannot buy the land. It would not belong to my own children when I die. You may buy the land instead of me. I cannot buy it myself.’

4:6The family-redeemer might marry Ruth and have a son. If the family-redeemer had no other sons, then Ruth's son would receive all his land. His land would then be in Elimelech's family. This would not be any different for Boaz. But Boaz wanted to be kind to Ruth and Naomi.

7 In Israel at this time, when somebody agreed to sell land, he removed his shoe. He gave it to the man who was buying the land. Then everyone could see that they both agreed. They could not change their minds.

8 So the relative said to Boaz, ‘You may buy the land.’ When he said that, he removed his shoe.

9 Boaz said to the town's leaders and to all the people there, ‘You have all seen today that I have bought the land from Naomi. I have bought all the land that belonged to Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I will also marry Ruth, who came here from Moab. She was Mahlon's wife. In that way, the land will still belong to his family. Ruth's descendants will still have his family's name. His family will continue to belong to this town where he lived. Today you have seen that this is what we have agreed together.’

11 Then all the leaders and the other people at the gate said, ‘We have seen that this is true. We pray that the Lord will bless the woman who is coming into your home as your wife. We pray that he will bless her as he blessed Rachel and Leah. They gave birth to many children for the family of Israel. We pray that you will become a rich man in Ephrathah's clan. And we pray that you will become famous in Bethlehem town. 12 We pray that this woman will give birth to many children for you. Then the Lord will give you many descendants, so that you have a large family. We pray that your family will be like the family of Perez, who was the son of Judah and his wife, Tamar.’

4:11Rachel and Leah were the wives of Jacob. God had promised that Israel would be his people. He promised that the 12 sons of Rachel and Leah would begin large families. These families would be the 12 important families in Israel.
4:12Perez was one of Boaz's ancestors. His father, Judah, had been a family-redeemer for Tamar. The family of Judah (and Perez) became important in Israel. The family of Boaz also became important. King David was in this family.