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Read Introduction to Ruth

 

1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and 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 but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’ ” And he said, “I will redeem it.5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.” 6 And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.

 

This chapter deals with the legal resolution of who should be the kinsman-redeemer for Ruth.

4:1

Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative [redeemer] of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down.

Boaz made arrangement for the redemption of Ruth by going to the town “gate.” This was where official business took place. The first in line to redeem sat down to negotiate with Boaz.

4:2

And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.

Boaz called 10 elders of Bethlehem to adjudicate the kinsman-redeemer of Ruth.  

4:3

Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.

It is difficult to determine the nature of Naomi’s sale of land. She may have been selling the property rights to some land owned by her husband, Elimelech (10 years had elapsed). However, it is more probable that she held only the right to use the land until she remarried or died. Since she held the right to use the land, she had the right to buy it back from the present owner. Therefore, she disposed of the right of redemption.

4:4

And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and 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 but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’ ” And he said, “I will redeem it.

The next of kin relative agreed to purchase the land.

4:5

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.”

The first person in line to act as redeemer for Ruth, if he chose to activate his right, must both acquire the property plus function as the kinsman-redeemer (by marriage) of Ruth. This action preserved the genealogical line through the levirate law and maintenance of the patrimonial estate by the kinsman-redeemer.

4:6

And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance.

The next-in-line kinsman-redeemer deemed that he would “ruin” his inheritance if he married Ruth. He refused the right of purchase.

You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.

The next of kin gave Boaz the right of redemption.  This public transaction made it official and legal.

PRINCIPLE:

Jesus paid the price legally for the penalty of sin.

APPLICATION:

Every person born into this world is under slavery to sin and Satan (Eph 2:1-3). Each is unable to free himself from this slavery. Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for our sin (Mark 10:45). Trust in Him sets the slave free from the penalty of sin.

Eph 1: 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace . . .

He 9: 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

1 Pe 1: 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

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