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9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day 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 widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.” 11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”

 

4:9

And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi.

Boaz received the right of redemption. Now that the transfer of rights for Ruth was given to Boaz, all the responsibilities of redemption lay on him. Boaz addressed both the public and the elders, indicating that they were witnesses to the transaction.

4:10

Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”

Ruth was the only widow alive capable of birthing a son. This would continue the posterity of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, and his son Mahlon (Ruth’s husband). This was the motivation behind Boaz’s purchase of the rights to Ruth. His primary interest was in Ruth rather than in the rights to the estate. However, he was also interested in preventing Elimelech’s name from disappearing without progeny.

4:11

And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses.

Now we turn to the public response to Boaz’s challenge. The elders witnessed the redemption transaction.

The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.

They asked the Lord to bless Ruth’s posterity. They wanted her to have a large number of offspring, as Rachel and Leah had had. The word “prosper” means valor, worth. The people at the gate expressed their concern for Boaz and the posterity of Ruth.

The elders and others sitting at the gate asked Jehovah to give Ruth a place among the matriarchs of Israel (Rachel and Leah). After Jacob married Rachel and Leah, they became the mothers of the 12 tribes of Israel. The prayer was that Ruth would be fertile and produce many children.

Ephrathah is another name for Bethlehem. The elders prayed that Boaz would be held in high regard in Bethlehem.

4:12

May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah,

“Perez” is a good comparison because (1) he was an ancestor of Boaz, (2) Tamar bore him by Judah (by pretending to be a prostitute) as a surrogate father after the death of her husband, and (3) Perez had an unbroken line of male descendants (vv. 18-22; cf. Gen 38). The point of comparison between Ruth and Tamar is the levirate marriage. Judah, the father Perez, became the head of a host of clans including Boaz’s clan.

because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”

The elders also prayed that the progeny of Boaz would abound. They had no idea how this prayer would ultimately be fulfilled—the Messiah of Israel would come through his line!

PRINCIPLE:

There is no barrier between us and God because Jesus reconciled us to God.

APPLICATION:

Ruth’s status as a Moabite did not daunt Boaz from marrying her. As that was true of Boaz’s relationship to Ruth, so it is also true of God’s relation to us. There is no barrier between us and God because Jesus removed it by His sacrifice for our sin.

Reconciliation is change from the status of enemy to friend. By Christ’s death, God reconciled us from being His enemy to being His friend.

Ro 5: 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

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