Ruth 4:1-12New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Boaz Marries Ruth
4 Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there. Right then, the family protector he had talked about came by. Then Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend. Sit down.” So the man went over and sat down.
2 Boaz brought ten of the elders of the town together. He said, “Sit down here.” So they did. 3 Then he spoke to the family protector. He said, “Naomi has come back from Moab. She’s selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention. I suggest that you buy the land. Buy it while those sitting here and the elders of my people are looking on as witnesses. If you are willing to buy it back, do it. But if you aren’t, tell me. Then I’ll know. No one has the right to buy it back except you. And I’m next in line.”
“I’ll buy it,” he said.
5 Then Boaz said, “When you buy the property from Naomi, you must also marry Ruth. She is from Moab and is the dead man’s widow. So you must marry her. That’s because his property must continue to belong to his family.”
6 When the family protector heard that, he said, “Then I can’t buy the land. If I did, I might put my own property in danger. So you buy it. I can’t do it.”
7 In earlier times in Israel, there was a certain practice. It was used when family land was bought back and changed owners. The practice made the sale final. One person would take his sandal off and give it to the other. That was how people in Israel showed that a business matter had been settled.
8 So the family protector said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he took his sandal off.
9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses. You have seen that I have bought land from Naomi. I have bought all the property that had belonged to Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I’ve also taken Ruth, who is from Moab, to become my wife. She is Mahlon’s widow. I’ve decided to marry her so the dead man’s name will stay with his property. Now his name won’t disappear from his family line or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”
11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. The woman is coming into your home. May the Lord make her like Rachel and Leah. Together they built up the family of Israel. May you be an important person in Ephrathah. May you be famous in Bethlehem. 12 The Lord will give you children through this young woman. May your family be like the family of Perez. He was the son Tamar had by Judah.”
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