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Ruth 4:1-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Marriage of Ruth

Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the [a]close relative of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, “Turn aside, [b]friend, sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. He took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. Then he said to the [c]closest relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. So I thought to [d]inform you, saying, ‘Buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if [e]not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.’” And he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.” The [f]closest relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would [g]jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.”

Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel. So the [h]closest relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” And he removed his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased will not be cut off from his brothers or from the [i]court of his birth place; you are witnesses today.” 11 All the people who were in the [j]court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve [k]wealth in Ephrathah and [l]become famous in Bethlehem. 12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the [m]offspring which the Lord will give you by this young woman.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ruth 4:1 Or redeemer
  2. Ruth 4:1 Lit a certain one
  3. Ruth 4:3 Lit redeemer
  4. Ruth 4:4 Lit uncover your ear
  5. Ruth 4:4 Lit no one will redeem
  6. Ruth 4:6 Lit redeemer
  7. Ruth 4:6 Lit ruin
  8. Ruth 4:8 Lit redeemer
  9. Ruth 4:10 Lit gate
  10. Ruth 4:11 Lit gate
  11. Ruth 4:11 Or power
  12. Ruth 4:11 Lit call the name in
  13. Ruth 4:12 Lit seed
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Ruth 4:1-12 New International Version (NIV)

Boaz Marries Ruth

Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer[a] he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.

Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you[b] will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the[c] dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.

Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!

11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ruth 4:1 The Hebrew word for guardian-redeemer is a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty (see Lev. 25:25-55); also in verses 3, 6, 8 and 14.
  2. Ruth 4:4 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts he
  3. Ruth 4:5 Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew (see also Septuagint) Naomi and from Ruth the Moabite, you acquire the
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Ruth 4:1-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Ruth and Boaz Get Married

In the meanwhile, Boaz had gone to the meeting place at the town gate and was sitting there when the other close relative came by. So Boaz invited him to come over and sit down, and he did. Then Boaz got ten of the town leaders and also asked them to sit down. After they had sat down, he said to the man:

Naomi has come back from Moab and is selling the land that belonged to her husband Elimelech. I am telling you about this, since you are his closest relative and have the right to buy the property. If you want it, you can buy it now. These ten men and the others standing here can be witnesses. But if you don’t want the property, let me know, because I am next in line.

The man replied, “I will buy it!”

“If you do buy it from Naomi,” Boaz told him, “you must also marry Ruth. Then if you have a son by her, the property will stay in the family of Ruth’s first husband.”

The man answered, “If that’s the case, I don’t want to buy it! That would make problems with the property I already own.[a] You may buy it yourself, because I cannot.”

To make a sale legal in those days, one person would take off a sandal and give it to the other. So after the man had agreed to let Boaz buy the property, he took off one of his sandals and handed it to Boaz.

Boaz told the town leaders and everyone else:

All of you are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi the property that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons, Chilion and Mahlon. 10 You are also witnesses that I have agreed to marry Mahlon’s widow Ruth, the Moabite woman. This will keep the property in his family’s name, and he will be remembered in this town.

11 The town leaders and the others standing there said:

We are witnesses to this. And we pray that the Lord will give your wife many children, just as he did Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob. May you be a rich man in the tribe of Ephrath and an important man in Bethlehem. 12 May the children you have by this young woman make your family as famous as the family of Perez,[b] the son of Tamar and Judah.

Footnotes:

  1. 4.6 property. . . own: This property would then have to be shared with Ruth and her children as well as with his own family.
  2. 4.12 Perez: One of the sons of Judah; he was an ancestor of Boaz and of many others who lived in Bethlehem.

Ruth 4:1-12 The Message (MSG)

Boaz went straight to the public square and took his place there. Before long the “closer relative,” the one mentioned earlier by Boaz, strolled by.

“Step aside, old friend,” said Boaz. “Take a seat.” The man sat down.

Boaz then gathered ten of the town elders together and said, “Sit down here with us; we’ve got some business to take care of.” And they sat down.

3-4 Boaz then said to his relative, “The piece of property that belonged to our relative Elimelech is being sold by his widow Naomi, who has just returned from the country of Moab. I thought you ought to know about it. Buy it back if you want it—you can make it official in the presence of those sitting here and before the town elders. You have first redeemer rights. If you don’t want it, tell me so I’ll know where I stand. You’re first in line to do this and I’m next after you.”

He said, “I’ll buy it.”

Then Boaz added, “You realize, don’t you, that when you buy the field from Naomi, you also get Ruth the Moabite, the widow of our dead relative, along with the redeemer responsibility to have children with her to carry on the family inheritance.”

Then the relative said, “Oh, I can’t do that—I’d jeopardize my own family’s inheritance. You go ahead and buy it—you can have my rights—I can’t do it.”

In the olden times in Israel, this is how they handled official business regarding matters of property and inheritance: a man would take off his shoe and give it to the other person. This was the same as an official seal or personal signature in Israel.

So when Boaz’s “redeemer” relative said, “Go ahead and buy it,” he signed the deal by pulling off his shoe.

9-10 Boaz then addressed the elders and all the people in the town square that day: “You are witnesses today that I have bought from Naomi everything that belonged to Elimelech and Kilion and Mahlon, including responsibility for Ruth the foreigner, the widow of Mahlon—I’ll take her as my wife and keep the name of the deceased alive along with his inheritance. The memory and reputation of the deceased is not going to disappear out of this family or from his hometown. To all this you are witnesses this very day.”

11-12 All the people in the town square that day, backing up the elders, said, “Yes, we are witnesses. May God make this woman who is coming into your household like Rachel and Leah, the two women who built the family of Israel. May God make you a pillar in Ephrathah and famous in Bethlehem! With the children God gives you from this young woman, may your family rival the family of Perez, the son Tamar bore to Judah.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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