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Ruth 4

Boaz Secures a Wife and Ruth a Nation

7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. 8 So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, "Acquire it for yourself," he took off his sandal. 9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses." 11 Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12 and, through the children that the LORD will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah." 13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the LORD made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him." 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17 The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi." They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19 Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20 Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, 21 Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22 Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

And They Lived Happily Ever After

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Musings

Given that we accept the whole sandal exchange thing was a public acknowledgement that the "deal" was offered and accepted. Boaz is offering to take Ruth as a bride (for Naomi since she is past childbearing age) to carry on the line of Elimelech, Naomi's dead husband. The land Elimelech left behind when he went to Moab, currently used by the next-of-kin, would fall to Ruth's offspring. Basically Boaz' offer was "unless you want to take on the levirate marriage obligations to Naomi, I will." Apparently he didn't. Then the clincher: Ruth's offspring will lead all the way up to David, the greatest king of Israel. In the words of Paul Harvey: "and now you know the rest of the story."

Homework: find a good Bible commentary and look into the genealogy a bit more. It's interesting.


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