1. Then went Boaz up [the town stood on a hill] to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman [the Goel] of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Hosea, such-a-one! [the name of the kinsman was either unknown or purposely concealed] turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2. And he took ten men of the elders of the city [every city was governed by elders], and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3. And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech"s:
4. And I thought [literally, I said I will uncover thy ear] to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it [not knowing the whole case].
5. Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself [literally, redeem my redemption]; for I cannot redeem it.
7. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel [showing that the custom was now obsolete] concerning redeeming, and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; A man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel:
8. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe [and so resigned the right of walking on the land as master].
9. And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech"s, and all that was Chilion"s and Mahlon"s, of the hand of Naomi.
10. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
11. And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel [her death and burial associated her with Bethlehem] and like Leah, which two did build [from the Hebrew word to build, are derived the words for son and daughter] the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
12. And let thy house be like the house of Pharez [see Gen. xxxviii.], whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.
13. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son.
14. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman [a Goel], that his name may be famous in Israel.
15. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
16. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
17. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed ["serving"]: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David [the first mention of David in Scripture].
18. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
19. And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
20. And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
21. And Salmon begat Boaz [in Matthew it is said that the mother of Boaz was Rahab], and Boaz begat Obed,
22. And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David. ["Some links of the chain have been dropped, and if Song of Solomon, then doubtless in the period before Boaz... We have here the distinguished names, others of less note being passed over."]
Almighty God, the heavens and the earth are thine: they are the work of thine hand; they are the witnesses of thy power; they are unto us as a great wonder by day and by night. Behold, who can measure thy strength, or understand thy wisdom? Thou settest creation fast upon the pillars of thy strength, and none can overturn them. We rest in the security of almightiness. Our hope is in the living God. We have no fear: perfect love casteth out fear; and in so far as thou hast wrought that love in our hearts we are delivered from the slavery of fear. We rejoice in all the work of thy hand. All thy work is ever new: every morning is a creation, every night a benediction, and all the time thou art doing us good because of thy tender mercy and thy lovingkindness. We would love thee in Christ Jesus more and more. In him thou hast outdone all thy greatest works: he is the brightness of thy glory; he is the express image of thy person; he is the fairest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely; he is the bright and morning star; he is our sun and shield; he is our all in all. We bless thee, therefore, most of all for the revelation of thyself in thy Son Christ Jesus. How gracious his word! how gentle his speech! how tender his Spirit! how full of love altogether! He died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our iniquities. This is our last and greatest joy: than this there is surely no greater gladness in heaven. Is not a Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, seated upon heaven"s own throne? and is not the anthem of heaven devoted to the praises of the Lamb? Bring us all nearer to Christ. May we feel more and more our need of him. May we answer his love by our faith; and, being sprinkled by his blood—yea, cleansed by it from every stain of sin—may we walk as those who are clothed in white, and keep our garments unspotted from the world. Thou hast set us in a strange place; thou hast caused us to pass under varied discipline: but thy rod is a rod of love, and it is in the hand of mercy. Help us to receive our daily task thankfully, resignedly, and to do it well in thy strength and love, knowing that God will judge us all, therefore may we not judge one another. We bless thee for all our hope, for all our secret gladness, for all the glory we have by faith seen beyond death and beyond the grave, so much so that we have mocked the monster and taunted him to his face, saying,—O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Behold, we have triumphed in Christ, and because of his omnipotence we are delivered and are set in a great security. Help us to be wise men, truly knowing the times in which we live, fearlessly doing our duty, patiently awaiting God"s verdict and the whole issue of providence. May there be in us no sign of terror, no sign of evil apprehension, but with stout hearts, and constant faith, and diligent industry may we do thy will on earth. Comfort those who are distressed; dry the tears of anxious sorrow, intense and intolerable pain, and, above all, that secret and wordless misery which eats itself and which cannot draw upon the sympathy of those who observe it. The Lord direct us, protect us, be round about us—be our shield and safety, be our buckler and our defence; then the battle shall be gladness, hard work shall be rest, and the eventide shall be a hint of that Sabbath all morning—the glad, glad day of heaven. Amen.
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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Ruth 4". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany