We continue in our Ruth 4 commentary…
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verses 1 – 2
4:1 ¶ Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by;
So, this is the guy who is more closely related to Naomi and Ruth.
unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here.
This guy never has his name given. Actually, the only way he’s identified is this appellation “Such a One”. In Hebrew it sounds kind of funny – Peloni Almoni. It just means “a certain someone.” He’s just anonymous. And we’ll see why he remains anonymous. He’s not all that noble.
And he turned aside, and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
I enjoy reading Boaz’s command of the situation. He says to Peloni Almoni – “sit” and he sits. Boaz gets some witnesses and commands them to sit. They do so immediately. He’s not being bossy or domineering. He’s just getting things done.
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verses 3 – 4
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 to advertise thee [Or “alert you”], 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.
Moment of truth – will Ruth get to marry the godly Boaz? Or does she have to marry Peloni Almoni / the anonymous certain someone?
And he said, I will redeem it.
Well, that’s a little disappointing. But wait. Peloni Almoni wants the land. But Boaz hasn’t mentioned Ruth yet.
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verse 5
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,
If you want the land, you need to take the Moabite woman whose husband would have owned it.
to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
OK – Is he still interested?
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verse 6
6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
Is Peloni telling the truth? How would marrying Ruth mar or jeopardize his inheritance? If Peloni raised up a son for Ruth, that son would inherit the property of Mahlon. He wouldn’t have to take anything that Peloni had. So, I’m thinking that he’s not being real honest. And I think this is one big reason that we aren’t given his name. He’s not ready to selflessly care for the widow of the deceased and carry out God’s will in respect to raising up a son to inherit that land. So, shame on him. But actually, I’m kind of happy that Boaz gets to marry Ruth now!
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verse 7
7 ¶ Now this was the manner in former time in Israel 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.
So, this tells us that this story was written a while after it actually happened. The narrator has to explain a custom in Israel that would have been familiar to the characters.
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verses 8 – 12
8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. 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.
And then they go on to speak really highly of what they desire to see the Lord do with this marriage.
The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build 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, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
So, the elders and all those in the gate call to mind these great folks of Israel’s past. They want Ruth to become like Rachel and Leah. Well, there were some things that weren’t so great about their lives. However, the people in the gate don’t talk about the mandarins or the household idol incidents. They point to the fact that they built the house of Israel. That’s what they’d like to see happen with Ruth. And Tamar and Judah is a pretty strange story. Judah wasn’t concerned to give his son to Tamar as a husband to do just what Boaz was going to do with Ruth – raise a son to inherit his dead father’s possessions. But no matter how strange that story was, God worked it for good. The result was Perez, who was a father to the tribe of Judah.
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verse 13
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.
By the way, let this sink in. Ruth was married to Mahlon something like 10 years. And she didn’t have a single child. I’m thinking that she was barren. And that’s why the narrator here mentions that it was the Lord himself who gave her conception – the ability to conceive – and ability that she apparently didn’t have before.
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verses 14 – 17
14 And the women said unto Naomi,
Not necessarily to Ruth – to Naomi
Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman,
This child that Ruth bore.
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:
The name “Obed” seems to come from the word meaning “servant”. In other words, he’d lovingly serve his grandmother in her old age.
he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Well, that’s a pretty uplifting story. But we’re not done just yet. We finish this book with a genealogy. You probably don’t think that’s very exciting. Well, you might by the time we’re finished. This genealogy has a purpose.
Ruth 4 Commentary: Verses 18 – 22
18 ¶ Now these are the generations of Pharez:
Remember? The one born into some pretty weird circumstances. Well, despite that, he makes it into this genealogy.
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,
Do you remember whom Salmon married? Matthew 1:5 tells us that Salmon was the father of Boaz by… Rahab. You wonder if Rahab was a good mother? Well, we’ve seen the character of her son Boaz, haven’t we?
and Boaz begat Obed, 22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
And David will be king. The king that Israel has needed all throughout the book of Judges. The king who will lead God’s people to do right in his eyes. The king who was promised way back in the book of Genesis. The days of the Judges were dark. But the Lord preserved his godly ones and in particular the line of his chosen king through it all.