Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I
purchased to be my wife
Which was the condition on which the purchase of the land was, that whoever bought that should take her for his wife; nor did Boaz do evil in marrying her, though a Moabitess. Moab was not one of the nations with whom marriage was forbidden; and though it was a Heathenish and idolatrous nation, and so on that account it was not fit and proper to marry with such, yet Ruth was become a proselytess; nor was this contrary to the law in ( Deuteronomy 23:3 ) , since, according to the sense the Jews give of it, it respects men, and not women, and such men who otherwise were capable of bearing offices in the congregation;
``an Ammonite, and a Moabite (they say F14) are forbidden, and their prohibition is a perpetual one, but their women are free immediately:''to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance;
the name of Mahlon, Ruth's former husband, to whom the inheritance would have come had he lived; the raising up of his name is not upon a son of hers by Boaz, for her firstborn was called Obed, and not Mahlon, and is always spoken of as the son of Boaz, and not of Mahlon, but upon his inheritance, having bought his wife along with it, which the register of the purchase would show, and so cause his name to be remembered; and, as Jarchi says, when Ruth went in and out upon the estate or inheritance, they would say, this was the wife of Mahlon, and so through her his name would be made mention of:
that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and
from the gate of this place;
might not be quite forgotten both in the city and in the court, and be remembered no more:
ye are witnesses this day;
this is repeated, that they might answer to it, as they do in the next verse.
F14 Misn. Yebamot, c. 8. sect. 3.