Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate1 and sat there. When the kinsman-redeemer2 he had mentioned3 came along, Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down." So he went over and sat down.
Boaz took ten of the elders4 of the town and said, "Sit here," and they did so.5
Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech.6
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 will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you,7 and I am next in line." "I will redeem it," he said.
Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess,8 you acquire the dead man's widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."9
At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem10 it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it."11
(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption12 and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal13 and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions14 in Israel.)15
So the kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself." And he removed his sandal.16
Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses17 that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon.
I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess,18 Mahlon's widow, as my wife,19 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 the town records.20 Today you are witnesses!21"
Then the elders and all those at the gate22 said, "We are witnesses.23 May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah,24 who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah25 and be famous in Bethlehem.26
Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez,27 whom Tamar28 bore to Judah."
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)