Ruth 4:8

Ruth 4:8

And therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, buy it for me
Which is repeated to show he gave his full consent to it, that he should make the purchase of it if he pleased, and which he confirmed by the following rite:

so he drew off his shoe;
thereby signifying that he relinquished his right to the purchase of the estate, and ceded it to him; the Targum has it,

``and Boaz drew off the glove off his right hand, and bought it of him;''

and so Aben Ezra,

``and Boaz drew off his shoe, and gave it to his kinsman,''

as if this was some acknowledgment for yielding his right unto him; and about this there is a great dissension among the Jewish writers F12; one says it was the shoe of Boaz that was plucked off; another says it was the shoe of the kinsman; which latter seems most correct: and it may be observed, that this custom is different from what is enjoined ( Deuteronomy 25:6-11 ) there the woman was to pluck off the shoe of him that refused to marry her, but here the man plucked off his own shoe, who chose not to redeem; nor is there mention of spitting in his face; nor does it appear that Ruth did the one or the other; though Josephus F13 affirms it, and says, that she both plucked off his shoe, and spit in his face; neither of which are mentioned.


F12 Midrash Ruth, fol. 35. 2.
F13 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 4.)