Ruth 4

Listen to Ruth 4

Boaz Redeems Ruth

1 Now Boaz had gone up to 1the gate and sat down there. And behold, 2the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, "Turn aside, friend; sit down here." And he turned aside and sat down.
2 And he took ten men 3of the elders of the city and said, "Sit down here." So they sat down.
3 Then he said to the redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech.
4 So I thought I would tell you of it and say, 4'Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.' If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you[a] will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you." And he said, "I will redeem it."
5 Then Boaz said, "The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth[b] the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order 5to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance."
6 6Then the redeemer said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it."
7 7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel.
8 So when the redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself," he drew off his sandal.
9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to 8Chilion and to Mahlon.
10 Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, 9to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day."
11 Then all the people who were 10at the gate and the elders said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, 11who together 12built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in 13Ephrathah and 14be renowned in Bethlehem,
12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, 15whom Tamar bore to Judah, because 16of the offspring that the LORD will give you by this young woman."

Ruth and Boaz Marry

13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, 17and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.
14 18Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without 19a redeemer, and may his name 20be renowned in Israel!
15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, 21who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him."
16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse.
17 22And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi." They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The Genealogy of David

18 Now these are the generations of Perez: 23Perez fathered Hezron,
19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab,
20 24Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon,
21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed,
22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

Ruth 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

The kinsman refuses to redeem Ruth's inheritance. (1-8) Boaz marries Ruth. (9-12) Birth of Obed. (13-22)

Verses 1-8 This matter depended on the laws given by Moses about inheritances, and doubtless the whole was settled in the regular and legal manner. This kinsman, when he heard the conditions of the bargain, refused it. In like manner many are shy of the great redemption; they are not willing to espouse religion; they have heard well of it, and have nothing to say against it; they will give it their good word, but they are willing to part with it, and cannot be bound to it, for fear of marring their own inheritance in this world. The right was resigned to Boaz. Fair and open dealing in all matters of contract and trade, is what all must make conscience of, who would approve themselves true Israelites, without guile. Honesty will be found the best policy.

Verses 9-12 Men are ready to seize opportunities for increasing their estates, but few know the value of godliness. Such are the wise men of this world, whom the Lord charges with folly. They attend not to the concerns of their souls, but reject the salvation of Christ, for fear of marring their inheritance. But God did Boaz the honour to bring him into the line of the Messiah, while the kinsman, who was afraid of lessening himself, and marring his inheritance, has his name, family, and inheritance forgotten.

Verses 13-22 Ruth bore a son, through whom thousands and myriads were born to God; and in being the lineal ancestor of Christ, she was instrumental in the happiness of all that shall be saved by him; even of us Gentiles, as well as those of Jewish descent. She was a witness for God to the Gentile world, that he had not utterly forsaken them, but that in due time they should become one with his chosen people, and partake of his salvation. Prayer to God attended the marriage, and praise to him attended the birth of the child. What a pity it is that pious language should not be more used among Christians, or that it should be let fall into formality! Here is the descent of David from Ruth. And the period came when Bethlehem-Judah displayed greater wonders than those in the history of Ruth, when the outcast babe of another forlorn female of the same race appeared, controlling the counsels of the Roman master of the world, and drawing princes and wise men from the east, with treasures of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh to his feet. His name shall endure for ever, and all nations shall call Him blessed. In that Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.

Cross References 24

  • 1. 2 Samuel 15:2; 2 Samuel 18:4, 24, 33; 2 Samuel 19:8; Psalms 127:5
  • 2. Ruth 2:20
  • 3. 1 Kings 21:8; Proverbs 31:23
  • 4. Leviticus 25:25; [Jeremiah 32:7, 8]
  • 5. ver. 10; Ruth 3:13; Deuteronomy 25:5, 6
  • 6. Ruth 3:12, 13
  • 7. See Deuteronomy 25:7-10
  • 8. Ruth 1:2, 4, 5
  • 9. ver. 5
  • 10. See ver. 1
  • 11. See Gen. 29:31 - 30:24; Genesis 35:16-18
  • 12. Deuteronomy 25:9
  • 13. Genesis 35:16, 19
  • 14. ver. 14
  • 15. Genesis 38:29; 1 Chronicles 2:4; Matthew 1:3
  • 16. 1 Samuel 2:20
  • 17. Genesis 29:31; Genesis 33:5
  • 18. [Luke 1:58]
  • 19. Ruth 2:20
  • 20. ver. 11
  • 21. 1 Samuel 1:8
  • 22. Luke 1:59
  • 23. For ver. 18-22, see 1 Chronicles 2:4-15; Matthew 1:3-6
  • 24. Numbers 1:7; [Exodus 6:23]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew he
  • [b]. Masoretic Text you also buy it from Ruth

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates how an offer was made to the nearest kinsman of Ruth to redeem her, and the field her husband left, which he refused to do, Ru 4:1-8, upon which Boaz redeemed both, and married Ruth before the elders of the city as witnesses, and who congratulated him and her on that occasion, Ru 4:9-12, to whom a son was born, called Obed by the neighbours, Ru 4:13-17 and the chapter is concluded with the genealogy of David, who sprung from him, Ru 4:18-22.

Ruth 4 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.