1Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, "Turn aside, friend, sit down here." And he turned aside and sat down.
2He took ten men of the elders of the city and said, "Sit down here." So they sat down.
Boaz went up to the city gate where the leaders of the city gathered, and he found the closer relative and pulled him aside. He also took ten elders of the city to witness what he was about to share with them.
3Then he said to the closest relative, "Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.
4"So I thought to inform you, saying, 'Buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.'" And he said, "I will redeem it."
5Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance."
Boaz explained that Naomi has to sell the piece of land which belonged to Elimelech. He informed the closer relative that he could buy it now, thus redeeming the land and keeping it in the family. If he chose to redeem the land, he would also have to acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Elimelech’s son in order to keep the family name going. Boaz was looking out for the welfare of Ruth and Naomi, wanting to be sure that there was an inheritance for Ruth’s descendants.
6The closest relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it."
The closest relative explained that he could not redeem it for himself because it would jeopardize his own inheritance; in other words, he couldn’t afford to pay the amount required. Thus, he passed on his right of redemption to Boaz.
7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.
The custom in Israel at this time concerning the redemption or exchange of land was for a man to remove his sandal and give it to another. This meant that the matter was attested to, and the ten elders witnessed the transaction.
8So the closest relative said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself." And he removed his sandal.
9Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon.
10"Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased will not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today."
The closest relative tells Boaz to buy the land for himself, so he removes his sandal to seal the deal. Boaz proclaims to all witnessing the event that he did indeed acquire the land which belonged to Elimelech and his sons, Chilion and Mahlon. In addition, he proclaims that he will be taking Ruth as his wife to continue on the family lineage through Mahlon.
11All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.
12"Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the LORD will give you by this young woman."
The witnesses blessed Boaz and Ruth, wishing them many children and much prosperity. Rachel and Leah were the wives of Jacob and thus bore the 12 sons which became the twelve tribes of Israel. Perez was the firstborn of twins by Tamar from which the Ephrathites and Bethlehemites descended, of which Elimelech was a part (1:2).
13So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
14Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel.
15"May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him."
Boaz took Ruth as his wife and went in to her. God in great compassion and grace, in keeping with His very nature, allowed her to conceive and give birth to a son. The women of the city told Naomi that she was blessed, for God did not leave her without one to continue on the family lineage. They wished that her name would become famous in Israel, and did that ever come true.
16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse.
17The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi!" So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Naomi became the child’s nurse (caring for him and helping raise him), and the neighbor women named him Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, the most prominent king of Israel and a man after God’s own heart. Indeed, this family was blessed of God, and his name certainly became famous, particularly given that Jesus Christ Himself was born of the line of Judah and was of the house of David.
18Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron,
19and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab,
20and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon,
21and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed,
22and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.
This genealogy to close the book emphasizes the loving, compassionate, sustaining, and merciful hand of God. Despite great tragedy in the life of Naomi, God honored her and blessed her greatly, for she never stopped serving God but accepted the circumstances which He had allowed her to experience. Furthermore, a foreigner, Ruth, committed to Naomi and God, and God honored her for her love and faithfulness to Naomi and Himself. Ruth, though not a Jew by birth, became part of the line of David and eventually Christ (Matthew 1:5), a foreshadowing that Christ desires none to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). What is even more interesting is that Boaz was a descendant of Salmon and Rahab, the harlot (Joshua 6:25, James 2:25). God does work through difficult and extraordinary circumstances to bring about mercy for those who trust in Him and honor His name. There is nothing that God cannot redeem, and it is into this line that Jesus, the Redeemer, was born.