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Ruth Chapter 4:1-22

Introduction: We conclude our study on the book of Ruth this week as Ruth is redeemed and married to the her kinsman redeemer Boaz.


The issues of this book come to a dramatic head in the gate of the City, where matters of great importance were settled before sober and thoughtful elders. The kinsman-redeemer must meet three tests, if the redemption is to take place.

1. He must have the RIGHT to redeem. He must be a near kinsman with no nearer kinsman willing to redeem.
2. He must have the POWER to redeem. If he is poor, of course he could not redeem.
3. He must be WILLING to redeem .
Think upon these 3 tests in regard to Boaz, and in regard to our kinsman-redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. The Kinsman Who Was Unwilling to Redeem

Ruth 4:1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
Ruth 4:2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
Ruth 4:3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
Ruth 4:4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.

Boaz finds the man who was the closest to redeem Ruth. Boaz comes to the gate of the city which was a good place to possibly find him, and the place of important business. According to the law, those seeking refuge were to come to the gate.

Josh. 20:4, And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.

The gate was a place where decisions and rebuke of wrongdoing took place.

Amo 5:10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
Amo 5:11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.
Amo 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
Amo 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

Amo 5:14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
Amo 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

Ten elders were found for witnesses and judgment. When decisions are made, it is good to find counsel and have the advice of more than just a few.

Pro 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

In regards to those who make errors, God says that by the mouth of 2 or 3 every word will be established.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Boaz presents the problem to these 10 elders. The land was to be sold or going to be sold because of poverty. It would not revert to the descendants of Elimelech until the year of jubilee.

Lev. 25:25-28, If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession.

It is not stated here, but there would be no descendants of Elimelech unless Ruth is redeemed through marriage. Verse 4 indicates that the other kinsman was willing to redeem the land. This was a business investment, pure and simple, for there is no love or affection involved at all.

Lev. 25:23-24, The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.

Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
Ruth 4:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
Ruth 4:8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

While the closest kinsmen was willing to redeem the land, he was not willing to redeem Ruth. Boaz reveals that the one who redeems the land must redeem Ruth, in order to raise up an heir to Elimelech's inheritance.

Deut. 25:5, If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

"Brethren" could mean a brother as we think today, but it could also mean a near kinsman, if there was no brother. When confronted with this requirement, the nearest kinsman refuses the opportunity. By not taking advantage of his opportunity, he slips out of history and is forgotten. How many decisions in life have long term results that we do not always consider. Those roads that diverge out of the wood are sometimes very important when there is a Y in the road.

I found that poem by Robert Frost that I learned as a seventh grader, and want to share it with you this morning.

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost 1920

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The road to righteousness is not the broad and well traveled road that most take today. This near kinsman redeemer chose the easier path, and we know nothing about him today. Probably, he feared if he fulfilled the role of the kinsman-redeemer, he would mar his own inheritance.

What he meant by this is in much dispute. Possibly, he may have already been married and had children. Another marriage and more children would dilute his inheritance. He may have already had other marriage plans, or he might not have wanted to marry a Moabite, since the previous man who did, had died. It may be that he was financially unable to redeem the land and Ruth. Lots of speculation on our part.

He offers his redemption rights to Boaz and takes off his shoe and gives it to Boaz. This signified his public agreement that he gave the right to tread upon the inheritance to Boaz.

Deu 25:5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
Deu 25:6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
Deu 25:7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
Deu 25:8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;

Deu 25:9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
Deu 25:10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

This unnamed kinsman now drops out of history. Choosing the wrong path has long reaching decisions in life. Little did he know what a great blessing he missed. He may be looked upon as a type of the law which could not redeem, and of man who also could not redeem.

II. The Kinsman Who was Willing to Redeem

Ruth 4:9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
Ruth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

Boaz made the full redemption. He first redeemed the land. In Verse 9, the bible records "Ye are witnesses this day" clearly showing that the 10 elders and the others present, were legal witnesses of this transaction. Not only did he redeem the land, but most importantly he redeemed Ruth. Boaz paid the price of redemption, as did Christ for us in our salvation.

Eph. 5:25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

Boaz, a wealthy man, did not need the land, but he did it because his real interest was in Ruth. He is mighty to save and strong to deliver. He is not ashamed of "Ruth the Moabitess" and publicly announces he will marry her. No matter how bad we may be as sinners, Jesus is even greater in being mighty to save. Satan has no hold on us that Jesus can not break and remove when we are drawn by the Holy Spirit and accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Ruth 4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
Ruth 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.

Verse 11 says that all the people in the gate along with the elders were witness to the decision. They desire Ruth to be fruitful. The people also desire Boaz to be worthy and famous. They desire that Boaz and Ruth will be like Pharez and Tamar. All the tribes of Judah sprang from five families of whom Pharez and Tamar were one.

Verse 13 records that Boaz and Ruth were married. She conceives and bare their firstborn son, Obed. Boaz (A Jew) took Ruth (A Gentile) into Davidec ancestry and the Messianic line; and Ruth representatively takes all the Gentiles with her. What a picture of Christ and His bride, and bride that is perfect and without spot because of the blood of Christ.

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

John Gill in his commentary said this about the witnesses at the gate.

Ruth 4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, we are witnesses,.... Both of the purchase of the estate by Boaz being legally made, and of the marriage of Ruth to him, the condition of the bargain:

the Lord make the woman that is come into thine house; not into his house, strictly and literally taken, the place of his habitation; for both he and she were now at the gate of the city, and as yet she was not introduced into his house; but by his marriage of her she was brought into his family, and was become a principal part of it, being his wife. This is a wish, prayer, or benediction of the elders, of one in the name of the rest, congratulating the married couple, and wishing them well; and particularly that the woman Boaz had married before them, as witnesses, might be like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: the two wives of Jacob; the Targum adds, with twelve tribes; for though some of the tribes sprung from their maids, which they gave to Jacob, yet the children born of them were reckoned theirs by a moral estimation, as some express it.

In the notes, Brother Taylor included a poem about Ruth.

What Star of Messianic truth,

More beautiful than Gentile Ruth?
In her the Gentiles find a place,
To share the hope of Judah's race;
Now see from royal David's line,
One hope for Jew and Gentile shine!

Ruth 4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
Ruth 4:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
Ruth 4:17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The women knew Naomi would be blessed of the Lord. Naomi (who is a type of the believing Jewish remnant) was blessed by the Lord, because of Boaz the redeemer. Christians are blessed every day because of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Their son, Obed is also a type of Christ. When connected with v. 14, we see that it is Obed in this verse who is the kinsman and not Boaz.
This son would do much for Naomi. He would be "A restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age." Ruth (a type of the Church) is better than seven sons. Not only is Boaz and Ruth joyful, but Naomi becomes the happy grandmother. She did what good grandmothers do which is come and help take care of the child.

The naming of Obed, the grandfather of David, had a special meaning. "Obed" means worshiper and server.

Ruth 4:18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
Ruth 4:19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
Ruth 4:20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
Ruth 4:21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
Ruth 4:22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

Part Of The Genealogy Of Our Kinsman-Redeemer
We have the record here in Ruth, and also over in Matthew Chapter 1 and Luke Chapter 3.

Matt. 1:3-6, And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias.

Luke 3:31-33, Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,

Matthew contains the genealogy of Joseph and Luke that of Mary. How significant this genealogy: Boaz, Obed, David, Jesus Christ.

Matt. 1:1, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

The book of Ruth begins with a famine and funerals, but it ends with a beautiful romance, a happy marriage, and a smiling baby boy. We see here once again that God's grace leads from darkness to light!

Notes by W. G. Heslop

Ruth as a type of the Church: 1) a stranger, 2) destitute, 3) a Gentile, 4) bids farewell to her past, 5) enters Canaan, 6) possesses the land, 7) dwells in Bethlehem, 8) serves in the field, 9) helps in the harvest, 10) feasts with the lord of the harvest, 11) obeys his word, 12) abandons her all to him, 13) keeps clean and anointed, 14) supplicates, 15) rests in faith at his feet, 16) and becomes his happy bride.
Boaz as a type of Christ: 1) Lord of the harvest, 2) Powerful and rich, 3) Compassionate and kind, 4) Interested in both Jews and Gentiles, 5) Provides for all, 6) Welcomes Ruth into his service, 7) Speaks comfort to her heart, 8) Purchased Ruth for himself, 9) Covered her with his robe, 10) Protected her and blessed her, 11) Redeemed her fully and completely, 12) And unites her to himself in marriage.


1. Why did Boaz go to the gate of the city?

To find the closer kinsman redeemer of Ruth

2. What was the purpose of the 10 elders?

To hear disputes and settle matters according to the law.
The gate was a place where decisions and rebuke of wrongdoing took place.

3. State the three tests of the kinsman-redeemer.

1. He must have the RIGHT to redeem. He must be a near kinsman with no nearer kinsman willing to redeem.
2. He must have the POWER to redeem. If he is poor, of course he could not redeem.
3. He must be WILLING to redeem .

4. Why was the land sold? When would it revert to its heirs?

Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
Naomi was ready to sell the land, and it would only revert back to the estate if Ruth was redeemed by the kinsman redeemer and had children in the line of Emilech. It would revert back to the family in the year of Jubilee, but only if there was one in the line of inheritance who could buy it back.

5. Why was the other kinsman unwilling to redeem?

Wanted the land, but did not want to take Ruth. Possibly taking her for a wife would hurt his inheritance to current children or he was planning on marrying another person.

6. What is the meaning of the taking off of the shoe?

Signified he had given up first right and that Boaz could be the kinsman redeemer.

7. Do you think that Boaz's main interest was in the land, or in Ruth?

Absolutely Ruth. He was rich and land was not important to him.

8. Name the son born to Boaz and Ruth.


9. What is the significance of the genealogy of this chapter?

Points to the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.

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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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