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Boaz Settles the Matter

4:1 Now Boaz went up1 to the village gate and sat there. Then along came the guardian2 whom Boaz had mentioned to Ruth!3 Boaz said, “Come4 here and sit down, ‘John Doe’!”5 So he came6 and sat down. 4:2 Boaz chose ten of the village leaders7 and said, “Sit down here!” So they sat down. 4:3 Then Boaz said to the guardian,8 “Naomi, who has returned from the region of Moab, is selling9 the portion of land that belongs to our relative Elimelech. 4:4 So I am legally informing you:10 Acquire it before those sitting here and before the leaders of my people!11 If you want to exercise your right to redeem it, then do so.12 But if not, then tell me13 so I will know.14 For you possess the first option to redeem it; I am next in line after you.15 He replied, “I will redeem it.” 4:5 Then Boaz said, “When16 you acquire the field17 from Naomi,18 you must also19 acquire Ruth the Moabite,20 the wife of our deceased relative,21 in order to preserve his family name by raising up a descendant who will inherit his property.”22 4:6 The guardian said, “Then I am unable to redeem it, for I would ruin my own inheritance23 in that case. You may exercise my redemption option, for I am unable to redeem it.”24 4:7 (Now this used to be the customary way to finalize a transaction involving redemption in Israel:25 A man would remove his sandal and give it to the other party.26 This was a legally binding act27 in Israel.) 4:8 So the guardian said to Boaz, “You may acquire it,” and he removed his sandal.28 4:9 Then Boaz said to the leaders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have acquired from Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon. 4:10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, as my wife to raise up a descendant who will inherit his property29 so the name of the deceased might not disappear30 from among his relatives and from his village.31 You are witnesses today.” 4:11 All the people who were at the gate and the elders replied, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is entering your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the house of Israel! May32 you prosper33 in Ephrathah and become famous34 in Bethlehem.35 4:12 May your family36 become like the family of Perez37—whom Tamar bore to Judah—through the descendants38 the Lord gives you by this young woman.”


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