Beckett: Ruth – Chapter 4: Kinsman Redeemer

After Ruth had left for home, Boaz went to the city gate where he found the redeemer he had told Ruth about.

Boaz said to him, “Come, sit with me.” He came and sat with Boaz.

Boaz also invited ten men who were elders of the city in order to judge and settle the case, as was the custom of their day.

Boaz said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. So, I thought I would tell you about it and advise you to buy it in the presence of the men sitting here and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. If not, then let me know since you are first in line to redeem it, and I after you.”

The man said, “I’ll redeem it.”

Boaz said, “When you buy the field from Naomi, you will also marry Ruth the foreign Moabite, a widow, in order to establish the name of her dead husband in his inheritance.”

Then the man said, “No, I will not redeem the field, lest I ruin my own inheritance. If we have a son, I will lose the inheritance I gained from marrying her, since it will go to our son. Take my right of redemption for yourself, since I will not redeem it.”

This was the custom in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting to Israel. So, when the redeemer told Boaz to take his right of redemption, he took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz.

So, Boaz said to the elders who witnessed the transaction, “You are witnesses this day that I have brought from Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. Also, Ruth, the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, is to be my wife, to establish 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 have witnessed this today.”

Purchasing Naomi’s field and marrying Ruth gave Boaz the responsibility of raising an heir. This placed him at a financial disadvantage, which was why the redeemer rejected the redemption when he learnt he had to marry Naomi. It was a shameful thing for him to do. Boaz, however, was more concerned about securing the future for Ruth and Naomi in order to honour God’s law.

The people and the elders who witnessed the transaction said, “Yes, we are witnesses. May God make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that God will give you by this young woman.”


So, Boaz took Ruth, and she married him, and the Lord God blessed them with a son.

When the women in the house of Boaz heard that Ruth had given birth to a sin, they informed Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”

Naomi placed the child on her lap and became her nurse. The women of the neighbourhood named him Obed. Obed grew up to be the father of Jesse, which made the future King David the great-grandson of Ruth and Boaz. The lineage of Ruth and Boaz continued through the line of David, whose lineage led to the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah, who became the Kinsman Redeemer of the entire world.

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7 thoughts on “Beckett: Ruth – Chapter 4: Kinsman Redeemer

  1. I’m no longer sure the place you are getting your information, but great topic. I must spend a while studying more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent info I was in search of this info for my mission.

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    1. I read some commentaries to include some cultural information as to what was going on, such as the marriage proposal custom in chapter 3. There are some places where I use creative imagination to fill in the gaps as well, such as how Naomi heard of the prosperity in Bethlehem in chapter 1. Besides those two things, everything else comes from the text of Ruth itself or somewhere else in the Old Testament text (such as the kinsman redeemer law in Leviticus 27:9-25 and 25:47-55). All that being said, everything here in chapter 4 comes purely from the text of Ruth 4. Furthermore, if you’re doing research, this and the preceding 3 chapters are short story arrangements of the biblical account, so you probably shouldn’t use a short story in your research.

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  2. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I to find this matter to be really one thing that I feel I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely wide for me. I’m having a look ahead in your subsequent put up, I’ll try to get the dangle of it!

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    1. Ruth is a difficult text to deal with as far as cultural, historical, and other biblical context goes. Feel free to dive into our archives!

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  3. Millicent Kelley January 21, 2018 — 11:02

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    1. You’re very welcome, and it’s my pleasure. Thank you for reading =)

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