Ruth 4:1-10

  1. Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the 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 of 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, ‘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 to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” 
  6. Then 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. Now 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 Chilion and to Mahlon. 
  10. Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to 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.”

Warren Wiersbe writes: “The book of Ruth opens with three funerals but closes with a wedding. There is a great deal of weeping recorded in the first chapter, but the last chapter records an overflowing of joy in the little town of Bethlehem. … Not all of life’s stories have this kind of happy ending, but this little book reminds us, for the Christian, God still writes the last chapter. We don’t have to be afraid of the future.”

This chapter focuses on three persons: a bridegroom, a bride, and a baby.

The Bridegroom (Ruth 4:1-10) The law of the kinsman- redeemer is found in 25:23-34, and the law governing leverite marriage is found in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

The meaning of redemption. The word “redeem” means “to set free by paying a price.”

Wiersbe writes, “When it comes to spiritual redemption, all people are in bondage to sin and Satan.” Jesus gave His life as a ransom for our sins.” Paul told the Colossians hat we have been “transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” (Col. 1:13-14).

The marks of the redeemer. Not everyone could perform the duties of a kinsman-redeemer. He had to fulfill the following three qualifications:

  1. He had to be a near kinsman. This was the major hurdle that Boaz had to overcome. Wiersbe writes: “When you see this as a type of Christ, it reminds you that He had to become related to us before He could redeem us. He became flesh and blood so He could die for us on the cross. When He was born into this world in human flesh, he became our ‘near kinsman’ and He will remain our “kinsman” for What matchless love!”
  2. In order to qualify, the kinsman-redeemer also had to be able to pay the redemption price. Ruth and Naomi were too poor to pay the price but Boaz had all the resources necessary to set them

Wiersbe writes, “When it comes to the redemption of sinners, nobody but Jesus Christ is rich enough to pay the price. Instead, the payment of money can never set sinners free; it is the shedding of the precious blood of Christ that has accomplished redemption. (I Peter 1:18-19; see Ps. 49:5-9). We have redemption through Christ’s blood (Eph. 1:7), because He gave Himself for us (Titus 2:14) and purchased eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12).”

There was a third qualification. The kinsman- redeemer had to be willing to redeem.

As we see in this chapter, since the nearer kinsman was not willing to redeem Ruth, Boaz was free to purchase both the property and a wife.

The method of redemption. We see what transpired at the city gate. The key theme of this chapter is redemption. The words “redeem,” “buy,” and “purchase” are used at least fifteen times. There can be no redemption without the paying of a price.” From our point of view salvation is “free,” but from God’s point of view, redemption is a very costly thing.

Warren Wiersbe writes the following: “I have mentioned before that Boaz is a picture of Jesus Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer, and this scene is no exception to this. Like Boaz, Jesus wasn’t concerned about jeopardizing His own inheritance; instead, He made us a part of His inheritance (Eph. 1:11, 18). Like Boaz, Jesus made His plans privately, but He paid the price publicly and like Boaz, Jesus did what He did because of His love for His bride.”

Five times in Ruth 4;1-2 you find people sitting down. When Jesus Christ finished purchasing His bride, He sat down in heaven (Heb. 1:3; Mark 16:19) because the transaction was completed. “It is finished!”


   Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ in New Albany, IN..