| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 37 - Page 60 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
While the nearer kinsman was quite willing to redeem the parcel of land, he was not
willing to marry the Moabitess and he therefore relinquishes his right. Boaz and the other
kinsman then follow a custom that was even then ancient in Israel, whenever redeeming
and changing were to be confirmed:
"A man plucked off his shoe and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in
Israel" (Ruth 4: 7).
To place one's shoe upon anything was a symbol of possession. To take off one's
shoe and pass it to another was a symbol of transference. The spreading of the skirt
already alluded to was another symbol of transferred authority. Even to this day, it is the
custom to associate old boots with weddings, and although this is now simply a piece of
harmless fun, the custom has its origin in these distant times.
It would seem that the nearer kinsman who failed probably sets forth the failure of
man to redeem either himself or his brother, and that the transference to Boaz is an
indication that Christ alone is strong enough to undertake the task.
We next read that Boaz calls upon the elders and the people to witness that he has
bought all that was Elimelech's, Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi, and
further, that he has purchased Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, to be his wife, and
that he intends to play the Kinsman-Redeemer's part and to "raise up the name of the
dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off". In reply, the people
not only declare themselves witnesses, but also express their pleasure by adding words of
blessing. There is pointed meaning in the reference they make to "Pharez whom Tamar
bare unto Judah", for in Gen. 38: we have the story of one who, by refusing to do
the kinsman's part, not only involved himself in death, but his brother's widow in
immorality. Boaz, it is implied, represents the reverse of all this.
We now reach the conclusion of the book:
B | 4: 14-17. |
a | The women.
b | Blessed be the Lord . . . . . a kinsman to thee.
c | Name famous in Israel.
d | Nourisher.
d | Nurse.
a | The women.
b | A son born to Naomi.
c | Name Obed (Jesse, David).
A | 4: 18-22. | e | The generations of Pharez.
Pharez begat . . . . . David.
Not only is Ruth, the Moabitess, graciously brought under the wing of the God of
Israel, and her temporal needs satisfied by the love and wealth of Boaz the Strong, but a
link is also made in the chain that binds Adam to Christ, and Ruth finds an honourable