Boaz agrees to purchase the land and family of Elimelech (Ruth 4:7–4:12)

“Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging. To confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other. This was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next of kin said to Boaz. ‘Acquire it for yourself.’ He then took off his sandal.”

This is the explanation of the transaction that took place. The sandal of the foot was mentioned in Deuteronomy, chapter 25, when someone did not exercise their right to marry a widow.

“Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people. ‘Today you are witnesses. I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife. I do this to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place. Today you are witnesses.’ Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said. ‘We are witnesses. May Yahweh make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem. Through the children that Yahweh will give you by this young woman may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

The elders confirm what has taken place. On top of that they give a blessing, referring to Genesis, chapter 35 and 38, about Rachel and Leah, who were the wives of Jacob or Israel. They bore parts of the twelve tribes of Israel. Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah, who bore him Perez. The important thing in Israel was having children.

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