וּבֹעַז עָלָה הַשַּׁעַר וַיֵּשֶׁב שָׁם וְהִנֵּה הַגֹּאֵל עֹבֵר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר־בֹּעַז וַיֹּאמֶר סוּרָה שְׁבָה־פֹּה פְּלֹנִי אַלְמֹנִי 4:1
Ruth 4:1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the kinsman of whom
Boaz had spoken passed by, and he said, “Turn aside, sit here, unnamed man.” And he turned
The two words at the end of the first line have been variously translated as unnamed man, friend, and such a one.
The first and third translations come closest to the literal meaning. The conjecture about this choice of terms
centers around the man’s later refusal to be Naomi’s and Ruth’s redeemer. The thought is that he was a well-known
man whose name would bring him embarrassment if it were mentioned. As I see it, that idea is a bit far-fetched.
This story was written generations after the man had passed away. Why keep his name a secret? I suspect there
is another reason, that Boaz had intended to redeem Naomi and marry Ruth from the beginning, and probably
wouldn’t have let the unknown relative be the redeemer. So there was no reason to identify him.
וַיִּקַּח עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִזִּקְנֵי הָעִיר וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁבוּ־פֹה וַיֵּשֵׁבוּ׃ 4:2
Ruth 4:2 Then he fetched ten men from the elders of the city and he said, “Sit down here.” And
וַיֹּאמֶר לַגֹּאֵל חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר לְאָחִינוּ לֶאֱלִימֶלֶךְ מָכְרָה נָעֳמִי הַשָּׁבָה מִשְּׂדֵה מוֹאָב׃ 4:3
Ruth 4:3 Then he said to the kinsman, “The parcel of land that was our brother's, Elimelech's,
Naomi sells, who has returned from the plain of Moab,
וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי אֶגְלֶה אָזְנְךָ לֵאמֹר קְנֵה נֶגֶד הַיֹּשְׁבִימ וְנֶגֶד זִקְנֵי עַמִּי אִם־תִּגְאַל גְּאָל וְאִם־לֹא יִגְאַל 4:4
הַגִּידָה לִּי (וְאֵדַע) [וְאֵדְעָה] כִּי אֵין זוּלָתְךָ לִגְאֹול וְאָנֹכִי אַחֲרֶיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֶגְאָל׃
Ruth 4:4 and I thought I should uncover your ear saying, ‘Buy’ before those sitting and before the
elders of my people. If you would redeem, redeem. But if not, it will be redeemed. Tell me so I will
know. For there is no one else beside you to redeem, and I am after you.” And he said, “I will
The word in the parentheses in this verse is assumed to be in error. However, the word appears three other times in the bible as spelled here and translated as here, and it is not called out as an error in any of the other places.
וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּעַז בְּיֹום־קְנֹותְךָ הַשָּׂדֶה מִיַּד נָעֳמִי וּמֵאֵת רוּת הַמֹּואֲבִיָּה אֵשֶׁת־הַמֵּת (קָנִיתִי) [קָנִיתָה 4:5
לְהָקִים שֵׁם־הַמֵּת עַל־נַחֲלָתֹו׃
Ruth 4:5 Then Boaz said, “At the time of your purchase of the field from the hand of Naomi, and
from Ruth, the Moabitess, the wife of one who is dead, you have acquired to raise up the name of
he who is dead for his inheritance.”
The word in the parenthesis in this verse, translated by me as you have acquired, is spelled as a first-person verb, when it should be second-person. The yad is replaced by the heh after the right bracket.
וַיֹּאמֶר הַגֹּאֵל לֹא אוּכַל (לִגְאֹול) [לִגְאָל]־לִי פֶּן־אַשְׁחִית אֶת־נַחֲלָתִי גְּאַל־לְךָ אַתָּה אֶת־גְּאֻלָּתִי כִּי 4:6
Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, “I will not be able to be the redeemer myself as I would jeopardize
my own inheritance. You accept for yourself my right of redemption if I cannot be the redeemer.”
As I have translated the word in the parentheses in this verse, it does not constitute an error. I translate it as a noun, the redeemer, whereas others have translated it as a verb to redeem. The latter translation does make the word misspelled. But the error indication is unnecessary.
וְזֹאת לְפָנִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל עַל־הַגְּאוּלָּה וְעַל־הַתְּמוּרָה לְקַיֵּם כָּל־דָּבָר שָׁלַף אִישׁ נַעֲלוֹ וְנָתַן לְרֵעֵהוּ וְזֹאת 4:7
Ruth 4:7 Now such it was formerly in Israel concerning redemption and concerning exchange to
confirm any transaction: Each removed his shoe and gave to the other, and this was the
confirmation in Israel.
וַיֹּאמֶר הַגֹּאֵל לְבֹעַז קְנֵה־לָךְ וַיִּשְׁלֹף נַעֲלוֹ׃ 4:8
Ruth 4:8 And the kinsman said to Boaz, “Buy yourself.” And he removed his shoe.
וַיֹּאמֶר בֹּעַז לַזְּקֵנִים וְכָל־הָעָם עֵדִים אַתֶּם הַיּוֹם כִּי קָנִיתִי אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר לֶאֱלִימֶלֶךְ וְאֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר 4:9
לְכִלְיוֹן וּמַחְלוֹן מִיַּד נָעֳמִי׃
Ruth 4:9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have
bought all that was Elimelech's and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi.”
וְגַם אֶת־רוּת הַמֹּאֲבִיָּה אֵשֶׁת מַחְלוֹן קָנִיתִי לִי לְאִשָּׁה לְהָקִים שֵׁם־הַמֵּת עַל־נַחֲלָתוֹ וְלֹא־יִכָּרֵת 4:10
שֵׁם־הַמֵּת מֵעִם אֶחָיו וּמִשַּׁעַר מְקוֹמוֹ עֵדִים אַתֶּם הַיּוֹם׃
Ruth 4:10 “And also Ruth, the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I have gotten for myself as a wife to
raise up of the name of who is dead for his inheritance, so the name of who is dead is not cut off
from his brethren, and from the gate of his place; you are witnesses today.”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־בַּשַּׁעַר וְהַזְּקֵנִים עֵדִים יִתֵּן יְהוָה אֶת־הָאִשָּׁה הַבָּאָה אֶל־בֵּיתֶךָ כְּרָחֵל וּכְלֵאָה 4:11
אֲשֶׁר בָּנוּ שְׁתֵּיהֶם אֶת־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וַעֲשֵׂה־חַיִל בְּאֶפְרָתָה וּקְרָא־שֵׁם בְּבֵית לָחֶם׃
Ruth 4:11 And all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “Witnesses! May the Lord
make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and like Leah, the two of whom built the
house of Israel. And acquire wealth in Ephrath, and make a name in Bethlehem.”
וִיהִי בֵיתְךָ כְּבֵית פֶּרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יָלְדָה תָמָר לִיהוּדָה מִן־הַזֶּרַע אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן יְהוָה לְךָ מִן־הַנַּעֲרָה הַזֹּאת׃ 4:12
Ruth 4:12 “And let your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore for Judah, from the
seed that the Lord will give to you by this woman.”
We know of Perez from Gene. 38:29. He was actually Judah’s son although his daughter-in-law, Tamar, bore him.
וַיִּקַּח בֹּעַז אֶת־רוּת וַתְּהִי־לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה לָהּ הֵרָיוֹן וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן׃ 4:13
Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his for a wife. And he went in to her and the Lord
gave conception to her, and she bore a son.
וַתֹּאמַרְנָה הַנָּשִׁים אֶל־נָעֳמִי בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא הִשְׁבִּית לָךְ גֹּאֵל הַיּוֹם וְיִקָּרֵא שְׁמוֹ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 4:14
Ruth 4:14 And the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord, Who caused a kinsman not to fail
for you this day, and let his name be called out in Israel.”
וְהָיָה לָךְ לְמֵשִׁיב נֶפֶשׁ וּלְכַלְכֵּל אֶת־שֵׂיבָתֵךְ כִּי כַלָּתֵךְ אֲשֶׁר־אֲהֵבַתֶךְ יְלָדַתּוּ אֲשֶׁר־הִיא טוֹבָה לָךְ 4:15
Ruth 4:15 “And let him be a restorer of soul for you, maintain your old age, for your daughter-in
-law, who loves you, has borne him, she who is better to you than seven sons.”
וַתִּקַּח נָעֳמִי אֶת־הַיֶּלֶד וַתְּשִׁתֵהוּ בְחֵיקָהּ וַתְּהִי־לוֹ לְאֹמֶנֶת׃ 4:16
Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child and laid it on her bosom and was as support for it.
וַתִּקְרֶאנָה לוֹ הַשְּׁכֵנוֹת שֵׁם לֵאמֹר יֻלַּד־בֵּן לְנָעֳמִי וַתִּקְרֶאנָה שְׁמוֹ עוֹבֵד הוּא אֲבִי־יִשַׁי אֲבִי דָוִד׃ 4:17
Ruth 4:17 And the female neighbors called a name for it saying, “Naomi's grandson has been
born.” And they called his name Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the grandfather of David.
וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדוֹת פָּרֶץ פֶּרֶץ הוֹלִיד אֶת־חֶצְרוֹן׃ 4:18
Ruth 4:18 And these are the generations of Perez: Perez begot Hezron,
וְחֶצְרוֹן הוֹלִיד אֶת־רָם וְרָם הוֹלִיד אֶת־עַמִּינָדָב׃ 4:19
Ruth 4:19 and Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab,
וְעַמִּינָדָב הוֹלִיד אֶת־נַחְשׁוֹן וְנַחְשׁוֹן הוֹלִיד אֶת־שַׂלְמָה׃ 4:20
Ruth 4:20 and Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon,
The name Salmon is spelled here without the final nun that is in his name in the next verse. Actually, this spelling
coincides with that in 1 Chronicles, and there he is called Salma.
וְשַׂלְמוֹן הוֹלִיד אֶת־בֹּעַז וּבֹעַז הוֹלִיד אֶת־עוֹבֵד׃ 4:21
Ruth 4:21 and Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed,
וְעֹבֵד הוֹלִיד אֶת־יִשָׁי וְיִשַׁי הוֹלִיד אֶת־דָּוִד׃ 4:22
Ruth 4:22 and Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
Thus Ruth the Moabitess is the great-grandmother of David. An amazing story! This book says to me that it must have been easy to become a Jew in those days. All Ruth said was “Your people are my people, and your God is my God,” and she was a Jew. See Ruth 1:16. [Return to Esth. 8:17]
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