Full bible text
Ruth 4 verses 1 to 12
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.” 11 Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord 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, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”
About this painting
What is a redeemer? Leviticus 25:25 says, “If your brother becomes poor and has to sell part of his property, let his redeemer come who is close to him and redeem what his brother has sold.”
Ruth 4 verse 3 says that Naomi sold the land of her deceased husband Elimelech.
But a piece of land that belonged to a family as an inheritance could not be sold forever.
Naomi knew that Boaz, on whose land Ruth had come to glean, was a kinsman; one of the possible redeemers.
In Ruth 4, the provision of redemption appears to be combined with the provision of levirate marriage. That is a marriage of a man to the widow of a deceased brother, if no children were born of that marriage. The first child is then considered to be a child of the deceased brother. In this way it is ensured that the legacy of the brother is not lost. See Deuteronomy 25 verse 5.
Boaz replies to Ruth (Ruth 3:13) that he is willing to take on the responsibility of the redeemership, but he knows there is another, closer kinsman. If he is not willing to redeem, Boaz will.
Boaz goes to the gatehouse of Bethlehem the next day to settle the matter officially.
In Ruth 4 verse 5 he tells the closer relative that in this case the redeemer also has a duty to marry Ruth, "to preserve the name of the dead (Machlon) over his inheritance." The closer kinsman then refuses redemption; he wanted to buy the land but not marry Ruth.
In confirmation of his giving Boaz the right to be redeemer, he takes off his shoe and gives it to Boaz.
Boaz accepts the responsibility of the redeemership and takes Ruth as his wife.
In the Bible, the LORD is called the Redeemer. Psalm 19 verse 15. Job 19 verse 25.
For example, when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, God rose up to redeem them and give them an inheritance in the Promised Land.
The Father gives His Son Jesus Christ as a Savior.
The redeemership in Israel was a prefiguration of this. Jesus “sets his soul as a ransom
for many" Matthew 20:28.
He became a "relative" to us by becoming human as God's Son; family of Adam and
his offspring. Thus He became Savior who paid the sin debt of the world.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
In the Bible, the Lord is also called the Bridegroom of Israel. Isaiah 54 verse 5, 62 verse 5, Jeremiah 2 verse 32, as in the New Testament the congregation of believers is called the Bride of Christ. 2 Corinthians 11 verse 2. He is faithful to his covenant.
At Naomi's advice, Ruth goes to Boaz's threshing floor at night. Ruth 3. There Ruth asks him if he wants to marry her. “Because you are the redeemer,” she adds.