It’s a boy, David’s grandpa
Boaz calls a meeting1 That morning, Boaz went to the city gate to wait for Naomi’s closest relative—the man who had the right to marry Ruth, as her “family savior.” When Boaz saw the man coming, he said, “Hey, my friend. Come over here and sit with me.” The man did. 2 Boaz invited 10 city leaders to join them. “Come and sit with us,” he said. So, they did.
3 Boaz told his relative, “Naomi has come back from Moab. She’s selling the land that belonged to her husband, Elimelech. 4 I wanted to tell you about it because you’re her closest relative. So, it’s yours if you want to buy it. If you do, then say so in the presence of these witnesses. If not, I’m next in line.” The man said, “I’ll buy it.”
5 Boaz said, “There’s one more thing. The property comes with a woman. The day Naomi transfers the property rights to you is the day you’ll gain a wife. You’ll be marrying Ruth, the Moabite widow of Naomi’s son. This will keep the land in the name of Ruth’s first husband.”
6 Boaz’s relative said, “Well that’s a deal-breaker. It wouldn’t do me any good to buy property for another man’s family. I’ll pass on this and hand it over to you. So you can decide if you want it. I don’t.”
7 Back in those days, when people in Israel transferred property, they sealed the deal with a sandal. The seller handed his sandal to the buyer, to show he was giving up the property rights.
8 Boaz’s relative told him, “Buy it for yourself.” Then the man took off a sandal and handed it to Boaz
Boaz buys a wife9 Boaz turned to the others and said, “You’ve all witnessed this transaction. I’ll be acquiring all the property that belonged to Elimelech and his sons Chilion and Mahlon. 10 I’m also agreeing to marry Ruth, Mahlon’s widow from Moab. I’ll keep Mahlon’s family name on the property. That way, his name lives on and people here in his hometown won’t forget him. You are witnesses to this transaction.”
11 City leaders and everyone else who saw what happened said, “We’re witnesses. May the LORD bless this woman who’s coming into your life. May she fill your house with children. May she have as many children as Rachel and Leah, the mothers of this nation of Israel. May you have children here in Ephrathah. And may they make a name for Bethlehem. 12 May your children make your family as famous as the Perez family, born to Tamar and Judah.
A boy is born13 Boaz married Ruth. When Ruth got pregnant, the LORD made sure she delivered a son. 14 The women in Bethlehem came to Grandma Naomi and said, “Thank the Good LORD for giving you a grandson to carry on your family name. May it be a name that everyone in Israel will remember. 15 This little boy will liven up your life and take care of you when you’re old. He’s the son of your daughter-in-law. She’s a woman who loves you and is kinder to you than seven sons ever could have been.
Naomi’s Little Helper16 Naomi hugged the child to her body and became a second mother to him. 17 Women in the town named the boy. They said, “Naomi has a son, now. So, we’ll call him Obed, which means ‘servant.’ He’s going to be Naomi’s Little Helper.” Obed had a son named Jesse. And Jesse had a son named David.
David’s family tree18 This is the family tree of Perez.
Perez had a son, Hezron.
19 Hezron had a son, Ram.
Ram had a son, Amminadab.
20 Amminadab had a son, Nahshon.
Nahshon had a son, Salmon.
21 Salmon had a son, Boaz.
Boaz had a son, Obed.
22 Obed had a son, Jesse.
Jesse had a son, David.
The city gate, like a village well, was a common meeting place. Towns often held official meetings or conducted trials at the entrance into the city.
“Family savior” is another way of talking about what some call a “kinsman redeemer.” That’s the relative or the friend who comes to the rescue of the person or the family. See note for 2:20.
The “family savior” married the childless widow of a relative. Then he provided a child for the legacy of the dead husband. “The surviving brother should marry her and help her get pregnant. The woman’s first son from this
Handing over the sandal was a bit like signing a contract and then shaking hands.
Boaz may have had to negotiate the transfer with whoever maintained the property while Naomi’s family lived in Moab.
Boaz did not acquire Naomi as a second wife. She didn’t need a “family savior” because she had already given birth to two sons. So, their name would live on through an attachment to the land. Ruth was the woman who needed a “savior.” She didn’t have a son to look out for her in her old age.
Rachel and Leah with their two servant women gave Jacob the 12 sons. Their descendants grew into the 12 tribes of Israel. The entire nation grew out of this one family.
Ephrathah was another name for Bethlehem. It’s a bit like Zion is, as a second name for Jerusalem.
This wish came true. Bethlehem became famous as the home of Ruth’s great-grandson, King David—and later as the home of David’s descendant, Jesus.
Perez who? Boaz’s family became far more famous than the Perez family. Tamar, like Ruth, was a childless widow. Judah became her “family savior,” but only after Tamar tricked him into it. She pretended she was a prostitute and got pregnant by him. She had twins (Genesis 38:27). In a way, she became her own family savior.
Obed is a nickname for Obadiah, a popular name in Bible times. “Obed means “servant.” Obadiah means “servant of God.” Leaving God out of Obed’s name hints that the town ladies were thinking this boy would grow up with the responsibility of looking after his Grandma Naomi.
THE David. He was King David, Israel’s second king after King Saul, who killed himself at the end of a battle he lost while fighting the Philistines.
In storytelling technique, this is called burying the lead and saving the best for last. David became the most famous and perhaps most revered king in Israel’s history.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.