Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ruth Chapter 4

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Samuel 
Date Penned: (1375-1050 BC)
Overview: To Show Israel to Have Character in Hard Times  (c 1-4)
Theme: Ruth and Boaz Are Married (c 4)
Message: A Successful Marriage, Family, and Children (v 1-22)

Ruth 4 Commentary

(4:1-2) Boaz Seeks the Relative - Boaz knew he could find his relative at the city gate. This was the center of activity. No one could enter or leave the city without traveling through the gate. Merchants set up their temporary shops near the gate, which also served as "city hall." Here city officials gathered to transact business. With so much activity, this was a good place to find witnesses and an appropriate place for Boaz to make his transaction.

(4:3-11) Boaz Speaks to the Relative - Boaz cleverly presented his case to the relative. First he brought in new information not yet mentioned in the story- Elimelech, Naomi's former husband, still had some property in the area that was now for sale. As the nearest relative, this man had the first right to buy the land, which he agreed to do (Leviticus 25:25). But then Boaz said that according to the law, if the relative bought the property, he also had to marry the widow (probably because Mahlon, Ruth's former husband and Elimelech's son, had technically inherited the property). At this stipulation, the relative backed down. He did not want to complicate his inheritance. He may have feared that if he had a son through Ruth, some of his estate would transfer away from his family to the family of Elimelech. Whatever his reason, the way was now clear for Boaz to marry Ruth.

(4:12) A Legacy of Faith - Of all the ancestors (including Abraham) they could have named, why did these men mention Perez (Pharez)? The birth of Perez had come as the result of the levirate practice, whereby the relative (Judah) of a dead husband would marry the dead husband's widow (Tamar) (Genesis 38). Boaz, as kinsman redeemer, was also following this levirate practice since Ruth's former husband had no living brothers. (See the note on Ruth 3:1-9.) The descendants of Perez made Judah a prominent tribe. Boaz, David, and all the Judean kings were descendants of Perez. The story of Naomi and Ruth shows that they left a legacy of faith and devotion that impacted David's life, four generations later. If you benefit from a legacy of faith in your family, make sure to foster it and pass it on. If you are starting a legacy of faith in your family, cultivate it wholeheartedly so it will continue.

(4:15) Ruth Loves Her Mother in Law - Ruth's love for her mother-in-law was known and recognized throughout the city. From the beginning of the book of Ruth to the end, her kindness toward others and her devotion to family remained unchanged.

(4:15) Blessings from Tragedy - God brought great blessings out of Naomi's tragedy, even greater than "seven sons" (an abundance of heirs). Throughout her tough times, Naomi continued to trust God. And God, in his time, blessed her greatly. Even in our sorrow and calamity, God can bring great blessings. When tragedy strikes, remember Naomi, and have faith in God to provide what you need. It's easy to ask, How can God allow this to happen to me? But instead, trust him. He will be with you in the hard times.

(4:16-17) Lineage of a Savior - To some, the book of Ruth may be just a nice story about a girl who was fortunate. But in reality, the events recorded in Ruth were part of God's preparations for the births of David and of Jesus, the promised Messiah. Just as Ruth was unaware of this larger purpose in her life, we will not know the full purpose and importance of our lives until we are able to look back from the perspective of eternity. We must make our choices with God's eternal values in mind. Taking shortcuts and living for temporary pleasures are not good ways to move ahead. Because of Ruth's faithful obedience, her life and legacy were significant even though she couldn't see all the results. Live in faithfulness to God, knowing that the significance of your life will extend beyond your lifetime. The rewards will outweigh any sacrifices you will have made.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

God has a Plan for Your Life


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of Ruth with Chapter 4, and we come to the end of this great book. We see the marriage of Ruth and Boaz leading to the decedents of Boaz and Ruth, which includes our Lord Jesus in future generations. Looking at Ruth's life at the beginning of this book, it would seem that God had left her, but the truth is that God had a plan for her life which included being in the genealogy of Christ. In applying, we see that God has a plan for our life. His plan may seem to take us into dark places, but the Lord is in control, and we may not see where we are going, but the Lord does, and He will deliver us if we don't quit. How about you? Do you know how the Lord has a plan for your life despite your circumstances? Let us learn from our text today and remember that the Lord has a wonderful plan for your life. 


Ruth 4

Ruth 4

 1Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

 2And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.

 3And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:

 4And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.

 5Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

 6And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

 7Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.

 8Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

 9And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.

 10Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

 11And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:

 12And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.

 13So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.

 14And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

 15And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.

 16And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

 17And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

 18Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,

 19And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,

 20And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,

 21And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,

 22And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.