Ruth 3:12: Boaz's Answer to Ruth's Proposal, Part 3

Verse 12:[1] And now it is true that I am thy (Ruth 3:9) near kinsman: howbeit (Ruth 4:1) there is a kinsman nearer than I.

[I do not deny that I am near, but there is another nearer than I,וְעַתָּה֙ כִּ֣י אָמְנָ֔ם כִּ֥י אִם גֹאֵ֖ל אָנֹ֑כִי וְגַ֛ם יֵ֥שׁ גֹּאֵ֖ל קָר֥וֹב מִמֶּֽנִּי׃] Verbatim: And now, that truly indeed I am a redeemer, and there is also a redeemer nearer than I (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic). Now, therefore, I acknowledge that it is true that I am a kinsman; nevertheless, there is another kinsman nearer than I (Pagnine, similarly the English, Dutch). You are able to translate it so that nothing is to be understood, and the כִּי in the former position is superfluous; Now, therefore, it is true that I am a redeemer; nevertheless, there is also another nearer redeemer (Vatablus, Tigurinus, Geneva). But Vatablus does not approve this: for, when they had translated with the כִּי omitted, And so now it is true, etc., he noted, understand, I acknowledge that it is true that I am a redeemer or kinsman (Drusius). Others thus: Now I say that it is true, that, even if I am a redeemer, nevertheless there is in addition a redeemer nearer than I (Junius and Tremellius). That אָמְנָם/true/truly is more harshly constructed with the end of the verse, with the words, even if I am a redeemer, intervening. And, moreover, it is to observed that in all those versions אָמְנָם is taken for a true thing, or truth, as if it were a now; although it is everywhere an adver, truly (Dieu). But also this is now certainly evident; although I am near, nevertheless there is another nearer than I (Munster). Now therefore, although I am truly a redeemer, nevertheless there is also another redeemer nearer than I. כִּי/although, is set down by way of a πλεοναστικὴν/pleonastic epanalepsis:[2] and the particle אִם, that is, if, is inserted for even if; which appears to be a gloss of the particle כִּי (Piscator). In Hebrew, that a redeemer; written, that if, yet not read: and observe the germination of the particle, that truly, that a redeemer; we said, that truly, although a redeemer, with the sense thus requiring (Drusius). All difficulty will be removed, if I mistake not, if we expound both instances of כִּי by although, even if, which also is seen in the Lexica to be done elsewhere, in this manner; and now even if truly (or, certainly, truly), even if I be a redeemer, nevertheless there is a redeemer nearer than I. Or, the former כִּי is only confirmative, certainly, surely, which is common; the second כִּ֥י אִם is even if: for I do not think that the אִם here is superfluous, as the קְרִי/Qere indicates, but that together with the כִּי it makes even if, just as in 1 Samuel 14:39[3] (Dieu). There is another nearer than I: Prior, not in degree, but in order of birth (Grotius). It was possible among those that were in equal standing, indeed, it was requisite, that there be a certain order with respect to this right and obligation. See what things we have on Deuteronomy 25:5 (Bonfrerius). That one was the brother of Elimelech, but Boaz was only the son of his brother (Hebrews in Drusius).

[1] Hebrew: וְעַתָּה֙ כִּ֣י אָמְנָ֔ם כִּ֥י אִם גֹאֵ֖ל אָנֹ֑כִי וְגַ֛ם יֵ֥שׁ גֹּאֵ֖ל קָר֥וֹב מִמֶּֽנִּי׃

[2] That is, the repetition of the beginning of a clause or sentence at the end of that same clause or sentence, with words intervening.

[3] 1 Samuel 14:39a: “For, as the Lord liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son (כִּ֧י אִם־יֶשְׁנ֛וֹ בְּיוֹנָתָ֥ן בְּנִ֖י), he shall surely die.…”

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.




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