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Ruth 4:8: The Passing of the Right of Redemption to Boaz

Verse 8:[1] Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

[Which he immediately loosed] Hebrew: he removed his shoe[2] (Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda). Who removed? Responses: 1. Boaz (certain interpreters in Malvenda). 2. Ruth. In keeping with the law, he allowed it to be removed by her, whom he was refusing to marry; so that he might hand that over to him, whom she would marry, as a sign of yielding. See Deuteronomy 25:9 (Junius). But there is no mention here of Ruth; indeed, it is gathered from Ruth 3:18 that she was at home at that time. Therefore, it appears that this passage is to be understood simply, just as the letter sounds (Piscator). The avenger, or redeemer, removed his shoe (Malvenda).

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֧אמֶר הַגֹּאֵ֛ל לְבֹ֖עַז קְנֵה־לָ֑ךְ וַיִּשְׁלֹ֖ף נַעֲלֽוֹ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁלֹ֖ף נַעֲלֽוֹ׃.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
11 nov 2019

Matthew Henry: 'The right of redemption is fairly resigned to Boaz.... The ceremony here used was, he that surrendered plucked off his shoe (the Chaldee says it was the glove of his right hand) and gave it to him to whom he made the surrender, intimating thereby that, whatever right he had to tread or go upon the land, he conveyed and transferred it, upon a valuable consideration, to the purchaser: this was a testimony in Israel, Ruth 4:7. And it was done in this case, Ruth 4:8. If this kinsman had been bound by the law to marry Ruth, and his refusal had been a contempt of that law, Ruth must have plucked off his shoe and spit i…

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