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not do that which will lay us open to blame, nor let that be known which may be misinterpreted." We should think on those things that are lovely and of good report ; and herein exercise ourselves daily to keep consciences void of offence toward God and man.


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In this chapter Boaz calls upon the next relation to redeem the

estate and marry the widow ; which he refusing to do, Boaz is married to Ruth.

HEN went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down

there, where the elders and magistrates used to meet, and their court was kept ; it is probable he was one of them: and behold the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by ; unto

whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. 2 And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of

the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. He called these ten élders to be witnesses to the pro

posal and bargain, according to the good custom of those days. 3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again

out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land which 4 [was] our brother Elimelech's : And 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 lit, 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.] Then said Bo

az, 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, and therefore must also marry her. (Gen. xxxviii. 8.) 6 to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And

the kimsman said, I cannot redeem [it] for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance : he probably had a wife and children already ; his inheritance might be small; he might fear contenttions would arise in his family, and that he could not provide for his former children and those he might have by a young widow :

he therefore declined it, and said, Redeem thou my right to hthyself; for I cannot redeem (it.] Now this [was the man

ner] 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. There was no divine law for this, but it was the custom of the country for the seller to take off his sthoe in which he used to walk on the ground, and give it to the buyer, who in that shoe' was to enter upon it, and take possession ; like giving up the key of a house, or a turf of land. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy [it] for thee. So he drew off 9 his shoe, and thus resigned his claim. And 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 10 [was] Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. More

over, 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. He calls upon the elders to witness that he

had bought the land of Naomi, who had the first claim to it, and Il then of Ruth, as her son's widow. And all the people that [were) in the


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 12 Bethlehem. And 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. Thus the elders not only declared that they were witnes8e8, but added their solemn benediction, viz. that he might have a numerous, hopeful issue, like

Jacob's wives, and that he and his intended spouse might be ex13 amples of virtue and goodness to the whole city. So Boaz took

Ruth, and she was his wife : and when he went in unto her, 14 the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the

women of the city, who came to congratulate Her mother in law on this happy event, said unto Naomi, Blessed [be] the LORD,

which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his 15 name may be famous in Israel. And 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 borne him. They hoped this grandson would live to be a comfort to her, to inherit his mother's virtues, especially her affection for Naomi, who was better to her than

seven sons, as she was now possessed of such a filentiful estate. 16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in Her bosom, and bę

came nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name saying, There is a son borne to Naomi ; and they called his name Obed, that is, servant, from the hope that he would be greatly serviceable to her, the comfort and support of her old age, and of the rest of the family : he [is] the father of Jesse, the father of David; for whose sake this whole book seems to have been written, that it might be certainly known from whom he descended, as he was one of the ancestors of the Mesa siah ; therefore the grenealogy is annexed from Pharez, son of

Judah, to David. 18 Now these [are] the generations of Pharez : Pharez begat 19 Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Ammina20 dab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat 21 Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, 32 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.


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AIR and open dealings in matters of commerce and

contracts, especially in marriage contracts, is extremely desirable and necessary. These several forms to ascertain the sale of lands and a contract of marriage were very proper, and showed that the Israelites in general studied the things that made for peace, and that Boaz was a man of eminent wisdom and prudence. Public and open bargains are most likely to be firm and satisfactory ; and honest minds never startle at open dealings. Clandestine marriages are very bad things. The reasons why they are concealed, are generally reasons why they should be known and prevented. Our laws forbid them ; but artful men, in order to get money, have found out a way to evade the law ; and by the neglect of making marriages more public, innumerable evils have arisen in the world, and vast and irreparable mischiefs have attended many families. What our Lord says in a particular case, may be applied generally, and especially to marriage contracts, he that doeth evil hateth the light.

2. The devotion and piety of these early ages are worthy of our imitation. We see that in the most common occurrences of life, they express a deep sense of God, and much of the spirit of prayer. The manner in which Boaz’s neighbours congratulated him upon his marriage, and the birth of his son, teaches us to mingle devotion with civility, and to acknowledge the hand of God in every favourable event. It is a pity this pious language should be lost among us, or grow into mere custom, and words without meaning.

3. It is a great satisfaction to those who are advanced in years, to see their children doing well for this world, more especially for another. This was Naomi's comfort, that her daughter was well married to a man of wealth, and (which she greatly preferred) to a man of integrity, generosity, and piety. She was blest with a grandson, and saw a new generation rising up to serve God. Let christian parents endeavour to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, that they may have comfort in them when old and dying, and leave them behind with a good hope that they will be the ornaments and supports of religion. Blessed is he that feareth the Lord, for he shall see his children's children comfortable and happy, and peace upon Israel.


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