Summary: Let's talk about the "kin" or kinsman redeemer through 3 passages in the New Testament
You might be a redneck if:
Your family reunion features a chewing tobacco spit-off.
The tobacco chewers in your family aren't just men.
You view the next family reunion as a chance to meet girls.
You look upon a family reunion as a chance to meet `Ms. Right'
In Ruth we probably find the custom and traditions in Israel as strange such as levirate marriage, but may we be thankful that the Son of God became flesh and is “kin” to us
We have gone through the first 3 chapters of Ruth. Chapter 1 we find Naomi and Ruth going to Bethlehem after many tragedies. In Chapter 2 we find Ruth and Naomi settling into life in Bethlehem. Ruth goes out to the fields to glean during harvest time. While gleaning she and Boaz, the owner of the field, grow sweet on each other. Naomi is back at home trying to come up with a plan to get these two together. Chapter 3 we find that Naomi comes up with a plan and it works. Here is chapter 4 we find that Boaz is going to plead the case of these 2 widows at the city gate. Naomi and Ruth need to be redeemed and Boaz is their redeemer.
Ruth 3:12-13 we find the problem is another man.
Commentary on Ruth 4:1-8
1. Ruth 4:1- At this time, a city of any size had a wall around it. A few gates in the wall so people could go in and out in the daytime. At night the gates were shut. Around the city gates many open areas with stone benches built against the walls where the people of the city would conduct business or just sit and chat with friends. If we sat at the gate long enough we would see lots of friends and family pass by. Since this was the case, we could conduct court there, buy, sale, or trade there, or we could just sit and watch the people pass by on their way to and or from work and business. Boaz knew the habits of this nearer of kin, and knew he would be coming into the city that day, so he sat down and waited for him. When he saw him coming, he called out to him. Not told the name of this man, Mr. So and So in the Hebrew. He is a minor part of the story but an important one.
2. Ruth 4:2- 10 men was a quorum. As Boaz and Mr. So and So chatted, an elder would come by, and Boaz would just take a moment out of this conversation to ask the elder to come sit with them. Continual chit chat, and soon 10 elders, town leaders, of the city there.
3. Ruth 4:3- Boaz brings the conversation to what he wants. Naomi and Ruth want Boaz to redeem the land and themselves. We find in this conversation that Mr. So and So seems clueless about the situation with his relative Naomi. Don’t be hard on him, harvest time was busy time.
4. Ruth 4:4- Even though Mr. So and so has little knowledge of Naomi he recognizes a good business deal. Probably even willing to let Naomi live on the land the rest of her days while he farms it. Without an heir the land would go to he and his family after her death.
5. Ruth 4:5- Mr. So and So did not understand that Ruth, a Moabitess, was attached to the land, so Boaz goes on to explain it more clearly. This was not just a matter of buying some piece of land to add to his farm. Buying the land meant redeeming Ruth and providing a child in her late husband’s name and that child would inherit the land as soon as he was an adult.
6. Ruth 4:6- Several reasons that Mr. So and So did not want to redeem the land with Ruth. She was a Moabitess, not kosher. Maybe this man already had several sons and this would further complicate matters. Best reason is that this man married to one woman for many years and to do this against her would cause problems. Whatever the reason, Boaz’s comments worked. So and so gave up his right to redeem Ruth and the land.
Ruth 4:7-8: The sandal thing was to make it legal and binding. This was a fitting way for Mr. So and so to refuse and give up his rights to Boaz. No spitting in the face as described in Deuteronomy 25, no public humiliation. This kept good relations in the extended family.
Throwing around the term redeemed. Redeemed here means to set free, to liberate. Most often translated as kinsman redeemer. Ruth and Naomi were poor and destitute. They had no one to provide for them and no heir to carry on their name. Someone needed to buy them, liberate them, out of their helpless situation. Boaz was their kinsman redeemer.