READ : Ruth 4:3-6
“The day you buy the field . . . you also acquire Ruth.” (v. 5)
What’s all this about a field? Do you mean Ruth and Naomi actually own a piece of
The narrator has been keeping it up his sleeve. It was probably the only bit of
Elimelech’s property that remained. Naomi would not have dreamt of putting it up for
sale—until Boaz persuaded her to!
Just as the next-of-kin was the right person to marry someone in Ruth’s position, so he
was also the right person to buy the property of someone in Naomi’s position, in order to
keep both property and wife in the family.
This next-of-kin, the “kinsman-redeemer,” was (as it turned out) prepared to take on
one of the two responsibilities. But to take on both was a different matter. That was why
Boaz had got Naomi to put her field on the market. Field and wife together made up a
package deal which he hoped would be too big or too awkward for the other man to want to
cope with. Boaz was no fool.
Smartness can be a dangerous gift, and a smart person is not always a pleasant person. Fortunately Boaz was both. More fortunately, his smartness was under God’s control.
Whether or not cleverness is one of our gifts, Lord, keep all of them under your control. Amen.