ruth, sandals, & the legal system.

Ruth 4. Starting in Verse 5.

So let’s review. Boaz would like to be Ruth’s kinsmen redeemer, but a closer kinsmen redeemer exists, so Boaz is double checking with kinsmen redeemer numero uno before claiming Ruth as his own.

When we last mentioned Ruth, kinsmen redeemer numero uno had just said “I will redeem it” and we were all shaking in our boots a little bit.

BUT, up until this moment Boaz has left out a key piece of information regarding the redemption transaction; RUTH!

Boaz brings up the lady attached to the land in verse 5.

And then in verse six, kinsmen redeemer numero uno says this: “You redeem it yourself, I can not do it.” 

PHEW! Things were looking a little dicey there for a few minutes.

Let’s park it on verse 7 for a minute.

 (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

Interesting huh? How different would our legal system be if all we had to do was trade sandals?! The significance being that the man relinquishing the land was giving away what he would have used to walk on the land, thereby allow the receiver of the land the proper clothing needed to walk on the land and make it his own. (Commentaries will word that more fancy, but that is the general gist.)

Verse 8. So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.

Verses 9 and 10 are a nice way to wrap up this section. Save verse 11 for next time, it is rich with significance.




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