And Boaz said to the elders, and to all the people, You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's…
This passage brings to our view the great subject of the gospel revelation — redemption accomplished in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ in human flesh for guilty man. Boaz took his kinsman's shoes as a simple but solemn token of the agreement which he had now assumed. He called all the inhabitants and elders of his city to witness that he acknowledged all this responsibility, and was pledged to accomplish the redemption which was thus described and undertaken. The actual accomplishment of the work now depended upon the ability and the faithfulness of Boaz. Everything now rested upon his power and his truth. Was it not just so with the hope of man from the day of his fail to the day of the Saviour's manifestation and victory? He had undertaken to be man's Redeemer. Could He, and would He fulfil the wonderful promises which He had given, and upon which He had caused His people to place their trust? The history of the New Testament answers this all-important question. These sacred Scriptures reveal the facts of redemption accomplished; the work undertaken completely finished; the fidelity of the Kinsman Redeemer gloriously established; and His almighty power triumphantly made known. This is now the great message of the gospel to guilty man. It proclaims this accomplished work, and it begs man to accept and enjoy the blessings which are offered in it freely and without price. Like Boaz, Jesus bought back the whole inheritance for man. All that was lost in the first Adam is restored by the second. The Redeemer Himself now owns the inheritance which He has purchased. That which was Elimelech's is now the property of Boaz. That which was man's, and to be in the reward of man's obedience, is now Christ's, and only to be had in the freeness and fulness of His gift. It is His own inheritance, and He bestows it upon His people according to His will; according to the measure of the gift of Christ. We have everything in Him. Without Him we have nothing. He has bought back man also for Himself. His chosen flock are His purchased possession, and are to be to the praise of His glory for ever. But the people of Bethlehem were not merely the witnesses of this covenant of Boaz; they were partakers of his joy. They united in their supplications for abundant blessings upon the noble and exalted plan which Boaz had proclaimed. So angels, the witnesses of the covenant of our Redeemer, were more than silent witnesses also. When the foundation of this wonderful work was laid in the Divine covenant these morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. When the Saviour appeared as babe in Bethlehem they filled the heavens with their songs of praise and prayer: "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, goodwill to men." When He was travelling in the greatness of His strength, beneath His load of sorrow on the earth, they ministered unto Him and strengthened Him for His work.
(S. H. Tyng, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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 was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.