Ruth 4:1
Meanwhile Boaz went to the gate and sat down there. Soon the kinsman-redeemer of whom he had spoken came along, and Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down." So he went over and sat down.
A Primitive CouncilJ.R. Thomson Ruth 4:1, 2
Fair Dealing and Good Principle in BoazA. Thomson, D. D.Ruth 4:1-5
Friends in CouncilW. Baxendale.Ruth 4:1-5
Judicious Methods of Attaining Our EndsC. Ness.Ruth 4:1-5
Redemption ProposedS. H. Tyng, D. D.Ruth 4:1-5
The writer of this book depicts for us in this passage a very picturesque scene. We observe -

1. The place of judgment and public business. "Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates... throughout thy tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment." The parents of the disobedient son were to "bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place." Absalom, when plotting against his father's authority, "Stood beside the way of the gate," and intercepted those that came to the king for judgment.

2. The court in whose presence important business was transacted - "the elders of the city." Such elders were prescribed, as is evident from several passages in Deuteronomy; and the early books of the Old Testament contain frequent references to them and to their duties. Allusion is made to the elders of Succoth, of Jezreel, and of this same Bethlehem in the time of Samuel. Ten seems to have been what we should call a quorum. There is wisdom, gravity, deliberation, dignity, in the proceedings here recorded.

I. HUMAN SOCIETY REQUIRES INSTITUTIONS OF LAW AND JUSTICE. The relations between man and man must not be determined by chance, or left to the decision of force or fraud. "Order is Heaven's first law."

II. LAW AND JUSTICE SHOULD BE SANCTIONED BY RELIGION. Religion cannot approve of all actions done by all in authority; but it acknowledges and respects government as a Divine institution, and awakens conscience to support justice.


1. Openness and publicity.

2. Solemn and formal ratification and record of important acts.

3. Equality of citizens before the law.

4. As much liberty as is compatible with public rights.

5. Integrity and incorruptness on the part of those who administer the law. - T.

Then went Boaz up to the gate.

1. Speedily.

2. Expeditiously.

3. Righteously.


1. Openly and publicly.

2. By the advice of wise men.

3. Calmly and deliberately.

4. With care and exactitude.


(W. Baxendale.)

1. The most probable means ought judiciously to be used in order to the accomplishing of our proposed ends. Thus Boaz, being restless for obtaining his promised end (Ruth 3:18), uses the likeliest means to obtain his end. Many a man loses a good end for want of right means tending to the end.

2. A marvellous providence doth attend God's servants that do wait upon God in the way of obedience. The guiding hand of God doth make many a happy hit in the occurrences of His people. Thus the comely contexture of various providences are very marvellous to those that make observation of them.

(C. Ness.)

How completely this proposal illustrates the proposition of our great Redeemer in our behalf. Thus publicly He agreed, in the presence of the angels of God, to make Himself an offering for sin. Thus legally would He fulfil all righteousness for man, and be made under the law, that He might redeem those who were under the law from the bondage of its condemnation. Thus perfectly and completely would He buy back all that man had lost, and unite unto Himself the nature which had sinned and fallen. But angels were a created nature, far nearer in relation to man. Might not the proposition be made to them? Would they not redeem the lost? Ah, willing they might be — we doubt not they were. But able they could never be. The redemption of a soul they must let alone for ever. The Son of God remained alone. His own arm must bring salvation. His righteousness must sustain Him. He was content to do the will of God, and His law was in His heart. Here was to be complete redemption. He would take the shoe, like Boaz, and acknowledge the obligation, and perform the duties of which it was the token. He would stand in the sinner's place. He would make Himself an offering in his stead. All this exercise and work of redeeming love was in the fulness of His own grace, without any connection of yours with it. Yes; just as the proposal of Boaz was without Ruth's presence or knowledge — made in her absence, while she was with her mother at home, and not to be made known to her until it was completed — so was this great proposal of the Son of God to be your Kinsman, and to fulfil for you all the kinsman's obligations, made without your counsel and accomplished without your help. This is the unsearchable riches of grace. We call it sovereign grace. It ruled over every obstacle. It met every difficulty. We call it free grace. It is extended to sinful man with no conditions. It invites him, and offers its bounties to him without any qualifications whatever. It announces a redemption all complete, and begs him to receive and to enjoy it. Thus God has chosen to redeem. And thus He has chosen us to be the subjects of His redemption.

(S. H. Tyng, D. D.)

There are two things especially worthy of notice in this language of Boaz.

1. The spirit of candour and fair dealing by which it is distinguished. He knew the preference which both Naomi and Ruth had for himself; he was conscious too that he no longer regarded with indifference this beautiful daughter of Moab. His fine sense of honour was not blunted either by covetousness or by inclination, nor would his conscience allow him, even when seeking a good and generous end, to have recourse to sharp practice. Here is that "clear and round dealing which is the honour of man's nature." He was one of those men who, at the close of a transaction, could have borne to be cross-examined regarding his part in it by an enemy.

2. Then remark how much the following of principle simplifies a man's course. Boaz had his own wishes as to the way in which the transaction should terminate; and suppose him to have stooped, as thousands in his circumstances would have done, to crooked courses and carnal concealments, in order to make the matter end according to his wishes, what must have been his perplexity and anxiety, not to speak of his self-contempt and self-accusation! These are what Lord Bacon has called "the winding and crooked goings of the serpent, which goeth basely upon the belly and not upon the feet." But in following the course of simple duty, and making his inclinations and preferences wait on the disposal of God, he at once retained peace of conscience, self-respect, and a good name." His eye was single, and therefore his whole body was full of light."(A. Thomson, D. D.)

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