Some have suggested that the uncovering of Boaz’s feet in 3:7 suggests some sort of sexual contact, but that is not the case and it does not fit the story or the characters. Ruth’s calling Boaz her redeemer is what amounts to a marriage proposal. He knows that there is a closer relative who has the first right of redemption, so he tells her that he will work the matter out with that relative. If that closer relative to does not step up, Boaz promises to do so. The land of Naomi’s husband Elimelech must be bought by a kinsman and Ruth will be part of the bargain (an overview of the process can be found in Deuteronomy 25:7-8).
Boaz meets with the relative at the city gate (equivalent to our town hall) with the elders and proposes the situation to the other relative. At first, he likes the idea of buying the land, but taking Ruth could muddy the waters of inheritance for the children he already has. So under witness of the elders, Boaz claims the right that this relative passes to him (chapter 4:7-11).
So Boaz marries Ruth and they have a son named Obed who will be the grandfather of David (4:22). Ruth is the third foreign woman in this line of Jesus Christ’s ancestry (Matthew 1:1-6). The other two are Rahab and Tamar.
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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