Ruth 4:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ruth 4:14, NIV: The women said to Naomi: 'Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!

Ruth 4:14, ESV: Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!

Ruth 4:14, KJV: And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

Ruth 4:14, NASB: Then the women said to Naomi, 'Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel.

Ruth 4:14, NLT: Then the women of the town said to Naomi, 'Praise the LORD, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel.

Ruth 4:14, CSB: The women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you without a family redeemer today. May his name become well known in Israel.

What does Ruth 4:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The women of Bethlehem rejoice that God has blessed Naomi. She now has a grandson who will be the heir of her husband, Elimelech. Their welcome to the baby completes the inclusio—a literary bracket which surrounds a particular storyline—which began with their warm welcome to Naomi in Ruth 1:19.

The use of the word "redeemer" is rich. L. L. Morris defines redemption as ""deliverance from some evil by payment of a price." Boaz redeemed Elimelech's land from Naomi so she didn't have to sell it outside the clan. Ruth redeemed Elimelech's line and Naomi's honor by providing an heir, Obed (Ruth 4:13, 17). Obed will redeem Naomi's future; should Boaz die before Naomi, Obed will care for her. Obed's grandson David (Ruth 4:22) will redeem the honor of Israel as its greatest king.

Generations later, David's descendent Jesus will redeem the world. As God and man, He will live a sinless life. He will agree to die on the cross to carry the world's sins. Those who choose to accept His offer of forgiveness will be saved—reconciled with God so they can live with Him in eternity.

The subject of "his name" is confusing. Is it talking about God, completing the phrase "Blessed is the LORD…"? Or does it refer to Obed, beginning, "May he also be to you one who restores life…" (Ruth 4:15)? Or is it referring to Boaz who was the more immediate redeemer? The ESV is inconclusive. The NASB and NIV say Obed. One version of the Septuagint translates it, "And may he call your name in Israel!" Since "Obed" means "servant" or "worshipper" that would make sense. The NET translation points out that the pronoun "he" of Ruth 4:15 refers to the "redeemer," so this pronoun should, as well. It is Obed who will remain famous in Israel. Obed isn't mentioned in Scripture again outside of genealogies, but the fact that we know his name means the blessing came true.