What does Ruth 4:8 mean?
ESV: So when the redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself," he drew off his sandal.
NIV: So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself." And he removed his sandal.
NASB: So the redeemer said to Boaz, 'Buy it for yourself.' And he removed his sandal.
CSB: So the redeemer removed his sandal and said to Boaz, "Buy back the property yourself."
NLT: So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, 'You buy the land.'
KJV: Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
NKJV: Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal.
Verse Commentary:
The matter is settled. The nearer kinsman-redeemer will not buy Naomi's land nor marry Ruth, thus avoiding the risk that Ruth could have many sons and threaten his own sons' inheritance (Ruth 4:1–6). If Boaz is willing to take those responsibilities, that is fine.

There is no shame in his decision. He's right that if Ruth had children, it would cost him. By law, as the next of kin, he is responsible for buying Naomi's land (Leviticus 25:25) but Boaz's addition of a levirate marriage with Ruth is more manipulative than lawful. In the Mosaic law, he's also well within his rights to refuse to marry a Moabite woman (Deuteronomy 23:3–6). It's a fine line, however, because of the honor-shame culture of the ancient middle east. To take the land without providing the opportunity for its redemption would be legal, but not a "good look." Even though Ruth is a Moabitess, she swore to leave her people and gods and take Naomi's (Ruth 1:16–17; 2:11–12). The entire town of Bethlehem respects her (Ruth 3:11).

Fortunately, Boaz offers the man a way out: if the next of kin doesn't want the land or Ruth, Boaz is more than willing to take responsibility (Ruth 3:13). The man finishes the transaction by legally declaring his intent before the ten elders (Ruth 4:2) and performing the obscure tradition of presenting Boaz with his sandal (Ruth 4:7). He is mentioned no more.

Most importantly, Boaz can now complete Ruth's plan of providing Naomi with everything she needs and proving that Yahweh did not abandon her.
Verse Context:
Ruth 4:7–12 records Boaz's legal declaration. This follows parts of the law associated with Levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5–6). He will buy Elimelech's land from Naomi as well as everything that belonged to their sons. He will take Ruth to be his wife. With Ruth, he will do his part to give Elimelech an heir to re-inherit his land so the family will persist. In response, the elders and the people praise him and call blessings upon Ruth.
Chapter Summary:
Ruth 4 provides one of the happiest endings of all the books of the Bible. It begins when Boaz holds a meeting with Naomi's next of kin. The unnamed man is willing to buy Naomi's land. Yet he doesn't want the risk of marrying a Moabite woman to give Naomi an heir. Boaz is actively seeking those obligations, so the townspeople praise him and Ruth. Before long, Ruth has a son and presents him to Naomi to continue the family of her late husband. The boy becomes the grandfather of Israel's greatest king, David, and the ancestor of the Messiah, Jesus.
Chapter Context:
Ruth 4 closes the story of how a Moabite woman came to be part of the genealogy of King David. Naomi, an Israelite from Bethlehem, fled a famine with her husband and two sons. The men died and Naomi returned to Israel with Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law. Ruth enlists the help of Boaz, an honored landowner, to buy Naomi's land and give her an heir. After Boaz negotiates with relatives, Ruth and Boaz marry. Naomi holds the boy born in the name of her husband's family. This child becomes the grandfather of David.
Book Summary:
Though set in a time of violence and tragedy, the book of Ruth tells one of Scripture’s most uplifting stories. Naomi, an Israelite, leaves her home during a famine. While away, in Moab, her husband and sons die. Naomi convinces one of her Moabite daughters-in-law to leave her and seek a new life. The other, Ruth, refuses, declaring her love and loyalty to Naomi. When the pair return to Israel, they encounter Boaz. This man is both kind and moral; his treatment of Ruth secures Naomi’s future and becomes part of king David’s ancestry.
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