4:11 All the people who were at the gate and the elders replied, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is entering your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the house of Israel! May 1 you prosper 2 in Ephrathah and become famous 3 in Bethlehem. 4
4:17 The neighbor women named him, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. 5 Now he became the father of Jesse – David’s father!
4:21 Salmon 6 was the father of Boaz, Boaz was the father of Obed, 4:22 Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David. 7
1 tn Following the jussive, the imperative with prefixed vav indicates purpose or result.
2 tn The phrase וַעֲשֵׂה־חַיִל (va’aseh-khayil, literally, “do strength”) has been variously translated: (1) financial prosperity: “may you become rich” (TEV), “may you be a rich man” (CEV), “may you achieve wealth” (NASB), “may you prosper” (NKJV, NJPS); (2) social prominence: “may you become powerful” (NCV), “may you have standing” (NIV), “may you be great” (NLT), “may you do well” (NAB); (3) reproductive fertility: “may you produce children” (NRSV); and (4) social activity: “may you do a worthy deed” (REB).
3 tc Heb “and call a name.” This statement appears to be elliptical. Usually the person named and the name itself follow this expression. Perhaps וּקְרָא־שֵׁם (uqÿra’-shem) should be emended to וְיִקָּרֵא־שֵׁם (vÿyiqqare’-shem), “and your name will be called out,” that is, “perpetuated” (see Gen 48:16, cf. also Ruth 4:14b). The omission of the suffix with “name” could be explained as virtual haplography (note the letter bet [ב], which is similar to kaf [כ], at the beginning of the next word). The same explanation could account for the omission of the prefixed yod (י) on the verb “call” (yod [י] and vav [ו] are similar in appearance). Whether one reads the imperative (the form in the MT) or the jussive (the emended form), the construction indicates purpose or result following the earlier jussive “may he make.”
6 sn Salmon appears to be an alternate spelling of Salmah in the preceding line.
7 sn The theological message of the Book of Ruth may be summarized as follows: God cares for needy people like Naomi and Ruth; he is their ally in this chaotic world. He richly rewards people like Ruth and Boaz who demonstrate sacrificial love and in so doing become his instruments in helping the needy. God’s rewards for those who sacrificially love others sometimes exceed their wildest imagination and transcend their lifetime.