4:5 Then Boaz said, “When 1 you acquire the field 2 from Naomi, 3 you must also 4 acquire Ruth the Moabite, 5 the wife of our deceased relative, 6 in order to preserve his family name by raising up a descendant who will inherit his property.” 7
4:10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, as my wife to raise up a descendant who will inherit his property 8 so the name of the deceased might not disappear 9 from among his relatives and from his village. 10 You are witnesses today.”
4:15 He will encourage you and provide for you when you are old, 11 for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, has given him birth. She 12 is better to you than seven sons!”
1 tn Heb “in the day”; NASB, NIV “On the day.”
3 tn Heb “from the hand of Naomi” (so NASB, NRSV).
4 tc The MT וּמֵאֵת (ume’et) may be understood in two ways: (1) “and from” (vav conjunction “and,” plus preposition מִן [min] “from,” plus definite direct object marker אֵת) parallel to the preceding מִיַד (miyyad, “from [the hand of]”), suggesting the field would be purchased from Naomi and from Ruth; or (2) “and” (vav [ו] conjunction “and,” plus enclitic mem [ם], plus direct object marker [אֵת]) introducing the second part of the acquisition: the nearest kinsman would be acquiring the field and Ruth (for discussion see F. W. Bush, Ruth, Esther [WBC], 202). However, the BHS editors suggest reading גם את־ (“as well as…”; emphatic particle גם [“also”] and the definite direct object marker אֵת) introducing the second part of the acquisition: He would be acquiring the field and Ruth. This alternate reading is reflected in the Vulgate reading quoque (“and also”) and supported by parallel usage in v. 9, “I am acquiring the field from Naomi, and also (גָּם אֵת־, gam ’et) Ruth the Moabitess the wife of the deceased.”
5 tc The MT (Kethib) reads קָנִיתִי (qaniti, “I acquire,” Qal perfect 1st person common singular): “When you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, I acquire Ruth the Moabitess…” However, the marginal reading (Qere) is קָנִיתָה (qanitah, “you acquire,” Qal perfect 2nd person masculine singular, reflected in 2nd person masculine singular forms in Greek, Latin, Aramaic, and Syriac): “When you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess…” The Qere is probably original because the Kethib is too difficult syntactically and contextually, while the Qere makes perfect sense: (1) Boaz stated in 3:13 that the nearest kinsman had the first right to acquire Ruth if he wanted to do so, and only the Qere reading here presents him with that option; and (2) Boaz announces in 4:9-10 that he was acquiring the field and Ruth as a package deal in 4:9-10, and only the Qere reading here presents the nearest kinsman with the same package deal. The Kethib probably arose by a scribe trying to harmonize 4:5 with the 1st person common singular form in 4:9-10 without fully understanding the ploy of Boaz in 4:5. See F. W. Bush, Ruth, Esther (WBC), 216-17.
6 tc The presence of two difficult textual problems in this line (see two preceding notes) has produced a combination of four different ways in which this line can be rendered: (1) “When you acquire the field from Naomi, you must acquire [it] from Ruth the Moabitess the wife of the deceased” (KJV, NKJV); (2) “When you acquire the field from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you must acquire the wife of the deceased” (JPS, NJPS, NIV); (3) “When you acquire the field from Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess the wife of the deceased” (NASB, NCV, TEV, RSV, NRSV, NLT); and (4) “When you acquire the field from Naomi, then I acquire Ruth the Moabitess the wife of the deceased” (REB). The third option is adopted here.
sn Our deceased relative. This refers to Mahlon, viewed as Elimelech’s heir.
7 tn Heb “in order to raise up the name of the deceased over his inheritance” (NASB similar); NRSV “to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.”
8 tn Heb “in order to raise up the name of the deceased over his inheritance” (NASB similar).
9 tn Heb “be cut off” (so NASB, NRSV); NAB “may not perish.”
10 tn Heb “and from the gate of his place” (so KJV, ASV); NASB “from the court of his birth place”; NIV “from the town records.”
11 tn Heb “and he will become for you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age” (NASB similar).
12 tn Heb “who, she”; KJV “which is better to thee.”