Ruth 4:7-12 – The People Witness and Bless


Ruth 4:7-12


The people at the city gate bear witness to the agreement between Boaz and the nearer next-of-kin, and they bless the marriage of Boaz and Ruth.


The elders and all the people then become the witnesses, a legal function as well as proclaimers of the penultimate blessing.  Their witnessing and blessing expand the meaning of family, embracing the immigrant. They beseech the Lord’s blessing on Ruth that she, this Moabite woman in their midst, might become like their matriarchs, Rachel and Leah.  In short, through blessing, they weave Ruth into the sacred family story.  And then they include in their blessing remembrance of another foreigner in the family tree, Tamar, the mother of Perez. The story of Tamar and Judah in Genesis 38 has many parallels to the book of Ruth.  Tamar is also a foreign woman who risks sexual impropriety and calls on the law of the levirate.  Like Ruth, she becomes an ancestor of David and Jesus (Matthew 1:3).