Ruth 4:9 NIV

9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”

Boaz acquires the land of Elimelek,Kilion and Mahlon in the process also gets Ruth whilst Naomi is left outside.

If Boaz had wanted to continue the name of Mahlon why didn't he continue the name of Elimelek as well by taking Naomi too.

Why did Boaz not take Naomi as well?

  • 1
    to continue the name of Mahlon and Kilion is to continue the name of Elimelek.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 9:11
  • Is Ruth "property"? Does the Bible ever refer to women as property?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 9:21
  • @curiousdannii I did not perceive that the OP was claiming Ruth was 'property'. Have I misunderstood ? Scripture says 'acquired' Ruth. The OP says 'gets' Ruth. I don't see a problem with that, myself. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 12:46
  • @NigelJ Well the only reason I can think Ruth would be included in verse 9 is if you thought she should somehow be part of "the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon".
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 12:50
  • 1
    @curiousdannii The word used for "acquiring" Ruth in the original text is the same one used when he speaks of "buying" the property, and indeed, some translations translate it as "I have also purchased Ruth to be my wife". I don't know anything about the context though.
    – Herohtar
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


Naomi was not acquired, as it were, because she had already raised up seed to her husband, Elimelech, even though they were deceased, and therefore, Boaz could not, and indeed, did not need to, perform the Levirate vow (Deuteronmy 25:5-10). His role of kinsman redeemer came with the legal need to raise up seed to his deceased cousin/kinsman Mahlon by taking Ruth as wife, but by Torah law, he didn't need to do the same for Naomi.

Now, if Naomi had become a childless widow, Elimelech's closest kinsman would have been required to marry her and beget children with her in Elimelech's name (though he could utterly refuse her).

But, that not being the case, Boaz only had to take Ruth as wife, which he was more than ready and desiring to do.

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