2014-07-06 - Formalizing the Contract
Ruth ~ Part 45
Verses 7-8: Here, the use of the sandal doesn't represent a disgrace on the part of the other relative. Our storyteller informs us that at this point in history, the use of the sandal was a way of formalizing the settlement of a contract.
"The origin of the custom has been traced to an ancient practice of taking possession of property by walking on the soil that was being claimed. There was also a similar custom in Nuzu. Removing the sandal and handing it to another became a symbol of the transfer of the land. 1
The transfer of the shoe represents the transfer of rights to redeem Naomi and Ruth's property and to marry Ruth. The witnesses confirm the transaction. Boaz can breathe a sigh of relief. There are just some final technicalities to work out.
Verses 9-10: But of much more importance, to Boaz anyway, was the fact that along with the right to redeem Naomi's property, he was going to preserve the name of Elimelech and Mahlon in Israel, by marrying Ruth.
To be continued.
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