Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ruth 4:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Then went Boaz up to the gate - We have often had occasion to remark that the gate or entrance to any city or town was the place where the court of justice was ordinarily kept. For an account of the officers in such places, see the note on Deuteronomy 16:18.

Ho, such a one! - sit down here - This familiar mode of compellation is first used here. The original is אלמני פלני פה שבה shebah poh, peloni almoni ! "Hark ye, Mr. Such-a-one of such a place! come and sit down here." This is used when the person of the individual is known, and his name and residence unknown. אלמני almoni comes from אלם alam, to be silent or hidden, hence the Septuagint render it by κρυφε thou unknown person: פלני peloni comes from פלה palah, to sever or distinguish; you of such a particular place. Modes of compellation of this kind are common in all languages.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The gate is the place of concourse, of business, and of justice in Oriental cities (see Judges 19:15 note; Genesis 34:20; Deuteronomy 16:18).

Ho, such a one! - Indicating that the name of the kinsman was either unknown or purposely concealed 1 Samuel 21:2; 2 Kings 6:8.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
This matter depended on the laws given by Moses about inheritances, and doubtless the whole was settled in the regular and legal manner. This kinsman, when he heard the conditions of the bargain, refused it. In like manner many are shy of the great redemption; they are not willing to espouse religion; they have heard well of it, and have nothing to say against it; they will give it their good word, but they are willing to part with it, and cannot be bound to it, for fear of marring their own inheritance in this world. The right was resigned to Boaz. Fair and open dealing in all matters of contract and trade, is what all must make conscience of, who would approve themselves true Israelites, without guile. Honesty will be found the best policy.