We are witnesses - It is not very likely that any writing was drawn up. There was an appeal made to the people then present, whether they had seen and understood the transaction; who answered, We have witnessed it. If any minutes of court were kept, then the transaction was entered probably in some such words as these: "On ___ day of ____, Boaz bought the land of Elimelech from Naomi his widow, and took Ruth, her daughter-in-law, to wife; ____, who had the nearest right, refusing to buy the land on the conditions then proposed."
The Lord make this woman - like Rachel and like Leah - May thy family be increased by her means, as the tribes were formed by means of Rachel and Leah, wives of the patriarch Jacob!
Which two did build the house of Israel - We have already seen that בן ben, a son, comes from the root בנה banah, he built; and hence אבן eben, a stone, because as a house is built of stones, so is a family of children. There is a similar figure in Plautus, Mostell. Act i., sec. 2, ver. 37.
- Nunc etiam volo Dicere,
ut homines aedium esse similes arbitremini.
Primum dum parentes fabri liberum sunt,
Et fundamentum liberorum substruunt.
"I would also observe, that ye men are similar to houses; ye parents are the fabricators of the children, and they are the foundation of the building."
See the margin. There is something of a poetical turn in this speech of the elders, and something prophetic in the blessing pronounced by them. It is unique and obscure. The Greek Version (lxx) is unintelligible. Jerome seems to have had a slightly different reading, since he applies both clauses to Ruth. “May she be a pattern of virtue in Ephratah, and have a name famous in Bethlehem.” The meaning of “be famous” seems to be, Get thyself a name which shall be celebrated in Bethlehem, as the head of a powerful and illustrious house: literally it is, “proclaim a name,” i. e. cause others to proclaim thy name, as in Rth 4:14 .