Ruth 4:11-12




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:,t`“8v v„7r4g•8v‘i!n Š0k vu`vh










and they said








the people








in the gate




and the elders








may he make












the woman




the one coming








your home




like Rachel




and like Leah








they built up




two of them
















and have








in Ephrata




and call








in house








and may he be




your house




like house












she bore








to Yehudah








the offspring








he gives








to you








the young woman




the this






4:11 And all the people and the elders that were at the city gate, answered, saying, We are witnesses. And they blessed him, and said to him, May the LORD make this woman who is in your presence like Rachel and like Leah, for both of them built up the house of Israel; and may you do worthily in Ephratah, and call its name Beth-lehem.


4:12 And let your house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, and may the LORD give you an offspring from this woman.


Stones Translation


4:11 Then all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses! May HASHEM make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and like Leah, both of whom built up the House of Israel. May you prosper in Ephrath and be famous in Beth-lehem;


4:12 and may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which HASHEM will give you by this young woman.




4:11 And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Beth-lehem:


4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.



Ruth 4:11 kai; ei[posan pa'" oJ lao;" oiJ ejn th'/ puvlh/ mavrture" kai; oiJ presbuvteroi ei[posan dwv/h kuvrio" th;n

gunai'kav sou th;n eijsporeuomevnhn eij" to;n oi\kovn sou wJ" Rachl kai; wJ" Leian ai} wj/kodovmhsan

ajmfovterai to;n oi\kon Israhl kai; ejpoivhsan duvnamin ejn Efraqa kai; e[stai o[noma ejn Baiqleem

Ruth 4:12 kai; gevnoito oJ oi\kov" sou wJ" oJ oi\ko" Fare" o}n e[teken Qamar tw'/ Iouda ejk tou' spevrmato" ou| dwvsei

kuvriov" soi ejk th'" paidivskh" tauvth"


Ruth 4:11-12 And all the people who were at the gate, said, We are witnesses. And the elders said, The LORD grant that the woman who is coming into your house be as Rachel and Leia, the two who built the house of Israel, and created might in Ephratha, and Ephratha will be notable in Bethlem. 12 And may your house become like the house of Phares, whom Thamar bore to Juda, out of the seed which the LORD will give you from this young woman.



Peshat Level:




4:11 Then all the people who were at the gate, the Sanhedrin, and the elders, replied: "We are witnesses. God grant that this woman who comes to your home, be like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the house of Israel, our father, with twelve tribes. Do valiantly in Ephrath, and become famous in Beth Lehem.


4:12 "And from the offspring which the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house prosper like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."



4:11 Like Rachel and like Leah Even though they were from the tribe of Judah and from the sons of Leah (Judahs mother), they conceeded regarding Rachel that she was the mainstay of the house (of Jacob), and they placed Rachel before Leah.


And be famous That is to say, May your name become great.


4:12 Like the house of Peretz From whom they descended.



Gemarah Level:



Midrash Level:


Midrash Rabbah


Ruth VII:13 AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WERE IN THE GATE, AND THE ELDERS, SAID: WE ARE WITNESSES. THE LORD MAKE THE WOMAN THAT IS COME INTO THY HOUSE LIKE RACHEL AND LIKE LEAH (IV, 11). R. Berekiah said: The majority of those sitting were descendants of Leah, so he mentions Rachel first. R. Abba b. Kahana said: Rachel was the chief wife of Jacob, as it is said, But Rachel was barren (Genesis XXIX, I). [Read not akarah (barren) but] ikarah (the chief one). R. Simeon b. Yohai taught: Since they spake against Rachel, therefore all Jacob's descendants are ascribed to her, as it is written, Rachel weeping for her children (Jeremiah XXXI, 15). And not only to her, but even to her son, as it is said, It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph (Amos V, 15). And not only to her son, but even to her grandson, as it is said, Is Ephraim a darling son unto Me? Is he a child that is dandled? (Jeremiah XXXI, 20).


Ruth VII:14 AND LET THY HOUSE BE AS THE HOUSE OF PEREZ... OF THE SEED WHICH THE LORD SHALL GIVE THEE OF THIS WOMAN (IV, 12). They said: May all the children which the Holy One, blessed be He, will give you be from this righteous woman. Similarly, And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren (Genesis XXV, 21). What is the meaning of opposite his wife? It teaches that Isaac prostrated himself in one corner, and Rebecca in the other, and he said, Lord of the Universe, may all the children which Thou art destined to grant me be of this righteous woman. Similarly, And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife (I Sam. II, 20). He blessed them, saying, ' May all the children which the Holy One, blessed be He, will give you be of this righteous woman.



Zohar Level:


Soncino Zohar, Devarim, Section 3, Page 266b R. Simeon has expounded, that one who brings a false charge against his first wife and brings an evil name upon her is like one who casts aspersions on high. This, again, is in conformity with what R. Hiya said in the name of R. Jose, that a virgin inherits seven blessings, but not a woman who is married again; she, however, inherits the blessing of Boaz and Ruth.



Other Commentaries:


Meam Loez


4:11 All the people who were in the gate and the elders said, Witnesses! May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house be like Rachel and like Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel. May you prosper in Ephrata, and may your name be called in Bethlehem.


Although it is beneath the dignity of Israels elders to serve as witnesses for ordinary transactions, it is fitting for them to be witnesses to a mitzvah, such as a marriageparticularly when the groom is the judge of Israel. The sages of the Sanhedrin therefore agreed to be Witnesses!


To dispel any qualms he might have had about marrying a woman of Moabite extraction who had gone against convention by pursuing him, the elders and the people assured Boaz that his new wife was like Rachel and Leah. They, too, came from idolatrous homes, which they abandoned to cleave to God. But her merit surpassed theirs, for they waited for Jacob to come to Labans house and marry them, whereas she left her parents and came into your house.


Moreover, in pursuing Boaz, Ruth followed the precedent of Leah, whose desire to build the house of Israel prompted her to go out and greet her husband saying, To me shall you come (Genesis 30:16). God considered this behavior so meritorious that He rewarded Leah with the birth of more tribes.


The assembled also praised the bride for possessing Rachels beauty and Leahs modesty. And in keeping with the tradition that one who attends wedding festivities should bless the bride and groom and pray for them, the people prayed that she be beloved of her husband like Rachel, and like Leah bear him many sons; and that all her children be righteous.


No mention is made of the other matriarchs, because Hagarwhom Sarah gave Abraham in marriage, hoping perhaps I will be built from her (Genesis 16:2)bore Ishmael, and Rebekah bore Esau. But all the children of Rachel and Leahand all of the maidservants they gave Jacob in marriage in order to build the house of Israelwere righteous.


The elders mentioned Rachel before Leah. For just as Rachel had been barren and was later granted conception, so too Ruth, who had been barren during her ten-year marriage to Machlon, should now, at age forty, miraculously conceive.


[And just as Rachel and Leah both. . . built the house of Israel, so would Ruth and Naomi together build the house of Boaz,] for Naomi would become nurse to the son born to him and Ruth.


It is noteworthy that the assembled Judeans, descendants of Leah, acknowledged Rachel to have been the mainstay of Jacobs home, and put her name before Leahs.


Having mentioned Rachel, who had died on the way to Ephrata (Genesis 35:19), they quickly added a blessing that Boaz prosper in Ephrata.


In addition to wealth, which he deserved because he was not marryirig for money, they wished him an abundance of children, since all the children from his first marriage had died. The gematriya of khj is forty-eight, to hint of Jacobs thirty-four children [and grandchildren] from Leah, and fourteen from Rachel (cf. Genesis 46:815, 1922).


They further blessed Boaz that he be like his ancestral kin Caleb, to whom Ephrata (Miriam) bore Chur, firstborn of Ephrata and father of Bethlehem (1 Chronicles 4:4).


According to a different interpretation, they said: If you grow great in your immediate neighborhood of Ephrata, where your conduct and deeds undergo careful scrutiny, your fame will spread throughout the greater Bethlehem district.


In the merit of Boaz, the famine ceased, and he had saved Israel from their foes. So they prayed that from him should descend the king who would possess the strength (khj) to vanquish Israels enemiesas God later said to David, Go engage in Torah study, and I will fight your battlesand in whose merit Israel would become bethlehem, a house where bread was plentiful.


May you raise a family of royalty like that of Peretz and establish the monarchy through this woman who took the initiative, as Lots daughters and Tamar had done, and came into your house.


4:12 And may your house be like the house of Peretz whom Tamar bore to Judah, from the seed that the Lord will give you from this young woman.


Ever since Jacob said to Joseph, In you shall Israel be blessed, saying, May the Lord make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh (Genesis 48:20), that has been the traditional Jewish blessing. However, since Boaz was a descendant of Peretz, the people blessed him that he build a house like that of his ancestor.


[Tamar, too, is mentioned here because of the parallels between her and Ruth.]


Just as Tamar dressed up and went to Judah, so did Ruth dress up and go to Boaz.


Just as Tamar did not bear children to her first husband Er or his brother Onan, who took her in levirate marriage, but to Judah, so Ruth did not bear children to Machlon or to his brother Kilyon, who took her in levirate marriage, but to Boaz.


When Tamar was giving birth, at first it seemed that Zerach would be firstborn and win the kingship of the house of David, but his twin brother Peretz pushed ahead and came into the world first, thereby becoming the ancestor of royalty. Similarly, when Ruth was being redeemed, at first it appeared that the other redeemer would establish the monarchy, but it turned out that the privilege went to Boaz.


Peretz and Zerach, was well as Ruths son, were named by women. Because Tamar and Ruth acted for the sake of heaven, [they were graced with miraculous providence.] It was therefore fitting that their children be named by women, whose faith in God Is stronger than mens, as evidenced by their refusal to participate in the sins of the Golden Calf and of the spies, and who are more sensitive to and appreciative of events that transcend the routine of nature.


Abraham Ibn Ezra





11. All the people who were at the gateway [of the court] and the elders -the witnesses -then said. They bestowed upon them three nuptial blessings: 1] A blessing for the woman (in spite of her being the daughter of idolaters) -who is entering your home, the home of a great and righteous man, she should be in her righteousness like Rachel and Le'ah (who also were daughters of an idolater, Lavan) but, nevertheless because of their marriage to Yaakov they both created the House of Israel. So, too, should there be built from Ruth a faithful home which will be the Royal House upon which is dependent the success of the entire House of Israel. 2] A blessing for Boaz -[May you] become prosperous in Ephras and famous in Bethlehem; Bethlehem was the name of his city, whereas Ephras was a reference to his special family lineage. [May you] become prosperous includes all manners of perfection by which he would attain the praise of the entire family of Ephras and [be] famous in Bethlehem -by virtue of your name becoming well-known so, too, will your city be praised and exalted, because a man like you was born there.


12. And may your household be like. This is the third blessing, a blessing to the children that will be born to them; even though they are children of a yevamah (a widow without children), and therefore will be called by the name of the deceased, even so, behold the House of Peretz, whom Tamar (also through an act of levirate marriage) bore and he is linked to Yehudah, upon whom the entire family honor was dependent. So, too, should the household which will be formed from the offspring that HaShem will give you from this young woman, make claim to honor.