SECTION XXXVIII

 

Ruth 4:13-15

 

Text:

 

:i2c s3k‚2•u i„h7r2v šˆ7k v‚u`vh i2œ•u 7vh3k2t t`„cœ•u v7!t0k k‘h1v}•u ,r‘,#t z*g`‹c j8œ•u   dh

„n}A t‚2r7hu oœ8v k„2t` Lˆ7k ,h‚1c}A1v t r#A4t vܶu`vh Lr7c h!n^gb‘k#t oh!A8v vb}r‹*nt`•u   sh

:k2t7r`}ah0c

8s7kh L#,8c2v4t‘r#A4t L‹2,78f h1ƒ L2,7ch`2a‘,#t k„2ƒ0k8f0k A3pܣb ch!A2n0k L7k vh‹7vu   uy

:ohb7c v„7g0c!!n L7k v7cy th1v‘r#A4t

 

Targum:

 

TANAKH

Translation

SEPTUAGINT

Translation

j8ϥu

so he took

 

 

z*g`‹c

Boaz

 

 

‘,#t

 

 

 

,r

Ruth

 

 

‘h1v}•u

and she became

 

 

k

to him

 

 

v7!t0k

to wife

 

 

t`„cœ•u

and he went

 

 

7vh3k2t

into her

 

 

i2ϥu

and he gave

 

 

v‚u`vh

HaShem

 

 

šˆ7k

to her

 

 

i„h7r2v

conception

 

 

s3k‚2•u

and she bore

 

 

:i2c

son

 

 

vb}r‹*nt`•u

and they said

 

 

oh!A8v

the women

 

 

‘k#t

to

 

 

h!n^gb

Naomi

 

 

Lr7c

being blessed

 

 

vܶu`vh

HaShem

 

 

r#A4t

who

 

 

t

not

 

 

,h‚1c}A1v

he let cease

 

 

Lˆ7k

for you

 

 

k„2t`

redeemer

 

 

oœ8v

the day

 

 

t‚2r7hu

and he called

 

 

„n}A

his name

 

 

:k2t7r`}ah0c

in Israel

 

 

vh‹7vu

and he will be

 

 

L7k

to you

 

 

ch!A2n0k

as one renewing

 

 

A3pܣb

soul

 

 

k„2ƒ0k8f0k

and to sustain

 

 

‘,#t

 

 

 

L2,7ch`2a

your old age

 

 

h1ƒ

for

 

 

L‹2,78f

your daughter-in-law

 

 

‘r#A4t

who

 

 

L#,8c2v4t

she loves you

 

 

8s7kh

she bore him

 

 

‘r#A4t

who

 

 

th1v

she

 

 

v7cy

she good

 

 

L7k

to you

 

 

v„7g0c!!n

than seven

 

 

:ohb7c

sons

 

 

 

Peshitta

 

4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.

 

4:14 And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

 

4:15 And he shall be to you a comforter of your soul and a nourisher to your city; for your daughter-in-law,

who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.

 

Stones Translation

 

4:13 so, Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and he came to her. HASHEM let her conceive, and she bore a son.

 

4:14 And the women said to Naomi, Ruth Blessed is HASHEM who has not left you without a redeemer today! May his name be famous in Israel.

 

4:15 He will become your life-restorer, to sustain your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, has borne him, and she is better to you than seven sons.

 

KJV

 

4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.

 

4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed [be] the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

 

4:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of [thy] life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him.

 

Septuagint

Ruth 4:13 kai; e[laben Boo" th;n Rouq kai; ejgenhvqh aujtw'/ eij" gunai'ka kai; eijsh'lqen pro;" aujthvn kai; e[dwken aujth'/ kuvrio" kuvhsin kai; e[teken uiJovn

Ruth 4:14 kai; ei\pan aiJ gunai'ke" pro;" Nwemin eujloghto;" kuvrio" o}" ouj katevlusev soi shvmeron to;n ajgcisteva

kai; kalevsai to; o[nomav sou ejn Israhl

Ruth 4:15 kai; e[stai soi eij" ejpistrevfonta yuch;n kai; tou' diaqrevyai th;n poliavn sou o{ti hJ nuvmfh sou hJ

ajgaphvsasav se e[teken aujtovn h{ ejstin ajgaqhv soi uJpe;r eJpta; uiJouv"

 

Ruth 4:13-15 And Boz took Ruth and she became his wife, and he went into her, and the LORD gave her a pregnancy, and she bore a son. 14 And the women said to Noemin, Blessed is the LORD, who did not neglect a kinsman for you this day; and may your name be called out in Israel! 15 And he will be to you a restorer of your soul and shall sustain you in your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.

 

 

Peshat Level:

 

Targum

 

4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he had intercourse with her, and God gave her conception, so that she bore a son.

 

4:14 Then the women said to Naomi: "Blessed be the name of the Lord, who has not left you without a redeemer today. May the boy's name be among the righteous of Israel.

 

4:15 "He will be life-sustenance to you and provide your old age with delights; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, she, who during your widowhood was better to you than many sons, gave birth to him."

 

 

Gemarah Level:

 

Talmud Babli

 

Niddah 38b It was taught: The pious men of old performed their marital duty on a Wednesday only, in order that their wives should not be led to a desecration of the Sabbath. On a Wednesday, but not later? Read: From Wednesday onwards. Mar Zutra stated: What was the reason of the pious men of old? Because it is written, And the Lord gave her conception [herayon], and the numerical value of herayon is two hundred and seventy-one.

 

Sanhedrin 19b R.Hanina says this is derived from the following: And the women her neighbors, gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi. Was it then Naomi who bore him? Surely it was Ruth who bore him! But Ruth bore and Naomi brought him up; hence he was called after her [Naomi's] name.

 

 

Midrash Level:

 

Midrash Rabbah

 

Ruth VII:14 SO BOAZ TOOK RUTH, AND SHE BECAME HIS WIFE; AND HE WENT IN UNTO HER, AND THE LORD GAVE HER CONCEPTION (IV, 13). R. Simeon b. Lakish said: She lacked the main portion of the womb, but the Holy One, blessed be He, shaped a womb for her.

 

Ruth VII:15 AND THE WOMEN SAID UNTO NAOMI: BLESSED BE THE LORD, WHO HATH NOT LEFT THEE THIS DAY WITHOUT A NEAR KINSMAN (ib. 14). Just as this day holds dominion in the skies, so shall your seed produce one who shall hold dominion and rule over Israel for ever. R. Hunya said: It was as a result of the blessings of those women that the line of David was not cut off entirely in the days of Athaliah. R. Tanhuma said in the name of R. Samuel: Elsewhere it is written, That we may preserve seed of our father (Genesis XIX, 32). It is not written ' son , but seed ; that seed which comes from another place. Who is thus referred to? The Messiah.

 

Ruth VII:16 AND HE SHALL BE UNTO THEE A RESTORER OF LIFE, AND A NOURISHER OF THINE OLD AGE; FOR THY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW,WHO LOVETH THEE,WHO IS BETTER TO THEE THAN SEVEN SONS, HATH BORNE HIM (IV, 15). R. Judah and R. Nehemiah commented on this. R. Judah said: Better than the seven chiefs of fathers households who are mentioned later, viz. Ozem the sixth, David the seventh (I Chron. II, 15). R. Nehemiah said: Better than the seven who are mentioned here, viz. Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, and Boaz (Ruth IV, 18-21).

 

 

Zohar Level:

 

 

Other Commentaries:

 

Meam Loez

 

4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. He came to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.

 

The righteous Boaz kept his word to Ruth. who, significantly, is no longer called a Moabite. After buying the field in the presence of the elders and the people, he asked them to witness the marriage ceremony. and when they agreed and gave their blessings, he immediately married her.

 

The Jewish marriage ceremony consists of kiddushin (contracting the bond of consecration by. for example, the giving of a ring) and nesuin (the seven blessings recited under the chupah-canopy which make the couple legally man and wife.) Accordingly, the verse states that Boaz took Ruth taking refers to acquiring by giving money or an object of value. i.e., kiddushinand she became his wife (nesuin).

 

The field is not mentioned, for Boaz had no desire to actually acquire property. His only interest was in marrying Ruth to perpetuate the name of the deceased. Thus Boaz took Ruth....

 

Our sages elaborate: She became his wifea worthy woman to a worthy man.

 

Just as Boaz took Ruth in joy for she was righteous and beautiful, so she became his wife with joy although he was very old, for her intentions were purely for the sake of heaven.

 

She did not need time to adjust to his opinions and wishes. but was immediately a wife to him.

 

Thus the brief marriage was perfect: She became his wife, designated for him by heaven, as no other had been. That is why, although neither of them had surviving offspring from their previous marriages,together they two established a dynasty that will last as long as man-kind.

 

He came to heronly after the wedding, as he had sworn to his evil inclination on the threshing floor. Since the marriage was to fulfill Gods will, and was consummated out of the purest motives, the scripture does not say, she conceived and bore a son, but the Lord gave her conception. Divine assistance was necessary because Boaz was very old and weak, and Ruth was a hitherto barren woman of forty. The miracle is ascribed to her, however,because it came in the merit of her dedication in cleaving to Israel.

 

The gematriya of iuhrv, conception, is 271, the number of days of gestation. God arranged for her to give birth a full nine months after the wedding as a testimony that the child was conceived after the wedding and that the father was Boaz. Indeed, everyone recognized that the child was blessed of God, and they therefore named him scug, Obed, that is, servant of God. According to an ancient Midrash, he was born circumcised.

 

Boaz is not mentioned again in the narrative, and the verse says only that she bore a son, not that she bore him a son, for he died that very night. This is further borne out by the fact that the child was named not by Boaz but by the women neighbors.

 

How quick must one be to perform a mitzvah! Had Boaz tarried but one day, the root of the house of David and the Messiah would not have come into being. This is in accordance with the verse, Time to do for the Lord, they have violated your Torah (Psalms 119:126). That is, those who defer doing a mitzvah by saying that there is yet time, in the end do not fulfill the Torah.

 

Thus the scripture says. We are but of yesterday, and know nothing, for our days upon the earth are a shadow (Job 8:9). That is, no one can be sure of today, for death can strike him down suddenly. One can count only days already passed. For mans days are like a shadow not like the shadow of a tree or a house, but like the passing shadow of a bird flying by (Talmud).

 

According to the opinion that Boaz is Ibetzan, who had been punished with the loss of his many sons for failing to invite Manoach to their wedding festivities (Talmud, Baba Bathre 91a), he repented in his old age, and God forgave him and provided him with offspring to perpetuate his name. Had he however delayed one day, he would have died without an heir.

 

4:14 The women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, Who has not left you without a redeemer this day. May his name be called in Israel.

 

The women knew that Ruth had previously had no womb and they immediately recognized the miracle in this birth and came to congratulate her.

 

At the same time, they came to comfort her and Naomi for the death of Boaz. Blessed be the Lord is an allusion to the customary words on such an occasion: Blessed be the True Judge,nt ihslurc.

 

The death of Boaz on the very night of their wedding ( this day), they said, showed that only for this purpose had he come into the world. Although he had ended the famine through his prayer and conquered Israels enemies, his major accomplishment was planting the seed of the house of David. Having done this, he went on to the light and bliss of eternal life.

 

Many strategems had been necessary to keep the Satan and the seventy angels of the nations from thwarting this act. But now that it had been done with the approval of the Sanhedrin, it could not be undone.

 

Although you have not enjoyed long years together with your husband, they said, thank God that you have been redeemed, and that the name of Boaz will be perpetuated through the son you have borne him.

 

Generations earlier, the patriarch Jacob, fearing that Josephs descendants from the Egyptian convert Osnat would intermarry, had said, May my name be called upon them (Genesis 48:16), that is, may it be recognized that they are Israelites. Boaz, too, feared that his descendants from Ruth the Moabite might intermarry, and the women therefore said, May his name be called in lsraelmay it be recognized that his seed is worthy of entering Gods congregation.

 

They prayed that the newborn child become a great man like his father, whose name would constantly be on the lips of the people of Israel. They should heed his counsel and judgment, and they should name their children after him, for he would be a tzaddik.

 

The end letters of ouhv ktud lk, are the letters of lkn king, to hint that just as Boaz had redeemed Ruth, so would their descendant redeem Israel. And just as ouhv, this day, [the sun] rules the sky, so would her seed rule Israel forever.

 

Generations later, when the queen mother Ataliah destroyed all the royal seed, one childYoashescaped to continue the royal dynasty (2 Kings 11). And our sages declare that it was the womens blessing Who has not left you without a redeemerthat saved Davids seed from annihilation.

 

4:15 And he shall be to you a restorer of life, and sustain your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.

 

The new infant, said the women, would bring joy into Naomis life and restore her spirit. And when he grew up, he would support her in her old age and bury her when she died. Furthermore, if she educated him to walk in righteousness before God, her soul would be rewarded in the World to Come for his good deeds, in accordance with the principle that a son achieves merit for his parents (Talmud).

 

Although his parents were Ruth and Boaz, they continued, the child could also be considered a son of Naomi, for the two women were of the same root. This is evident in the fact that, despite the natural antagonism between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, Ruth loved Naomi to the extent of leaving her people to cleave to her, and she took better care of her than seven sons would have done.

 

Love of Naomi would therefore be in the childs blood. Just as the mother had picked in the fields to bring Naomi food, so would the son support her. And just as the mother had followed in Naomis footsteps and learned from her to be good, so would the son.

 

According to a different interpretation, the women assured her that the child would be righteous because he was the product of seven generations of tzaddikim that preceded him: Peretz, Chetzron, Aminadav, Ram, Nachshon, Salmon, and Boaz. The seventh in line is saintly, and the eighth even more so, as hinted at by who is better.., than seven sons.

 

The women also hinted that the child would be the grandfatherof David, the youngest and best of lshais seven sons (1 Samuel 16:10); and he would be the tenth in line from Peretz, hence, most saintly.

 

The expression apb chan soul-restorer literally, alludes as well to the resurrection of the dead that will take place during the reign of Davids descendant, the Messiah.

 

Abraham Ibn Ezra

 

 

Malbim

 

13. Boaz then took. The story relates that Boaz did not take her as one does in levirate marriage by cohabitation (money or written contract would not have established the marriage) preceded by rntn [1](a form of rabbinic betrothal). Since this levirate marriage was only obliged by custom, Boaz married her with either money or contract, as it says, Boaz then took (implying betrothed) Ruth and she became his wife. Before cohabiting with her, hence, only afterwards he came to her.

 

The ETERNAL caused her to become pregnant. It was an act of Divine Providence that she immediately conceived with Boaz in spite of her not having had any children with her first husband.

 

14. The women then said to Naomi, "The ETERNAL [has shown Himself to be] the Source of blessing, that He has not deprived you today of a redeemer!" For whatever happens in the future, today you are required to bless HaShem Who has not left you without a redeemer -for it is your son who is embodied in this child. It is known from the esoteric secrets of levirate marriage that it is the soul of the deceased which actually suffuses the infant; he is therefore your "redeemer," that you will not die without any children surviving you. Relative to the future, May [this child] become famous among Israel, indicates that he would be from the great Sages and men of renown of Israel.

 

15. And may he be for you [like] a living re-embodiment [of MachIon]. He has returned the soul of Machlon into this world -his soul was Machlon's, your son's, soul. He will also provide [for you in] your old age, for he is born to your daughter-in-law who loves you, and together they will provide for you in your old age.

 

Alshich

 

 

 



[1] See Mishnah Yevamos 2:2 and Yevamos 19b for discussion of ma'amar.