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May 9

Ruth 3, 1 Samuel 16, Luke 6:39-49

Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:

Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. (Ruth 4:5-7)

This declaration he confirmed by what was a usual custom at that time in renouncing a right. This early custom is described in ver. 7, and there its application to the case before us is mentioned afterwards. “Now this was (took place) formerly in Israel in redeeming and exchanging, to confirm every transaction: A man took off his shoe and gave it to another, and this was a testimony in Israel.” From the expression “formerly,” and also from the description given of the custom in question, it follows that it had gone out of use at the time when our book was composed. The custom itself, which existed among the Indians and the ancient Germans, arose from the fact that fixed property was taken possession of by treading upon the soil, and hence taking off the shoe and handing it to another was a symbol of the transfer of a possession or right of ownership.

(C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. II, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., n.d.), p. 490.)

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