Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I’ve bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. And also Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, I’ve bought to be my wife, to preserve the dead man’s name for his inheritance so that the name of the dead man might not be cut off from his brothers or from the gate of his hometown—today you are witnesses.” (Ruth 4:9, 10 CEB)
Israelite men suck at romance, it seems. Yes, this is a marriage proposal. Niagara Falls it ain’t.
I have a prejudice against historic men. I always assume they are heartless and greedy, particularly when it comes to women. Perhaps this comes from my tradition, where one of our most significant events is that of a king who disposes of his wives like old appliances.
Historically, marriage was not about romance, but about property and building allegiances in times of war. Women were not so much property, but a commodity (hence the term, off the market). Still, not very edifying.
Honestly, this is probably about as romantic as it gets in the Bible. It makes me wonder if we put way too much emphasis on romance. Let me qualify that statement by revealing that as I write this I am touching my feet to my husband’s feet under the table. We are hopeless romantics. Ask any of our friends. Marriage is also about property, and money, and responsibility and, for many, “planting seed”. These are most often the things that break up marriages and relationships, not a lack of romance.
Boaz puts a great deal on the line to “acquire” this “foreigner”. This marriage is based on sacrifice and loyalty. Not a bad start.
Day 27: Ruth 1-4
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