We are told by certain squatters that Boaz did not redeem Ruth but Mahlon.
The duty of the kinsman was to carry a child under the dead relative with his wife.
That would work if Rahab had been a Israelite. The problem is that she was a Gentile.
That was why the closer relative refused. It would have marred his inheritance. His inheritance is no longer be purely Jewish even if the child would have bore Mahlon’s name. As such Boaz could not redeem Mahlon. He actually redeemed Elimelech. Naomi’s wife.
That’s why he said “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon.”
That is why it is said that “Naomi had a son”. Not Ruth.
16 Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son.” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The question is here is “why does the records show that Obed was the son of Boaz when he supposedly redeemed Elimelech?”
This is the way the Spirit tells you what Grace is. Elimelech means God is my king. By a royal edict the lineage of Obed was changed to Boaz because of his choice to love a woman who was a Moabite whom said “Noami’s God is my God”. It was God who change the lineage.
I want you to see this.
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
Look again, the Lord enabled Ruth to conceive. It was a new lineage. He intervened. He granted Obed a supernatural birth. Not one base on line. Not one from Mahlon, but one from Boaz.
Hence Boaz in redeeming Elimelech moved from Law to Grace and changed Ruth’s destiny forever. That is why Elimelech does not appear as Obed’s father but as Boaz’s son. This is because instead of being cursed by marrying Ruth, Boaz was blessed. That’s why by royal edict Boaz was named the father.
So that’s why the church has always maintained that it was Ruth that was redeemed. It was about grace not law.