Boaz was a prominent man in his own right. Few would hesitate if he hailed them publicly, particularly at this festive time of year. Whatever passed for their court system in those days was the matter of family elders doing whatever business they had already, always meeting near the main gate of the village. Being available to witness legal matters was taken for granted. Thus, Boaz spotted the intervening redeemer kinsman and called to him to join him in the seating typically standing near any village gate in that part of the world in those days. Gathering ten elders indicated Boaz felt this was important to ratify before community representatives. These men would be part of the living court records of that community.
He briefly explained the nature of the business. The other man seemed ready to redeem the land, at least. That is, until Boaz mentioned the Levirate responsibility attached to he land. About the only way this story makes sense is if the other man would have to take out a mortgage in order to do this in the first place. The margin of profit on the extra land would just about pay off the mortgage, but the certainty of losing it in a couple of decades made this too expensive and risky. The man was very wise to back out, and nothing suggests the slightest moral failure on his part. It seems rather certain Boaz was fully aware of all this before he raised the issue with the man. Such intimate knowledge of one’s kin was common in this setting. Handing Boaz his sandal symbolized surrendering the right to walk this path, to plant his feet as owner on the land in question.
Boaz hardly needed the land, but wanted to do what was just for Naomi, Ruth and his kin in general. The elders saw this for what it was, and offered extravagant blessings. By now, it’s highly probable there was a small crowd of onlookers, and they would applaud this outcome. In the very happy ending, Naomi adopted the son born of this union as her own, symbolizing the Levirate claim to the property.
The final paragraph is the ostensible reason for this document, the pedigree of King David. If only modern records could be so engaging.