The deliberations between Boaz and the unnamed redeemer in Ruth 4 have long been interpreted almost exclusively through the lens of social customs from Lev 25 (kinsman redeemer) and Deut 25 (levirate marriage). This article suggests that scholarship has missed an important theological layer to these deliberations. This theological element is expressed through the coordination of two terms, redeem and acquire, in Ruth 4:4–5. This article suggests that precedent for the combination of these two terms is not established by the social custom of the kinsman redeemer in Lev 25 but rather by the adoption of a theological reflection on the exodus account from Exod 15, and should be set alongside other theological reflections of the exodus account found in Ps 74, Deut 32, and Isa 11. This theological element explains the curious combination of redeem and acquire in Ruth 4 and provides a new way of reading the role that the story of Ruth might play in its compositional setting and in the broader biblical canon, including the NT.

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