Chapter 3: Naomi (Plays Matchmaker) Makes Plans For Ruth’s Security
1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Therefore, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies and you shall go in, uncover his feet and lie down and he will tell you what you should do”. 5 And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do”.
Ruth Lays at Boaz’s Feet
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain and she came softly, uncovered his feet and lay down.
Ruth Called a Virtuous Woman
Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled and turned himself and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing (or spread the corner of your garment over your maidservant, symbolism of a covering). For you are a close relative”. 10 Then he said, “Blessed are you of Yah, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
*Ruth being at his feet could be two-fold. First, a symbolism for a spiritual covering and second she was humbling herself here. I once read this book called ‘The House at Sugar Beach’ by Helene Cooper about the descendants of some American slaves who went back to Africa and settled in Liberia. This group of Israylites had this saying when asking someone for a favor. They would ask the person the favor and say, “please, I’ll hold your foot”. We know from scripture that foot washing and bowing at a person’s feet is synonymous with humility. Ruth knew the ways of the Israylites because Naomi taught her.
A Complication but Boaz Promises to Marry Ruth If the Closer Relative Will Not
12 “Now it is true that I am a close relative, however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 Stay this night and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you–good. Let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as Yah lives! Lie down until morning”.
Ruth Tells Naomi All that Happened
14 So she lay at his feet until morning and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor”. 15 Also he said, “Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it”. And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “Is that you, my daughter”? Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, These six ephahs of barley he gave me, for he said to me, “Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law”. 18 Then she said, “Sit still my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out. For the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day”.
Chapter 4: Boaz Redeems (Marries) Ruth
1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside friend, sit down here”. So he came aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here”. So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Ylimelech. 4 And I thought to inform you saying, “Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know. For there is no one but you to redeem it and I am next after you”. And he said, “I will redeem it”. 5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead to perpetuate (Literally raise up) the name of the dead through his inheritance”. 6 And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it”.
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Ysrayl concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: One man took off his sandal and gave it to the other and this was a confirmation in Ysrayl. 8 Therefore, the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself”. So he took off his sandal. 9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Ylimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day”. 11 And all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. Yah make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachyl and Leyah, the two who built the house of Ysrayl and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Yahudah because of the offspring which Yah will give you from this young woman”.
The Descendants of Boaz and Ruth
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife and when he went into her, Yah gave her conception and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be Yah who has not left you this day without a close relative and may his name be famous in Ysrayl”! 15 “And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons has borne him”. 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom and became a nurse to him. 17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name saying, “There is a son born to Naomi”. And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Yesse, the father of David.
18 Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron. 19 Hezron begot Ram and Ram begot Amminadab. 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon and Nahshon begot Salmon (Hebrew Salmah). 21 Salmon begot Boaz and Boaz begot Obed. 22 Obed begot Yesse and Yesse begot David.
Update 8/24/2015: When I wrote the heading for the book of Ruth, Yah was heavily making me think about friendship and especially female best friends. Side note: Have you every visited a state or city and been like whoa, these are the friendliest people who I have ever encountered? Where I’m from, that is how the Hebrews are, friendly (as a whole or generally speaking). The city that I am from is renowned for its friendliness, as a matter of fact, the city has literally won the friendliest people in America award from some magazine that I can’t remember the name of right now.
Yah loves friendly people, like Abraham was friendly to strangers and fed those three angels. Yah also loves pairs of friends. Naomi and Ruth were best friends or sister friends. Ylisheba and Miriam were good friends. Other friends include Yliyah and Ylishua , David and Yahanathan, Yahoshua and Yahcanan, Moshe and Aharon, the two witnesses could be like best friends. And let us not forget that Yah and Yahoshua are friends also. Yah really does love “two by two”.
A few other prophets worked in twos including Yeremiyah and Baruch but I’m not going into EVERY single case. There were also nations of people who were friendly to the Hebrews like the Kenites.
Let’s talk about the symbolism between Boaz and Yahoshua in the book of Ruth. I was reading (on a website) last night about the symbolism between Yahoshua and Boaz. Fascinating and it made me think of things that I have learned so far.
Boaz is called a redeemer by Ruth in 3:9. A brother was to marry the wife of a deceased brother according to Deuteronomy 25:5-10. But, this custom does not apply to Boaz because Boaz informs Ruth that there is a relative that is closer for redemption in 3:12. The older relative ahead of Boaz had to be HIS BROTHER! The first born! That makes so much sense because we all know this pattern in the bible well. This first born son is not interested in Ruth, he is not interested in the birthright like Esau. But the second son Yahqob pays for the birthright and Boaz pays the debt (more on that in a second). Like Ysrayl and Yahoshua, the first born son and second born son, Boaz is much like Yahoshua being a deliverer while the brother of Boaz is similar to the nation of Ysrayl ‘dropping the ball’ so to speak.
In Ruth 2:20, Naomi identifies Boaz as one of our kinsmen redeemers (some translations say guardian redeemers). Why didn’t Naomi identify the brother of Boaz as the redeemer exactly? She knew Boaz, so she had to have known about the older brother of Boaz. I don’t know, maybe the Spirit of Yah was upon her. She also may have known the personalities of the brothers and who had a heart for Yah.
Let’s look at another thing about Naomi. Naomi knew the Law from Leviticus 25:25. When an Israylite lost his property because of debt (remember they had financial problems and moved to Moab) it was the responsibility of a close relative to pay off the debt and redeem the land so it wouldn’t pass out of a family (Naomi’s sons were deceased). The relative was called the kinsmen redeemer. In Naomi’s case, she choose Boaz. Although the older brother of Boaz should have been the redeemer but backed out (like Esau). So this is how Boaz is like Yahqob. He paid for the birthright as Yahqob paid to become the first born and became part of the Messiyah’s genealogy.
So Boaz redeems Naomi and Ruth. First, he paid off the land debt on Naomi’s behalf and redeemed it. Second, he produced a son, Obed, to preserve the chain of inheritance for Ruth’s dead husband, Mahlon. This is summarized in the declaration Boaz made in Ruth 4:9.
Let’s look at another parallel. Boaz is a redeemer, a deliverer like Yahoshua. Naomi represents Ysrayl. Ruth represents the Gentiles because she is a Moabitess. Yahoshua having come to redeem Ysrayl first (Naomi) and secondly the Gentiles (Ruth),as Boaz redeems Naomi first then Ruth. Boaz saves the inheritance of both; Yahoshua saves the inheritance of both! Ain’t Yah awesome!! First the Hebrews then the Gentiles! Yah repeats Himself. So Ruth was a
grafted in Israylite. No, Ruth was an Israylite so now she is able to enter the congregation!
*If Yah gives me (or anyone else) anything else I will come back to this post and add it. I may copy this post and add it as a footnote on the bottom of Ruth chapter 4.
11-27-2015: Ruth and Naomi returned at a time of the barley harvest to the town of Bethlehem which means house of bread.
*When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and foreigners. I am Yah, your Almighty. Leviticus 19:9-10. But Boaz let Ruth glean beyond the edges and instructs the young men not to bother her. He was generous to Ruth.
*Levi is called friend of Yah because of his zeal for Yah in the Book of Jubilees chapter 30:20. All those that keep the law are friends of Yah, He says in Jubilees chapter 30:21 and those who do not keep law become enemies…