Chapter 2

In this chapter we have the first clue as to why God has brought Naomi and Ruth back to Bethlehem. There is a divine appointment that Ruth has to keep with a fellow named Boaz, although Ruth has no clue at this point in time.

We need to look at the right of succession of heirs. The property of a man upon his death would be given to his eldest son. If the eldest son had died then the right of succession would pass to the second son and so forth. If the man had no sons then the property would go to his eldest daughter or surviving daughter. If there were no sons or daughters then the property would go to a brother or brothers. If there were no brothers the inheritance would go to an uncle on the father’s side. And, failing to find an uncle, it would go the nearest relative that could be found. Now, I believe that this was to perpetuate the line or name of the man or the tribe for all future generations.

Let me see if I can explain it this way. When a man takes a wife, he retains his last name. If it was John Smith before marriage it is still John Smith after marriage. When a woman marries a man she takes the last name of the man and replaces her last name with his. If she was Sally Forth before marriage then she would be Sally Smith after marriage and the name continues. Conversely if Sally Forth received an inheritance from her father, and then she marries John Smith, the name Forth would no longer be remembered in the land and the name would die out.

God provided a way for the family name to continue so that the land allotted to that tribe of Israel would remain intact. Women were not permitted to own land, so if a man without children died then whoever he owed money to could claim his land.

This seems to be the case with Naomi. We are not given any detail on Naomi’s financial condition. We are not told where she is living, whose home she is living in, and whether it is hers or someone else’s. As we continue this study we will see the following:

First: Naomi and Ruth are poor.

Second: They need food.

Third: Naomi makes no effort to provide for herself.

Fourth: Ruth decides to glean to support both of them.

Ruth 2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

We will take a little theatrical license here; enter stage right, Boaz a mighty man of wealth. The definition of the name Boaz is “in him is strength”. The left pillar of Solomon’s temple was named Boaz, meaning, “in him is strength”, and the pillar on the right was named Jachin “yaw-keen” and it means “he will establish”. We find this in the Old Testament books of 1Kings and 2Chronicles

1Kings 7:21 And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz,

2Chronicles 3:17 And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.

Now, let us look again at the lineage of Boaz. Ruth 4:18-22 gives us Boaz’s lineage which begins with Pharez. This is only part of the story. To delve into this account just a little further we need to go back to the Old Testament book of 1Chronicles.

1Chronicles 2:1 These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun,

1Chronicles 2:2 Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

1Chronicles 2:3 The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him.

1Chronicles 2:4 And Tamar his daughter in law bare him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.

1Chronicles 2:5 The sons of Pharez; Hezron, and Hamul.

1Chronicles 2:6 And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all.

1Chronicles 2:7 And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.

1Chronicles 2:8 And the sons of Ethan; Azariah.

1Chronicles 2:9 The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.

1Chronicles 2:10 And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;

1Chronicles 2:11 And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,

1Chronicles 2:12 And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse,

We find the lineage for Boaz again, but this is where we also find a little problem.

Who was the father of Tamar’s son Pharez? Let’s see if we can straighten this out.

We know that Jacob has twelve sons one of which was Judah. We find an account concerning Judah in Genesis chapter 38. I would encourage you to read this account as it is very interesting and once again shows that God’s word is accurate, and hides nothing!

Judah goes into a woman named Shuah who is a Canaanite and he takes her for his wife. She conceives and bares a son and his name is Er. She also bares another son and calls his name Onan. Then she bares a third son and calls him Shelah.

Er, Judah’s son, marries Tamar, and the Bible says that Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord and the Lord slew him. So now we have Tamar the widow.

It gets devious from here on. Judah tells his son Onan to go in and lay with Tamar so that she could bare a son to carry on Er’s line, but Onan goes in and at the last second spills his seed on the ground rather than impregnate Tamar. Onan knew that Tamar’s son would be first in line to receive Judah’s inheritance. If Tamar never has any children then Onan will get the inheritance of the first born. Moving right along, the Lord is very displeased with Onan’s deception and takes his life.

Now Judah has only one son left and that is Shelah. Shelah is just a boy so Judah tells Tamar to stay with her father and wait until Shelah is old enough. He tells her when it is time that Shelah will take Tamar and rise up children with her.

Some time has passed and Judah has not given Shelah to her to raise up children. In other words Judah has broken his promise to Tamar.

Tamar hears that Judah is going up to Timnath to shear the sheep so she puts on different clothing, a veil and sits by the side of the road as the prostitutes did and entices Judah to have sex with her. Now Judah not having any cash on hand leaves her his promise to pay with some security. His staff, bracelets and his signet (ring) were his pledge that he would send her a kid of the goats for her services. When his servant takes a goat and goes to pay the prostitute she is no where to be found and no one seems to know anything about her.

Now three months later Judah hears that Tamar is pregnant and everyone assumes that she has been prostituting herself in the temple. Tamar then produces the staff and the bracelets and the signet and Judah realizes that the child is his.

Judah was wrong on two counts. First he refused to give his son to Tamar for a husband, and second for committing adultery with her. Pharez is the child born from this relationship. So now we have it, Jacob, Judah, Pharez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahson, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse and then King David.

It is believed that Elimelech was a cousin of Boaz and here Boaz is called a mighty man of wealth.

Pastor Rich Roberts of the Okanogan Baptist Church says that the Hebrew word for wealth should have been translated strength or valor. This would go along better with the meaning of his name, in him is strength.

We do know that Boaz was a mighty man of wealth, valor and strength. The field belonged to Boaz, he had men working to cut the grain, and men gathering the grain together along with the gleaners. So we see that the field must have been rather large to support all of this activity.

We also see that Boaz was of the family of Elimelech and as such would be in the line of a kinsman redeemer. In order to redeem land in this country, a man had to first be a kinsman. He had to be in the line of the clan or from the same clan.

Next he had to want to redeem the property, and lastly he had to have the wealth to redeem it. We will see that Boaz not only was of the clan of Elimelech and had the right, but that he will have the desire to redeem, and that he had the price to redeem. We will also learn that there was a little problem in that there was a closer kinsman than Boaz, but alas that is for future study.

Ruth 2:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

Well we finally have Ruth firmly in Bethlehem and we have discussed the subject of the kinsman redeemer.

We have a greater redemption to discuss! Jesus Christ had these same qualifications when He came from Heaven to this Earth. Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. Jesus Christ is our kinsman redeemer. He is related to us in His humanity and He has and had the right of redemption. Jesus Christ had the desire to exercise the right of redemption, and He and only He had the price of redemption. Our redemption cost Jesus Christ all that He had.

Jesus Christ could not be a sinner or He would be disqualified. He led a sinless life. God the Father required a perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins and that meant the shedding of blood. This is what the sacrifices in the Old Testament looked forward to, the time when the one and only acceptable sacrifice would be made by the Lord Jesus Christ. We see in the book of Matthew that Jesus Christ fulfilled all of the requirements of the law and all of the words spoken by God through the prophets.

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

The shedding of blood, resulting in death, was required for the remission of sin. But it could not be just anyone’s blood! Not animal blood, not my blood and not your blood, because we are sinners!

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Hebrews 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

We know from scripture that Jesus lived a perfect life.

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Hebrews 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Jesus Christ had to face the temptations that we face and yet not give in to them, in other words never sin.

Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Matthew 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Matthew 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

Matthew 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

Matthew 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Again we see in the book of Matthew.

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

This means we are to be complete in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We have no righteousness in ourselves.

He had to have the desire to redeem and He did.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Jesus came looking for us, He sought us out and paid the price of our redemption.

We are going to see in this passage that Ruth will take the lead in providing for herself and Naomi, and not just the physical but also the spiritual. We will see that Ruth is humble. We will see that Ruth respects Naomi. We will see that Ruth loves Naomi. We will see that Ruth knew the law of Israel. We will see that Ruth is looking for a land owner who worships YHWH. We will see that Ruth wanted to do what was right, not merely what was quick or efficient.

What is the first statement that Ruth makes in verse two? Let me now go to the field. Isn’t she asking permission? Isn’t it like saying please?

Naomi knows that she has relatives in Bethlehem who have the means to care for her, but she apparently has not contacted them for help. She is still feeling cursed by God without knowing why. She may be aged, but she is, from what we read in the scripture, able bodied and able to work. She has apparently chosen to sit and wait for death to overtake her. Missing her husband and her two sons she probably just wants to die.

BUT, Naomi has two very important persons looking out for her, God and Ruth.

God has orchestrated the whole event with Naomi so that Ruth would be here at this very time, at this very hour. God knew that Ruth, who is now a proselyte from Chemosh, the false god of Moab, to YHWH the God of Israel, would now be ready for the divine appointment that God has made for her with Boaz.

Ruth humbles herself and requests permission to go and glean in the fields.

Ruth 2:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

Ruth now asks permission from Naomi to go and glean in the fields. Ruth could have returned to Moab, but she didn’t. She could have insisted that Naomi contact her wealthy relatives for assistance, but she didn’t.

She could have forced Naomi to go to the fields with her to glean, but she didn’t.

Knowing full well that Naomi was able bodied and could go to the fields and glean for her own food, Ruth asks permission to go to the fields and glean. We will see that Ruth not only gleaned for herself but for Naomi as well. We will see in verse seven that Ruth was in the field from the morning until now.

Ruth had to work long into the day if she was to glean enough for both Naomi and herself. In verse seventeen we are told that she gleaned in the field until evening, and that she had about enough flour to feed them for about ten days.

It would have been almost a months worth of food for her alone, or twenty days.

We can discover the law for gleaning in the Old Testament book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

Leviticus 19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

Leviticus 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 23:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 24:19 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.

Deuteronomy 24:20 When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

Deuteronomy 24:21 When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

Deuteronomy 24:22 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

Now we are looking for something very important here. Not all of the land owners permitted gleaning in their fields. Can you guess why they would not allow gleaning while others would? Did every Israelite follow the law? No! Only the followers of YHWH followed the law. Therefore we see Ruth’s statement in verse two after him in whose sight I shall find grace. Was Ruth just going out to the first field she could find and try to glean? I think not.

First, Ruth is looking for a field that has gleaners working the field. Reason, this land owner would most likely be a follower of YHWH.

Second, I personally think she is looking for a large field that could support many gleaners including herself.

Last, we will see in the following verses that she must ask permission from the foreman, a servant that was set over the reapers, before she can glean. We see this in verse seven. Ruth goes out to find a follower of the God of Israel, who is a land owner, in whose sight she might find grace, or to be allowed to glean. Ruth wanted to do what was right in God’s sight.

Alas, poor Naomi, depressed, cursed by God, not willing to beg or ask her relatives for help, says to Ruth Go my daughter.

What else could Ruth have done to earn a living, and remember she must make enough to feed both women? She could have begged on the street, which would have satisfied the immediate need. She could have gone to Naomi’s relatives if she knew who they were. I don’t think she did because of verse twenty where Naomi tells Ruth that Boaz is a near kinsman. She could have tried prostitution, although this would violate everything she had been taught about the God of Israel.

Ruth chooses what is right in God’s sight and goes to the field. Ruth takes the path that God has directed. As of yet, Ruth is totally unaware that she has a divine appointment to meet the man that she would marry and that she would end up the grandmother of King David. She hasn’t a clue, but because she is one hundred percent set on doing what is right she is dead center in the will of God.

Are we dead center in God’s will? The Bible says that we should confess our faults one to another and pray for one another.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Confession restores our relationship with the Father and He will hear us.

As we continue you will see the faithfulness of the love of the Lord. Keep looking at the theme of the Bible, and remember that the Lord is in total control. God is sovereign. We all have an appointed time to be born, an appointed time to die and God controls everything in between.

Ruth 2:3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

We now have Ruth out of the house and on the road. This verse can be reversed to read “Ruth went out and looked for a field and her hap was to find a field belonging to Boaz who was of the kindred of Elimelech so she gleaned in that field after the reapers.”

Ruth out of love and respect sets out to find a field to glean in, <strongand her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz. Anyone believe in “chance”?

Anyone believe in “luck”? We must at all times keep this thought in mind, “The Lord will accomplish His plan by His own will and in His own way”. The God of the universe is in control of history, past, present, and future!

We can see two other uses of the word chance.

1 Samuel 6:9 And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us.

1 Samuel 20:26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean

If we look at the Hebrew meaning of these words (Hebrew Strong’s Concordance Number 4745) chance and befallen, they are the same, both meaning by chance or by accident. Nothing happens by accident or chance, as God has either ordered it to happen or allowed it to happen. Nothing happens to the Christian by accident or chance.

It was not chance or an accident that Ruth found the field of Boaz. Let us move ahead a bit to the following verses.

Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.

Ruth 4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

Now if Ruth didn’t find the field of Boaz there would be no marriage to Boaz, no son called Obed, no grandson called Jesse, no great grandson called David and no descendant called Jesus. Ruth may have thought that it was just by chance that she found the field of Boaz, but it was the providence of God that led her to the field.

Ruth 2:4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.

Pay special attention to the greetings that are exchanged between Boaz and the reapers. Boaz greets them by saying The Lord be with you. The reapers return the greeting The Lord bless thee.

There is something to be learned from this verse. What is our normal greeting for each other? Hi, how are you, how are the kids, how’s the back? And the normal answer, Fine, their OK, still aching but Ok. Do we really care? Do we really give an accurate response? Could we really handle the honest response?

When asked how we are, the real answer is probably not Fine! We have all sorts of problems, health, finances, family, church, both physical and spiritual, and most people don’t want to hear about all of our troubles, unless they really care. Unless they really are Christ centered, unless they are ready to assist if there is a opportunity to do so, unless they are ready to pray for healing and recovery, unless we are ready to come along side someone else and minister to their needs, ready to pray, ready to help financially, ready to assist them no matter what the need is. Sometimes the need is just to have someone that will listen, and will not condemn.

Remember the verse from James.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The Lord be with you! Look at the greeting here in Ruth one more time.

The Matthew Henry Commentary had somewhat to say and this has been paraphrased by me:

Boaz comes to his reapers, to see how the work was progressing, if he found any thing amiss he could make it right, and to give further orders what should be done. This was both for his own interest and it was also for the encouragement of his servants, who would be grateful for the praise and be more cheerful in their work when their master graced them with a visit. Masters that live at ease should think with tenderness of those that toil for them and bear the burden and heat of the day. Pious salutations were interchanged between Boaz and his reapers. (1.) He said to them, The Lord be with you; and they replied, The Lord bless thee, Ruth 2:4. Hereby they expressed, [1.] Their mutual respect to each other; he to them as good servants, and they to him as a good master.

When he came to them he did not fall a chiding them, as if he came only to find fault and exercise his authority, but he prayed for them: “The Lord be with you, prosper you, and give you health and strength, and preserve you from any disaster.” Nor did they, as soon as ever he was out of hearing, fall a cursing him, as some ill-natured servants that hate their master’s eye, but they returned his courtesy:

“The Lord bless thee, and make our labours serviceable to thy prosperity.” Things are likely to go on well in a house where there is such good-will as this between master and servants. [2.] Their joint-dependence upon the divine providence. They express their kindness to each other by praying one for another. They show not only their courtesy, but their piety, and acknowledgement that all good comes from the presence and blessing of God, which therefore we should value and desire above any thing else both for ourselves and others. (2.) Let us hence learn to use, [1.] Courteous salutations, as expressions of a sincere good-will to our friends. [2 lifting up our hearts to God for his favour, in such short prayers as these. Above adapted from Matthew Henry Commentary.`

Now from scripture here are just a few uplifting verses to ponder. How are we as Christians supposed to act when everything around us is going to pot?

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Micah 7:7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

And lastly,

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Ruth 2:5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

Ruth 2:6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:

Ruth 2:7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

Boaz finally sees Ruth in verse five. How do you think that Boaz recognized Ruth? The way she was dressed probably gave her away or the way she would talk, that is her speech. Boaz seems to have known all of the gleaners.

Boaz could very well have heard chatter or gossip about Naomi and Ruth.

We can look back at Ruth 1:19 And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them,. The gossip would have been good regarding Ruth. What do you think his reaction would have been? Ruth was probably a very beautiful woman. Boaz probably noticed Ruth because of the way she was dressed but once having laid eyes upon her, he then saw her beauty.

Boaz could have thought “I am single and she is beautiful. If she is single we could have something here”. So the question, Whose damsel is this? “Is she single, is she available, WOW!” Dr. J Vernon McGee says that this is tantamount to something like a wolf whistle! It is love at first sight.

It was love that caused us to receive Christ when we realized who He is.

When we finally see the real Jesus Christ in all of His beauty and grace we must fall in love with Him.

In verse six we see the servants reply. Possibly even a little sharp or derogatory it is the Moabitish damsel. The reapers had to let Ruth glean even if she had not asked permission. Do you suppose that they might have been a little resentful of the foreigner? The servant as of yet fails to connect the gleam in the eye of Boaz. It’s the foreigner that came back with Naomi. Boaz can now connect all the dots. He knows Naomi and now is able to put a face to the probable chatter that has reached his ears.

The explanation in verse seven shows Ruth’s humility, And she said, I pray you, this rendering from the King James Version,please this rendering from the New International Version and again pray in the Revised Standard Version. A respectful request, although this was not required.

It is evident that the servant knew the law and Ruth’s right to glean. The best translation, in my view, for what the servant says next is from the Revised Standard Version so she came and has continued from early morning until now, without resting even for a moment. Ruth was gleaning for two people, not just herself and she is tireless in her pursuit of the task set before her.

Once hearing the explanation from the foreman, he may have reflected on the chatter and gossip that must have come to his ears about Naomi and Ruth returning from the land of Moab. Boaz knew that he was a kinsman to Naomi. It would seem that Naomi had not contacted him about any support, however scripture is silent on this point.

Ruth 2:8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

Ruth 2:9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

I think that Boaz fell in love with Ruth when he saw her and we can see this by the way he falls all over himself trying to meet every need that Ruth has.

Now I also believe that love at first sight is what happens to the Christian when we finally see Jesus Christ for who He really is. When the realization hits us about who He is and what He has done for us we fall to our knees and ask Him into our life, we will be the Bride of Christ.

God has brought everyone to this point in time from different areas of the country. He has allowed three men to die, Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion. He brought Naomi and Ruth back to Bethlehem for this divine appointment with Boaz, and Boaz is not going to disappoint God’s purpose.

Well we finally have Ruth in the field and we see next that Boaz has been filled in on Ruth’s circumstances and her name and her background, and that she is apparently a very hard worker. Now that Boaz knows who this damsel is, he reflects on everything that he has heard and how that she is, through Naomi, a near relative of his.

He knows that Naomi’s husband was Elimelech and that he was a near kinsman to Elimelech. He knows that Naomi owns some property that must be sold. Boaz has already formulated a plan to redeem the property but we will see a couple of roadblocks that must be overcome first. Boaz also knows that Ruth’s husband is dead and therefore he has a plan to take care of both women.

Now several commentators have suggested that the reapers in this field of Boaz were women, so look at the last part of verse eightbut, abide here fast by my maidens. The words my maidens: could indicate that these maidens were employed as reapers as well as the men. The following words of verse nine would seem to bear that out, Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them.

Boaz is instructing Ruth to stay by the reapers and to follow them. This means that whatever field that the reapers go into that Ruth is to go with them. This would also indicate that this is not the only field that Boaz owns and goes with his being a man of great wealth.

What else can we glean from verse eight? Look at the first words of verse eight

Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence,.

This is a poor rendering in the King James Version. The New International Version renders it: my daughter, listen to me. I believe this is better, although it means the same thing, a plain and obvious reading is preferred.

Boaz wants to be sure that he has Ruth’s full attention before giving the instruction that will save her life and keep her from harm. It is like saying “Pay attention now! Listen up! Do not go into any other field to glean, stay in my fields, and stay close to the maidens that you see reaping in this field.”

Some land owners would pay the relatives of the reapers to follow along behind and glean. They might hire the eldest to reap and the youngest to glean. However, this practice was forbidden by the Mosaic Law. Remember the passages in Leviticus 19:9 and 23:22 that gave instructions for the harvest?

They were to leave the corners and not to gather the gleanings of the harvest. They were to leave the corners of the field and not pick up anything that fell to the ground. They were not to go back over the field to gather up anything.

This was for the poor and the sojourner, the people who had nothing, and no means of getting anything to eat or to drink as in the case of the vineyards where grapes were harvested. God would provide as He provided food in the wilderness for almost two million people.

Exodus 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

God provided a lamb to Abraham instead of sacrificing his son Isaac. That lamb took Isaac’s place just as the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, took our place!

Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

And, God provided a Lamb for us, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Boaz could have been selfish and hired the gleaners for his field, but he was not selfish. He followed the law and God was blessing everything he set his hand to do. We will see now that God is blessing the union between Boaz and Ruth also.

Ruth 2:9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

So Boaz instructs Ruth to stay close to the reapers and go where they go. He then tells Ruth that he has instructed the young men to keep their hands off of her, to leave her alone. And not only that, but that she was to drink from the water that the young men had brought to the field for the reapers. We see from this that the young men were actually to assist in Ruth’s well being.

Not unlike God who provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness, Boaz now provides for Ruth. He is providing food in the form of Barley, and he is also providing the water for her to drink. It seems that this was not usual for the land owner to provide water for the gleaners at least that is what I am getting out of this passage. It seems that this was a special privilege that was being bestowed upon Ruth. But, remember Boaz has fallen in love with her and he wants to please her and help her with the task of feeding herself and Naomi.

Christ has done the same sort of service for us as Christians. We were led by the Holy Spirit to receive Christ into our lives and once entering He now provides everything we need. We are instructed to feed from the Word of God for our spiritual nourishment.

2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

We are instructed to follow Jesus Christ because He is the Good Shepard and He cares for us.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

If we think about it, we will discover that Jesus Christ has never done anything that would bring us harm, or injury or disease, or death, or unhappiness or anything derogatory.

Jesus said this in the book of John.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Jesus has only our best interests in His heart.

Look at the response of Ruth.

Ruth 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

Ruth prostrates herself in the sight of this man Boaz. She literally falls on her face when he delivers his instructions to her. We could learn a lesson here for ourselves. Ruth shows reverence for Boaz, who is a type of Christ. How do we show reverence for God, for Christ? Ruth fell on her face in the presence of Boaz, and what do we do in the presence of Jesus Christ?

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

As verse five says, submission to the elders, be subject to one another, be clothed in humility. Why? God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, yes.

Why submit to our elders, Dads, Moms, Church leaders, employers? Because they should have our best interests at heart! Admittedly not all will, but the majority does. Prideful people usually don’t believe they need God, they are usually self sufficient. God gives abundant grace to the people who know they need grace, those of us who recognize their sin and sorrow over it and confess it. God’s grace will abound to the humble.

Verse six tells us that God will exalt you in due time. When might we be exalted, on possibly more than one occasion, perhaps at the time of salvation, or at the end of our time here, through physical death or the rapture of the Church?

Verse seven says cast all of your cares on Him because He cares for you. Lay our cares on the altar of sacrifice and leave them there. But, be careful not to pick them up again. Take it to the Lord in prayer, worry about nothing, pray about everything, so said the Apostle Paul.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

The word careful means to be anxious about nothing, we get our word “worry” from this. God is exalted when we follow His word! And, this is when we become doers of the word and not just hearers of the word.

Do we need to physically fall down and prostrate ourselves before the Lord?

Sometimes that might be a good thing to do. Other times we can prostrate ourselves by prayer, in our heart, crying out to God when we come before Him.

Then Ruth asks the question, Why have I found grace in thine eyes? The word grace means favor. Ruth’s question is the same one that we ask. Lord, why have I found grace in thy sight? Ruth didn’t earn the grace that Boaz is showing her and we didn’t earn the grace that Jesus bestows upon us. Ruth didn’t earn favor with Boaz anymore that we earned favor with Christ. Christ chose us while we were in the very depths of depravity, still in our sin, still vile and unloving. Not wanting God in our lives, doing things our way instead of God’s way, but He still searched us out and brought us to Himself.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Jesus sought us out just as Boaz is now coming to Ruth and inviting her to rely on him for all her needs. Boaz comes to Ruth because Boaz is a righteous man, a follower of the law, a worshiper of the God of Israel. Christ comes to us because of His righteousness, because He wants all to come to salvation, that none should perish.

Now look at the answer from Boaz.

Ruth 2:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

Boaz now relates to Ruth that he has been completely informed of Ruth’s circumstances. Whether it has been by the buzz of the town, or the Lord, that revealed this to him, we just are not certain. But, Boaz seems to know all that he needs to know as he responds to Ruth.

Boaz relates to Ruth some of the truths of which he has been informed. Ruth has been faithful to her mother-in-law. He knows that Naomi’s husband is dead, Ruth’s husband is dead and Ruth has devoted herself to Naomi. Boaz is commending Ruth for her care of Naomi and that she has left all that she had to follow Naomi.

This reminds me of the fellow that found a pearl of great price in a field and then went and sold all that he had to buy that field.

Matthew 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

I believe that Boaz is just about there, he has fallen in love with Ruth and is probably willing to sell everything that he has to marry Ruth. Remember, this is a love story. Fortunately he will not have to sell it all to marry Ruth. However, Jesus Christ gave all He had to make us His bride.

Look at the blessing that Boaz gives to Ruth.

Ruth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Recompense is the same as saying reciprocate. So, we have “the Lord reciprocate thy work and a full reward be given to you from the God of Israel under whose protection you have come.”

This refers to the good service she had done for her mother-in-law. God is not unrighteous to forget the good work and labor of love which is shown by children to their parents. Though such works are not in themselves meritorious of any blessing from God here or hereafter, yet He is pleased of His own grace to recompense them.

Boaz is saying that he is asking that the Lord pay Ruth back for all that she has suffered, to reward her fully for everything that she has done since she now trusts in the God of Israel.

Not only does Boaz want Ruth paid back for all that she has done for Naomi, but he also wants the reward to come from the Lord God, YHWH, the God of Israel. The phrase under whose wings thou art come to trust is interesting. From this expression the Jews describe a proselyte to be one that is “gathered under the wings of the divine majesty”.

King David here voices praise in his description of the attributes of God, working on behalf of man’s salvation.

Psalm 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

And, again King David voices praise,

Psalm 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Psalm 63:4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

Psalm 63:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

Psalm 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Psalm 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Think of a mother eagle covering the little eaglets with her wings during a rain storm, protecting them from the elements, shielding them from harm.

The New Testament describes it this way.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

We are looking at the protection of the Lord God here. This is the covering of God that every believer receives upon accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. The “wings” of Christ cover us all.

Romans 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

That should be our hearts desire for all people, that they would receive Christ and their sins would be covered with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, if that is our hearts desire, then we should “know” how to lead someone to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not enough that we lead a good life, that we don’t knowingly offend other people, or that we have a good report from non-Christians. When someone says to you, what is your secret, why do you always seem so happy and content, or that you are always in a good mood, or you seem to be smiling all the time, do you know how to answer them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

This is the opportunity to let them know the reason behind our behavior. Because Jesus Christ has come into our life and changed the way we think, the way we act, and it is because He has promised us an eternal home with Him in glory. Then we can ask them if they would like to have that eternal hope also!

Receiving Jesus Christ is a life changing experience. The way of salvation can be found in the scriptures no matter what version you may have. The way of salvation is in every one of them.

Ruth 2:13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.

“Let’s do lunch!”

Ruth now responds and asks Let me find favor in thy sight. This is somewhat misleading in that it means, “since I have found favor”. Ruth is saying please let it continue in that you have comforted me and she asks that Boaz might continue to comfort her, even though she is a foreigner in the land of Israel.

Ruth 2:14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

Boaz now invites Ruth to “do lunch”, or perhaps the first DATE. Boaz starts to show Ruth how much he loves her and sets the provision for her into motion. The meal would normally consist of day old bread and possibly some meat from a butchered ox and sour wine in which to dip the bread. And, if you have ever had to eat stale bread you would appreciate something to dip it in. What do you see in verse fourteen that Ruth did?

I have three things to bring to your notice. Boaz offers her something to eat, and not with the gleaners, that is, not seated with the beggars. Ruth is seated with the hired help, the reapers. The meaning is Boaz has elevated her status.

Ruth eats and she is sufficed, that is, full, wanting nothing further. She is not only filled to the top, but has enough left over to take it home for Naomi to eat also. Ruth needed a zip lock bag or a doggie bag to put the excess food in to take it home. This is so typical of the provision of God in our lives. Remember that Boaz is a type of Christ and as Boaz provides for Ruth and even more than she needed, Christ also provides for us.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Pressed down, overflowing, more than we need. God is good to those that are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Ruth 2:15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:

Lunch is over and Ruth is going back to work gleaning, but this time it will be a little different. First, she is now told to glean right among the sheaves, and Boaz commands his young men to allow Ruth to glean among them. This gleaning is just behind the reapers, and they are not to rebuke her or restrain her from her gleaning. In fact, they are to purposely leave extra grain behind for Ruth to pick up.

Ruth 2:16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

This would not have been a normal thing to do as it would not be a smart business practice. It would be wasteful to be sloppy with the gathering of the harvest.

Picture this, the reapers would look back to see where Ruth was standing and drop some extra grain right in front of her so that she would be sure to find it. Possibly saying “OOPS” in a loud voice and then “Well, I can’t go back and pick it up because it would be a violation of the law”.

Ruth 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

My question is how much grain do we see that Ruth has separated, what is the total amount she has gleaned? About an ephah of barley. She has gleaned about twenty quarts, or twenty pounds, considering that a quart of barley would weigh about one pound. And we also see that she gleaned until evening, which I take to mean about sunset.

How many days do you think that this amount of barley would feed Naomi and Ruth? Well it seems that twenty quarts of barley would feed one person for almost a month, about twenty days, but it would only feed two people for about ten days. Even so, that was a superior amount for a gleaner to have brought home in just one day. Once again, showing the great love that Boaz has for Ruth and, the provision of God.

Ruth 2:18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

Ruth now returns to Naomi and gives her the report of her gleaning. What are the principal things that we see in verse eighteen? Ruth carried the barley back from the field and she probably wrapped it up in her skirt to carry it back. Naomi sees the great amount that Ruth brings home. Ruth pulls out the doggie bag from lunch and gives it to Naomi.

Do you think Naomi was excited or amazed, I’ll bet she was.

Ruth 2:19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man’s name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.

We can almost hear Naomi’s response to Ruth showing her all that she had brought home.

Where in heavens name did you get all of that? Whose field were you gleaning in? What was the name of the land owner? Can you glean there again?

Now Ruth answers and says, the man’s name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.I can imagine the flood of emotions that must have come upon Naomi when she heard the name of Boaz. Look at the response of Naomi in verse twenty.

Ruth 2:20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

Naomi then drops the bombshell, and she tells Ruth that Boaz is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. Remember the law of Levirate marriage. Ruth’s husband is dead and left no sons. A kinsman can marry Ruth and raise up children in the name of Ruth’s dead husband, and we see the provision for this in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 25:5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.

Deuteronomy 25:6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

We will see a little further on that there is a slight problem with Boaz marrying Ruth, but it will work out just as God wants it to.

Ruth 2:21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

What instructions does Boaz give to Ruth that we can see in this verse? She is to stay fast by the young men meaning right behind the reapers, and she is to stay by them until the end of all harvesting.

This would indicate that Ruth would be well stocked with food if the rest of the harvest was anything like the first day.

Ruth 2:22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.

Ruth 2:23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

Naomi is letting Ruth know, in no uncertain terms, that she is to stay in Boaz’s fields and not to wander into any other. Naomi can see the potential that lies ahead for Ruth. She sees the possibility of marriage and children, as well as protection for Ruth. So the instruction, stay with his maidens stay in his fields.

And we can see that as usual Ruth is going to obey her mother-in-law.

Ruth stays by the maidens of Boaz, and she gleans through the barley harvest, then the wheat harvest and she dwelt continually with her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Amen