In the following chapter we are going to see that Boaz is a “take charge man”.
As this historical account nears completion we will see several things.
First, Boaz is deadly serious in bringing Ruth and Naomi’s situation to a Godly conclusion.
Second, Boaz knows where to find the nearest relative.
Third Boaz understands the law of Levirate marriage.
Fourth, Boaz will be wise as a serpent in speaking with the other kinsman and will not put all of his cards on the table at one time.
Fifth, the other kinsman fully understands what is involved in purchasing the land from Naomi and then having to raise up a son with Ruth.
Sixth, Boaz gathers enough witnesses around that the deal will be legal beyond any doubt, and that the two men confirmed the deal with the transfer of a shoe.
And, we will see all of this is the first eleven verses. What was the last thing Naomi said unto Ruth in chapter 3? It was sit still until you know how the matter will play out?
Isn’t this like “rest and wait”? I think so. Naomi tells Ruth to rest easy and just wait for a little while, because “The man” (Boaz) will not be in rest until the matter is finished this day!” Ruth 2:18 paraphrased by Jim.
That morning when they arose from sleep at the threshing floor, where did Ruth go?
Where did she live? Where do you suppose Boaz lived? Bethlehem-Judah! So where did they both go? Both went into town, Ruth to the house of Naomi and Boaz to the gate of the city. Do you think Boaz was in a hurry to get things settled? I certainly do, he did not waste any time getting to the city gate.
Ruth 4:1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
Why the city gate, what happened at the city gate? Commerce, business transactions, civil trials were held at the gate, and it was a meeting place for the people, especially the elders of the city.
So we see in verse one that Boaz is at the gate waiting for the other kinsman. He goes to the gate, sits down and waits. Soon the kinsman walks by and Boaz hails him, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here.. Now that is an interesting way to call someone. Ho such a one is the correct usage of the Hebrew words. Some versions translate this as friend but the important point or thought is that Boaz never calls this man by name.
Why do you think his name is never mentioned? I see some pretty good reasons. Remember the law of Levirate marriage. What happened to a man if he refused to act the part of a kinsman redeemer to his brother’s wife? For the answer we will look at 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.
Deuteronomy 25:7 And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.
Deuteronomy 25:8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
Deuteronomy 25:9 Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.
Deuteronomy 25:10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.
Who should have been at the gate requesting the elders and calling this kinsman into account? RUTH! She had the right to bring this matter to trial. The kinsman redeemer was supposed to automatically take his dead brother’s wife and raise up a son to him so that the brother’s name would not be blotted out or die out. But keep in mind, Ruth probably did not know this law, but Naomi did.
Naomi did not want the nearest kinsman for Ruth, Naomi wanted Boaz. Now I believe in order that this nearer relative’s reputation would not be tarnished his name is never mentioned in scripture. God had something else in mind and it is now coming to completion.
Ruth 4:2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
Now we see that Boaz takes ten men of the elders of the city and sits them down. Why ten elders of the city? What is the reason for the ten? They are to sit as witnesses to the transaction that will soon take place as Boaz unravels his plan to marry Ruth. The elders are thought to be full of wisdom because of their age and spiritual maturity; at least we hope that is the case.
Ruth 4:3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:
Boaz starts his conversation by mentioning Naomi who is this kinsman’s near relative and that she was the wife of their brother Elimelech. He also states that she must sell the land that Elimelech owned since it is not legal at this time for her to own it. The kinsman’s duty was to buy this land so that it would remain in the family.
Ruth 4:4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
Boaz now explains in verse four that Naomi must sell this parcel because she is destitute, and Boaz has sought out this man so that he could redeem it. He tells the man that there is no other closer relative than he is, so if he wants the land he must do the part of a kinsman redeemer. In front of all those witnesses he says, “Tell me if you want the parcel. Now if you do not want it then since I am next in line, I will buy it.”
And, the kinsman’s reply And he said, I will redeem it.Case closed, right? NO, not yet!
Boaz has set a table for this man with a nice linen tablecloth and the dainties of the parcel of land thereon and the man has agreed to redeem it. “Why not, it would be a good deal, more fields to plant, bigger harvests, sure I’ll do it”.
Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
So, in verse five, Boaz pulls the tablecloth out from under the dainties and says “Oh by the way, there is a little catch. When you buy the parcel from Naomi and, Oh, one other little thing that I forgot to tell you, you must also buy it from Ruth the wife of the dead, and raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.”
I’ll bet the kinsman felt like he had been sucker punched, and in verse six he says I cannot redeem it for myself lest I mar mine own inheritance. Why would this stop the kinsman in his tracks and cause him to change his mind?
Now the kinsman thinks about what would happen if he bought the parcel. First, he would be out the money he paid for the land. As soon as there was a male child, the child would own the land, and the kinsman would lose his investment. Second, he would have to care for Naomi and Ruth and any children that were produced from the relationship. And lastly, it would be a drain on his finances and there would not be much left for his children.
Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
So he tells Boaz, I cannot redeem it…..redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. Do we see the providence of God here, I’ll say we do. It is beautiful when we allow God to work and just rest and wait. When God gives us something to do, then we must do our part. Then we wait on the Lord to do His part, rest and wait.
Many of us today are in that situation where we must rest and wait. We should not run off hastily seeking a remedy for the problems that we face. God the Father is well aware of everyone’s pain, grief and heartache. If we believe that God is in control then it is just rest and wait.
I find resting and waiting very hard to do. I always want to do something to fix the problem, and quite frankly I have come up with several solutions to the problem. But is the Lord telling me to fix everyone’s problem or to just wait on Him to make the corrections. I believe that the Lord just wants us to rest awhile, take our ease, until He makes the corrections that are necessary.
Every person has something special that only you can give or do, and each gift is different. Each talent is unique, each personality is one of a kind, so I believe we can hang in there a little longer and give the Lord all the time He needs to resolve the difficulties.
Ruth 4:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
Ruth 4:8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
Remember the scripture that we have previously seen that talks about the law of Levirate marriage. So, you see Boaz allows this man to get off easy without embarrassment.
Ruth 4:9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
Then we have Boaz confirming in the presence of the elders and the witnesses that the kinsman has given up his right to redeem and that Boaz is redeeming. He says that all that was Elimelech’s, Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, I have bought, I now own it.
Ruth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
Ruth 4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
Ruth 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
Here is the beautiful part, in verses ten, eleven and twelve.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, (We now know which son Ruth was married to.) have I purchased to be my wife.
Boaz now states that he has purchased Ruth also and that he is going to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead is not cut off from among his brethren and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
There was a day that Christ purchased the Church, and there were witnesses then also.
Boaz says, ye are witnesses this day, and all the people said, we are witnesses.
Then we have the blessing in verses eleven and twelve.
Ruth 4:11 The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
Ruth 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
Do you see the fantastic way God has arraigned this? For Jesus Christ to be born of the line of King David each person mentioned here had to be in the will of God and had to be following God’s laws to the best of their ability. That is all that Jesus wants from any of us, just do your best and keep looking toward Christ. Keep Jesus first in your life and everything else will fall into the correct place.
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.
Boaz not needing any further ceremony, at this time in Israel there wasn’t one anyway, and he is free to consummate the marriage. When Boaz and Ruth come together, and when he went in unto her, the Lord opens her womb, Ruth conceives, and a male child is born.
Remember that while Ruth was married to Mahlon she did not have any children, she was childless. Now the blessings begin. Remember in Israel children were considered a gift from the Lord.
They should be considered a gift from the Lord here and now also. This country with it’s liberal courts and judges has reduced the sanctity of life to something less than simply animals. In fact, some forms of animals or fowl, seem to have more rights that humans. A person can go to jail for running over a dog with their car or killing a dog that was menacing them. But, if they run over a person and kill them it’s just a slap on the hand, or we use extenuating circumstances such as, they were drunk and didn’t know what they were doing or it was foggy, etc., etc.
We are taking the lives of unborn children at an alarming rate, and this seemingly without any remorse, necessity or conscience. The pagans would sacrifice their children in the fire to Molech so their false gods would be good to them and send rain for crops, etc. We sacrifice our unborn children for convenience in the same way, “Oh, we are not ready for children, or “it costs too much”, or “I will get caught that I have been committing fornication or adultery”, or “my career is more important”, etc. etc. Now before I get totally on this soapbox. Back to Ruth.
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.
Naomi now has a grandson, someone to carry on the name of Elimelech. The women now give a blessing when they say Blessed be the LORD which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
Naomi needed a kinsman redeemer to carry on the line of Elimelech. Now the line will be carried on through the man of God, Boaz.
The greatest news for us in this day and age is that we have the Kinsman Redeemer. Without Christ we would still be slaves to sin, still under bondage to the things that would lead to eternal damnation. Praise God for our Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus Christ the Lord of Heaven and earth.
The scripture says in the book of 1 Corinthians
1Corintians 10:26 the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof .
Think about our kinsman redeemer and had He not come, where would we be right now?
What would you be doing? Going to church, I doubt it. Living in unbelief and sin would be more likely, without hope of any kind and without purpose. We would just be drifting through life and taking momentary pleasure in things that would only lead to destruction. But, praise be to the Father that He gave us a Kinsman Redeemer.
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Galatians 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Galatians 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Ruth 4:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.
Verse fifteen tells us that the women also say unto Naomi that And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age. Now this can be very important as we get older.
I think that Naomi has now forgotten that she wanted to change her name to Mara, which means “bitter”. We saw this back in the first chapter of Ruth. I think that she can now see that the hand of the Lord has been working all along to bring everything to a proper conclusion.
It is so easy to forget that God is sovereign and working when things aren’t going as we had planned or expected. We tend to forget to cry out to God first when things start to go wrong. Naomi now sees that everything that has happened was in the plan of God and she can now retake the name of Naomi which means pleasant.
We now see that the women continue the blessing when they say for thy daughter in law which loveth thee, which is better that seven sons, hath born him.
If Naomi had seven sons, how much of Elimelech’s estate do you think each one would have owned? The eldest would have had a double portion and the other six would have shared the remainder of the estate. They would have had very little property since it would have been split seven ways.
So, if Naomi had seven sons their estate would have been whatever Elimelech owned when he died. Now, the inheritance would be many times that of Naomi’s dead husband. Recall that Boaz is a wealthy man and owns a lot of property. The inheritance is all going to go to the one son, who is the grandson of Naomi. We now have the eternal state also, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David and on down through the age to Jesus Christ Himself.
Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
Naomi now takes the child, “Obed” and lays him on her lap and becomes his nanny, which was a form of adoption. Ruth would have nursed the child and weaned the child herself but, we see that Naomi is now back to the place where Dr. J. Vernon McGee called her Mary Sunshine.
She is happy and rejoicing that there is now a son to carry on the line of Elimelech and Mahlon. The plan of God (YHWH) has now been brought full circle. It started with Elimelech wanting to go to Moab because of the famine in Bethlehem-Judah, and the famine was due to what? The sin of Israel was in not following the Lord. I do not believe it was God’s plan for Elimelech to make the journey but thanks be to God He is all knowing and will bring about His perfect plan for His glory!
Elimelech dies and then we saw that Mahlon and Chilion take wives from Moab which they should not have done, and then both sons die. Orpah heads back to her family in Moab, and Ruth swears undying loyalty to Naomi. We are lead to believe that God has raised up a new Judge in Israel and that the famine is over.
Naomi gets word that there is now food in Bethlehem-Judah and she heads back home where she will eventually have to sell the land that her dead husband owned. Naomi and Ruth are destitute, and it is not permitted at this time in history for her to own the land.
Naomi feels smitten by God and wants to be called Mara, which means “bitter”.
Ruth seeing that Naomi has given up on everything sets out to glean in the fields so they might have something to eat, but makes sure to get permission from Naomi before going out.
Ruth finds the field of Boaz and asks permission to glean and then gets noticed by Boaz who, I believe, instantly falls in love with her. This love relationship is helped when Boaz discovers that Ruth is a kinsman of his through Elimelech, Naomi, and Mahlon, Ruth’s dead husband.
Ruth 4:17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
So we now have the marriage and the child, and in verse seventeen I saw something that I thought was very interesting. The women, her neighbors gave the child his name. Notice what they say, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed . The name Obed, which means servant, becomes the father of Jesse who is the father of David, which means beloved.
And, lastly we see the genealogy in verses eighteen through twenty two. We now see why genealogy is so very important because this line is traced from the line of Judah through Pharez, son of Tamar, through Boaz to David.
Ruth 4:18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
Ruth 4:19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
Ruth 4:20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
Ruth 4:21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
Ruth 4:22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Remember the genealogy we discussed before and who came from the seed of Pharez? Boaz came from the seed of Pharez. The witnesses are asking the Lord to bless the union of Boaz and Ruth and that their seed would produce a great nation like that of Judah. And, that seed did!
Finally, how do we relate this to Christ and the Church? If we know that this account is Boaz being a picture of Jesus Christ and Ruth a picture of the Church, how do we put it together? Boaz went to extremes to redeem Ruth, he is willing to pay the price of redemption, he desires to redeem, he has the price of redemption, and he completes the duty of the redeemer by carrying out the plan. Ruth is a foreigner, but Boaz still redeems her.
Jesus Christ redeems us the foreigners, the Gentiles. Christ sought us out, out of love for us. Christ had the price of redemption for us. Christ paid the price for our redemption with His life, because payment for our sin debt was owed to God the Father.
Remember the Old Testament was a school teacher, showing that no one could be righteous enough by their own work to please God. We needed a redeemer and Jesus Christ was that Redeemer. He had the exact price of redemption and that price, His blood, was acceptable to God the Father. We know this because God raised Jesus’s body from the grave and gave victory over the last enemy, death!
Like the closer relative to Naomi, the law and morality of our consciences make promises of redemption by our works. That is until we realize the full implications of what this means and we understand that they fall woefully short of accomplishing any redemption for us. Instead, our Redeemer comes forth and redeems us on our behalf, because we could never redeem ourselves. The law and morality of our consciences could not bring it about because of our sins, and was never intended to, Jesus Christ did it Himself. He paid the price for the field and made us His bride in order to adorn us with His Spirit. He is our advocate and our substitute! He works in our place, He died in our place, and He lives to hold us fast in Himself.
Christ’s work of redemption for us is clearly stated in the New Testament.
Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
1Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Corinthians 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Jesus Christ is the significant Redeemer for all of humanity. His offer of salvation through repentance and faith is an offer for all the people of the world. Therefore, it is said of Him at His birth that He will bring joy for all the people!
Though it sometimes seems that God is not in control, with friends and family dying, difficulty paying the bills, apparently stagnant ministry, He is in control of history. He proved it by providing what He promised 3,500 years ago, the seed of Abraham, the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the child born to die.
Through His death He secured for you and I redemption from the wrath of God. If you will repent of your sins, deeply grieving over them, and put your dependence upon Jesus and all His work for you, you will be saved! Hallelujah! What a promise! And beloved, though the furnace of affliction may burn, He will bring you out as pure gold because He has planned your salvation and He will bring it to pass.
Now, although the study of Ruth has been a great study and we have learned a multitude of things and gathered much information we come to the crucial questions.
- How has this study improved your walk with Jesus Christ?
- What have you learned that you can put into everyday practice?
- Can you look back and see a similar kind of God’s faithfulness toward you?
- Look for some ways that God is working in our lives today. What is happening around us that we can see the hand of God in?
- Having studied the book of Ruth, do you have a better understanding of who God is and how He works in the lives of His children?
May God richly bless you as you seek to draw closer to His Son.