What is the story of Ruth and Boaz?


Clarify Share Report Asked March 10 2014 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The book of Ruth largely focuses on the relationship between Ruth and Boaz. Ruth was a Moabite woman had come to Israel as the widow of an Israelite man. She had returned with her mother-in-law, Na...

March 10 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
The account of Ruth and Boaz describes how tragic circumstances turned into a situation that glorified God. 

Famine led Elimelech and Naomi and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion to go to Moab. While there, Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. Tragedy struck in that these three men died. Naomi saw no use for the daughters-in-law to remain with her as she was too old to have any more sons. This refers to the requirement for a brother of a deceased man to marry his widow, the practice now called “levirate marriage” (in Latin “levir” means “husband’s brother”), Deuteronomy 25:5-6.

Orpah left, but Ruth, in an act of devotion and faith, accompanied Naomi back to her people. Being poor, Ruth gleaned after the harvesters and she happened to find herself in the field of Boaz, one of Naomi’s relatives.

Learning who she was and noting her eagerness to work, Boaz invited her to stay in his fields and promised her protection and provisions, Ruth 2:12. 

Naomi, understanding that Boaz was a relative, instructed Ruth to go down to the threshing floor where she knew he would be. Ruth anointed herself and put on her best garment, to be presentable – not dressed in work clothes. When Boaz awoke to find her, he asked who she was. She identified herself and requested something from him, Ruth 3:9. 

This was not just a marriage proposal. Ruth was asking for protection or shelter using the same term, “wing,” that Boaz used, Ruth 2:12. She was requesting that he as the kinsman-redeemer would buy back the property lost due to poverty. Boaz was willing to do this. He was related, rich, and ready to do it. But there was a closer relative who was obligated to perform this duty. 

Boaz instructed her to lie down at his feet until morning, which was protection for a young woman in the night as well as guarding her reputation of her being a virtuous woman, Ruth 3:11. 

In the morning, Boaz spoke to the nearer kinsman, who the author called “peloni almoni,” Hebrew for “so and so,” probably anonymous to protect his honor. Boaz explained the situation of redeeming the land, but then let him know there was also the marriage requirement, Ruth 4:5. This relative backed out and left it for Boaz who bought the land and took Ruth to be his wife. The transfer of the sandal, not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, signified the transfer of property giving the right of the owner to tread the land. 

Throughout this account there was no impropriety but respect, kindness, wisdom, and faith. The irony is that the book of Ruth is set in the time of Judges where there was ignorance, immorality, indifference, and idolatry.

Boaz means “strength” or “swift strength.” He was wealthy in more than possessions. He had wealth of character – he was not ruthless! From this line would come David and a dynasty of kings and the Lord Jesus who is the great Redeemer.

November 14 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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