Ruth 3-4 part 2
Tonight we continue our lesson from the book of Ruth. We
need to remember that in the first 2 chapters of Ruth that Naomi her family
leave the promise land and go to
Ruth 3:1 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."† 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.† 8 Now it happened at
In the text we just read we can see that Naomi is very concerned about Ruth and† she wants her to have security that is she wants her to find a good husband that will provide for her. I believe most of the women in this room can relate to Naomi because many of you have daughter-in-laws that you have in sense adopted as your own daughter and you love them just as much as if you had bore them yourself. Just as Naomi you love them and you would do what you could to make sure they are taken care of. So we see Naomi who would be familiar with the customs of her people instruct Ruth on how to propose to Boaz. She has her clean up and put on fresh clothing.
Now at this time we see that Boaz was at the threshing floor winnowing the barley at night. Now winnowing is process of separating the kernels of barely from the husk. They would throw these husk into the air and the night time wind would blow away the husk but the barely kernels would drop to the threshing floor.
Now after he had finished working for the night he would stay to protect his harvest. Think about it if he just left it someone else could easily come in and gather up all his hard work. Naomi instructs Ruth to wait until he lies down to go to him. Now I am sure most us in this room has worked so hard during the day that you so tired that as soon as you laid down you were out like light. Well, I suspect the same thing happened with Boaz because he was asleep when Ruth goes to him and uncovers his feet. Now this may seem kind of strange to us today that she was doing this but we need to understand they had different customs back then and Naomi new what they were. This idea of uncovering his feet has the idea of revealing something or to show fact of something and we know that Ruth was letting Boaz know that she wanted him to be her husband. Now I said Boaz was fast asleep while this was going on and when he awoke you could imagine that he was startled and certainly did not know who was at his feet. When he found out that it was Ruth he was very happy because he was a much older man and apparently recognized that Ruth was very beautiful and young enough that she could have found someone younger either poorer or richer to marry. However Ruth was reminding Boaz of his duty to be a redeemer for her husband Mahlon.
Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are
a close relative."†
This idea of taking a
person under their wing means to take them under their protection she wanted
Boaz to be her husband. This same figurative language is used in.
Ezekiel 16:8 "When I passed by you again
and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread
My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and
entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD.
Now Boaz was willing to do this because I believe he loved Ruth and he respected the fact that she was known as virtuous women. Now this does not just carry the idea that she was pure but also means,
often involving moral worth; of a woman; †††††
Ruth would certainly make a great wife for any man. Now even though Boaz wanted her for his own he knew there was a closer relative and that he would have the first right of marrying her. So even if he couldnít marry her he would make sure she fell under the protection of this other relative.
Now Boaz ask her to stay there for the night and so she sleeps at his feet until the early morning. He then wants here to leave while it is still dark so that no one would know that† a women had came to the threshing floor. Now some have taken this story out of context and had said that something sinful happened between Ruth and Boaz that night. In fact I just found out that 2 different professors from 2 different Christian university have been teaching the very thing to the students. However there is nothing in this text that would indicate that such a thing happened. There are several reason which shows that† nothing happened between Boaz and Ruth.
1. Ruth was following Naomiís advice who would know what the custom was in asking for someone to marry them.
2. Ruth only uncovered Boaz feet and laid down at his feet and she remained at his until morning.
3. Boaz certainly would not have called her a vitreous woman if she had came to him for a sinful purpose.
4. Nothing in the text suggest that something illicit occurred.
Now why did Boaz ask her to stay the rest of the night and why did he send her away early so no one would see that she had came there? Now I can only make some assumptions here I believe the logical reason he wanted her to the night was because it wouldnít be safe for her to travel back during the night. The reason why he wanted her leave early so no one would know she was there was probably so no one would assume that something sinful had taken place because people have the habit of jumping to conclusions.†
People have this problem today. For instance I read a story about a good deacon who was called at his home to go to a bar to escort a drunken friend home.† His answering the call for help necessitated his visit, although as brief as possible, to a tavern.† He then helped the drunken friend leave and, walking with him, steered him safely home.† An observer, who knew nothing of the call for help, saw the deacon arm in arm with the drunk emerging from the bar.† He wrongly concluded that the deacon was drunk and spread the evil report to others.†
It is easy for us to jump conclusions sometimes when we really donít know
the facts. We need to be careful of judging people to quickly until we
understand the circumstance or more details. However on this same note we as
Christians must take careful consideration in what circumstance we put
ourselves in. Sometimes there is no way for to avoid putting ourselves in
situation that may appear evil however there are many times that if we took
just enough time to think about it we could make it possible not to appear
Now Boaz does not send Ruth empty handed he gives her more grain and she
takes it back to her mother-in-law.
Ruth 3:16 So 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."
Here we see Naomi trying to calm Ruth down. We have all experienced the
uneasiness that Ruth was going through in one or another and so we can just
imagine how she was probably rambling and pacing along in anticipation for an
answer.† Naomi assures her that the
matter will be taken of that day.
Ruth 4:1 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
During this time the city Gate is where they
would have their public discussion and legal proceedings. Boaz gathers
witnesses and the nearest kinsmen. He explains to the man that he is the
closest kin and that he must either buy back the land from Naomi or let him buy
it back. He also informs him if he decides to take the land that he must also
marry Ruth because under the Levite marriage law. Now again we can just imagine
how Boaz heart was pounding as he hoped that this relative would turn down the
offer. Notice the response.
Ruth 4:6 †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
Well, Boaz gets the response he was hoping for and I can just imagine a big
smile coming on his face has he tried to hold back his excitement. Now we see
in our text that this nearest kinsmen is saying that it will ruin his
inheritance if he takes Ruth on as a wife. Well to explain this please notice
what the one writer said about this.
"...if he acquired the field by redemption as
his own permanent property, he would have increased by so much his own
possessions in land. But if he should marry Ruth, the field so redeemed would
belong to the son whom he would beget through her, and he would therefore have
parted with the money that he had paid for the redemption merely for the son of
Ruth, so that he would have withdrawn a certain amount of capital from his own
possession, and to that extent have detracted from its worth."<12>
Of course all Boaz cared
about is that this man had turned his right down and now Boaz would have Ruth
as his wife. They had a† very unique
custom on bringing about the agreement as we continue to read in:
Ruth 4:7 Now
this was the custom in former times in
So once the sandal came
off the agreement was sealed and all those eyewitnesses agreed to what happened
and they all begin to wish their Boaz and Ruth to be successful in bearing a
child and continuing on the name of the dead.
Ruth 4:13 So Boaz
took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave
her conception, and she bore a son.† 14
Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left
you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in
So through the blessing
of God we see that Ruth gives birth to her son Obed who Naomi would take care
of and then in return when Obed got older he would serve his grandmother in her
old age. One thing of interest is found in verse 17 and it gives us a idea of
who might of wrote the book and when. We see in last verse and verses to follow
that they end with Obed being the grandfather of David. Since David is not
referred to as a King many believe that this book was written before he became
a King and that Samuel was probably the author of it. But then again we canít
know for sure.† Now the book of Ruth ends
with portion of Jesusí family tree.
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;† 21
Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed;† 22
Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
So ends the beautiful
book found within the time of judges where we see men keeping Godís law and we
see a Gentile women who learn to give up her family and her Gods to take refuge
with God almighty and his people. Because of her love for her mother-in-law and
God she is rewarded by the providence of God as she marries Boaz and has the
privilege of being part of the bloodline that ultimately brings about Jesus
Christ. This book has shown us very clearly that if we learn to put our trust
and our faith in God that he will take care of us through his providence. I
want to end this lesson with the beautiful words that Ruth said to her mother-in-law
Ruth 1:16 But
Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from
following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I
will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.† 17 Where you die, I will die, And
there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but
death parts you and me."