Ruth and the Kinsman Redeemer
In the Eastern Culture it is a disgrace to not have
children. You are considered to be out of God's favor if you were barren. So,
for Ruth to have been gleaning in Boaz's field and for him to take notice of her
is awesome. When Naomi finds out that Ruth is working in Boaz's field she
recognizes him as a kinsman and he has the right to redeem them. Imagine their
elation at this discovery. We can now better understand Naomi's exclamation:
: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.
In chapter 3 Naomi instructs Ruth to make herself known
unto Boaz, but she doesn't tell Ruth to just go knocking on his door. Naomi
tells Ruth to go to the threshing floor and after the harvest celebration, find
out where Boaz goes to sleep, and then sneak in and lay down at his feet.
I have come to realize that God frequently does things
with a flourish. This is a shock to my rigid, well ordered, compartmentalized
life. So, my challenge is always to let go and let God handle things. For all
you impetuous people out there you probably cannot relate too well but I know
that I am not the 'Loan Ranger' and some of you understand. We can rest assured
that what God does and inspires us to do works. Let us continue with Ruth and
At the end of the harvests Boaz celebrates and retires
where the grain is stored to guard it. After he goes to sleep Ruth comes in
(being so instructed by Naomi) and lays herself down at his feet.
:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk,
and his heart was merry,
he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn:
and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down.
:8 And it came to pass at midnight,
that the man was afraid, [you would be
startled too if you found someone sleeping at your feet]
and turned himself:
and, behold, a woman lay at his
:9 And he said,
Who art thou?
And she answered,
I am Ruth thine handmaid:
spread therefore thy skirt over
wings in several older texts; figure of speech Metonymy]
for thou art a near kinsman.
:10 And he said,
Blessed be thou of the LORD,
for thou hast shewed more
kindness in the latter end than at the beginning,
thou followedst not young men,
whether poor or rich.
:11 And now, my daughter, fear not;
I will do to thee all that thou
for all the
city of my people doth know
that thou art
a virtuous woman.
Another great figure of speech is used here called
Synecdoche - a part used to represent the whole. The word city is the Hebrew
word sha?r meaning gate or city gate. The renowned people of the city
is given to represent all those that know Ruth, that are assembled there at the
fields and threshing floor. They all know that Ruth is a virtuous woman because
she has forsaken her own family and country to follow God and help take care of
Naomi her Mother in Law.
:12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman:
there is a kinsman nearer than I.
:13 Tarry this night,
and it shall be in the morning,
that if he will perform unto
thee the part of a kinsman, well;
let him do
the kinsman's part:
but if he will not do the part of a
kinsman to thee,
then will I
do the part of a kinsman to thee,
as the LORD
liveth: lie down until the morning.
:14 And she lay at his feet until the morning:
and she rose up before one could know another.
Heb. ish a male - before any man could recognize another]
And he said,
Let it not be known that a woman
came into the floor.
:15 Also he said,
Bring the vail that thou hast
upon thee, [vail: cloak or cover typically worn by peasants]
and hold it.
And when she held it,
he measured six measures of barley,
and laid it on her:
and she went into the city.
This is a good thing that Boaz is doing. Remember, Ruth is
a foreigner-a Moabitess. She is not of the household if Israel. But Boaz
recognizes that she has decided to follow God and keep His commandments. So Boaz
overlooks her ethnicity and agrees to be Naomi and Ruth's Kinsman Redeemer.
There is a hitch however, there is one person that has a right to be the
Redeemer that is a closer kinsman to Naomi than Boaz.
: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
And he turned aside, and sat down.
:2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said,
Sit ye down here. And they sat
down. [as witnesses]
: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:
:4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying,
before the inhabitants,
the elders of my people.
If thou wilt redeem it,
but if thou wilt not redeem it,
tell me, that I may know:
is none to redeem it beside thee;
and I am
And he said,
I will redeem it.
: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
to raise up the name of the dead
upon his inheritance.
:6 And the kinsman said,
I cannot redeem it for
lest I mar
mine own inheritance:
redeem thou my right to thyself;
cannot redeem it.
He has a change of heart after he learns a Moabitess will
be tagging along also. He is afraid of marring his own inheritance, he didn't
know what he was passing up, but God knew, Boaz calls her a virtuous woman.
:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel
concerning redeeming and concerning
for to confirm all things;
a man plucked off his shoe,
and gave it to his neighbour:
and this was a testimony in Israel.
:8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz,
Buy it for thee.
So he drew off his shoe.
:9 And Boaz said unto the elders,
and unto all the people,
Ye are witnesses this day,
that I have bought all that was
and all that was Chilion's
of the hand
: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.
:11 And all the people that were in the gate,
and the elders, said,
We are witnesses.
make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel
and like Leah,
did build the house of Israel:
and do thou worthily in Ephratah,
and be famous in Bethlehem:
:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez,
bare unto Judah,
of the seed
which the LORD shall give thee
of this young woman.
This is a great blessing that the elders and witnesses
bestow on Boaz. Leah and Tamar's sons were of the Christline. They also were
married to wealthy and influential men, Judah and Pharez respectively.
: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.
:14 And the women said unto Naomi,
Blessed be the LORD,
which hath not left thee this day
without a kinsman,
name may be famous in Israel.
:15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life,
and a nourisher of thine old age:
daughter in law,
which loveth thee,
which is better to thee than seven sons,
:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom,
and became nurse unto it.
: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 why did God mention Jesse and David here? Obed, Jesse
and David are all of the Christ line. Ruth was an instrumental part in the
lineage of Jesus Christ. She was a believer that taught her son the ways of God
which had an effect on Jesse and David; that they could believe and rise up to
be great men of God.
Naomi and Ruth's circumstances were less than ideal. They
had to move to Moab (west of the Dead Sea) due to a famine in Judah. While in
Moab Naomi and Elimelech's two sons marry Moabite women. Then the men all die
and leave Naomi and her two daughters-in-law. This is a great hardship. Ruth
decides to stick with Naomi and believe God (even though their circumstances are
dire) and they return to Judah; east of the Dead Sea. God rewards their
faithfulness with a kinsman redeemer. Even though the circumstances are tough
they didn't give up on God. And even though the circumstances can be tough in
our lives, God is always there for us. Be faithful to Him and His Word.
recompense thy work,
and a full reward be given thee of the LORD
God of Israel,
under whose wings thou art come to
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