THE BOOK OF RUTH

Chapter 2

"Boaz and Ruth."



"And she [Ruth] 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."
Ruth 2:3 

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org

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."

So Boaz was the kinsman to Elimelech, Naomi's husband's family. We will see that Boaz was a good and fair person.

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."

It became the law of the land that after the harvest reapers had gone over the field, the grain that was left would be for the widows and the poor to go and seek out their living. However it became dangerous for the widows and the poor, because many times the strong reapers would misuse those coming after to get the left over grains. This was well know at the time, and that is why Ruth stated "...after him in whose sight I shall find grace." Ruth would seek a field where the owner and reapers would show kindness to her as she gleaned the corn for Naomi and herself, and not have to worry about being attacked.

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."

"Her hap" meant "by accident" or "by good luck" she just happened to glean in the field of Boaz. Knowing the results of that venture of gleaning in the field of Boaz, we know that it was no accident that Ruth ended up in the field of Boaz. God led Ruth into that field, and into contact with Boaz. At this time, Boaz was a stranger to her, and she did not know the people where she lived. She just arrived in the town of Bethlehem-judah, and it was time to get food and prepare for their living in the community. Boaz knew also that Ruth had turned to the God of Israel, Naomi's true God is the one that she prayed to for direction. Remember back in Ruth 1:16?

Ruth 1:16 "And Ruth said, "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:"

Ruth had lived in Naomi's family for the past ten years, married to Naomi's oldest son Mahlon. God was the center of their family life, and Ruth knew the God of her family, and prayed that she would find grace and mercy in His sight. So here she is gleaning in the field of her kinsman, Boaz's 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 be with thee." 

Boaz came out from the town, to the field to see how the harvest was being done, and upon seeing the reapers, gave them a blessing of greeting. This was a common greeting for that day.

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

At once Boaz noticed Ruth gleaning in the field behind the reapers, and Boaz asked the hired man over the reapers who the stranger in the field was. What family does she belong to. Ruth was a beautiful woman, and there is no doubt that the rest of the reapers also were paying attention to this stranger amongst them. So Boaz is well aware of Ruth by this time.

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:"

It is all coming to mind now, in that the entire town came out to meet Ruth and Naomi upon their return to Bethlehem-judah. Boaz knew Elimelech his relation, as they were very close relations, so close to be the kinsman redeemer. By tradition it is believed that Boaz was the nephew of Elimelech, so this would make Ruth the cousin by marriage to Boaz.

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."

Once Boaz came to Ruth, Ruth asked Boaz for permission to glean after the reapers had gone over the field. There is more to this verse that is stated in the English. What is stated in the text is that when the reapers stopped harvesting, she also stopped, so there could be no doubt that she was taking corn from the unharvested part of the field. Ruth did not want there to be any doubt in her honesty, and that she was taking corn that was not rightly hers. She stopped gleaning when they stopped reaping. It was evening, and Ruth had been there in the field all day, working hard to get what she had gleaned.

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:"

So now Boaz's interest in Ruth has grown, and he approached her to get better acquainted. Boaz now knew that Ruth was part of his close family by marriage, and he wanted her protected from any harm. A kinsman is one that will protect the rest of the family, and their interest. Boaz was very wealthy and he knew the danger that Ruth was in out there in some other field gleaning by herself. Boaz told Ruth to stay right here in my field, and stay close to my maidens, the other ladies gleaning in his field.

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."

Boaz told Ruth that as long as you glean in my field, feel free to take water from my well. I have instructed my men also that they are not to touch you while you are here. The order was out, and those working for Boaz knew the type of man he was. Remember Naomi had the respect of the entire community, and their love for her was well known. This respect in turn was shown to Ruth for her dedication to Naomi which was well known the community. The corn that Ruth would glean, Naomi would partake of.

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 shouldst take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?"

Ruth has not figured it out yet the kinsman tie between Boaz and Naomi, but Boaz is well aware of that relationship. Ruth is asking for the reason that he should be showing such respect that is obvious the others in the field are not getting.

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."

It did not take long for Boaz to see the love and respect that Ruth showed Naomi after the death of his uncle Elimelech, Naomi's late husband. He knew that she was completely committed to Naomi, so much as to leave her family and homeland to care for Naomi. She gave it all up to come amongst a people that she did not know, for the sake of my kin. The word went fast around town, and there wasn't a person in town that did not have that respect for Ruth. Remember back in verse 1:19; "So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, "Is this Naomi?" The city felt sorry for Naomi and her loss, but with respect; and that same respect was given to Ruth. Ruth was the brave young girl that would not depart from her mother in law when she was left alone. Today it is called loyalty. Boaz was taking care of his own people and treating everyone fairly.

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."

Notice the three steps of repentance that are worded within this verse. Remember that this was read on Pentecost feast day every year. Ruth was within the lineage of David that would bring forth the Messiah. Repentance within Christ washes away all sins. These three steps of repentance are work, reward, and trust. The work is done within the Father's field before the reward will come, and trust is the faith that you must have within Him for full repentance and forgiveness to take place. This book of Ruth is full of relationships and truths that are even common to us today.

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."

Ruth is telling Boaz that he has spoken to her from heart to heart [friendly], expressing exactly what is on his mind. Ruth now understands completely why Boaz was giving her such kindness, as it was as a kinsman taking care of his own family. This caused her to be all the more humble before him, for in most cases, one does not get so familiar even with his own family.

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 told her to come and heat bread with the reapers, and dip her morsel into the vinegar with the others. "He reached her parched corn", means that Boaz provided the bread for Ruth to dip and eat along with the others, and she ate until she was full. After she had gleaned for the day, she had more than she needed to bring home to Naomi. It was not common to invite a gleaner into the camp to eat along side of the reapers, but the boss himself ordered it to be done. Boaz was pleased with Ruth and wanted her to be taken care of by his people.

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:"

Boaz told the men that even when she comes among the sheaves to glean, don't you dare give her any trouble. Let her get over among the good stuff and help her out when you can. Think about it, Ruth's husband died, and she was left with this old woman with no known way of support. She gave up her own people, her religion and customs, and land to return to a strange country, to take care of her mother in law. Ruth had to be a real fine woman.

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 took place during the barley harvest, and of all the fields Ruth ended up on Boaz field to glean. Some would have you believe that it was by accident, but we know that God led Ruth to Boaz's land. Now after Boaz had instructed Ruth to glean only on his land, he told the reapers to leave her alone; and here he tells these reapers to let some of the good stuff fall where you see she will be gleaning. God takes care of His own people, no matter what the time or generation, just as He is taking care of Ruth here. God was pleased with her dedication to Naomi, and God is rewarding Ruth's obedience. Just as God rewarded Ruth in her life, for being obedient and faithful, He can also make a difference in your life; in your business, your family, and and your day by day living. He can make your money bag be sound or one with holes in it. When God loves you, He can cause many things to happen in your life.

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."

After Ruth was through with the days gleaning in the field, she beat out the grain, and ended up with almost a bushel of barley. This was a good days work. She separated the heads of the grain, crush them to and allow the wind to blow away [winnow] the chaff to get just the barley in your basket.

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."

Remember that Boaz gave Ruth bread and the dip for her lunch on that first day, so Ruth brought home the provisions that she had brought to the field, along with the basket of barley.

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."

It was unheard of to come home with a full bushel of barley, cleaned in the field after the harvest. Something just didn't add up to Naomi. In most cases the widows came home with just enough for a meal, or a little more. Naomi knew that somebody was taking care of Naomi, for this was no accident. Ruth then tells Naomi that the man that helped her today was a man named Boaz.

Ruth 2:20 "And Noami 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."

The first thing that Naomi did was to thank the Lord for the gift of barley that He had provided, for she knew that God had His hand in all of the days activities in the field. Then she asked God's blessings on Boaz. Naomi knew Boaz as one of her kinsmen, related to Naomi's dead husband.

So let's look at exactly what kinsman redeemer means. The word "kinsman redeemer" in the Hebrew has a primitive oriental root; "To redeem, according to the Oriental law of kinship. To be the next of kin, and as such, to buy back a relatives property, and marry his widow." So the word "one" doesn't translate into "our next kinsmen". Lets go to Deuteronomy 25 and see what the law of God has to say about the rights of the kinsman redeemer.

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."

As you read this portion of the law, remember that this is what Christ has done for each of us, when he went to the cross as our Kinsman Redeemer. This is the law that was the foreshadow of what would come over fourteen hundred years later, our salvation by redemption by Jesus Christ, for He became our Kinsman Redeemer.

This applies to Naomi's case, for her husband had died, just as Ruth's husband also died. There was no children by Ruth's husband Mahlon, so this law fit perfectly to that of the kinsman redeemer.

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

So the seed of the first born, be given to the dead brother, by the living brother.

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.' "

The elders are the judges of the city. This verse is important for it will come up in the fourth chapter of Ruth. You have to understand what is taking place and why, in order to understand why Boaz does what he will do.

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 the 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."

This is the law of the kinsman redeemer. Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to take a wife, His virgin bride in a spiritual sense. He is our redeemer, the next of kin that has a wife to claim, and the property that was rightfully hers. Though flesh men may think that they have a deed to land here on earth, it is God that created it all, and owns all and it is His. God gives and He takes away. The law is different today, than it was in Ruth's day, and we are always to obey civil law, the law of the land, if it be possible and not against God's plan.

However, to a point we still go by that same law of kinsman redeemer, when it come to the point that one is not able to take care of themselves, and their loved one is passed away. It is required for the next of kin to sign the right for medical care procedures, and for property to be taken care of. This is the reason that medical documents require the listing of next of kin.

This is the same legal source of the Kinsmen Redeemer law that our Lord Jesus Christ practices daily for those that believe on Him.

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' "

Boaz wanted Ruth well protected, and as we read in verse fifteen, Boaz commanded his workers not to touch her, but leave her alone and help her. Ruth is relating all the things that happened that day to Naomi.

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."

Naomi knew the thinking of her people, and what the people would say, and that is why she told Ruth, "Don't let any one see you in another man's 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."

After the barley harvest, comes the wheat harvest, and the Pentecost feast arrives. this is why the book of Ruth is read on Pentecost day in the house of the Lord; that day that both sons and daughters spoke.

At this point in time, Naomi now knows that under this law of Kinsmen Redeemer, Ruth is as good as Boaz's wife anyway. She knows that Boaz was the next of kin to her husband, and by marriage, Ruth was childless, and in the family. So if Boaz kept the law of God, then Boaz was the one that would have to perform that right in the community. Keep this thought in mind as we move into the next chapter.

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