THE BOOK OF RUTH

Chapter 3

"Ruth and Boaz, Claim of Kinsman."

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

Ruth 3:1 "Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, "My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?"

Ruth has just returned home from the harvest field, and Naomi asked her to rest up for a while, for she had been out gleaning the field all day. However the rest used here is more of a permanent nature. Naomi knew that she would not be around to much longer, and she is thinking of the well being of Ruth. Though Naomi is to old to remarry, Ruth is at her prime mature age for a woman, she knows that because of Ruth's love for her, she will not commit to a man in marriage as long as Naomi needs her help and support.

Ruth 3:2 "And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor."

Naomi is reminding Ruth that Boaz is next of kin, and Ruth ought to set her mind on Boaz in marriage. So Naomi is setting forth her plan to get Ruth and Boaz together, even in marriage. The barley harvest is in the day hours, but at night is when the winnowing takes place. The wind is at night and you beat the barley against the threshingfloor, to separate the grain from the chaff. Boaz is down there working, and Naomi knew that Boaz would be there all night.

Ruth 3:3 "Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: But make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking."

Naomi is using good common sense here, for she knows that the work hast to get done before Boaz can set his mind to other things. The eating and drinking would not take place until the work was over. So Naomi told Ruth to go and clean yourself up, and put on some fine looking cloths and get down to the threshing floor, and wait. She was not to show herself to Boaz until he was finished with the work, and eating. Boaz was not a drunkard, but wine was the drink used for the meals, as being fermented it would not spoil in time.

Ruth 3:4 "And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do."

After Boaz has finished with the work and eating his meal, then take note of the place that he has laid, and and go lay at his feet. The marriage rite consisted of the man placing his garment over the woman. It was a form of the marriage ceremony. Though Ruth was a Moabitess, Boaz would instruct her as to what she should do.

Ruth 3:5 "And she said unto her, "All that thou sayest unto me I will do."

When Naomi was finished with the instructions, Ruth told her that she would do all that she had been instructed to do. Ruth was very loyal and obedient to her mother in law Naomi. Naomi was a wise woman, and she knows the customs of her people, and she knew that Boaz and Ruth would be as good as married, because of the kinsman redeemer law.

Ruth 3:6 "And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her."

Ruth 3:7 "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."

Boaz had finished his work and his meal, and he had the wine in him to make him feel real good with the world, he settled down on top of a heap of corn. He was going to guard his grain and get a little rest at the same time. Then Ruth came in quietly, uncovered his feet and laid down to rest also.

Ruth 3:8 "And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and behold, a woman lay at his feet."

This threshing floor was open to the world, and could be dangerous at times. In the middle of the night Boaz turned to get another position in his rest, and there was Ruth under his garment, at his feet.

Ruth 3:9 "And he said, "Who art thou?" And she answered, "I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman."

Ruth is now pointing out that what she was doing was her legal right under the law to claim as the nearest of kin. There is nothing wrong with what was going on here, for as we read in Deuteronomy 25:5-10, there was an obligation to the next of kin, when the husband of a wife died and the wife was childless. This was the case of Ruth, for Mahlon her husband was dead, and Ruth was childless and without a husband. Ruth was pointing this rite out to Boaz, for he was the kinsman redeemer.

Ruth 3:10 "And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, in as much as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich."

Boaz was much older than Ruth, and when he saw the loyality she gave to Naomi, he knew that Ruth was a fine, quality woman. Boaz just complimented Ruth, for here she was much younger than he, yet even with all her beauty, she was willing to follow the rite of kinsman redeemer, than go chasing after far younger men, that may be far richer than Boaz. Boaz stayed loyal to Naomi in the beginning, but he knew that she was also loyal to the memory of her entire family. He knew that she would stay loyal to him also, and he liked that in Ruth's character.

Ruth 3:11 "And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my People doth know that thou art a virtuous woman."

The entire town knew Naomi and her family, and they knew that Ruth was just as her mother in law, a virtuous woman.

Ruth 3:12 "And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I,"

Boaz is now calling attention that though they be kinsman, there is another man that is even closer to her than he was.

Ruth 3:13 "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."

Notice that Boaz would not touch Ruth that night, because he knew that Ruth was willing to follow the law, and if he had, that law could not take place here. So Boaz advised Ruth to say down and get some sleep, and in the morning he would see if that closer kinsman would fill the part with Ruth. If he would not, then Boaz would commit to Ruth in marriage. Boaz knows that Ruth has a good reputation and he is not going to cause that to change.

Boaz must have thought of this before, for he knew automatically that there was another closer than himself to take Ruth in marriage. He did not want to spoil the image of Ruth in the community. He had enough respect also for his other kin that if he desired to have Ruth, she would not have her character damaged. However stay focused on the law of the kinsman redeemer, for our Lord Jesus Christ became our Kinsman Redeemer, and He like Boaz would not damage anyone to force their marriage in accepting Him either. This book is written to be applied both in the physical and the spiritual, as an example or type of what happened, to be applied to the end times. Paul gave is this in I Corinthians 10:11; "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." So pay attention to even the emotions of those written of in these Old Testament Books.

Ruth 3:14 "And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, "Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor."

Ruth stayed until the morning, and she got up before light, and went home. Boaz protected her in the community. There are times when innocence is present that covert action is necessary. It is better than causing wild rumors to spread through out the community. The kinsman redeemer that has rites to Ruth, might not believe the truth, and fall for the lies that would be spread. Boaz is wise enough to keep this a secret, and he know it is best to keep quiet about this.

Ruth 3:15 "Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, 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,"

Boaz know she needs a reason for being there, in case she is observed coming back into the city.

Ruth 3:16 "And when she came to her mother in law, she said, "Who art thou, my daughter?" And she told her all that the man had done to her."

When Ruth got home, Naomi wanted to know exactly what happened that evening, so Ruth told her all that Boaz had done and said that night.

Ruth 3:17 "And she said, "These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, `Go not empty unto thy mother in law.' "

By giving these six measures of barley, it is obvious that Boaz loved and respected Naomi. The dead husband was also well respected by the family and community. Boaz not only protected Ruth, but he directed her to the rightful kin in Ruth's life. Then he saw the position of responsibility that he had to fulfill the rite of kinsman redeemer.

Ruth 3:18 "Then said she, "Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day."

Naomi knew that Boaz would not rest until things were worked out for Ruth. Remember the attention that he gave her in the field, and warning to the young men to keep away from Ruth. He had his eye on Ruth from the beginning, and she told Ruth to just sit still and let Boaz have the time to do what had to be done.

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