Ruth 2 - Outline of Ruth (MENU page)
2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman {HB=yada, acquaintance, distant relation} of her husband's,
a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name [was] Boaz.
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.
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
{HB=mishpachah, clan, family} of Elimelech.
2:4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers,
The LORD [be] with you.
And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.
2:5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel [is] this?
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:
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.
Naomi had a kinsman {HB= yada, lit., an acquaintance}-
- - As the story unfolds, Boaz will fulfill the role of a 'kinsman-redeemer' {HB=go'el (or) ga'al, redeemer} for Ruth & Naomi. But, at this point, Naomi does not yet recognize his eligibility for this role. She regarded him only as a 'distant relative'.
- - However, here we begin to see that Boaz meets the qualifications of a Kinsman-Redeemer. In this role, Boaz is a type of Christ, who as our Kinsman-Redeemer, bought us at great cost to Himself, because of His love for us.
Kinsman-Redeemer, Qualification #1- He must be Able to Redeem-
  • Boaz - his name means ''in whom is strength''.
    He was ''a mighty man of wealth'' {HB=chayil, strength, ability, force; cp. this HB expression in Judg 6:12}. Boaz had the resources required for redeeming his impoverished relatives.
  • Christ - is able to redeem sin impoverished men.
    Because we have no hope of redeeming ourselves (cp. Psa 22:29; 49:6-8; Mark 8:36,37),
    redemption requires the intervention of One with sufficient resources. Therefore-
    - - God Himself redeems {HB=goel} His people (Ex 6:6; Psa 72:13,14).
    - - The LORD is the Redeemer of Israel (HB=goel, Isa 41:14; 43:1,14,15; 44:6; 49:26).
    - - God Himself entered the realm of humanity in order to redeem mankind.
    1. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (2Cor 5:19; Col 2:9-12).
      Even His name, 'Jesus', means 'Jehovah is salvation' (Mat 1:21-23).
    2. Jesus Christ was not weak through sin. He is 'mighty to deliver'. Heb 7:25,26; cp. Isa 63:1
Ruth... went... and gleaned...- {glean- HB= laqat, to pick up, to gather}
Gleaning was established by the Lord, in the Law, as a means of caring for the poor. It was specifically designed for the able bodied ''stranger, poor, or widow''. (Ruth qualified in all three categories.) The poor were allowed to gather from the fields whatever was left behind by the harvest workers. This form of social security was practical in the agricultural economy of that time. cp. Lev 19:9,10; 23:22; Deu 24:19
Their need to glean demonstrates the desperate poverty of Ruth & Naomi.
her hap was to light upon {lit., 'by chance she happened upon'} the field of Boaz-
Ruth was not conscious of God's guidance. She may have asked Him for wisdom as she set out in search of a field in which to glean, but there was an element of uncertainty in her mind. Yet, God was leading her.
The Lord seldom gives us direct instruction (eg., as He gave to Jonah, Jonah 1:1,2).
Usually, He instructs those, who seek to obey Him, indirectly through His written Word (2Tim 3:16), and through practical wisdom for daily decisions (James 1:5,6). If we are walking in fellowship with God (in obedience to His Word, in harmony with His Spirit, with no unconfessed sin) we are already 'in His will', and can be confident that He will guide us. Though often we may not understand His path or see His purpose, He knows and will see His purposes to completion in our lives.
cp. Gen 24:27; Psa 32:8-10; 25:9,10; Prov 3:5-7; Rom 12:1,2; Eph 4:30- 5:2,15-17; 2The 3:3-5
The godly characteristics of Boaz also reflect the character of our Kinsman-Redeemer.--
[New aspects of his person are continually revealed as the book proceeds.]
Boaz was honorable in his communication - (Psa 19:14)
  • ''The LORD be with you...''- In his very first words,
    Boaz directed his workers' attention to the heavenly Father, and to their relationship to Him.
    By their mutual relationship to the LORD, Boaz and his reapers were in spiritual fellowship with one another. (re: Christ, cp. Joh 1:18; 1Joh 1:5-7)
  • ''Whose damsel is this?''- Boaz expressed concern for and interest in Ruth.
    Already, we hear the language of love which 'seeks not its own' but the welfare of another. 1Cor 13:5; Php 2:4,5
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:
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.
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 shouldest take knowledge of me,
seeing I [am] a stranger?
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.
{Ruth 1:16,17}
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
{lit., to take refuge; cp. Psa 91:2-4}.
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.
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 spoke favorably to her. His first words to Ruth assured her of -
  • provision, v.8a
    -he invited her to regard his field as sufficient for her needs- As a businessman, Boaz would want to make efficient use of his land. The Law required him to allow gleaners. But he would not put up a sign reading: ''Glean Here''. Yet, he goes beyond that and tells her to 'Glean here, and nowhere else'. He guarantees that her needs will be met. (For the believer, Christ is all-sufficient, there is no need to glean in the world's fields. 2Pet 1:3; 1Joh 2:15)
  • acceptance, v.8b
    -he integrated her with his maid servants- How comforting this must have been. The Moabitess widow, an outcast, on the fringes of Israel's society, begins to feel accepted.
  • protection, v.9a
    -he gave orders for her protection. Her low status (as a poor, foreign, young widow) would have made her vulnerable, an easy target for insult and abuse. She had been without husband or defender. But now he stands up for her, and calls her ''my daughter''.
  • refreshment, v.9b
    -Having already guaranteed her a sufficient share of the harvest, he also promised to satisfy her thirst, as she labored in his field, with water from his well. cp. Joh 4:10-14
Why have I found grace in thine eyes?- Ruth is astounded by the kindness shown to her,
'a stranger' {an alien} - Before leaving Moab, she had been warned, and she had accepted, that her lot in life would be perpetual poverty and widowhood, because Moabites were outcasts from the congregation of Israel. She saw in herself no merit to warrant his favor.
The believer today also marvels at God's amazing grace. cp. Isa 56:8; Rom 5:8; Eph 2:12,13; Jam 4:6
Boaz answered-
  • It hath been fully shown me...
    His knowledge of her went far beyond his servant's brief summary (v.6).
    He had investigated her background, and knew far more about her, than she knew of him.
    cp. Heb 4:13; Joh 10:14
    Although he is not yet free to say so, he loves her... for he sees in her: a heart that deeply loves and trusts the LORD God of Israel (as demonstrated through her faithfulness toward Naomi, and her selfless sacrifice of things once held dear).
  • The Lord... reward thee... - cp. Mat 5:2-12; Luk 18:29,30
Let me find grace in thy sight... though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens-
But it was precisely that which set her apart from the local girls that set his heart to rejoicing in her.
(cp. Mat 8:10-12; Joh 17:8-10)
Boaz acted favorably toward her - in ways she observed (as above), and also
- in ways hidden from her knowledge. -
  • He invited her to eat with his workers (at his expense).
  • He personally handed her a portion that expressed his favor by exceeding her need.
    ''She did eat, and was sufficed, and left {ie., left some remaining}''.
    Later, she would take these 'left-overs' to Naomi (v.18).
  • He instructed his workers to enable her to gather much more than was common for a gleaner.
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:
2:16 And let fall
{lit., 'draw out'} also [some] of the handfuls of purpose for her,
and leave [them], that she may glean [them], and rebuke her not.
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.
An ephah is somewhat more than a bushel, perhaps 20 litres, or 5 gallons.
This would have been a good day's take for a laborer. It was unheard of for a gleaner.
Her abundance resulted from (A) Boaz' provision, and (B) her perserverence, laboring 'until evening'.
cp. Christ and His laborers: Psa 126:5,6; Mat 9:37,38; 28:18-20; Joh 4:34-38
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.
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.
Naomi recognizing that Ruth received far more than a gleaner's usual income, excitedly asks,
'Who showed this kindness to you?'
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.
2:20 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.
The man is near of kin {HB=qarowb, near} - apparently Naomi has been doing some research also.
Boaz is a much nearer relation than she had previously thought (v.1).
Perhaps he was the son of Elimelech's brother, thus a cousin to Mahlon.
one of our next kinsmen {HB=goel} - This fact awakens hope within Naomi.
The word Naomi chose refers to a 'Kinsman-Redeemer'.
The Law of the Kinsman-Redeemer was effective in regard to-
  1. Land (Lev 25:23-25)- The land of Israel, divided into family allotments, was not to be sold forever (ie., permanently), since it ultimately belonged to the Lord. If, during a time of poverty, a man sold his inherited portion, it could be redeemed {HB=goel} in his behalf by a near kinsman.
  2. Persons (Lev 25:47-49)- An Israelite who sold himself into slavery during a time of poverty
    could also be redeemed {HB=goel} by a blood relative.
  3. Justice- The Kinsman-Redeemer was also the 'avenger of blood' (HB=goel, Num 35:19)
    who would execute justice in behalf of a relative who had been intentionally murdered. He had the right and the responsibility to slay the murderer.
Kinsman-Redeemer, Qualification #2- He must be A Blood Relative-
  • Boaz was eligible, since he was 'near of kin'.
  • God, the only One who was able to redeem sinful man, became eligible by becoming a man.
    Jesus Christ is eligible to be our Kinsman-Redeemer. Heb 2:9,14-16; Gal 4:4,5; Php 2:6-8
    Christ fulfills all of the roles of the 'goel'. (Compare lettered points above.) -
    C. He destroys sin and Satan. cp. Gen 3:15; Job 19:25; Rom 7:11; Heb 2:14
    B. He sets the believing sinner free. Heb 2:15; Joh 8:32-36
    A. He will re-establish Israel in their Land. cp. Ex 6:6,8; Jer 23:5-8
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.
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
{the young men} meet thee not in any other field.
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.
As this chapter closes, we see Boaz intervening behind the scenes for Ruth.
Because of love for her, he is watching, protecting, and providing.
He has already begun to ''spread his skirt'' of protection over her, though the possibility exists that the role of Kinsman-Redeemer may never be his to perform.
unto the end of barley harvest- (cp. Ruth 1:22) ie., approximately seven weeks.
The period from the beginning to the end of barley & wheat harvest corresponds to
the period from Passover to Pentecost (ie., the Feast of Weeks through the Feast of First-fruits).
During this period, Boaz would accomplish Ruth's redemption, and join her to himself.
(cp. Christ and His bride, Luk 22:15; 1Cor 5:7; Acts 2:1-4; 1Cor 12:12,13)
Perhaps Boaz and Ruth shared many meals together in this way.
Their romance of mutual respect and admiration developed honorably... Neither had sought to marry. Both were set to serve the Lord. He brought them together in His own time and way.
Contrast their example with the atmosphere of their times (''the days when the judges ruled''):
eg., Gideon had many wives. Samson had several affairs.
Boaz & Ruth had true love for one another, exclusive of all others. cp. Song 8:6,7

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