Ruth 3:13-15 Commentary

 

 

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Ruth 3:13-15 Commentary

Ruth 3:13 "Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning." (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified: Remain tonight, and in the morning if he will perform for you the part of a kinsman, good; let him do it. But if he will not do the part of a kinsman for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will do the part of a kinsman for you. Lie down until the morning.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE
: Take your rest here tonight; and in the morning, if he will do for you what it is right for a relation to do, very well, let him do so: but if he will not, then by the living Lord I myself will do so.
CEV
:  Stay here until morning, then I will find out if he is willing to look after you. If he isn't, I promise by the living God to do it myself. Now go back to sleep until morning. (
CEV)
GWT: Stay here tonight. In the morning if he will agree to take care of you, that is good. He can take care of you. But if he does not wish to take care of you, then, I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives, I will take care of you myself. Lie down until morning."  (
GWT)
KJV
: 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.
NET: Remain here tonight. Then in the morning, if he agrees to marry you, fine, let him do so. But if he does not want to do so, I promise, as surely as the LORD lives, to marry you. Sleep here until morning."
NJB: Stay here for tonight and, in the morning, if he wishes to exercise his right over you, very well, let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to do so, then as Yahweh lives, I shall redeem you. Lie here till morning.' (
NJB)
TEV: Stay here the rest of the night, and in the morning we will find out whether or not he will take responsibility for you. If so, well and good; if not, then I swear by the living Lord that I will take the responsibility. Now lie down and stay here till morning.”
Young's Literal: Lodge to night, and it hath been in the morning, if he doth redeem thee, well: he redeemeth; and if he delight not to redeem thee, then I have redeemed thee -- I; Jehovah liveth! lie down till the morning.'

Septuagint (LXX):  aulistheti (2SAPM) ten nukta kai estai (3SFMI) to proi ean agchisteuse se agathon agchisteueto (3SAAS) ean de me bouletai (3SPAS) athchisteusai (AAN) se athchisteuso (1SFAI) se ego ze kurios koimetheti (2SAPM) eos proi 
Click here for explanation of verb parsing abbreviations in parentheses after each verb

English of Septuagint: Lodge here for the night, and it shall be in the morning, if he will do the part of a kinsman to thee, well - let him do it: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, I will do the kinsman's part to thee, as the Lord lives; lie down till the morning

REFERENCES ON RUTH

Kay Arthur
Art
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Rich Cathers
Thomas Constable
Adam Clarke
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Bob Deffinbaugh
Discovery Pub.
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Max Frazier
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Susie Hawkins
Matthew Henry
Selwyn Hughes
Alfred Hunt
Jamieson, F, B
S Lewis Johnson
Keil and Delitzsch
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Alexander Maclaren
Middletown Bible
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Net Bible
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Pulpit Commentary
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Precept Ministries

Ruth: Kinsman Redeemer, Part 1; Part 2
Ruth 3 Art
Ruth - God in the Lives of Ordinary People
Ruth 3 Sermon
Ruth 3 Commentary
Ruth 3 Resources
Ruth 3 -  4 pages
Ruth 3:1-18 The Devotion and the Reward
Ruth 3:1-2 Looking For A Little Rest
Ruth 3:3 Getting Ready To Meet The Master
Ruth 3:1-11 Finding Your Place At His Feet
Ruth 3:9-4:12 Redeemed, Redeemed By Love Divine
Ruth 3-4
Ruth  Commentary
Ruth 3  Commentary
Ruth 3-4:10
Ruth: A Light in Dark Days
Ruth Booklet
Ruth 3:12-18
Ruth 3:1-18 Ruth Comes To Boaz
Ruth 3   

Ruth 3  Commentary
Ruth 3: The Rescue Operation
Ruth 3  Commentary
Ruth 3:13; Ruth 3:14-15
Ruth 3:1-18 The Threshing Floor

Ruth 3  Commentary
Christ, Our Kinsman-Redeemer
Ruth 3 Commentary - Ruth Seeks for Marriage with Boaz
Ruth The Kinsman Redeemer
Kinsman-Redeemer
Ruth Notes
Ruth 3:11-18 Commentary Mp3 - complete Book
Ruth 3: Net Bible Notes
Ruth 3: Strategic Righteousness 
Ruth 3:1-18 Exposition and Homilies
Ruth 3:10-18 audio
Ruth 3:1-18
Ruth Commentary
The Book of Ruth
Ruth 3:12-17 Commentary
Ruth: The Romance of Redemption
Ruth: Two to Get Ready: Story of Boaz & Ruth
Ruth 3: Ruth Resting
Ruth: Kinsman Redeemer Pt 1; Part 2; Part 3
Ruth: The Ability to Redeem - Pt 1;
Part 2

Ruth 3 Sermon 3
Ruth 3:1-18
Ruth 3 Commentary
The Gospel from the book of Ruth
Ruth 3:1-4:22: Your God Is Too Small
Ruth 3-4 Fellow Heirs Of The Grace Of Life
Ruth Kinsman Redeemer - lesson 1 - covers entire book

REMAIN THIS NIGHT AND WHEN MORNING COMES IF HE WILL REDEEM YOU GOOD LET HIM REDEEM YOU, GOOD: (Ru 2:20; 4:5; Dt 25:5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Mt 22:24, 25, 26, 27)

If he will marry thee by right of relationship, let him marry thee, but if he will not, I will marry thee. (William Gesenius, Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon)

if he will do for you what it is right for a relation to do, very well, let him do so (BBE)  

in the morning I’ll talk to him, and if he will marry you, fine; let him do his duty (TLB)

 Then in the morning, if he agrees to marry you, fine, let him do so (NET)

Remain (a command) (03885)(luwn/lun) means to lodge and in modern Hebrew the word for "hotel" derives from this verb. Boaz uses the Hebrew imperative, commanding her to remain. This Hebrew verb was used by Ruth in chapter 1 (Ru 1:16)

Arnold Fruchtenbaum makes the distinction regarding the verb remain that...

The word in Hebrew is lun and not shachav, and that is significant because shachav does carry sexual connotations, but lun does not. So, by the use of this verb, all ambiguity is removed concerning the sexual implication between the two. When they were in the very crucible of temptation, they proved themselves righteous by choosing integrity over passion. (Fruchtenbaum, A. G. Ariel's Bible Commentary: The books of Judges and Ruth. Page 331. San Antonio, Tex.: Ariel Ministries)

When the morning comes - Here is another promise from Boaz, specifically declaring that he will resolve the issue the next day!

Morning (1242) (boqer) means daybreak, the point of time at which night is changing to day, just before the rising of the sun. In the ancient Near East the night was divided into three watches. The last period of the night was called the morning watch (Ex 14:24) and lasted from 2:00 A.M.- sunrise. When we read about the period of the Judges, we learn that people did not travel the main highways because they were not safe. Instead they would take off across the fields.

Boaz as Ruth's Protector - This truth about the danger of night travel helps us understand Boaz's charge for Ruth to remain the rest of the night, for in this way she would be protected from any potential physical harm. In the next verse (Ru 3:14) Boaz undertakes to protect her reputation.

Redeem you - Notice that this phrase occurs 4 times in this verse in the NAS emphasizing specifically that the redemption is of Ruth. This association is obscured by the NIV (Ru 3:13NIV, cp the literal rendering Ru 3:13YLT).

If...redeem (01350) (ga'al) means to redeem as a kinsman-redeemer. Boaz repeatedly emphasizes the fulfilling of the kinsman redeemer's responsibilities as a guardian of the family interests, specifically in this case marrying Ruth.

Ga'al is translated in the Septuagint (LXX) by the Greek verb agchisteuo which means to be the next of kin, to do what a kinsman was supposed to do (marry a woman) thus exercising the rights and responsibilities of the kinsman.

Agchisteuo= 32x in 21 verses in the Septuagint (LXX) - Lev. 25:25, 26; Nu 5:8; 35:12, 19, 21, 24f, 27; 36:8; Dt. 19:6, 12; Jos. 20:3, 9; Ru 2:20; Ru 3:13 = 4x; Ru 4:4 = 5x, Ru 4:6 = 3x, Ru 4:7; Ezra 2:62; Neh. 7:64

What does the fact that he told Ruth there was another nearer kinsman-redeemer show about Boaz's character?

Christ-like unselfishness (cp Php 2:3, 4, 5-see notes; notes v5), as well as honesty and humility. The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all! (Andrew Murray) Humility is that grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it! The truly humble person knows himself and accepts himself (Ro 12:3-note). He yields himself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he is and has for the glory of God and the good of others.

In short, both Ruth (giving up what other young women would choose...rich or even poor young men) and Boaz (laying aside his own personal interests in Ruth) manifest this Christ-like attitude.

To summarize, Boaz demonstrated his integrity in two ways: 

(1) He did not send Ruth home in the middle of the night for that would have been potentially dangerous. And even though she lay at his feet the remainder of the night, his intentions remained steadfastly honorable. Boaz would protect her and would not touch her inappropriately. These actions speak volumes about this godly man's character in the dark days of the judges (Jdg 21:25).

(2)  Boaz also protected the rights of the Goel who was an even closer relative than he. This man understood denial of self, long before the "Greater Boaz" uttered those words (Mk 8:34).

BUT IF HE DOES NOT WISH TO REDEEM YOU THEN I WILL REDEEM YOU AS THE LORD LIVES: (Jdg 8:19; Jer 4:2; 2Co 1:23; Heb 6:16)

but if he will not, then by the living Lord I myself will do so (BBE)  

but if he won’t, then I will, I swear by Jehovah (TLB)

if not, then I swear by the living Lord that I will take the responsibility. Now lie down and stay here till morning (TEV)

But if he does not want to do so, I promise, as surely as the Lord lives, to marry you (NET)

But if he does not wish to take care of you, then, I solemnly swear, as the Lord lives, I will take care of you myself (GWT)

Wish (02654) (chaphets) means to delight in, to have pleasure, to have favor, to be pleased, to feel great favor towards something and to desire and/or be willing to do something not by force implying voluntary choice.

Chaphets - 70v in the OT - Gen. 34:19; Num. 14:8; Deut. 21:14; 25:7f; Jdg. 13:23; Ruth 3:13; 1 Sam. 2:25; 18:22; 19:1; 2 Sam. 15:26; 20:11; 22:20; 24:3; 1 Ki. 9:1; 10:9; 2 Chr. 9:8; Est. 2:14; 6:6f, 9, 11; Job 9:3; 13:3; 21:14; 33:32; Ps. 18:19; 22:8; 37:23; 40:6, 8; 41:11; 51:6, 16, 19; 68:30; 73:25; 109:17; 112:1; 115:3; 119:35; 135:6; 147:10; Prov. 18:2; 21:1; Eccl. 8:3; Cant. 2:7; 3:5; 8:4; Isa. 1:11; 13:17; 42:21; 53:10; 55:11; 56:4; 58:2; 62:4; 65:12; 66:3f; Jer. 6:10; 9:24; 42:22; Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11; Hos. 6:6; Jon. 1:14; Mic. 7:18; Mal. 2:17 rendered in the NAS as delight(15), delighted(7), delights(8), desire(9), desired(3), desired*(1), desires(5), favors(1), have any pleasure(1), have delight(2), have pleasure(1), pleased(6), pleases(7), take pleasure(3), wish(2), wished(1), wishes(1).

Moses uses chaphets in describing Shechem feelings toward Dinah...

And the young man (Shechem) did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob's daughter. Now he was more respected than all the household of his father. (Ge 34:19)

In the OT the idea of desire means much more than merely ‘to long for’ but in Hebrew psychology the whole personality was involved in desire. The idea includes a longing for something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction. Boaz definitely had the desire to marry Ruth, but he was uncertain whether the nearest kinsman would also have this desire.

A SOLEMN
COMMITMENT

I will redeem you - As alluded to above, this phrase is repeated for emphasis. In fact the Hebrew text adds the emphatic pronoun "you" to the verb as translated in the New American Bible -- "I will claim you myself" (NAB).

As the LORD lives - This was the most solemn, binding oath a Jew could vow. Thus Boaz bound himself, by an oath to fulfill his promise to redeem Ruth if the first in line Goel should refuse. For Boaz to not carry out his commitment after invoking the Lord's name would have been to violate the third commandment (Ex 20:7).

The usual formula of an oath was either: "God is witness betwixt me and thee" (Ge 31:5) or more commonly: "As Yahweh (or God) lives" (Jdg 8:19-note; Ru 3:13-note; 2Sa 2:27; Jer 38:16) or "Yahweh be a true and faithful witness amongst us" Jer 42:5.

Usually the penalty invoked by the oath was only suggested: "Yahweh do so to me" as in the first chapter (Ru 1:17-note) In some cases of giving such an oath, the punishment was expressly mentioned (Jer 29:22).

A FAITHFUL
KINSMAN REDEEMER

 

EXCURSUS ON REDEMPTION
REDEEM, REDEEMER

Three Hebrew words are used to describe various aspects of redemption in the Old Testament...

1) Goel
2) Geullah
3) Padah

The following discussion represents a synopsis of these words of inestimable value to all mankind, especially to believers

GA'AL/GO'EL/GOEL

Goel (01350) is the active participle of the Hebrew verb ga'al which has the primary meaning of “restored to an original state”. A goel therefore was one who not only delivered but who effected restoration to an original, sometimes ideal, state. The Goel is to do the part of a kinsman and thus to redeem one's kin from difficulty or danger by the payment of a price.

In most of the OT uses of Goel we encounter  persons or objects which are in the power of another and are unable to win their release. A third party appears (the goel) and this person is able to effect release.

Those who share the salvation (rescue, redemption) of God are "the redeemed" Isa 35:9

Vine writes that the main use of Ga'al refers to

the deliverance of persons or property that had been sold for debt, as in Lv 25:25...If he prospers, the man himself may “redeem” it (Lv 25:26). A poor man may sell himself to a fellow Israelite (Lv 25:39) or to an alien living in Israel (Lv 25:47). The responsibility “to redeem” belonged to the nearest relative—brother, uncle, uncle’s son, or a blood relative from his family (Lv 25:25, 48, 49). The person (kinsman) who “redeemed” the one in financial difficulties was known as a Kinsman Redeemer}, (Ru 2:20NIV).

Goel, the participial form of the Qal stem of the verb has practically become a noun in its own right though it may properly be considered as merely a form of the verb. Thus although technically Goel is a verb it is generally translated as one of 3 nouns (redeemer, kinsman or avenger) in most English Bibles, the specific noun depending on the context.

Don't be confused if you are looking up the Strong's numbers because Strong did not assign a separate number to the root verb ga'al (Strong's 01350) or the active participle form goel (Strong's 01350), although for reasons unclear to me, he did assign a separate number (Strong's 01353) for the passive participle form, geullah.

A Goel therefore was one who effected restoration to an original, sometimes ideal, state. Goel means "redeemer" an English word derived from a Latin root meaning “to buy back,” thus meaning the liberation of any possession, object, or person, usually by payment of a ransom. In Greek the root word means “to loose” and so to free. The term is used of freeing from chains, slavery, or prison. The reader should be aware that in the OT, there are 3 separate Hebrew words used for redeem or redemption:

(1) Ga'al
: (
01350) is the root verb form. The active participle = Go'el, (translated kinsman, redeemer or avenger) The passive participle = Geullah, (see below)

One difference between Ga'al and padah (below) is that Ga'al places emphasis on the redemption being the privilege or duty of the near relative.

Ga'al = Blood Avenger in Dt 19:6, which describes the individual who had the duty to execute the murderer of his relative. Ga'al is used with this same sense in  Nu 35:19, 21, 24, 27 35:12. Apparently the idea is that the next of kin must effect the payment of life for life. As a house is repurchased or a slave redeemed by payment, so the lost life of the relative must be paid for by the equivalent life of the murderer. The kinsman is the avenger of blood. This system of execution must be distinguished from blood feuds for the go'el was a guiltless executioner and not to be murdered in turn.

TWOT states

The participial form of the Qal stem (go'el) of the verb (ga'al) has practically become a noun in its own right though it may properly be considered as merely a form of the verb. (Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament Moody Press

Ga'al - 99x in 84v in NAS - Note majority of uses in Psalms and Isaiah. Where are most of the uses in Isaiah? What's the significance?

Ge 48:16; Ex 6:6; 15:13;
Lev 25:25, 26, 30, 33, 48, 49, 54; 27:13, 15, 19, 20, 27, 28, 31, 33;
Nu 5:8; 35:12, 19, 21, 24, 25, 27; Dt 19:6, 12; Jos 20:3, 5, 9;
Ruth 2:20; 3:9, 12, 13; 4:1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 14;
2Sa 14:11; 1 Ki. 16:11; Job 3:5; 19:25;
Ps 19:14; 69:18; 72:14; 74:2; 77:15 78:35 103:4 106:10 107:2 119:154 Pr 23:11
Is 35:9; 41:14; 43:1, 14; 44:6, 22, 23, 24; 47:4; 48:17, 20; 49:7, 26; 51:10; 52:3, 9; 54:5, 8; 59:20; 60:16; 62:12; 63:4, 9, 16;
Jer 31:11; 50:34; Lam 3:58; Ho 13:14; Mic 4:10.

NAS = Redeemer, 18; avenger, 13; bought back, 1; buy back, 1; claim, 1; close relative, 3; closest relative, 3; closest relatives, 1; ever wish to redeem, 2; kinsman, 2; redeem, 22; redeemed, 25; redeemer, 1; redeems, 1; relative, 2; relatives, 1; rescue, 1; wishes to redeem, 1.

Genesis 48:16 The Angel (Not a created angel but Angel of the LORD) Who has redeemed (ga'al; Lxx = rhuomai) = deliver, rescue, save) me from all evil (cp Ge 31:11, 12, 13), bless the lads; and may my name live on in them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

Exodus 6:6 “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver (ga'al; Lxx = rhuomai) you from their bondage. I will also redeem (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo) you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (See also Ps 77:15-note, cp similar use of Ga'al in Is 51:10)

Exodus 15:13 “In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.

Leviticus 25:25 If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman (ga'al/goel) is to come and buy back (ga'al) what his relative has sold. (Note: This passage is a "prototype" for the OT concept of Kinsman-Redeemer - Study the other uses in Leviticus for amplification of this concept).

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (cp Ps 78:35-note)

Spurgeon comments: We must in prayer view Jehovah as our strength enabling, and our Redeemer saving, or we shall not pray aright, and it is well to feel our personal interest so as to use the word my, or our prayers will be hindered. Our near Kinsman's name, our Goel or Redeemer, makes a blessed ending to the Psalm; it began with the heavens, but it ends with him whose glory fills heaven and earth. Blessed Kinsman, give us now to meditate acceptably upon thy most sweet love and tenderness.

Psalm 103:4 Who redeems (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo) your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Psalm 106:10 So He saved (Hebrew = yasha = to deliver; Lxx = sozo) them from the hand of the one who hated them, And redeemed (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo)  them from the hand of the enemy.

Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo) of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary

Proverbs 23:11 For their Redeemer (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo) is strong; He will plead their case against you.

Jeremiah 31:11 For the LORD has ransomed (padah) Jacob and redeemed (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo) him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.

Jeremiah 50:34 "Their Redeemer is strong, the LORD of hosts is His name; He will vigorously plead their case so that He may bring rest to the earth, but turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon.

Hosea 13:14 Shall I ransom (padah) them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo) them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight. (Quoted in part by Paul in 1Cor 15:55)

The Book of Ruth (Ru 2:20 3:9 12 3:13 4:1 3 4 6 8 14 - Note "close relative" in NAS = kinsman redeemer) presents the beautiful account of a human kinsman-redeemer (Boaz-chart on his character) who beautifully pictures Christ the consummate Kinsman-Redeemer.

KINSMAN REDEEMER

QUALIFICATIONS
TO BE MET
FULFILLMENT
IN THE MESSIAH
Blood Relative = A Kinsman Gal 4:4, 4:5   Heb 2:14,15, 16, 17
cp Jn 1:1, 14, Php 2:5-11
Possessing the necessary resources 1Cor 6:20  Gal 3:13 1Pet 1:18, 19
He 7:25, He 10:10-14
Willing to pay
the purchase price
Jn 10:15, 16, 17, 18 1Jn 3:16
Jn 18:37, Ro 5:8 Is 53:4, 5, 6, 7
Willing to take
as one's bride
Ro 7:4 2Co 11:2
Ep 5:25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
Re 19:7

GA'AL/GOEL
IN ISAIAH

Refers to God - He is specifically designated as Israel's Redeemer in Is 41:14, 43:14,44:6, 44:24, 47:4, 48:17, 49:7, 49:26, 54:5 (Note God is not only the "Maker" [~Creator] of Israel but the "Re-maker", the Redeemer [What else could this speak of but His unconditional love and amazing grace!] - note also reference to God as "Husband" of Israel - cp Jer 31:32, Hos 2:19), Is 54:8,

Israel's Redeemer is also designated by other great names including - "the Holy One of Israel" Isa 41:14 "the creator of Israel, your King" Isa 43:14, 15 "the LORD of hosts (of armies)" Isa 44:6 "the Mighty One of Jacob" Isa 49:26, 59:20, 60:16, 63:16

And a Redeemer (ga'al; Lxx = rhuomai = Deliverer, Rescuer) will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the LORD.

Comment: Quoted by Paul in Romans 11:26,27-note in the day that "all Israel will be saved." This is clearly the Messiah, Israel's Kinsman-Redeemer Who has already paid the price of deliverance on Calvary and now returns not just as their Deliverer but as their Blood-Avenger, who utterly destroys all those who have hated and sought to destroy the Jews.

 Isaiah 62:12 And they will call them, "The holy people (See the verse above for their deliverance), the redeemed (ga'al; Lxx = lutroo in the perfect tense which speaks of the eternal security of their redemption - they are not going to be unredeemed!)  of the LORD"; And you (Jerusalem  the Millennium when God's City would be the capitol of the world) will be called, "Sought out, a city not forsaken."

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence (Not a created angel but Angel of the LORD) saved them (Only God can save - so this is almost certainly Jesus); In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

Redemption from bondage in Egypt in Is 51:10.

Refers to the Lord's act of redeeming Israel (~Jacob) - Is 43:1, 44:22, 44:23, 48:20, 52:3, 52:9 ( = prophecy of the Millennium when Jerusalem would once and for all time be set free from captivity to foreign nations as prophesied in Mic 4:1,2,3 and Is 2:1,2,3-note),

Vine makes the interesting observation that

The Book of Psalms often places spiritual redemption in parallel with physical redemption. For example: Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it; Ransom me because of my enemies!  (Ps. 69:18).

See also: Goel - Our Kinsman Redeemer - In Shadow (Type) & Substance

ISBE Article on Redeemer/Redemption...

REDEEMER; REDEMPTION - re-dem'-er, re-demp'-shun (paraq, "to tear loose," "to rescue," padhah, ga'al; agorazo, referring to purchase, lutroumai, from lutron, "a ransom"):

1. Gradual Moralizing of Idea of Redemption
2. Redemption as Life in Individual
3. Redemption as Social
4. Redemption as Process
5. Moral Implications in Scriptural Idea of Redeemer
6. Uniqueness of Son of God as Redeemer

The idea of redemption in the Old Testament takes its start from the thought of property (Lev 25:26; Ru 4:4ff). Money is paid according to law to buy back something which must be delivered or rescued (Nu 3:51; Neh 5:8). From this start the word "redemption" throughout the Old Testament is used in the general sense of deliverance. God is the Redeemer of Israel in the sense that He is the Deliverer of Israel (Dt 9:26; 2Sa 7:23; 1Ch 17:21; Isa 52:3). The idea of deliverance includes deliverance from all forms of evil lot, from national misfortune (Isa 52:9; 63:9; cp Lk 2:38), or from plague (Ps 78:35,52), or from calamity of any sort (Ge 48:16; Nu 25:4,9). Of course, the general thought of the relation of Israel to God was that God had both a claim upon Israel (Dt 15:15) and an obligation toward Israel (1Ch 17:21; Ps 25:22). Israel belonged to Him, and it was by His own right that He could move into the life of Israel so as to redeem Israel. On the other hand, obligation was upon Him to redeem Israel.

In the New Testament the idea of redemption has more a suggestion of ransom. Men are held under the curse of the law (Gal 3:13), or of sin itself (Ro 7:23f). The Redeemer purchases their deliverance by offering Himself as payment for their redemption (Ep 1:7; 1Pe 1:18).

1. Gradual Moralizing of Idea of Redemption:

Throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament there is to be observed a gradual moralizing of the meaning of redemption. The same process of moralizing has continued throughout all the Christian ages. Starting with the idea of redemption price, conceived almost in material terms, religious thought has advanced to conceptions entirely moral and spiritual. Through the Scriptures, too, the idea of redemption becomes more specific with the progress of Christian revelation. In the beginning God is the Redeemer from distresses of all kinds. He redeems from calamity and from sorrows. This general idea, of course, persists throughout the revelation and enters largely into our thinking of today, but the growing moral discernment of the Biblical writers comes to attach more and more importance to sin as the chief disturber of man's welfare. We would not minimize the force of the Scriptural idea that God is the Deliverer from all misfortune to which man falls heir, but the Scriptural emphasis moves more and more to deliverance from sin. Paul states this deliverance as a deliverance from the law which brings sin out into expression, but we must not conceive his idea in any artificial fashion. He would have men delivered not only from the law, but also from the consequences of evil doing and from the spirit of evil itself (Ro 8:2).

2. Redemption as Life in the Individual:

In trying to discern the meaning of redemption from sin, toward which the entire progress of Biblical and Christian thought points, we may well keep in mind the Master's words that He came that men might have life and might have it more abundantly (Jn 10:10). The word "life" seems to be the final New Testament word as a statement of the purpose of Christ. God sent His Son to bring men to life. The word "life,"' however, is indefinite. Life means more at one period of the world's history than at another. It has the advantage, nevertheless, of always being entirely intelligible in its essential significance. Our aim must be to keep this essential significance in mind and at the same time to provide for an increasing fullness and enlargement of human capacity and endeavor. The aim of redemption can only be to bring men to the fullest use and enjoyment of their powers. This is really the conception implicit even in the earliest statements of redemption. The man redeemed by money payment comes out of the prison to the light of day, or he comes out of slavery into freedom, or he is restored to his home and friends. The man under the law is redeemed from the burden and curse of the law. Paul speaks of his experience under the law as the experience of one chained to a dead body (Rom 7:24). Of course, relief from such bondage would mean life. In the more spiritual passages of the New Testament, the evil in men's hearts is like a blight which paralyzes their higher activities (Jn 8:33-51).

In all redemption, as conceived of in Christian terms, there is a double element. There is first the deliverance as from a curse. Something binds a man or weights him down: redemption relieves him from this load. On the other hand, there is the positive movement of the soul thus relieved toward larger and fuller life. We have said that the Biblical emphasis is always upon deliverance from sin as the essential in redemption, but this deliverance is so essential that the life cannot progress in any of its normal activities until it is redeemed from evil. Accordingly in the Scriptural thought all manner of blessings follow deliverance. The man who seeks first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness finds all other things added unto him (Mt 6:33). Material, intellectual and social blessings follow as matters of course from the redemption of the inner spirit from evil. The aim of redemption, to beget in men's hearts the will to do right, once fulfilled, leads men to seek successfully along all possible avenues for life. This, of course, does not mean that the redeemed life gives itself up to the cultivation of itself toward higher excellencies. It means that the redeemed life is delivered from every form of selfishness. In the unselfish seeking of life for others the redeemed life finds its own greatest achievement and happiness (Mt 16:25).

3. Redemption as Social:

Just as the idea of redemption concerned itself chiefly with the inner spirit; so also it concerns itself with the individual as the object of redemption. But as the redemption of the inner spirit leads to freedom in all realms of life, so also the redemption of the individual leads to large social transformations. It is impossible to strike out of the Scriptures the idea of a redeemed humanity. But humanity is not conceived of in general or class terms. The object of redemption is not humanity, or mankind, or the masses. The object of redemption is rather men set in relation to each other as members of a family. But it would do violence to the Scriptural conception to conceive of the individual's relations in any narrow or restricted fashion (1Co 12:12-27).

An important enlargement of the idea of redemption in our own time has come as men have conceived of the redemption of individuals in their social relationships. Very often men have thought of redemption as a snatching of individuals from the perils of a world in itself absolutely wicked. Even the material environment of men has at times been regarded as containing something inherently evil. The thought of redemption which seems most in line with Scriptural interpretation would seem to be that which brings the material and social forces within reach of individual wills. Paul speaks of the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain waiting for the revelation of the sons of God (Rom 8:22). This graphic figure sets before us the essentially Christian conception of the redemption of the forces in the midst of which men are placed. Those redeemed for the largest life, by the very force of their life, will seize all powers of this world to make them the servants of divine purposes. The seer saw a great multitude which no man could number, of every kindred and nation and tongue, shouting the joys of salvation (Rev 7:9), yet the implication nowhere appears that these were redeemed in any other fashion than by surrendering themselves to the forces of righteousness.

4. Redemption as Process:

We have said that the aim of redemption is to bring men to the largest and fullest life. We have also said that "life" is a general term. To keep close to the Scriptural conceptions we would best say that the aim of redemption is to make men like Christ (Ro 8:9). Otherwise, it might be possible to use the word "life" so as to imply that the riotous exercise of the faculties is what we mean by redemption. The idea of redemption, as a matter of fact, has been thus interpreted in various times in the history of Christian thinking. Life has been looked upon as sheer quantitative exuberance--the lower pleasures of sense being reckoned as about on the same plane with the higher. We can see the moral and spiritual anarchy which would thus be brought about. In Christ's words to His disciples He once used the expression, "Ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you" (Jn 15:3). In this particular context the idea does not seem to be that of an external washing. Christ seems rather to mean that His disciples are cleansed as a vineyard is cleansed by pruning away some of the branches that others may bear fruit. In other words, the redemption of life is to be interpreted so that stress is laid upon the qualitative rather than the quantitative. Christ indeed found place in His instructions and in His own life for the normal and healthy activities of human existence. He was not an ascetic; He went to feasts and to weddings, but His emphasis was always upon life conceived of in the highest terms. We can say then that the aim of redemption is to beget in men life like that in Christ.

5. Moral Implications in the Scriptural Idea of Redeemer:

Moreover, redemption must not be conceived of in such fashion as to do away with the need of response upon the part of the individual will. The literal suggestion of ransom has to do with paying a price for a man's deliverance, whether the man is willing to be delivered or not. Of course, the assumption in the mind of the Biblical writers was that any man in prison or in slavery or in sickness would be overjoyed at being redeemed; but in dealing with men whose lives are set toward sin we cannot always make this assumption. The dreadfulness of sin is largely in the love of sinning which sinning begets. Some thinkers have interpreted redemption to mean almost a seizing of men without regard to their own will. It is very easy to see how this conception arises. A man who himself hates sin may not stop to realize that some other men love sin. Redemption, to mean anything, must touch this inner attitude of will. We cannot then hold to any idea of redemption which brings men under a cleansing process without the assent of their own wills. If we keep ourselves alive to the growing moral discernment which moves through the Scriptures, we must lay stress always upon redemption as a moral process. Not only must we say that the aim of redemption is to make men like Christ, but we must say also that the method of redemption must be the method of Christ, the method of appealing to the moral will. There is no Scriptural warrant for the idea that men are redeemed by fiat. The most we can get from the words of Christ is a statement of the persistence of God in His search for the lost: `(He goeth) after that which is lost, until he finds it' (Lk 15:4). Some would interpret these words to mean that the process of redemption continues until every man is brought into the kingdom. We cannot, in the light of the New Testament, limit the redeeming love of God; but we cannot, on the other hand, take passages from figurative expressions in such sense as to limit the freedom of men. The redemption must be conceived of as respecting the moral choices of men. In our thought of the divine search for the control of inner human motive we must not stop short of the idea of men redeemed to the love of righteousness on its own account. This would do away with the plan of redeeming men by merely relieving them of the consequences of their sins. Out of a changed life, of course, there must come changed consequences. But the Scriptural teaching is that the emphasis in redemption is always moral, the turning to life because of what life is.

Having thus attempted to determine, at least in outline, the content of the Christian idea of redemption, it remains for us to point out some implications as to the work of the Redeemer. Throughout the entire teaching on redemption in the Scriptures, redemption is set before us primarily as God's own affair (Jn 3:16). God redeems His people; He redeems them out of love for them. But the love of God is not to be conceived of as mere indulgence, partiality, or good-humored affection. The love of God rests down upon moral foundations. Throughout the Scriptures, therefore, we find implied often, if not always clearly stated, the idea that God is under obligations to redeem His people. The progress of later thinking has expanded this implication with sureness of moral discernment. We have come to see the obligations of power. The more powerful the man the heavier his obligations in the discharge of this power. This is a genuinely Christian conception, and this Christian conception we apply to the character of God, feeling confident that we are in line with Scriptural teaching. Hence, we may put the obligations of God somewhat as follows: God is the most obligated being in the universe. If a man is under heavy obligations to use aright the power of controlling the forces already at work in the world, how much heavier must be the obligations on the Creator who started these forces! The obligation becomes appalling to our human thought when we think that creation includes the calling of human beings into existence and endowing them with the unsolicited boon of freedom. Men are not in the world of their own choice. Vast masses of them seem to be here as the outworking of impulses almost blind. The surroundings of men make it very easy for them to sin. The tendencies which at least seem to be innate are too often tragically inclined toward evil. Men seem, of themselves, utterly inadequate for their own redemption. If there is to be redemption it must come from God, and the Christian thought of a moral God would seem to include the obligation on the part of God to redeem those whom He has sent into the world. Christ has made clear forever the absolutely binding nature of moral considerations. If the obligation to redeem men meant everything to Christ, it must also mean everything to the God of Christ. So we feel in line with true Christian thinking in the doctrine that redemption comes first as a discharge of the obligations on the part of God Himself.

If we look for the common thought in all the Christian statements of God's part in redemption we find it in this: that in all these statements God is conceived of as doing all that He can do for the redemption of man. If in earlier times men conceived of the human race as under the dominion of Satan, and of Satan as robbed of his due by the deliverance of man and therefore entitled to some compensation, they also conceived of God Himself as paying the ransom to Satan. If they thought of God as a feudal lord whose dignity had been offended by sin, they thought of God as Himself paying the cost due to offended dignity. If their idea was that a substitute for sinners must be furnished, the idea included the thought of God as Himself providing a substitute. If they conceived of the universe as a vast system of moral laws--broken by sin--whose dignity must be upheld, they thought of God Himself as providing the means for maintaining the dignity of the laws. If they conceived of men as saved by a vast moral influence set at work, they thought of this influence as proceeding, not from man, but from God. The common thought in theories of redemption then, so far as concerns God's part, is that God Himself takes the initiative and does all He can in the discharge of the obligation upon Himself. Each phrasing of the doctrine of redemption is the attempt of an age of Christian thinking to say in its own way that God has done all that He can do for men.

6. Uniqueness of the Son of God as Redeemer:

It is from this standpoint that we must approach the part played by Christ in redemption. This is not the place for an attempt at formal statement, but some elements of Christian teaching are, at least in outline, at once clear. The question is, first, to provide some relation between God and Christ which will make the redemptive work of Christ really effective. Some have thought to find such a statement in the conception that Christ is a prophet. They would empty the expression, "Son of God," of any unique meaning; they would make Christ the Son of God in the same sense that any great prophet could be conceived of as a son of God. Of course, we would not minimize the teaching of the Scripture as to the full humanity of Christ, and yet we may be permitted to voice our belief that the representation of Christ as the Redeemer merely in the same sense in which a prophet is a redeemer does not do justice to the Scripture teaching; and we feel, too, that such a solution of the problem of Christ would be inadequate for the practical task of redemption. If Christ is just a prophet giving us His teaching we rejoice in the teaching, but we are confronted with the problem as to how to make the teaching effective. If it be urged that Christ is a prophet who in Himself realized the moral ideal, we feel constrained to reply that this really puts Christ at a vast distance from us. Such a doctrine of Christ's person would make Him the supreme religious genius, but the human genius stands apart from the ordinary mass of men. He may gather up into Himself and realize the ideals of men; He may voice the aspirations of men and realize those aspirations; but He may not be able to make men like unto Himself. Shakespeare is a consummate literary genius. He has said once and for all many things which the common man thinks or half thinks. When the common man comes upon a phrase of Shakespeare he feels that Shakespeare has said for all time the things which he would himself have said if he had been able. But the appreciation of Shakespeare does not make the ordinary man like Shakespeare; the appreciation of Christ has not proved successful in itself in making men like unto Christ.

If, on the contrary, without attempting formal theological construction, we put some real meaning into the idea of Christ as the Son of God and hold fast to a unique relationship between Christ and God which makes Christ the greatest gift that God can give us, we find indeed that Christ is lifted up to essentially divine existence; but we find also that this divinity does not estrange Him from us. Redemption becomes feasible, not merely when we have a revelation of how far up man can go, but when we have also a revelation of how far down God can come. If we can think of God as having in some real way come into the world through His Son Jesus Christ, that revelation makes Christ the Lord who can lead us to redemption.

Such a conception furnishes the dynamic which we must have in any real process of redemption. We need not only the ideal, but we need power by which to reach the ideal. If we can feel that the universe is under the sway of a moral God, a God who is under obligations to bear the burdens of men, and who willingly assumes these obligations, we really feel that moral life at its fullest and best is the greatest fact in the universe. Moreover, we must be true to the Scriptures and lift the entire conception of redemption beyond the realm of conscience to the realm of the heart. What the conscience of God calls for, the love of God willingly discharges. The Cross of Christ becomes at once the revelation of the righteousness of God and the love of God. Power is thus put back of human conscience and human love to move forward toward redemption (Ro 8:35, 36, 37, 38, 39).

The aim of the redemption in Christ then is to lift men out of death toward life. The mind is to be quickened by the revelation of the true ideals of human life. The conscience is to be reenforced by the revelation of the moral God who carries on all things in the interests of righteousness. The heart is to be stirred and won by the revelation of the love which sends an only begotten Son to the cross for our redemption. And we must take the work of Christ, not as a solitary incident or a mere historic event, but as a manifestation of the spirit which has been at work from the beginning and works forever. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8); the spirit of God revealed in the cross of Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. We have in the cross a revelation of holy love which, in a sense, overpowers and at the same time encourages. The cross is the revelation of the length to which God is willing to go in redemption rather than set aside one jot or tittle of His moral law. He will not redeem men except on terms which leave them men. He will not overwhelm them in any such manner as to do away with their power of free choice. He will show men His own feeling of holiness and love. In the name of a holy love which they can forever aspire after, but which they can never fully reach, men call to Him for forgiveness and that forgiveness men find forever available.

It remains to add one further item of Scriptural teaching, namely that redemption is a continuous process. If we may again use the word "life," which has been the key to this discussion, we may say that the aim of redemption is to make men progressively alive. There are not limits to the development of human powers touched by the redemptive processes of God. The cross is a revelation of divine willingness to bear with men who are forever being redeemed. Of course, we speak of the redeemed man as redeemed once and for all. By this we mean that he is redeemed once and for all in being faced about and started in a right direction, but the progress toward full life may be faster or slower according to the man and the circumstances in the midst of which he is placed. Still the chief fact is the direction in which the man is moving. The revelation of God who aids in redemption is of the God who takes the direction as the chief fact rather than the length of the stride or the rate of the movement. Every man is expected to do his best. If he stumbles he is supposed to find his way to his feet; if he is moving slowly, he must attempt to move faster; if he is moving at a slower rate than he can attain, he must strive after the higher rate, but always the dynamic force is the revelation of the holy love of God.

The Scriptures honor the prophets in whatever land or time they appear. The Scriptures welcome goodness under any and all circumstances. They have a place for a "light that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world," but they still make it clear that the chief force in the redemption of men is the revelation of holy love in Jesus Christ. The redemption, we repeat, is never conceived of in artificial or mechanical terms. If any man hath not the spirit of Christ he does not belong to Christ (Ro 8:9). The aim of redemption is to beget this spirit, and this spirit is life.

LITERATURE. H. C. Sheldon, Systematic Theology; Clarke, Outline of Christian Theology; Brown, Christian Theology in Outline; Mackintosh, Doctrine of Person of Christ; Bowne, Studies in Christianity; Tymms, The Christian Atonement.

Francis J. McConnell

REDEMPTION

 

Defined. 1Cor 6:20; 1Co 7:23
Is of God. Isa 44:21, 22, 23; 43:1; Lk 1:68
Is by Christ. Mt 20:28; Gal 3:13
Is by the blood of Christ. Acts 20:28; Heb 9:12; 1Pe 1:19; Re 5:9
Christ sent to effect. Gal 4:4,5
Christ is made, to us. 1Co 1:30

 

REDEMPTION: Is from

The bondage of the law. Gal 4:5
The curse of the law. Gal 3:13
The power of sin. Ro 6:18,22
The power of the grave. Ps 49:15
All troubles. Ps 25:22
All iniquity. Ps 130:8; Titus 2:14
All evil. Gen 48:16
The present evil world. Gal 1:4
Vain conversation. 1Pe 1:18
Enemies. Ps 106:10,11; Jer 15:21
Death. Ho 13:14
Destruction. Ps 103:4
Man cannot effect. Ps 49:7
Corruptible things cannot purchase. 1 Pet 1:18


REDEMPTION
: Procures for us

Justification. Ro 3:24
Forgiveness of sin. Ep 1:7; Col 1:14
Adoption. Gal 4:4,5
Purification. Titus 2:14
The present life, the only season for. Job 36:18,19


REDEMPTION: Described as

Precious. Ps 49:8
Plenteous. Ps 130:7
Eternal. He 9:12


REDEMPTION: Subjects of

The soul. Ps 49:8
The body. Ro 8:23
The life. Ps 103:4; Lam 3:58
The inheritance. Ep 1:14


REDEMPTION: Manifests the

Power of God. Is 50:2
Grace of God. Is 52:3
Love and pity of God. Isa 63:9; Jn 3:16; Ro 6:8; 1Jn 4:10


REDEMPTION:

A subject for praise. Isa 44:22,23; 51:11

OT saints partakers of. He 9:15.


REDEMPTION: They who partake of

Are the property of God. Is 43:1; 1Co 6:20.
Are first-fruits to God. Rev 14:4.
Are a peculiar people. 2Sa 7:23; Titus 2:14; 1Pe 2:9.
Are assured of. Job 19:25; Ps 31:5.
Are sealed to the day of. Ep 4:30.
Are Zealous of good works. Eph 2:10; Titus 2:14; 1Pe 2:9.
Walk safely in holiness. Isa 35:8,9.
Shall return to Zion with joy. Isa 35:10.
Alone can learn the songs of heaven. Rev 14:3,4.
Commit themselves to God. Ps 31:5.
Have an earnest of the completion of. Ep 1:14; 2Cor 1:22.
Wait for the completion of. Rom 8:23; Phil 3:20,21; Titus 2:11, 12, 13.
Pray for the completion of. Ps 26:11; 44:26.
Praise God for. Ps 71:23; 103:4; Rev 5:9.
Should glorify God for. 1Cor 6:20.
Should be without fear. Is 43:1.


REDEMPTION: Typified

Israel. Ex 6:6.
Firstborn. Ex 13:11-15; Num 18:15.
Atonement-money. Ex 30:12-15.
Bond-servant. Lev 25:47-54.

GEULLAH

Geullah (01353) is a feminine singular noun (Passive participle of Ga'al) means redemption, the right of buying back, the right of redemption, price of redemption, kindred.  Redemption was a means by which property remained in families or clans. The best picture of this custom in the Bible is Ruth 4:6, 7.

Geullah - 12v in the OT - Lev 25:24, 26, 29, 31, 32, 48, 51, 52; Ruth 4:6, 4:7; Jer 32:7, 8. NAS = redemption(7), redemption right(2), redemption rights(1), right of redemption(3).

Leviticus 25:24 'Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land.


Leviticus 25:26 'Or in case a man has no kinsman, but so recovers his means as to find sufficient for its redemption,


Leviticus 25:29  'Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year.


Leviticus 25:31 'The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee.


Leviticus 25:32 'As for cities of the Levites, the Levites have a permanent right of redemption for the houses of the cities which are their possession.


Leviticus 25:48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of his brothers may redeem him,


Leviticus 25:51 'If there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in proportion to them for his own redemption;


Leviticus 25:52 and if few years remain until the year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he is to refund the amount for his redemption.


Ruth 4:6 The closest relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it."


Ruth 4:7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.


Jeremiah 32:7 'Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you, saying, "Buy for yourself my field which is at Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it."'


Jeremiah 32:8 "Then Hanamel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of the LORD and said to me, 'Buy my field, please, that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.' Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

TWOT says that the right of redemption

is used in regard to deliverance of persons or property that had been sold for debt. The law required that the "right of redemption" of land and of persons be protected (Lv 25:24, 48). The redemption price was determined by the number of years remaining until the release of debts in the year of jubilee (Lv 25:27, 28). (Harris, R L, Archer, G L & Waltke, B K Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Moody Press or  Logos or Wordsearch

PADAH

Padah (06299) means to redeem, ransom, buy and so to cause the freedom or release of a person from bondage or ownership, often implying a delivering or rescue of a person in distress. Padah is not used in Ruth.

Padah is a distinct word unrelated etymologically to Ga'al/geullah.

Padah is also used figuratively with the meaning of delivering, whether in the cases of individuals (Ps 34:22-note) or of the deliverance granted to Israel as a nation (Dt 9:26; 2Sa 7:23; 1Chr 17:21; Isa 29:22). It is especially associated with the deliverance from Egypt (Dt 7:8; 13:5; 24:18; Mic 6:4). In one instance it is used of redemption from sin: “redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (Ps 130:8-note)."

One difference between ga'al/goel and the similar root padah is that there is usually an emphasis in ga'al/goel on the redemption being the privilege or duty of a near relative.

Vine adds that

Originally, the usage of this word overlapped with that of kapar; both meant "to ransom." In theological usage, however, each root tended to develop in different directions, so that they can often be considered synonymous only in a very broad sense.

Padah indicates that some intervening or substitutionary action effects a release from an undesirable undesirable condition. In more secular contexts, it implies a payment of some sort. But 1Sa 14:45 indicates that money is not intrinsic in the word; Saul is determined to execute Jonathan for his involuntary transgression, but "the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not."

Slavery appears as a condition from which one may be "ransomed" (Ex 21:8; Lev 19:20).

The word is connected with the laws of the firstborn. As a reminder of slaying all the Egyptian firstborn but sparing the Israelites, God retained an eternal claim on the life of all Israelite firstborn males, both of men and of cattle. The latter were often sacrificed, "but all the firstborn of my children I redeem" (Ex 13:15). God accepted the separation of the tribe of Levi for liturgical service in lieu of all Israelite firstborn (Nu 3:40ff.). However, the Israelite males still had to be "redeemed" (padah) from this service by payment of specified "redemption" money" (Nu 3:44-51).

When God is the subject of padah, the word emphasizes His complete, sovereign freedom to liberate human beings. Sometimes God is said to "redeem" individuals (Abraham, Is 29:22; David, 1Ki 1:29; and often in the Psalter, e.g., Ps 26:11; Ps 44:26; Ps 69:18); but usually Israel, the elect people, is the beneficiary. Sometimes the redemption or deliverance is proclaimed absolutely (2Sa 7:23; Ps 44:26; Ho 7:13); but the subject is said to be "ransomed" from a specific oppression. At other times, the reference is less explicit, e.g., from "troubles" (Ps 25:22) and from "wicked" men (Je 15:21). Only once is padah used to describe liberation from sin or iniquity (Ps 130:8).

Padah - 51v in the OT - Ex 13:13, 15; 21:8; 34:20; Lev 19:20; 27:27, 29; Num 3:46, 49, 51; 18:15ff; Deut 7:8; 9:26; 13:5; 15:15; 21:8; 24:18; 1 Sam 14:45; 2 Sam 4:9; 7:23; 1 Kgs 1:29; 1 Chr 17:21; Neh 1:10; Job 5:20; 6:23; 33:28; Ps 25:22; 26:11; 31:5; 34:22; 44:26; 49:7, 15; 55:18; 69:18; 71:23; 78:42; 119:134; 130:8; Isa 1:27; 29:22; 35:10; 51:11; Jer 15:21; 31:11; Hos 7:13; 13:14; Mic 6:4; Zech 10:8

The NAS renders padah as any means redeem(1), in a way redeemed(1), ransom(4), ransomed(7), redeem(26), redeemed(16), redeems(1), redemption price(1), rescued(m)(1), surely redeem(1).

Exodus 13:13 "But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.


Exodus 13:15 'It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.'


Exodus 21:8 "If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her.


Exodus 34:20 "You shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the firstborn of your sons. None shall appear before Me empty-handed.


Leviticus 19:20 'Now if a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave acquired for another man, but who has in no way been redeemed nor given her freedom, there shall be punishment; they shall not, however, be put to death, because she was not free.


Leviticus 27:27 'But if it is among the unclean animals, then he shall redeem it according to your valuation and add to it one-fifth of it; and if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to your valuation....29 'No one who may have been set apart among men shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.


Numbers 3:46 "For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites...49 So Moses took the ransom money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites;


Numbers 3:51 Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons, at the command of the LORD, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.


Numbers 18:15 "Every first issue of the womb of all flesh, whether man or animal, which they offer to the LORD, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 "As to their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem them, by your valuation, five shekels in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17 "But the firstborn of an ox or the firstborn of a sheep or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall offer up their fat in smoke as an offering by fire, for a soothing aroma to the LORD.

 

Deuteronomy 7:8 but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.


Deuteronomy 9:26 "I prayed to the LORD and said, 'O Lord GOD, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.


Deuteronomy 13:5 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.


Deuteronomy 15:15 "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.


Deuteronomy 21:8 'Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.' And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.


Deuteronomy 24:18 "But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.


1 Samuel 14:45 But the people said to Saul, "Must Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day." So the people rescued Jonathan and he did not die.


2 Samuel 4:9 David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress,


2 Samuel 7:23 "And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods?


1 Kings 1:29 The king vowed and said, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress,


1 Chronicles 17:21 "And what one nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make You a name by great and terrible things, in driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt?


Nehemiah 1:10 "They are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand.


Job 5:20 "In famine He will redeem you from death, And in war from the power of the sword.


Job 6:23 Or, 'Deliver me from the hand of the adversary,' Or, 'Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants '?


Job 33:28 'He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit, And my life shall see the light.'


Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles.


Psalm 26:11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me, and be gracious to me.


Psalm 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.


Psalm 34:22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.


Psalm 44:26 Rise up, be our help, And redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness.


Psalm 49:7 No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him--
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me. Selah.


Psalm 55:18 He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me.


Psalm 69:18 Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it; Ransom me because of my enemies!


Psalm 71:23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed.


Psalm 78:42 They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary,


Psalm 119:134 Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I may keep Your precepts.


Psalm 130:8 And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.


Isaiah 1:27 Zion will be redeemed with justice And her repentant ones with righteousness.


Isaiah 29:22  Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now turn pale;


Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.


Isaiah 51:11 So the ransomed of the LORD will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, And everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.


Jeremiah 15:21 "So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent."


Jeremiah 31:11 For the LORD has ransomed Jacob And redeemed (ga'al) him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.


Hosea 7:13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me.


Hosea 13:14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem (ga'al) them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight.


Micah 6:4 "Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt And ransomed you from the house of slavery, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam.


Zechariah 10:8 "I will whistle for them to gather them together, For I have redeemed them; And they will be as numerous as they were before.

DISCUSSION

(1) If a Jew because of poverty had been obliged to sell himself to a wealthy "stranger or sojourner," it became the duty of his relatives to redeem him. Compare Lev 25:47 and the article Jubilee.

(2) The same duty fell upon the nearest kinsman, if his brother, being poor, had been forced to sell some of his property. Compare Lev 25:23; Ru 4:4-note, and the article Jubilee. (Click Kinsman-Redeemer, Part 1 and Kinsman-Redeemer, Part 2 for discussion on Jesus as our Kinsman-Redeemer and Blood Avenger and year of Jubilee by K Arthur)

(3) It also devolved upon the nearest relative to marry the childless widow of his brother (Ru 2:13-note).

(4) In Nu 5:5 a law is stated which demands that restitution be made to the nearest relative, and after him to the priest, if the injured party has died (Lev 6:1).

(5) The law of blood-revenge (Blut-Rache) made it the sacred duty of the nearest relative to avenge the blood of his kinsman. He was called the go'el ha-dam, "the avenger of blood." This law was based upon the command given in Ge 9:5f: (see also Avenger)

(
Avenger = the person who inflicts punishment upon the evil-doer for a wrong experienced by himself (from naqam, "to avenge"; Ps 8:2-note) or by someone else from ga'al, "to redeem"; (Nu 35:12 et al.). In the New Testament avenger occurs only once; "the Lord is an avenger in all things" (1Th 4:6-note). It was the duty of the nearest relative to execute vengeance upon the murderer of his kin: he became the go'el. With reference to the protective legislation and custom)

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed," and was carried out even if an animal had killed a man; in this case, however, the payment of a ransom was permitted (Ex 21:28). A clear distinction was made between an accidental and a deliberate murder. In both cases the murderer could find refuge at the altar of the sanctuary; if, however, the investigation revealed presumptuous manslaughter, he was taken from the altar to be put to death (Ex 21:12; 1Ki 1:50; 2:28). In Nu 35:9 definite regulations as to the duties of the Goel are given. Six cities were to be appointed as "cities of refuge," three on each side of the Jordan. The congregation has judgment over the murderer. There must be more than one witness to convict a man. If he is found guilty, he is delivered to the Goel; if murder was committed by accident he is permitted to live within the border of the city of refuge; in case the manslayer leaves this city before the death of the high priest, the avenger of blood has a right to slay him. After the death of the high priest the murderer may return to his own city. Ransom cannot be given for the life of a murderer; no expiation can be made for a murder but by the blood of the murderer (Dt 19:4; Josh 20; 2Sa 14:6). According to the law the children of a murderer could not be held responsible for the crime of their father (Dt 24:16; 2Ki 14:6), but see 2Sa 21:1. The order in which the nearest relative was considered the Goel is given in Lev 25:48, 49f: first a brother, then an uncle or an uncle's son, and after them any other near relative. This order was observed in connection with (1) above, but probably also in the other cases except (4).

For the figurative use of Goel ("redeemer") see Ps 119:154-note; Pr 23:11; Job 19:25; Isa 41:14.

It is rendered in the Authorized Version "kinsman," Nu 5:8; Ru 3:12; 4:1,6,8; "redeemer," Job 19:25; "avenger," Nu 35:12; Dt 19:6, etc.) (David calls God His Redeemer Ps 19:14-note, Ps 78:35-note, etc.)

Heb. goel; i.e., one charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs (Lev 25:48,49; Nu 5:8; Ru 4:1-note; Job 19:25). This title is peculiarly applied to Christ. He redeems us from all evil by the payment of a ransom (q.v.).

Modified from Int'l Std Bible Encyclopedia, Theological Wordbook of the OT, Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Vine's OT Lexicon

G Campbell Morgan comments on "Then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee" writing that...

In these words the nobility and faithfulness of Boaz are manifested. It is hardly possible to read the story without seeing that he loved Ruth, and that therefore he was perfectly ready to take the responsi­bility of the next-of-kin. There was, how-ever another who had a prior right, and in loyalty to the law of his people, he gave that one his opportunity. The action of Naomi in this matter can hardly be characterized as other than doubtful, and on the basis of faith alone, it is difficult to justify it. Nevertheless, the expedient to which she resorted must be judged in the light of her own age. We must recognize that at the lowest it was an error of judgment, rather than a willful disobedience; and the overruling love of God carried it to a beneficent issue. One element, and perhaps the strongest, in her action, was that of her confidence in Boaz. Her appeal should have been made to the next-of-kin, but the whole attitude of Boaz toward Ruth had made it natural for her to look to him. He, however, fulfilled his first obligation to the law, as he gave the first opportunity to the true kinsman. This next-of-kin had a perfect right lawfully to abandon his claim, seeing that another was ready to assume it. Thus again the Divine, overruling to highest ends is seen in the case of those who walk by faith, and in strict obedience to the known law of God (Morgan, G. C. Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible).

LIE DOWN UNTIL MORNING:

Lie down (7901) (sakab) means to lie down, to sleep -- to put oneself in a reclining position when sleeping or resting.

The Septuagint (LXX) translates the Hebrew verb for "lie down" with the Greek verb "koimao" (2837) which in the New Testament is always used to refer to lying down to sleep.

It would have been both unsafe and difficult at night without light (which if one used would attract attention) to find her way back home to Naomi. In the Song of Solomon we find a verse that seems to support that Ruth might entail some risks returning home at night --

The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me, They struck me and wounded me; The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me. (Song 5:7)

As previously alluded to , some "scholars" interpret the events in this section as indicative of an improper (sexual) relationship but they fail to appreciate the element of Ruth’s trust that Boaz would not dishonor her whom he wanted for his wife. They fail to appreciate the cultural taboos of Ruth’s time that would have prevented a man of Boaz’s position from taking advantage of Ruth, thereby destroying her reputation and perhaps endangering his own. Biblical writers were not squeamish about describing sexual encounters, but the writer of Ruth has deliberately refrained from even hinting at such an encounter between Ruth and Boaz. If one reads carefully and with sensitivity, it becomes quite clear that the author was saying just the opposite. Chastity was not an unknown virtue in the ancient world, even in the time of the Judges!

QUESTIONS

What does lie down mean?

Go to sleep. There is no sexual connotation suggested by the context.

Why does Boaz ask her to spend the night?

This is intended to protect her from possible physical harm (night travel in time of Judges was not safe! Read especially Judges 17:1ff, 18:1ff, 19:1ff) and also to protect her reputation (Ru 3:14).

As an aside note what Boaz's interactions demonstrate...

(1) Prays for her audibly (benediction) Ru 3:10 - these were his first words (other than "Who are you?" Ru 3:9) after she made the "risky" maneuver of uncovering his feet and seeking his protection as her goel. She had no guarantee that he would answer affirmatively.

(2) Praises her - Ru 3:10

(3) Protects her emotions - Ru 3:11 "Do not fear" which is more than just a command but is then substantiated by his promise to do whatever she asks. Our "greater Boaz" repeatedly said "Do not be afraid". The antidote for fear is faith, and faith comes from hearing the Word of promise (in Ruth's case Boaz's promise), believing this Word, obeying this Word and finding our faith grow. In this way, the feelings of fear are countered by faith in our "Boaz" Christ Jesus. Even when we cannot see His face, we can hear His voice and we can trust His voice (in His Word)! Don't trust your feelings. Trust the truth revealed in God's Word.

(4) Protects her physically ("Remain this night...lie down until morning...rose before one could recognize another" - Ru 3:13, 14).

(5) Protects her reputation (Ru 3:14).

(6) Provides for her (Ru 3:15)

What does the "revelation" that there is a closer "goel" teach about Boaz's character? How does it parallel Phil 2:3-5?

The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all! (Andrew Murray) Humility is that grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it! The truly humble person knows himself and accepts himself (Ro 12:3-note). He yields himself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he is and has for the glory of God and the good of others. So both Ruth (giving up what other young women would choose...rich or even poor young men) and Boaz (laying aside his own personal interests in Ruth) manifest this Christ-like attitude.

How does Boaz cement his promise?

He gives Ruth an oath...he is a man of commitment. The most solemn, binding oath a Jew could vow. (cp He 6:13, 17 God's promise and oath)

 

Ruth 3:14 So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, "Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor." (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified: And she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another; for he said, Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And she took her rest at his feet till the morning: and she got up before it was light enough for one to see another. And he said, Let it not come to anyone's knowledge that the woman came to the grain-floor.
CEV
:  Ruth lay down again, but she got up before daylight, because Boaz did not want anyone to know she had been there.  (
CEV)
GWT: So Ruth lay at his feet until morning. Then she got up early before anyone could be recognized. At that moment Boaz thought to himself, "I hope that no one will ever know that this woman came to the threshing floor."  (
GWT)
KJV
: 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.
NJB: So she lay at his feet till morning, but got up before the hour when one man can recognise another; and he thought, 'It must not be known that this woman came to the threshing-floor.' (
NJB)
Young's Literal: And she lieth down at his feet till the morning, and riseth before one doth discern another; and he saith, 'Let it not be known that the woman hath come into the floor.'

Septuagint (LXX): kai ekoimethe (3SAPI) pros podon autou eos proi e de aneste (3SAAI) pro tou epignonai (AAN) andra ton plesion autou kai eipen (3SAAI) Boos me gnostheto (3SAPM) hoti elthen (3SAAI)  gune eis ton alona 

English of Septuagint: And she lay at his feet until the morning; and she rose up before a man could know his neighbour; and Booz said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor

SO SHE LAY AT HIS FEET UNTIL MORNING:

AT HIS FEET
NOT
AT HIS SIDE!

So she lay at his feet - In perfect obedience and subbmission (attributes of a woman of excellence) to Boaz's command (imperative mood) to remain (Ru 3:13)

The NET Bible is somewhat misleading in my opinion...

Ruth 3:14 So she slept beside him until morning. She woke up while it was still dark. Boaz thought, "No one must know that a woman visited the threshing floor."

This translation contradicts the next word! It also gives the wrong impression!

At his feet (04772) (margelah) not by his side!. This Hebrew word is a masculine plural noun referring to feet or a place for the feet and describes the place where one’s feet rest or stand, the area immediately around them

This is the fourth time in chapter 3 the pedal position is emphasized! (Ru 3:4, 7, 8, 14 plus one use in Da 10:6). Don't miss this detail for it is critical to a correct interpretation of the events of this blessed night, which was a righteous rendezvous. Boaz is beginning to take Ruth "under his wings (cover)", his provision in this passage being for the protection of Ruth’s reputation. God would later intervene to protect Ruth's descendant Mary from scurrilous gossip thus ensuring that Joseph would not put her away as unchaste (Mt 1:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25).

Once again the Septuagint uses the Greek verb koimao (word study) which conveys the picture of ''sleeping" at his feet until morning. There is absolutely no hint of improper behavior between these two persons of excellence and virtue (Ru 2:1, 3:11)! 

Peter writing to Gentile believers but applicable to the events of this night wrote...

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1Pe 2:12-note)

AND ROSE BEFORE ONE COULD RECOGNIZE ANOTHER:

The Hebrew literally reads...

before a man could recognize his companion (or neighbor)

Rose (06965) (qum) means to arise, to stand, to stand up and pictures the physical action of rising up.

Recognize (05234) (nakar) means to consider carefully, to investigate, to acknowledge and to recognize. The idea is to  identify and correlate information and is usually based on seeing and perception.

Before one could recognize another - An idiom meaning before dawn.

AND HE SAID LET IT NOT BE KNOWN THAT THE WOMAN CAME TO THE THRESHING FLOOR: (Ro 12:17; 14:16; 1Co 10:32; 2Co 8:21; 1Pe 2:12)

And he said - Notice this is subsequent to Ruth arising. The text does not specifically state but does imply that she had already departed before Boaz's order suggests that some of his reapers were aware of Ruth's presence, but Boaz told them to keep Ruth’s presence there a secret as explained below.

Why would Boaz not want it to be known Ruth was present that night? He desired to protect her excellent name, Solomon explaining that

A good name is better than a good ointment... (Eccl 7:1)

As Paul wrote centuries later God's people are to

abstain (present imperative) from every form (morphe - word study) of evil (1Th 5:22-note)

Boaz did not even want there to be a suggestion of impropriety that might lead to inaccurate, judgmental gossip. Boaz knew the old World War II saying is just as true in relationships as in wars...

Loose lips
sink ships!

Clearly Boaz sought to protect Ruth from the town gossips. Nothing had happened that was improper but when were gossipers ever careful about the facts?

The point is that Boaz once again shows his great concern for Ruth's integrity (Ru 2:9-note I have commanded the servants not to touch you.) Thus, given this contextual information, the reader can rest quite assured that Boaz took no advantage of Ruth. In fact Boaz insisted on not even the appearance of evil, reminding one of Paul's word to the Ephesians to

not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints. (Ep 5:3-note). 

Boaz knew that if it became known, town gossips would put the worst construction on the incident, just as some modern commentators do (!), thereby destroying Ruth's virtuous reputation and perhaps even his own.

 

Ruth 3:15  Again he said, "Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it." So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified: Also he said, Bring the mantle you are wearing and hold it. So [Ruth] held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and laid it on her. And she went into the town. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And he said, Take your robe, stretching it out in your hands: and she did so, and he took six measures of grain and put them into it, and gave it her to take: and she went back to the town.
CEV
:  Then he told her to spread out her cape. And he filled it with a lot of grain and placed it on her shoulder. When Ruth got back to town,  (
CEV)
GWT: Then Boaz told Ruth, "Stretch out the cape you're wearing and hold it tight." So she held it tight while he measured out six measures of barley. Then he placed it on her back and went into the town.  (
GWT)
KJV: Also he said, Bring the veil 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.
NJB: He then said, 'Let me have the cloak you are wearing, hold it out!' She held it out while he put six measures of barley into it and then loaded it on to her; and off she went to the town.
TEV: Boaz said to her, "Take off your cloak and spread it out here." She did, and he poured out almost fifty pounds of barley and helped her lift it to her shoulder. Then she returned to town with it.
Young's Literal: And he saith, 'Give the covering which is on thee, and keep hold on it;' and she keepeth hold on it, and he measureth six measures of barley, and layeth it on her; and he goeth into the city.

Septuagint (LXX):   kai eipen (3SAAI) aute phere (2SPAM) to perizoma to epano sou kai ekratesen (3SAAI) auto kai emetresen (3SAAI) ex krithon kai epetheken (3SAAI) ep' auten kai eiselthen (3SAAI) eis ten polin

English of Septuagint:  And he said to her, "Bring the apron that is upon thee": and she held it, and he measured six measures of barley, and put them upon her, and she went into the city

AGAIN HE SAID GIVE ME THE CLOAK THAT IS ON YOU AND HOLD IT :

"Then Boaz told Ruth, "Stretch out the cape you're wearing and hold it tight" (GWT)

Give...hold - These are both commands in Hebrew. In light of this truth, observe Ruth's response "So she held...", reflecting her humble, submissive, obedient spirit. A woman of excellence indeed! Delayed "obedience" is disobedience!

Cloak (04304) (mitpahat) was used for wrapping the head and shoulders and is used only here and Isa 3:22-note. The Septuagint (LXX) translates the Hebrew word mitpahat with the Greek noun perizoma which refers literally to a girdle around (as around the loins) and was used to describe an apron as a cook might wear.

SO SHE HELD IT AND HE MEASURED SIX MEASURES OF BARLEY AND LAID IT ON HER THEN SHE WENT INTO THE CITY: (Isa 32:8; Gal 6:10)

and he poured out almost fifty pounds of barley and helped her lift it to her shoulder. Then she returned to town with it (TEV)

So she held it tight while he measured out six measures of barley. Then he placed it on her back and went into the town (GWT)

The NASB adds the word "measures" to the literal phrase six of barley. The NKJV adds the word "ephahs" which is a very an unlikely translation as 1 ephah is anywhere from 3/8's of a bushel to a full bushel. It is virtually inconceivable that Boaz measured out such a huge quantity (over 200 pounds - she was a woman of strength yes, but strength of character not of her ability to carry a physical load)!

NET Bible note...

The unit of measure is not indicated in the Hebrew text, although it would probably have been clear to the original hearers of the account. Six ephahs, the equivalent of 180–300 pounds, is clearly too heavy, especially if carried in a garment. Six omers (an omer being a tenth of an ephah) seems too little, since this would have amounted to six-tenths of an ephah, less than Ruth had gleaned in a single day (Ru 2:!7). Thus a seah (one third of an ephah) may be in view here; six seahs would amount to two ephahs, about 60 pounds (27 kg).

Laid it on her - This statement supports that this was probably a fairly heavy load of barley. This picture emphasizes Boaz's concern for the needs of Ruth and Naomi. Boaz was wealthy and it would have been easy to overlook the needs of others, but he did not. When we are without pain, sadly we often forget those who are in pain. In addition the grain would and been an additional sign to undergird his verbal commitment to carry out what he had promised. Finally the grain gift shows Boaz's gracious, giving heart, which expressed his agape love of giving unconditionally.

Porten quipped that...

The seed to fill the stomach was promise of the seed to fill the womb.

There are some very interesting Rabbinic comments (Midrash Rabbah, Ruth V, 6) on this section of Ruth:

"…The fifth interpretation makes it refer to the Messiah. COME HITHER; approach to royal state … AND EAT OF THY BREAD refers to the bread of royalty; AND DIP THY MORSEL IN THE VINEGAR refers to his sufferings, as it is said But he was wounded because of our transgressions (Isa 53:5). AND SHE SAT BESIDE THE REAPERS, for he will be deprived of his sovereignty for a time, as it is said, For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken (Zech. 14:2). AND THEY REACHED HER PARCHED CORN, means that he will be restored to his throne, as it is said, And he shall smite the land with the rod of his mouth (Isa 11:2). R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Levi "The future Redeemer will be like the former Redeemer. Just as the former Redeemer revealed himself and later was hidden from them … , so the future Redeemer will be revealed to them, and then hidden from them." Unlike the common Jewish belief made popular by Raashi in the 9th century that Isaiah 53 is referring to the nation Israel, this ancient rabbinic ancient commentary shows that  Isaiah 53 was earlier believed by at least some to be a Messianic text. The former "redeemer" in this Midrash is Moses and the future "Redeemer" is the Messiah having a striking parallel in the New Testament that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. According to Scripture He like Moses came and was rejected by Israel as their Redeemer at his first appearance and like Moses is hidden from them now. Rabbi Judah b. Simon said: The meaning is that as a reward for, AND HE MEASURED SIX BARLEYS AND LAID [THEM] ON HER, he was vouchsafed that there should arise from her six righteous men, each one of them possessing six outstanding virtues, viz. David, Hezekiah, Josiah, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, Daniel, and the Messiah … The Messiah, as it is said, And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, etc. (Isa 11:2). (From the Targum to the Hagiographa)


QUESTION

What does Boaz's action teach about his character?

He is modeling the role of the man as "provider", addressing her emotional and physical needs (cp 1Pe 3:7-note). Boaz not only calmed Ruth’s fears and gave her assurance for the future, but he also met her present needs in a gracious and generous way. She had not asked him for anything, but he gave the grain to her because he loved her. A perfect illustration of what New Testament agape (selfless) love looks like - giving without expectation of receiving.

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Last Updated July, 2013

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