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Old and New Testament.
happened in the
middle of the
night that the
lying at his
Amplified: At midnight the man was startled, and he
turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet!
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: Now in the middle of the night, the
man awaking from his sleep in fear, and lifting himself up, saw a
woman stretched at his feet.
CEV: In the middle of
the night, Boaz suddenly woke up and was shocked to see a woman lying
at his feet. (CEV)
GWT: At midnight the man was shivering.
When he turned over, he was surprised to see a woman lying at his
it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned
himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
NJB: In the middle of the night, he woke up with a shock and looked
about him; and there lying at his feet was a woman. (NJB)
Young's Literal: And
it cometh to pass, at the middle of the night, that the man trembleth,
and turneth himself, and lo, a woman is lying at his feet.
Septuagint: And it came to pass at midnight that the man was amazed, and
troubled, and behold, a woman lay (sleeping) at his feet
AND IT HAPPENED
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
THAT THE MAN WAS STARTLED:
"At midnight the man was shivering.
When he turned over, he was surprised to see a woman lying at his
up with a shock" (NJB).
the middle (02677) of the night
- This phrase is literally "in the half of the night" or at midnight. Boaz awoke
suddenly and discovered that a woman was lying at his feet.
Possibly this scene took place in the dark so that Boaz had the
opportunity to reject the proposal without the whole town knowing.
(02729) (charad) means to tremble, quake or shudder and describes
human trembling before some strange or fearsome event. For example after
Jonathan and his armor bearer had slaughtered about 20 Philistines,
was a trembling (noun form charadah) in the
camp, in the field, and among all the people. Even the garrison and the
raiders trembled (verb - charad), and the earth
quaked so that it became a great trembling (noun form charadah)"
(1Sa 14:15, cf Da 10:7).
Charad -39v in the OT - Gen
27:33; 42:28; Exod 19:16, 18; Lev 26:6; Deut 28:26; Judg 8:12; Ruth 3:8;
1 Sam 13:7; 14:15; 16:4; 21:1; 28:5; 2 Sam 17:2; 1 Kgs 1:49; 2 Kgs 4:13;
Job 11:19; 37:1; Isa 10:29; 17:2; 19:16; 32:11; 41:5; Jer 7:33; 30:10;
46:27; Ezek 26:16, 18; 30:9; 32:10; 34:28; 39:26; Hos 11:10f; Amos 3:6;
Mic 4:4; Nah 2:11; Zeph 3:13; Zech 1:21 and rendered in the NAS as --
been careful(1), came trembling(2), come trembling(2), disturb(2),
frighten(3), frighten away(1), make afraid(4), quaked(1), routed(1),
startled(1), terrified(2), terrify(2), tremble(10), trembled(4),
translates the Hebrew word for startled with the Greek verb (tarasso) (5015)
which describes an inward commotion which takes away one's calmness,
causing physical agitation and shaking like water in a glass that has
been sharply jarred (tarasso was used to describe agitating of water in
a pool). Figuratively tarasso describes that state of mind which is to
stirred up or disturbed often accompanied by various emotions including
fear and trepidation. We've all experienced a "Boaz like" reaction,
being suddenly awakened by some strange noise in the middle of the night
and thinking that there was a burglar in the house. And then we were
wide awake for some time after that because we were so shaken. Now you
have the picture of the state of Boaz on this fateful Bethlehem night.
So how did Boaz react?
and caught off guard -- remember that he was sleeping by the barley to
protect it (these were evil "days of the judges" Jdg
21:25-note, Ru 1:1-note) and he may have had momentary fear that he was being robbed.
The Targum translates it
man trembled, and his flesh became like a (boiled) turnip through
Be aware of some very poorly
in various commentaries on this particular section of Ruth. For example one liberal source
offers an absurd, even irreverent interpretation
act was an example of sacred prostitution at the high place in
(Staples "Ruth," pp. 150, 156-67)
Fortunately this genre of interpretation has been almost
universally rejected as unfounded, particularly when one does a
careful interpretation in light of the context of the entire story. It would be highly
unlikely to see Ruth, portrayed uniformly as a woman of excellence
(Ru 3:11, cp same adjective used to describe Boaz in Ru 2:1 = "wealth") stoop
to such a level. Similarly it would be singularly out of character for a
man like Boaz to take advantage of a woman in this way. Remember that
Boaz goes the extra mile to maintain his integrity by emphasizing that
he is not the closest Goel
or kinsman-redeemer. Why would he besmirch his
character in this section? Once again this genre of liberal
interpretation shows the critical value of always
interpreting Scripture in light of its
which is "king" in regard to accurate interpretation!
AND BENT FORWARD AND BEHOLD A WOMAN
WAS LYING AT HIS FEET:
Bent forward (03943) is a Hebrew verb that is concerned with
turning but does not specify a particular way of turning.
behold (02009) - As the famous
"canine cartoon commentator", Snoopy, used to say “Life is full of rude awakenings!”.
For example, remember when Jacob awoke to discover he was married to the
Adam on the other hand was put to sleep by God as a single fellow and awoke a married man!
While Jacob's realization was rude, such could hardly be said of either
Adam's or Boaz's awakening.
Where was Ruth? She was lying at
Boaz's feet which is an important detail to exonerate
her from false accusations of impure motives and even worse of
participating in an illicit relationship! The Hebrew verb for "lying"
(07901) can refer to lying down for rest, lying down forever (deceased) or lying
down to have sexual
relations. Some commentaries have focused on this last meaning
completely ignoring the surrounding text (context). Three times the
author emphasizes the fact that Ruth was at the feet (04772) of
Click the picture of Ruth at the
feet of Boaz ( from the Wenzel Bible - 1389)...
The Targum adds that
Boaz subdued his concupiscence
(= strong desire, especially sexual), and acted toward her as Joseph did to
the Egyptian wife of his master, and as Pelatiel, the son of Laish the
pious, did to Michal, the daughter of Saul, the wife of David, who put a
sword between Michal and himself, because he would not approach to her.
A person's inner character is
revealed not what they do when everyone is watching but when no one else
can see! Boaz had disciplined himself for godliness.
Woodrow Kroll makes the
following comments regarding "middle of the night" noting that...
Most crimes take place in the dark.
In the dark of the night a thief slips into a home to steal. In dimly
lit parking garages assailants lurk about for their next victims. In the
blackness of alleys gang members hatch their plans.
Depraved men love the darkness because it hides their wicked deeds (John
3:19). And here was a perfect opportunity—a man alone with a woman in
the dark. No one would have noticed; it was midnight and everyone was
sound asleep. Nor probably would they have cared, had they taken note.
Ruth was a foreigner and, worse yet, a Moabitess. Since the days of
Moses when Moabites refused to allow passage through their land and even
hired Balaam to curse the Israelites, no love existed between these two
nations. Furthermore, Boaz was wealthy, and everyone knows that the rich
take what they want. But Boaz was a man of honor and integrity—even in
God expects you and me to behave in the dark the same as we do in the
light. It makes no difference if no one is watching. It doesn't even
matter that our misdeeds will never be discovered. There is still One
who knows and cares. The psalmist reminds us, "the darkness and the
light are both alike to [God]" (Ps 139:12-note). The darkness is not the
time to take a chance; it's the time to show your character.
Make sure God can trust you in the dark. Ask Him to give you the
consistency of character that is unaffected by your circumstances. Be as
faithful to the Lord when your actions are hidden as when they're out in
the open. Someday, you'll be glad you did.
What a person is in the dark is what a person truly is. (Ruth
"Who are you?"
answered, "I am
maid, for you
Amplified: And he said, Who are you? And she answered, I
am Ruth your maidservant. Spread your wing [of protection] over your
maidservant, for you are a next of kin.
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And he said, Who are you? And she
answering said, I am your servant Ruth: take your servant as wife, for
you are a near relation.
CEV: "Who are you?" he
asked. "Sir, I am Ruth," she answered, "and you are the relative who
is supposed to take care of me. So spread the edge of your cover over
GWT: "Who are you?" he asked. She
answered, "I am Ruth. Spread the corner of your garment over me
because you are a close relative who can take care of me." (GWT)
NJB: 'Who are you?' he said; and she replied, 'I am your servant
Ruth. Spread the skirt of your cloak over your servant for you have
the right of redemption over me.' (NJB)
Young's Literal: And
it cometh to pass, at the middle of the night, that the man trembleth,
and turneth himself, and lo, a woman is lying at his feet.
Septuagint: And he said, Who art
thou? and she said, I am thine handmaid Ruth; spread therefore
thy skirt over thine handmaid, for thou art a near relation
AND HE SAID
WHO ARE YOU AND SHE ANSWERED I AM RUTH YOUR MAID:
1Sa 25:41; Lk 14:11)
Boaz recognized the shadowy figure as a woman, as his
question "Who are you?" uses the feminine singular pronoun 'at.
I am Ruth you maid -
She uses the Hebrew word 'amah (0519)
which is applied both to literal slaves and to those who figuratively
call themselves by this term as an expression of humility and
Abigail for example fell at David's
"and said, "On me alone, my lord,
be the blame. And please let your maidservant
speak to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant." (1Sa
addressed her husband David saying
My lord, you swore to your
maidservant by the LORD your God, saying, 'Surely your son Solomon
shall be king after me and he shall sit on my throne. (1Ki 1:17).
The NET Bible (also ESV, NIV, NLT)
rendering in fact puts it this way...
Ruth 3:9 He said, "Who are you?"
She replied, "I am Ruth, your servant. Marry your servant, for
you are a guardian of the family interests."
Septuagint translates it with the word ''doule" (cp word
study on NT word for "servant" =
doulos) meaning one
whose will is submitted to the will of the master. Thus Ruth is
clearly willing to humble herself before Boaz. Doule is the name by
which Mary (our Lord's mother) referred to herself...
Luke 1:38 And Mary said, "Behold,
the bondslave (doule) of the Lord; may it be done to me
according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:48 "For He has had regard
for the humble state (tapeinosis)
of His bondslave (doule); For behold, from this time on all
generations will count me blessed.
everyone who exalts
himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be
exalted. (Lk 14:11)
(Comment: This promise certainly was proven true in the life of
Ruth the Moabitess - cp Jas 4:6- note,
As a husband you may wish your wife
submitted to you the way Ruth submits to Naomi and to Boaz.
yourself whether you are providing the kind of godly leadership, care, and
concern that Boaz showed towards Ruth? Now on the other hand, many
wives wish they had a husband who loved, cared, and treated them they
way Boaz did towards Ruth.
But are they showing the same kind of
humble submission and respect Ruth showed to Boaz? Ruth is a very
practical book, especially regarding the relationship between men and
women, especially between husbands and wives, and for these reasons alone
it merits frequent
meditation to "glean" the
hidden treasures of wisdom for living buried in these four simple and
yet very profound chapters.
your maid - The first time at his "feet" she had referred to
herself as "a foreigner" (Ru 2:10-note).
Here she did not call herself Ruth the Moabitess or a
foreigner but “your
certainly suggests as some have surmised that Ruth was making a new
beginning. Ruth is mentioned
twelve times, five references as the Moabitess
(Ru 1:22; 2:2, 21; 4:5, 10-see notes
SO SPREAD YOUR COVERING
OVER YOUR MAID: (Dt 22:30, Ezek 16:8)
Make me your wife according to
God’s law, for you are my close relative (TLB)
Because you are a close relative,
you are responsible for taking care of me. So please marry me (TEV)
Spread your cover over me, because
you are a relative who is supposed to take care of me (NCV)
I am Ruth, your servant. Marry your
servant, for you are a guardian of the family interests (NET)
Spread your wing [of protection]
over your maidservant, for you are a next of kin (AMP)
Spread the skirt of your cloak over
your servant for you have the right of redemption over me (NJB)
I am your servant Ruth: take your
servant as wife, for you are a near relation (BBE)
Ruth reminded Boaz of his own
words, and requested him to become the fulfiller of his own prayer.
The word for corner is the same as that for `wing' in Ru 2:12 (note) Ruth
reminded Boaz of his own words, and requested him to become the
fulfiller of his own prayer.
To raise the skirts
of a woman's garment is a symbol of insult and disgrace Jer 13:22, 26;
Nah. 3:5, whereas to cover her with one's skirt was a token of
No doubt the idiom reflected the custom, still practiced by some
in the Middle East, of a man throwing a garment over the woman he has
decided to take as his wife, and symbolizing protection as well as
(paras) is commonly used to describe wings as "being spread" or
There are 39 uses in the OT - Gen.
31:28; Exod. 23:11; Num. 11:31; Deut. 32:15; Jdg. 6:13; Ruth 3:9; 1
Sam. 4:2; 10:2; 12:22; 17:20, 22, 28; 30:16; 2 Sam. 5:18, 22; 1 Ki.
8:57; 2 Ki. 21:14; Neh. 10:31; Ps. 27:9; 78:60; 94:14; Prov. 1:8;
6:20; 17:14; Isa. 2:6; 16:8; 21:15; 32:14; 33:23; Jer. 7:29; 12:7;
15:6; 23:33, 39; Ezek. 29:5; 31:12; 32:4; Hos. 12:14; Amos 5:2. The
NAS renders paras - abandon(7), abandoned(5), allow(1), cast away(1),
ceased(1), drawn(1), fall(1), forego(1), forsake(3), forsaken(2),
forsook(1), hangs slack(1), leave(2), left(5), lie fallow(1),
neglected(1), spread (6).
In a parallel passage in Ezekiel we
see God speaking to Israel reminding her
"I passed by you and saw you,
and behold, you were at the time for love; so I
(paras) My skirt over you and covered your
nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so
that you became Mine," declares the Lord GOD." (Ezek 16:8)
(Cp God as Israel's "Husband" in Jer 31:32, Hos 2:19, Isa 54:5 cp Jer
metaphorical account in Ezek 16:8, God spreads his skirt over naked
Jerusalem as an act of protection and as a precursor to marriage.
To spread one’s mantle over a
person meant to claim that person for yourself. For example in (1Kings
19:19) we Elijah finds
"Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve
pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed
over to him and threw his mantle on him."
(kanaph translated with
pterugion = tarret or pinnacle)
refers to an edge or extremity; specifically of a bird
and thus refers to a bird's wing as used in Ru 2:12 ("under
Whose wings" )
referring figuratively to the wings of the Almighty God. Now Ruth
would be under the wings of Boaz, her beloved husband.
beautiful picture of marriage! Is that a picture of your marriage?
There are 85 uses of kanaph
in the OT - Gen. 1:21; 7:14; Exod. 19:4; 25:20; 37:9; Lev. 1:17; Num.
15:38; Deut. 4:17; 22:12, 30; 27:20; 32:11; Ruth 2:12; 3:9; 1 Sam.
15:27; 24:4f, 11; 2 Sam. 22:11; 1 Ki. 6:24, 27; 8:6f; 2 Chr. 3:11ff;
5:7f; Job 37:3; 38:13; 39:13, 26; Ps. 17:8; 18:10; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4;
63:7; 68:13; 78:27; 91:4; 104:3; 139:9; 148:10; Prov. 1:17; 23:5;
Eccl. 10:20; Isa. 6:2; 8:8; 10:14; 11:12; 18:1; 24:16; Jer. 2:34;
48:40; 49:22; Ezek. 1:6, 8f, 11, 23ff; 3:13; 5:3; 7:2; 10:5, 8, 12,
16, 19, 21; 11:22; 16:8; 17:3, 7, 23; 39:4, 17; Dan. 9:27; Hos. 4:19;
Hag. 2:12; Zech. 5:9; 8:23; Mal. 4:2. The NAS translates kanaph
as - bird*(1), corner(1), corners(4), covering(1), each other(1),
edge(5), edges(1), ends(3), fold (2), garment (1), kind (3), skirt(3),
skirts(1), sorts (1), wing(14), winged(5), wings(59), wingspan(1).
Fruchtenbaum comments that
spreading the covering referred to...
the corner of the garment, and it
refers to the fact that a man spreads this over his wife, as well as
himself (Dt. 22:30, Dt 27:20). (Ibid)
In the present context, kanaph refers to the edge of a garment or bed-clothing flap.
We find a similar use in Deuteronomy where God directs His people to
make yourself tassels
on the four corners
of your garment with which you cover yourself (Dt 22:12)
Ruth’s words about Boaz taking her under his wing suggest that in her mind, she was entering into betrothal to
marry Boaz. Betrothal was the first stage of marriage in which a
couple contracted to marry each other (scroll
down to entry #2 "Betrothal the First Formal Part" - in ISBE
discussion of Marriage).
Betrothal in ancient
Israel (at the time of Christ) lasted for a year and
was as binding as marriage, being dissolved only by
divorce. Should the man to whom a girl was betrothed die, in the eyes
of the law she was a widow.
During the actual marriage ceremony, the groom’s relatives cover the
bride with the groom’s garment, indicating that from then on, she was
under his protection ("his wing").
In an earlier encounter Boaz had offered a prayer for Ruth,
May the LORD reward your work,
and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings (kanaph = translated covering
in Ru 3:9 -
note) you have come to seek refuge.
The word wings was a
symbol of protection, as with
baby birds which run under their mother's wings to escape the birds of
God used Boaz as the vessel to answer his own prayer in behalf
It was customary for a Jewish husband to cover his new wife with the
end of his tallit (Heb., prayer shawl) to signify that
she was under his protection. Accordingly, Ruth was asking
Boaz to accept his responsibility as kinsman and to take her as his
The modern Jewish marriage
ceremony takes place under a "huppah/chuppah" (a canopy -- sounds like "kanaph")
in the presence of two lawful witnesses.
To this day in many parts of the
East when a man says he put his skirt over a woman it is synonymous
with saying that he has married her.
The Old Testament uses kanaph many times, most often
figuratively and most often referring to God in a positive context.
For example, Israel's redemption and deliverance from bondage in Egypt is twice
described with the beautiful picture of "wings" for God reminds His
'You yourselves have seen
what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles'
wings, and brought
you to Myself" (Ex 19:4) and
"Like an eagle that
stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings
and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.
" (Deut 32:11).
are pictured as instrumental in the redemption of His wife Israel from
Egyptian bondage. Here in Ruth, the bride is requesting that her
redeemer cover her with his "wings"! And ultimately from this covenant
comes One from the line of David and the tribe of Judah, Who Himself
is the Redeemer of all mankind.
Have you sought refuge under the wings
of the Redeemer of Israel from the wrath to come? Paul teaches that if
you have, you are safe and can
wait for (God's) Son from heaven,
Whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, Who delivers us from the
wrath to come. (1Th 1:10-note)
This phrase Spread
your covering vividly
pictures the provision of
protection, warmth and fellowship and in context speaks beautifully of
marriage. Would it be true that all husbands covered their dearly
beloved the way God does and the way Boaz did in this love story. There
appears to be no hesitation in the response of Boaz. Ruth could
let go of any fear she may have had, for there was no rebuke from this
godly man. To the contrary, he gives her a blessing and acceptance as
a `my daughter' in the family. No longer was she a stranger or
Ruth had come under the wings of Jehovah God (Ru 2:12-note); and now she
would be under the wings of her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz!
Jamieson adds that Ruth
had already drawn part of the
mantle over her; and she asked him now to do it, that the act might
become his own. To spread a skirt over one is, in the East, a
symbolical action denoting protection. To this day in many
parts of the East, to say of anyone that he put his skirt over a
woman, is synonymous with saying that he married her; and at all the
marriages of the modern Jews and Hindus, one part of the ceremony is
for the bridegroom to put a silken or cotton cloak around his bride.
Earlier in Ruth 2:12 (note),
Boaz complimented Ruth her for coming under the wing of Jehovah. Ruth
had put herself under Jehovah’s wing when she came to Judah. But now,
she sought also to put herself under Boaz’s wing. Boaz was being
asked to answer his own prayer. (Ed: Even as Naomi in Ru 3:1-note
was answering her own prayer from Ru 1:9-note)
The marriage was the means by which God would protect Ruth and at the
same time pay her in full the wages for her past kindness.
Theologically speaking, God worked here not by direct intervention,
but by providence, by using the righteous human acts described here.
(Fruchtenbaum, A. G. Ariel's Bible Commentary : The books of Judges
and Ruth. Page 325. San Antonio, Tex.: Ariel Ministries)
FOR YOU ARE A CLOSE RELATIVE:
(Ru 2:12 -note)
"for thou art a near kinsman"
"for thou art a near kinsman
"you are the relative who is supposed to take care of me"
Today's English Version is very direct (albeit a paraphrase)
you are a close relative, you are responsible for taking care of me.
So please marry me."
"you are a close relative who can take
care of me" (GWT)
relative (01350) (Goel)
This is the second use of this term in Ruth (Ru 2:20-note)
(Here are the 10 uses in Ruth - Ru 2:20; 3:9, 12, 13; 4:1, 3, 4,
6, 8, 14)
Note she says "You are
kinsman-redeemer," rather than, "You are my kinsman-redeemer".
Whether Ruth knew that
there was a closer kinsman is uncertain.
It is surprising that Jonathan Edwards in his book "History of
Redemption" which traces the history of redemption from Moses to
David, absolutely ignored Boaz as a type of Christ (see
Typology), the great Redeemer and
instead included many of the judges (including Samson!) writing that
The deliverers that God raised up from time to time were all types of
Christ, the great Redeemer of His Church; and some of them very
remarkably so; as particularly, Barak, Jephthah, Gideon, Samson, in
many particulars. (McGee,
J. V. Ruth and Esther : Women of Faith. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
J. Vernon McGee further notes that
Having included Samson, (Jonathan Edwards) passed over the Book of
Ruth entirely, paid no attention to Boaz, and discussed Samuel as the
next in order as a type of the Redeemer. A. H. Strong, in his
Systematic Theology, defined the section of theology under
“Christology” as “the redemption wrought by Christ,” and he did
not even allude to Boaz as a type of Christ. There is no reference to
the Book of Ruth in his entire work on theology. Calvin, in the
Institutes, made no reference to the Book of Ruth when contemplating
redemption. In any biblical history of redemption that seeks to trace
the types through the Scripture, there ought to be a reference to Boaz
in the Book of Ruth. (Ibid)
(Go'el is the active
participle of ga'al)
(Geullah is the passive participle of ga'al)
(for further explanation & definition
ALL USES IN RUTH
- see note
Naomi said to her
daughter-in-law, "May he be blessed of the LORD who has not
withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead ." Again
Naomi said to her, "The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives
- see note
He said, "Who are you?"
And she answered, "I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering
over your maid, for you are a
- see note
"Now it is true I am a
however, there is a
(go'el) than I.
"Remain this night, and
when morning comes, if he will
you, good; let him redeem
you. But if he does not wish to
you, then I will
(ga'al) you, as the
LORD lives. Lie down until morning ."
Now Boaz went up to the
gate and sat down there, and behold, the
of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, "Turn aside,
friend, sit down here ." And he turned aside and sat down.
- see note
Then he said to the
"Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the
piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.
- see note
"So I thought to inform
you, saying, 'Buy it before those who are sitting here, and
before the elders of my people. If you will
it; but if not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but
you to redeem
it, and I am after you.'" And he said, "I will
- see note
said, "I cannot
it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance.
it for yourself; you may have my
right of redemption
(geullah = passive participle of ga'al), for I
- see note
said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself." And he removed his sandal.
- see note
Then the women said to
Naomi, "Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a
today, and may his name become famous in Israel.
did he have to ask who this was? Did he even know it was a woman?
Obviously it was dark
because it was the middle of the night -- although he apparently did know it was a woman because the pronoun he uses
in Hebrew is feminine.
How does Ruth characterize herself?
his "maid" the Hebrew word
(amah) is not
the same one (shiphchah) used in Ru 2:13
(note), but is the word for literal
slaves -- this word suggests that she
was humbling herself, submitting her will to his will, her hopes and
desires to his providences.
Abigail "fell at (David's)
feet and said, "On me alone, my lord, be the blame. And please
let your maidservant (amah) speak to
you, and listen to the words of your maidservant (amah)." (1Sa
What does she request?
How does this correlate with Dt 25:5-10?
to cover her with one's skirt was a token of matrimony; to fulfill the
also her NEED = Ru 4:3 and God's PROVISION = Lev 25:25, a truth
("promise") of which she would most likely have been
knowledgeable (cp God's promise to believers in the NT 2Pe 1:4-note)
Why was Ruth so bold in her request?
She knew Boaz was a
Goel. (Ru 2:20-note)
How is the Hebrew word "covering" translated elsewhere in Ru 2:12?
How else do these 2 verses relate? What was Boaz doing for Ruth in
God used Boaz as the vessel to answer his own prayer in behalf
What does Ezekiel 16:8 teach about the meaning of Ruth's request?
This idiom reflected the custom, still practiced by some Arabs, of a
man’s throwing a garment over the woman he has decided to take as his
wife, and symbolizing protection as well as fellowship. The "security"
or REST that Naomi had desired for Ruth.
Ezekiel 16:8 = God says
"I SPREAD (paras) MY SKIRT (wing -
kanaph) OVER YOU".
This phrase reflects
Israel's "marriageable state" and the spreading of God's “wing” pictures the
custom of espousal as here in Ruth. This statement by God clearly indicates that
He had entered
into a covenant with young Israel.
When? At Mt. Sinai (cf.
Ex 19:5, 6, 7, 8). Here in
this covenant is pictured as like a marriage. In fact, elsewhere
God describes His relationship to Israel in similar terms
Jeremiah 31:32 recording that God would make a new covenant with
not like the covenant which I
made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to
bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they
broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the
LORD. (cf also Jeremiah 2:2)
What else would "wings" picture according to Dt 32:11?
This figure no doubt refers more especially to the protection and
assistance of God experienced by Israel in its journey through the
Arabian desert -- compare with Jesus' lament in Mt 23:37
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones
those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children
together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you
The responsibilities of the
kinsman redeemer or go'el mentioned in Scripture are...
1). Avenging the death of a murdered relative (Nu 35:19)
2). Marrying a childless widow of a deceased brother (Dt 25:5, 6, 7,
8, 9, 10),
3). Buying back family land that had been sold (Lv 25:25),
4). Buying a family member who had been sold as a slave (Lv 25:47, 48,
5). Looking after needy and helpless members of the family (Lv 25:35).
said, "May you
blessed of the
kindness to be
first by not
Amplified: And he said, Blessed be you of the Lord, my
daughter. For you have made this last loving-kindness greater than the
former, for you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And he said, May the Lord give you
his blessing, my daughter: even better than what you did at the first
is this last kind act you have done, in not going after young men,
with or without wealth.
CEV: Boaz replied: The LORD
bless you! This shows how truly loyal you are to your family. You
could have looked for a younger man, either rich or poor, but you
GWT: Boaz replied, "May the LORD bless
you, my daughter. This last kindness-that you didn't go after the
younger men, whether rich or poor-is better than the first. (GWT)
he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast
showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch
as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
NJB: 'May Yahweh bless you, daughter,' he said, 'for this second act
of faithful love of yours is greater than the first, since you have
not run after young men, poor or rich.
Young's Literal: And
he saith, 'Blessed art thou of Jehovah, my daughter; thou hast dealt
more kindly at the latter end than at the beginning -- not to go after
the young men, either poor or rich.
Septuagint: And Booz said,
Blessed be thou of the Lord God, my daughter, for thou hast made
thy latter kindness greater than the former, in that thou
followest not after young men, whether any be poor or rich
THEN HE SAID
MAY YOU BE BLESSED: (Ru 2:4-note;
1Cor 13:4, 5)
LORD - Boaz's immediate use of God’s covenant Name shows His
acknowledgment and recognition of Jehovah's sovereign and providential
hand in all that was taking place.
How quick are we to recognize
and acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all that transpires in our
life? May we like Boaz make this our natural (supernatural) response
in everything (cp 1Th
There was not a moment's hesitation in the response of Boaz.
It is obvious that Boaz understood Ruth’s action as a request for
marriage. Ruth could let go of
her fears for no rebuke was forthcoming. Instead, she received a
blessing and acceptance as a `daughter' in the family. No longer was
she a stranger or foreigner. (We too are now "accepted in the
Beloved" KJV, Eph 1:6-note)
(barak) (see Vine's note below) literally means to kneel down and to be or go to a stance in which one
is on the knees as contrasted with standing on the feet, with the back
straight or bent.
To bless in the OT often conveys the idea of
to endue with power for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity,
etc. Its major function seems to have been to confer abundant and
effective life upon something (Ge 2:3) or someone (Ge 27:27) The source of
true blessing is God and God alone. God's name, the manifestation of
personal, redemptive, covenant-keeping nature, is at the heart of all
Boaz might have refused to have anything to do with
Ruth; but in his love for her, he called her “my daughter” (Ru 2:8-note)
and pronounced a blessing on her (Eph 1:3-note). Our Heavenly Father
and our Redeemer seek a closer relationship with us, and we should
not be afraid to draw near and share Their love (Jn 14:21). If we could only realize in even a small way the great love our
Kinsman Redeemer has for us, we would forsake everything else and
enjoy His fellowship.
(Modified from Vine OT Lexicon)
Barak - The root of
this word is found in other Semitic languages which, like
Hebrew, use it most frequently with a deity as subject. There
are also parallels to this word in Egyptian.
occurs about 330 times in the Bible, first in
blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply.
first word to man is introduced in the same way:
blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply
Thus the whole creation is shown to
depend upon God for its continued existence and function (cf.
Barak is used
again of man in
Ge 5:2, at the beginning
of the history of believing men, and again after the Flood in
Ge 9:1: “And God blessed
Noah and his sons.…”
The central element of God’s covenant
with Abram is: “I will bless thee … and thou shalt be
a blessing: And I will bless them that bless
thee … and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed”
This “blessing” on the nations
is repeated in
In all of these
instances, God’s blessing goes out to the nations
through Abraham or his seed.
translates all of
these occurrences of barak in the passive, as do
the kjv, nasb, and niv.
Paul quotes the Septuagint’s rendering
Ge 22:18 in Gal 3:8. The covenant
promise called the nations to seek the “blessing”
Isa 2:2, 3, 4), but made it plain
that the initiative in blessing rests with God,
and that Abraham and his seed were the instruments of it. God,
either directly or through His representatives, is the subject
of this verb over 100 times. The Levitical benediction is
based on this order: “On this wise ye shall bless the
children of Israel … the Lord bless thee … and they shall put my
name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them”
6:23, 24, 25,26, 27).
The passive form of barak is used in pronouncing God’s “blessing
on men,” as through Melchizedek:
Blessed be Abram of the most high God … (Ge
Blessed be the Lord God of Shem … (Ge
9:6) is an expression of praise.
Blessed be the most
high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand” (Ge
14:20) is mingled praise and thanksgiving.
A common form of greeting
Blessed be thou of the
The simple form of the verb is used in
2Chr 6:13 “He … kneeled
Six times the verb is used to denote profanity, as
in Job 1:5:
It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their
YOU HAVE SHOWN
YOUR LAST KINDNESS
TO BE BETTER THAN THE FIRST BY NOT GOING AFTER YOUNG MEN
WHETHER POOR OR RICH:
The Hebrew text reads literally "you
have made the latter act of devotion better than the former",
than what you did at the first is this last kind act you have done, in
not going after young men, with or without wealth" (BBE)
are showing more family loyalty now than ever by not running after a
younger man, whether rich or poor" (NLT)
"this second act of
faithful love of yours is greater than the first, since you have not
run after young men, poor or rich" (NJB)
"This act of kindness
is greater than the kindness you showed to Naomi in the beginning. You
didn’t look for a young man to marry, either rich or poor" (NCV)
"You are showing even greater family loyalty in what you are doing
now than in what you did for your mother-in-law. You might have gone
looking for a young man, either rich or poor, but you didn’t"
"This shows how truly loyal you are to your family. You could
have looked for a younger man, either rich or poor, but you didn’t." (CEV)
Boaz realized that Ruth was primarily concerned for Naomi's future (cp
Php 2:3, 4-note). It
would have been natural for Ruth to have sought a husband of her own
age rather than someone old enough to be her father. He had observed
her reticence and respected her for it. He could do all she asked
without incurring blame because the whole community had come to
appreciate Ruth's integrity.
In ancient times, daughters were not prized as
highly as sons. Some fathers actually looked upon them as nuisances.
However, the Hebrews treated their daughters more humanely than some
of the surrounding cultures.
(hesed) (used also in Ru 1:8-note;
conveys the basic meaning of steadfast or unfailing love and
devotion. Hesed for example is used to
describe God's faithfulness to keep His covenant.
What was Ruth's latter "kindness"?
Ruth’s former act of devotion was her decision to stay with and help
Naomi (cp Ru 1:15, 2:2, 2:11). The latter act of devotion is her decision to marry Boaz and
thereby provide a child to carry on her deceased husband’s (and Elimelech’s line) and to provide for Naomi’s needs in her old age.
(Ru 4:5, 10, 15-see notes
was described in Ru 2:11 (note). If Ruth had been merely sensually inclined like so
many in American culture today, she would have followed her fleshly
consorted easily with the younger men. In seeking out Boaz, she shows that
her primary interest in this whole affair is the “immortality” of her
husband and father-in-law. Her hesed or covenant loyalty and
faithfulness to her deceased husband Mahlon and to her mother-in-law Naomi became obvious in Moab, when she refused to leave Naomi
and this kindness now takes on a new radiance, clearly attractive to
Boaz is saying something like
“It was wonderful when you agreed to
care for an old woman, but it is marvelous in the extreme that you
chose to respond to the love of an older man and deny yourself a
husband in his prime” (a man of your own age).
Fruchtenbaum comments that...
Her beginning kindness was her
loyalty to Naomi and her willingness to forsake family and homeland
and religion out of devotion to Naomi. The present kindness of her
chesed (checed/hesed/heced) is that she now came to a man who was
probably Naomi’s age. Her willingness to provide Naomi an heir by
marrying a Goel like Boaz even exceeded her very impressive kindness
earlier...she was willing to pass up the younger men who were not
goels, for that would have only benefited Ruth and not Naomi. Thus
she was willing to take on the family obligations of her own free
will. She was not acting out of passion or greed but only out of love
for Naomi; she considered her own happiness as secondary. Ruth could
have married for love or money, but she chose to marry for family
loyalty. So, her new display of chesed would therefore merit even
greater repayment. (Fruchtenbaum, A. G. Ariel's Bible Commentary
: The books of Judges and Ruth. Page 330. San Antonio, Tex.: Ariel
Ministries) (Bolding added)
Young men - The idea is ''choice men'' in that the picked or
chosen men for example in a military context are usually the young men. So there
appear to be 2 reasons that Boaz had not proposed marriage to Ruth:
(1). His considerably advanced age in comparison to Ruth and (2). His
knowledge that there was a nearer kinsman than he.
poor or rich - This phrase
suggests that Ruth must have been quite a "catch" and could have
married anyone she wished. However, only by marrying a Goel
or “kinsman redeemer” could she carry on her dead
husband’s line and make provision for Naomi. Once again we see Ruth's
lifestyle to daily "deny self" (Mk 8:34), the mantra of an OT follower
of the Messiah.
So it appears from Boaz's assessment of Ruth's motives that she was
not simply trying to improve her condition in life by seeking Boaz
to be her husband, for she might have had a rich young man. Ruth's
Christ-like attitude of considering others more important than herself
motivated her to seek to "build up the house" (preserving the name) of her deceased husband
Mahlon (Ru 4:10) as well as the name of Elimelech.
Some commentators have cynically
considered the entire episode in Ruth 3 as an example of the wily ways
of a woman who was simply out to "get her man". This genre of (mis)
interpretation shows a lack of sensitivity to the intricate
(providential) chain of events (context
must be king for interpretation to be accurate) that are unfolding in
What is the "time phrase"?
(then) So Boaz replies without apparent hesitation. But he does not answer her affirmatively
immediately. She might have been a bit concerned.
Who speaks "then" for the next 5 verses?
Boaz (note "my daughter" is used 8x in Ruth and 3x (in v10-16) by Boaz
in his reply to her query
all uses of the phrase "my daughter" in the OT (in ESV) - Deut.
22:16; Jos. 15:16; Jdg. 1:12; 11:35; Ruth 2:2, 8, 22; 3:1, 10,
How would you characterize his reply?
PRAYER & PRAISE
How does Boaz preface his statements?
a blessing (good way to start)
What does Boaz mean by her first kindness? see
What about Ruth's
not to marry a "choice" man
What in essence is she doing by forgoing a "choice" man?
she is giving up any opportunity or desire she has to marry a young
man, bc she is loyal to Naomi and her family & faithful to fulfill the
obligation to carry on the family name.
Her HESED (covenant loyalty...to deceased Mahlon & to Naomi) shone forth
admirably when she refused to leave Naomi; it now takes on new
God uses Ruth to picture HESED:
loyalty to covenant, to family, to relationships
fear. I will
do for you
people in the
know that you
Amplified: And now, my daughter, fear not. I will do for
you all you require, for all my people in the city know that you are a
woman of strength (worth, bravery, capability).
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And now, my daughter, have no fear;
I will do for you whatever you say: for it is clear to all my
townspeople that you are a woman of virtue.
CEV: Don't worry, I'll
do what you have asked. You are respected by everyone in town. (CEV)
GWT: Don't be afraid, my daughter. I
will do whatever you say. The whole town knows that you are a woman
who has strength of character. (GWT)
now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest:
for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous
NET: Now, my dear, don't worry! I intend to do for you everything
you propose, for everyone in the village knows that you are a
NJB: Don't be afraid, daughter, I shall do everything you ask, since
the people at the gate of my town all know that you are a woman of
great worth. (NJB)
Young's Literal: And
now, my daughter, fear not, all that thou sayest I do to thee, for all
the gate of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
Septuagint: And now fear not, my daughter, whatever thou shalt say
I will do to thee; for all the tribe of my people knows that thou art
a virtuous woman
AND NOW MY DAUGHTER DO NOT FEAR
I WILL DO FOR YOU WHATEVER YOU ASK :
"Now don’t worry about a thing, my child; I’ll handle all the
be assured, daughter, I will do for you whatever you say" (NAB)
my daughter, don’t worry! I intend to do for you everything you
"And now, my daughter, fear not. I will do for you all you
Do not fear (03372)
(yare) (Imperfect tense in Hebrew but a present imperative in
means don't be afraid or frightened. Yare can also convey the
sense of reverential awe of God.
The first use of yare is
instructional for it occurs just after the first sin, where Adam heard
God in the garden of Eden and was afraid because of his nakedness (Ge
3:10). Sin brings a terrifying fear of God, because He is holy. The
only reliable "antidote" for this fear is faith in our
"greater Boaz", Who covers (clothes us) our spiritual nakedness (our
unrighteousness) with His perfect righteousness (cp 2Cor 5:21, 1Cor
1:30, Re 3:18-note),
that we might not be terrified by the presence of God. In fact the
second use of yare in Ge 15:1 is God instructing Abram (later
Abraham) to not fear. Why not? Because Jehovah promised him He would
be his shield and would reward him. Abraham's had to "lay hold" of
these promises by faith (relying on them even when what he saw might
have tempted him to think otherwise, cp 2Co 5:7, 4:18, He 11:27-note),
just as Ruth had to choose to place her trust in Boaz's promise in
order to counter her feelings of fear (of rejection, of doubt, etc).
Fear cannot cohabit with a real, robust faith!
comforted Ruth and allayed her concern that she might have
acted presumptuously or offended him by her forwardness.
In the midnight darkness, Ruth could not see the face of Boaz, but she
could hear his voice and his voice spoke the reassuring words "Do not
I will do for you whatever
you ask - The promise. Boaz was a man of his word and so his
promise was as good as if it were already accomplished. Ruth had seen
and experienced his integrity in chapter 2 and thus had no reason to
question his promise now.
"everything which you are saying I
will do for you." The Hebrew word order emphasizes Boaz's intention to
fulfill Ruth's request.
As with Ruth, a believer's assurance is not to be based
upon feelings and/or untoward circumstances
but is rooted in the truth, in the sure word from our greater Kinsman Redeemer,
Christ Jesus. Don't trust your feelings. Trust His Word. Are you "in" His Word,
that you might "hear" Him speak words of comfort to your
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word.
Mills adds that
not fear’ ...is not
without significance, for it ensured that Ruth would not surmise that
Boaz was being evasive by introducing the subject of the nearer
It displayed a laudable sensitivity in Boaz’s
character which is exemplary for us all.
Boaz suggested that Ruth
tarry for the night to ensure that she was not molested; inebriated
party-goers, celebrating the end of the harvest, would not make a good
gauntlet for Ruth to run! Once again we find Boaz, obviously drawn to
the winsome maid from Moab, acting with decorum despite his personal
feelings. Note Ru 3:14, for it clearly establishes there was no
impropriety. (Mills, M. A study guide to the book of Ruth. 3M
FOR ALL MY PEOPLE IN THE
CITY KNOW THAT YOU ARE WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE:
(Pr 31:29, 30, 31)
the tribe of my people knows that you art a virtuous woman" (English of LXX),
"virtuous woman" (KJV)
"woman of worth" (Darby)
"woman of noble
"honorable woman" (NLT)
"what a fine woman you are" (Tanakh)
"for it is clear to all
my townspeople that you are a woman of virtue" (BBE)
"The whole town knows that you are a woman who has strength of
For - Now Boaz explains
the reason he will fulfill his promise to Ruth.
my people in the city know (cp Ru 1:19-note,
Ru 2:11-note) Ruth was like the description Beverly Parkin gave in her book
Flowers by the Wayside, in which she describes a flower that
reminds us of Ruth, writing that the regal yellow iris
“grows in damp places, untroubled by storms and violent winds. There
is great strength in its broad, spear-shaped leaves and the flowers
bloom regardless of the weather.... The iris has great character.”
(sha'ar) (used 4 times in Ru 3:11, 4:1, 10, 11 - see notes on
11) is literally gate
so it reads more literally “all the gate of my people” where "gate"
is a metonymy (= a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name
of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with
which it is associated as “crown” in “lands belonging to the crown”)
which could refer to everyone in town or to the leaders and prominent
citizens of the community (Boaz’s peers) who transacted business and
made legal decisions at the town gate.
Blaise Pascal, a 17th-century theologian declared
The virtue of a man ought to be measured, not by his extraordinary
exertions, but by his everyday conduct.
The people of Bethlehem ("all
my people in the city know")
had noticed Ruth's daily conduct, and that earned her the reputation
of being a virtuous woman. Boaz does not for a moment question their
assessment of Ruth, which he might have had any of her actions or
address (uncovering his feet, lying at his feet, asking him to cover
her) been unseemly or in the least bit anything other than excellent.
So here we find another reason to totally disregard any who would some
2500+ years later seek to attribute impure motives to this Moabitess,
a woman of virtue
A woman of excellence (cp Pr 12:4, 31:10,29, 30, 31) - A
woman of valor. A woman of virtue.
The Hebrew adjective excellence
(02428) (chayil) conveys the basic meaning of being strong or
firm. One could therefore translate this phrase as "woman of strong
(not strong willed)
character" and this is essentially the same phrase used in Pr
to describe the ideal wife, where the writer of Proverbs emphasizes
the wife’s industry, devotion to her family and her concern
for others, all characteristics which Ruth had amply demonstrated. In the present context
then chayil refers to Ruth's virtue, capability, inner
Chayil is also used in
the common OT phrase "mighty (gibbor) men of valor
(chayil). The word mighty is gibbor (01368)
a root commonly associated with warfare and has to do with the
strength and vitality of the successful warrior. Gibbor is used to
describe God in Isa 10:21, Jer 32:18. The identical Hebrew phrase (gibbor + chayil)
is used to refer to Boaz in Ru 2:1 (note)
where it is translated as
"man of great wealth",
"mighty man of wealth",
"a man mighty in wealth",
"a rich and influential man",
"a wealthy prominent man".
courage and strength make a man a "hero", so too Ruth’s courage and
strength, as shown in her virtuous character - make her a "heroine". The Greek Septuagint
translates the Hebrew chayil with the word
study) (a "dynamite"
woman) which indicates inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of
its nature -- dynamite has inherent power which becomes evident when the
fuse is lit!
Although the proverb had not yet been written, Boaz, a man of
excellence, recognized Ruth's character for he knew that
excellent (Hebrew = chayil;
= timios =held of great price, precious, esteemed, held in
honor, of great worth, highly regarded, respected)
wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels... Charm is
deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she
shall be praised.
(Pr 31:10, 30)
wife is the crown of her husband (Crown figuratively excellent
wife = an emblem of renown and brings honor and respect to her
husband), but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones. (Pr
12:4 cp other Proverbs on wives - Pr 11:22, 14:1, 19:13)
Comment: As an aside -- Marriage doesn’t change a person’s
character. If there are character weaknesses in either the husband or
the wife, marriage will only reveal and accentuate them. A husband or
wife who hopes to change his or her spouse after the honeymoon is
destined for disappointment. (Wiersbe, W: Be Skillful)
Peter's description of a
godly woman readily fits Ruth's excellent character as we observe
chaste (Ru 3:7-note
- she lay at his feet, not his side) and respectful behavior.
3 And let not your adornment be merely external--
braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4
but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the
imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former
times the holy women also, who hoped (looked forward with
confidence, as in 1Co 15:19, Mt 12:21 = trusting) in God (Ru 1:16-note,
used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own
husbands. 6 Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord,
(cp Ru 2:13-note
"my lord") and you have become her children if you do what is right
without being frightened by any fear. 7 You husbands likewise, live
with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel,
since she is a woman; and grant (bestow, "allotting" to) her
honor (worth, merit, a person of value, as expressed by one's
attitude which works itself in action -
she is precious,
but do your actions
belie your words?) as a
fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be
hindered. (1Pe 3:2-7-notes)
As discussed in Ru 2:1 (note),
the term used to describe Boaz is very similar to that used to describe Ruth thus
making them the perfectly matched couple for an exemplary marriage.
Do you not find it
Interesting that there is not one word praising her for her
''looks''. Boaz was most concerned about the ''inward look'' that she
Matthew Henry writes that
Ruth was a poor woman, and poverty often obscures the luster of
virtue; yet Ruth's virtues, even in a mean condition, were generally
taken notice of and could not be hid; nay, her virtues took away the
reproach of her poverty. If poor people be but good people, they shall
have honour from God and man. Ruth had been remarkable for her
humility, which paved the way to this honour (cp Pr 15:33, 29:23). The less she proclaimed
her own goodness the more did her neighbors take notice of it.
is a life without value
applies the truth
about Ruth's virtue, writing that
"God wants His people to live
virtuous lives no matter what the rest of society does. Peter
But also for this very reason [the corruption of the
world], giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue (2Pe 1:5-note).
In the midst of a society that appears to
enjoy wallowing in the pigsty of immorality, it is imperative that we
live with virtue. Why? Because virtuous living keeps us in close
fellowship with God. In addition, it sets us apart as a witness to the
cleansing power of Jesus Christ. At a time when once again "every
man is doing what is right in his own eyes," you and I need to be
distinguished as people of virtue. Make sure your daily conduct
reflects faith and virtue. In every respect, deal honestly with those
around you. Keep not only your actions but also your thoughts from
impurity. By doing so, you'll build for yourself the best reputation
of all—not of shrewdness or business acumen, but of virtue. A life
without virtue is a life without value." (Ruth
Proverbs 31 Woman
Devoted to her family
Pr 31:10, 11, 12, 23
Delighted in her work
Diligent in her labor
Pr 31:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27
Dedicated to godly speech
Dependent on God
Pr 31:25b, 30
Dressed with care
Pr 31:22, 25a
Discreet with men
Pr 31:11, 12, 23
Pr 31:28, 29
What is Boaz's reply to Ruth?
Do not fear, don't be afraid (my daughter)... he had not yet
told her he would agree to place his covering on her. In the
midnight darkness, Ruth couldn’t see the face of Boaz, but she
could hear his voice, and that voice spoke loving assurance to
her “Fear not!” Our assurance is not in our feelings or our
circumstances but in His Word (Ro 10:17-note,
2Co 5:7). We all need to hear our
Kinsman Redeemer's precious words "do
not fear ,
do not be afraid" (see
our Kinsman Redeemer's Words - Mt 10:26, 28, 31, 14:27,
17:7, Mk 5:36, 6:50, Lk 5:10, 8:50, 12:4, 7, 32, Jn 6:20, 12:15,
Why was he so committed to follow through?
She was a woman of
excellence -- worth,
virtue, capability, a woman of ABILITY: The
Hebrew word chayil with
dunamis [word study]
woman) which speaks of INHERENT POWER RESIDING IN A THING BY VIRTUE OF ITS
NATURE...dynamite has inherent power which becomes evident when the
fuse is lit!
The entire city (literally all my at the city gate) So all
the Jewish people possibly the influential ones especially knew
"Now it is
true I am a
there is a
Amplified: It is true that I am your near kinsman;
however, there is a kinsman nearer than I.
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: Now it is true that I am a near
relation: but there is a relation nearer than I.
CEV: It's true that I am
one of the relatives who is supposed to take care of you, but there is
someone who is an even closer relative. (CEV)
And now, truly I am one that has the right of redemption, yet there is
one that has the right of redemption who is nearer than I.
now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman
nearer than I.
GWT: It is true that I am a close
relative of yours, but there is a relative closer than I. (GWT)
Now yes, it is true that I am a guardian, but there is another
guardian who is a closer relative than I am. (NET
Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer
nearer than I. (NIV
NJB: But, though it is true that I have the right of redemption over
you, you have a kinsman closer than myself. (NJB)
But there is one problem. While it is true that I am one of your
family redeemers, there is another man who is more closely related to
you than I am. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
And now, surely, true, that I am a redeemer, but also there is a
redeemer nearer than I.
Septuagint: And now I am truly
akin to thee; nevertheless there is a kinsman nearer than I
AND NOW IT IS TRUE I AM A
"I am a redeemer"
"But there is one problem. It’s true that I
am a close relative" (TLB)
"But there is one problem. While it is true that I am one of your
family redeemers" (NLT)
"And now, truly I am one that has the
right of redemption" (Darby)
is true that I am a close relative and am responsible for you"
"Now yes, it is
true that I am a guardian" (NET)
Close Relative (Go'el
= active participle of verb ga'al).
A reasonable question might be “Why
didn’t Ruth wait for Boaz to propose to her?”
For one thing, he most
likely expected that she would marry one of the younger bachelors in
Bethlehem (Ru 3:10-note). Boaz was an older man, and
Ruth was a young woman (Ru 4:12-note). Evidently he
concluded that he was out of the running.
The more important
reason is given in Ru 3:12 -- There was a nearer kinsman in
had first option on Ruth and the property, and Boaz was waiting for
him to act. Ruth had forced the issue, and now Boaz could approach
this kinsman and get him to decide.
As already suggested, Naomi may or
may not have been known of the other kinsman (but see Ru 2:20 "he is
one of our goels"), though Ruth probably did
not know of his existence, so this revelation could have come as a
small shock. Why Naomi sent Ruth to Boaz instead of to the other Kinsman
must have rested on Naomi's knowledge and instinct based on Ru 2:1 and
his actions throughout chap 2.
HOWEVER THERE IS A RELATIVE
CLOSER THAN I: (Ro 4:1-note;
Mt 7:12; 1Th 4:6)
there is one that has the right of redemption who is nearer than I.
but there is someone else who is
more closely related to you than I am (TLB)
there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer
than I. (NIV)
but there is another guardian who
is a closer relative than I am. (NET)
Boaz did not withhold the truth
from Ruth that there was another go'el, for he did not want to give her false
hope. Joy and peace based on ignorance of the truth is delusion
and always leads to disappointment. The greatest concern of
Boaz was for Ruth's redemption, even if that meant another go'el
accomplished the goal. Boaz was not willing to sacrifice his integrity
for the sake of expediency (a good lesson for all saints of all ages!). He
God’s will in God’s way for God's glory. He knew that if it were really
from the Lord, than
he would be able carry out the redemptive transaction in an orderly and proper way.
John Walvoord in his
article entitled "The Incarnation of the Son of God" has the
following entry on the Goel or Kinsman-Redeemer...
Throughout the Old Testament there
is constant reference to the גאל (Goel) or kinsman-redeemer. It is
evident that these instances are typical foreshadowings of Christ as
our Redeemer. The general law of redemption in the Old Testament is
clear. The redeemer had to be a kinsman, one related to the person or
inheritance to be redeemed (Lv 25:48, 49; Ru 3:12, 13; He 2:14, 15).
Christ fulfilled this by becoming man and by having the sins of the
world imputed to Him. The Old Testament redeemer had to be able to
redeem even as Christ in the New Testament (Ru 4:4, 5, 6; Jn 10:11,
18; 1Pe1:18). The redemption is accomplished by the payment of the
price (Lv 25:27; Ro 3:24, 25, 26; 1Pe 1:18,19; Gal 3:13). Latent in
the entire Old Testament order of redemption is the prophetic picture
of Christ Who would come to redeem through the sacrifice of Himself.
The consummation of His redemption yet awaits the saints both in earth
and in heaven. (Bibliotheca
Sacra Volume 105:291-292. Dallas Theological Seminary. 1948)
Why had this man not been mentioned before? The answer
is not clear, but it seems likely that Naomi had already decided that
the nearest relative
was unlikely to take on any extra responsibilities. Boaz would put that
matter to the test in Ruth 4.
Though the reader already knows
through the subtleties of the storyteller's art that Boaz loved Ruth,
it is clear that as an honorable man he was going to adhere strictly
to the laws of his people. This speaks volumes of his willingness to
hold fast his integrity trusting God for the outcome,
considering the interests of Ruth and Naomi as more importance than his
own personal interests in Ruth (which seem fairly obvious). Boaz was a
living example of the greater Kinsman Redeemer for he too did
nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind
(regarded) one another as more important than himself" and did "not
merely look out for (his) own personal interests, but also for the
interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also
in Christ Jesus." (Php 2:3, 4, 5 -see notes
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