1 Now it happened in the days when the judges ruled/judged, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-Judah went to stay a while in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. And they came to the country of Moab, and continued there. 3 Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 And they took themselves wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. 5 And Mahlon and Chilion also died, both of them; the woman was left by her two sons and her husband.
- The book of Ruth is a picture of the Christ’s redemption (purchasing back to God) of the God’s people from the world.
- Naomi is a symbol of Israel, Ruth is a symbol of the church, and Boaz is the symbol of Christ, our kinsman redeemer.
- The name Elimelech means God is my king.
- Naomi means pleasant.
- Mahlon means sickly and Chilion means weak.
- Ruth means friend.
- In 2 Kings 8 God called for a famine to bring the people back to Him.
- He alone is life and the Source of life.
- In the millennium God will not send rain on nations that do not come to worship Him.
- God is our Maker. He alone has the right to say when we die.
- Weakness and sickness is a result of the fall of man and not covering ourselves with the promised or finished work of Christ at the cross by the blood of the lamb.
- Zechariah 14:18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up, and does not come, they will have no rain; this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike the heathen that do not come up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that do not come up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
The LORD visited His people and gave them food
6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, so that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how the LORD had visited his people in giving them food. 7 So she left the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the road to return to the land of Judah.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
8 And Naomi said to her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9 The LORD grant that you find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, Surely we will return with you to your people. 11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will you go with me? Are there still more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
- God’s law says that a brother is to take the place of the dead husband to protect the woman and provide an heir so that the brother’s name not be blotted out of Israel (Deuteronomy 25:5).
- A woman finds rest in the house of her husband because her heart rests in his love and he helps support her.
- 1Timothy 5:14 I desire that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I say, I have hope, if I have a husband tonight, and also bear sons; 13 Would you wait/hope for them until they were grown? Would you keep from having husbands for them? No, my daughters; I have much bitterness for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me. 14 And they lifted up their voice and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clung to her. 15 And she said, Behold, your sister in law has gone back to her people and to her gods: you return after your sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Do not force me to leave you, or to turn from following you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people will be my people, and your God my God: 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried: the LORD do to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me. 18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, then she stopped trying to dissuade her. 19 So the two traveled until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they came to Bethlehem, all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? 20 And she said to them, Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty: why call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me? 22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, who returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
- Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
- Lamentations 3:33 For he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.
- 1Peter 1:6 In which you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if necessary, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations :7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
- Isaiah 63:9In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
1 And Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth from the family of Elimelech; his name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me go to the field, and glean ears of grain after him in whose sight I find grace. And she said to her, Go, my daughter.
- Gleaning was God’s welfare system.
- All of Israel owned their own property, farms.
- Landowners were not to take all the produce of the harvest but were instructed by God to leave some for the poor.
- The poor had to go out and get it. This was motive to plant your own crops so that you would be independent and have plenty.
- It curbed mans tendency to laziness and humbled man’s heart. God’s way provides for man’s total well-being.
- Leviticus 23:22 And when you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to make clean sweep of the corners of your field when you reap, nor gather any gleaning of your harvest: you are to leave them for the poor, and the foreigner: I am the LORD your God.
God guides perfectly
3 So she went, and came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers: and she happened to go to a part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was a relative of Elimelech. 4 And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless you.
- Elimelech was Naomi’s dead husband.
- Boaz’s mother was Rahab of Jericho who hid the Israelite spies in Joshua’s day—Matthew 1:5. Elimelech means God is my king.
- Psalm 48:14 this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was set over the reapers, Whose young woman is this? 6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish woman that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: 7 And she said, Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and has continued from the morning until now; she sat in the house a little while. 8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, Listen carefully, my daughter? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay here with my maidens: 9 Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and follow them: have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the jars, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
- We need to stay close to our Lord and His own to be safe. His nearness is our safety.
- Psalm 91:1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High will abide under he shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
- John 15:4 bide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
10 Then she fell on her face, bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found grace in your eyes, that you take knowledge of me, since I am a foreigner? 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, It has been fully shown me, all that you have done to your mother in law since the death of your husband: how you left your father and your mother, the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you did not know before.
- Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.
He is the only true safety
12 The LORD recompense your work, and a full reward be given you from the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to trust. 13 Then she said, Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me and you have spoken to the heart of your handmaid, though I am not like one of your handmaidens.
- Being sheltered under God’s wings brings to mind the illustrations of the eagle.
- Neshar’ is the word for eagles. It is the griffin eagle of Israel-a big, beautiful, and majestic eagle that soars throughout the land.
- Eagles hide their nest high.
- The eaglets are in a place of total dependence and inaccessibility where there is no natural provision.
- They are naked and clinging to their parents.
- The parents love fiercely and will kill anything that threatens their young.
- Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me: for my soul trusts in you: yes, in the shadow of your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities be past.
- Proverbs 11:31 Behold, the righteous will be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.
- Exodus 19:4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to myself.
14 And Boaz said to her, At mealtime come here, eat of the food, and dip your morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers and he handed her roasted grain. She ate, was satisfied, and left. 15 And when she had risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach/shame her: 16 And let some fall of handfuls on purpose for her; leave them that she may glean them, and do not rebuke her.
- This ‘vinegar’ was like what Christ was offered as He hung on the cross.
- They shared bread and wine. ‘She ate and was satisfied.”
- John 19:29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it on hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the
bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out that she had gleaned: it was about an ephah of barley. 18 She picked it up and went to the city. Her mother in law saw what she had gleaned and she brought out, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was satisfied. 19 And her mother in law said to her, Where have you gleaned to day? Where did you work? Let him be blessed that took notice of you. And she showed her mother in law with whom she had worked and said, The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.
- Our Lord takes notice of us in a much bigger way.
- Psalm 139:2 You know my down sitting and my uprising, You understand my thoughts far off.
20 And Naomi said to her daughter in law, May he be blessed of the LORD, who has not stopped his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said to her, The man is a near relative to us, one who has the right to redeem. 21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He also said to me, Stay close by my young men until they have ended all my harvest. 22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, that they not fall on you in any other field. 23 So she stayed close by the maidens of Boaz to glean until the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest and lived with her mother in law.
- Leviticus 25 explains how a relative could help by buying property of a poor brother for a time.
- At the year of jubilee the property returned to its original owners.
- The Lord has given us an unspeakable inheritance in the eternal future.
- Psalm 103:4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies;
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
The LORD bought us for Himself
1 Then Naomi, her mother in law, said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Now Boaz is one of our relatives, whose maidens you were with. Behold, he winnows barley tonight in the threshing floor. 3 So wash yourself, and anoint yourself, and put your clothing on and go down to the floor: but do not make yourself known to the man until he is finished eating and drinking.
- The book of Ruth illustrates Christ redeeming His church.
- Christ seeks to give us rest.
- The earth is God’s threshing floor to separate the wheat of mankind from the chaff.
- The wheat are those who will be ruled by their Maker.
- The chaff are those who will not bow to their Maker.
- It was God’s system to care for widows that the brother of the dead one would marry the widow and take her under his protection (Deuteronomy 25:5).
- This is what Naomi is talking about.
- Christ has cleansed us, anointed us, and clothed us.
- Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and low in heart: and you will find rest to your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word I have spoken to you.
- Galatians 3:27 as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
4 And when he lies down, mark the place where he lies; then go in, uncover his feet and lay down; he will tell you what you are to do. 5 And she said to her, All that you say to me I will do. 6 So she went down to the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law told her. 7 And when Boaz had eaten and drank and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly, uncovered his feet, and laid down. 9 And it happened at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and behold, a woman lay at his feet.
- To uncover his feet was a symbol of submission to his authority.
- Into the hem of the garment was woven the family emblem or family seal that could be pressed into clay as the family signature.
- Our Lord has sealed us.
- Ephesians 1:13… in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
- Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.
9 And he said, Who are you? And she answered, I am Ruth your handmaid: spread your skirt over your handmaid; for you are one who has the right to redeem. 10 And he said, May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter: for you have showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning by not following young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear; I will do to you all that you require: for all the city/gate of my people know that you are a virtuous woman. 12 It is true that I am your near kinsman: but there is a kinsman nearer than I. 13 Stay this night. And in the morning, if he will perform to you the part of a kinsman, good; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to you, then I will do the part of a kinsman to you, as the LORD lives: lie down until the morning.
- If God weren’t alive, none of us would be here.
- God holds all our life in His hand.
- Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Do not let it be known that a woman came to the floor. 15 Also he said, Bring the veil that you have on you and hold it open. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
- The six measures of barley were a sign to Naomi of rest.
- Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who are you, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her. 17 And she said, He gave me these six measures of barley; for he said to me, Do not go empty to your mother in law. 18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will fall: for the man will not rest until he has finished the thing this day.
- Naomi understood the message that Boaz was sending with six measures of barley.
- Naomi and Boaz never meet in this narrative.
- Boaz is the type of Jesus Christ who bought a field on earth with His blood to acquire a Gentile bride.
- Christ has made us bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.
- Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy of it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
- 1Peter 1:18 For you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain/empty way of life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
- Ephesians 5:30 we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
1 Then Boaz went up to the gate and sat there: and behold, the relative of whom Boaz spoke came by; to whom he said, Turn aside, friend, sit here. And he turned aside, and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, Sit here. And they sat down. 3 And he said to the relative, Naomi, who has come again out of the country of Moab, is selling a parcel of land that belonged to our brother, Elimelech: 4 And I thought I should speak to you saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it: but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is no one to redeem it beside you; and I am after you. And he said, I will redeem it.
- Christ redeemed us. The word ‘redeem’ means to ‘buy back.’
- God made man, man fell into sin by choice.
- God bought us back to Himself by Christ’s death on the cross.
- Our part in this is to believe.
- Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.
- 1Peter 1:18 For you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain behavior received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
God’s plan provides protection, provision, and posterity for widows
5 Then Boaz said, The day that you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance. 6 And the relative said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem my right for yourself; I cannot redeem it. 7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. 8 Therefore the kinsman said to Boaz, Buy it for yourself. So he drew off his shoe.
- This was their legal paperwork for the transaction.
9 Then Boaz said to the elders and to all the people, You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 And I have purchased Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead not be cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place: you are witnesses this day.
- ‘Raising up the name of the dead on his inheritance’ reserved the property for his heirs and for the eternal inheritance on earth.
- Christ raised us upfrom our death in sin.
- 1Corinthians 6:20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
- Ephesians 2:1 And you has he made live, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
11 And all the people that were in the gate and the elders said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is coming into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which two built the house of Israel: do worthily/get riches and power in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 12 And let your house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare to Judah, of the seed which the LORD will give you of this young woman.
- Tamar was another Gentile brought into the royal family of the eternal King of Kings.
- Her story is in Genesis 38. In spite of sin and personal mistakes, God’s truth and love conquers hearts.
The LORD gives conception
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. 14 And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a kinsman redeemer, that his name may be famous in Israel. 15 And he will be to you a restorer of your life, and a nourisher of your old age: for your daughter in law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has born him. 16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and nursed him. 17 And the women, her neighbors, gave him a name saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, 19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, 20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, 21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, 22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
- Boaz and Ruth were the great, great grandparents of King David.
- Kind David is the line of descent of the eternal King of Kings.
- Matthew 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
- Psalm 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
SUMMARY: Ruth 1-4
- The LORD visited His people and gave them food
- He guides perfectly
- He rewards
- He is the only true safety
- The LORD bought us back for Himself
- God’s plan provides protection, provision, and posterity for widows
- The LORD gives conception
- He brings all who seek Him into a blessed place close to Him in His eternal family