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In Ruth, the Kinsman-Redeemer

Updated on November 17, 2014

Ruth 1:22

"So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning."
"So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning."

Chapter One

In verses 1-5, the scene is set for us...

It is the time of judges, which would give way to the belief that the story and life of Ruth happened during the same time period as did the book of Judges (the book of the Bible just before Ruth). There is a famine in the land, and in Bethlehem in Judah (the tribe of Judah) a man, Elimelech, and his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, leave the land and travel to the land of Moab. During their time in Moab, Elimelech dies and Naomi witnesses her two sons marry Moabite women. Mahlon married a woman named Ruth, and Kilion married a Moab woman named Orpah. Some time later, in their tenth year of living in Moab, Mahlon and Kilion both die, leaving Ruth and Orpah widows the same as Naomi. Neither Ruth nor Orpah had had any children.

In verses 6-18, Naomi decides to return to the land that is her home...

The three women (Naomi, Ruth and Orpah) started out on the road that would lead them back to Bethlehem; but Naomi stopped her travels and beseeched Ruth and Orpah to each of them to return to her mother's home. She needed them to understand that they were yet young enough to remarry and still have children. Ruth and Orpah had shown a great love and kindness for Naomi during Naomi's time of grief in burying her husband and two sons. Reluctantly, Orpah said good-bye to Naomi; but, Ruth would not be budged. Ruth's reply to Naomi was that wherever Naomi went, she, too would go. That Naomi's God, the true God, the God of the Israelites was now her God. That Naomi's people, the Israelite people were now her people.

In verses 19-22, Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem...

Naomi's family and friends were ecstatic to see the return of Naomi; but, Naomi explained to the people that, while she went away full (a husband and two sons), she returned empty-handed. She wished for her people to call her Mara, meaning bitter, at that time. It just so happened that the time of Naomi and Ruth's arrival in Bethlehem coincided with the beginning of the barley harvest.

Ruth 2:13

"'May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,' she said. 'You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant-though I do not have the same standing of one of your servant girls.' "
"'May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,' she said. 'You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant-though I do not have the same standing of one of your servant girls.' "

Chapter Two

In verses 1-17, Ruth gleans the grain in the field of Boaz...

Naomi and Ruth had to have a way of taking care of themselves and meeting their basic needs, and, as was customary in those days, women and the poor could walk behind the harvesters in their fields and glean the fallen grain for themselves. It just so happened that the field Ruth found herself working in belong to a man of great prominence, Boaz. When Boaz arrived at his field, he noticed Ruth and asked his foreman about her. The foreman relayed to Boaz that Ruth had come asking to glean in the field and had been working near to non-stop, except for a small break at one point in the day. Boaz, himself, went to Ruth and told her to stay in his field; he was offering her protection that she might not have gotten in other fields. Ruth begged of Boaz as to why he should offer her such protection as she was a foreigner. Boaz explained to her that he had heard of her reputation and how she stayed with her mother-in-law even so far as to leaving her own country.. Boaz even invited her to sit with his people during mealtime, and as she ate her fill and had some left over, she was able to take the leftovers home that night to Naomi, along with 3/5 of a bushel (5.8 gallons) of gleaned barley.

In verses 18-23, Ruth relays the days events to Naomi...

Ruth had brought home a great wealth of barley gleaned from the field of Boaz, and Naomi was very curious to know what fields Ruth had worked out to have been blessed in such a way. Upon hearing the name of Boaz, Naomi was very excited, explaining to Ruth that Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer, a man who was related to a deceased man was obliged the marry the dead man's widow. Naomi then exhorted Ruth to remain under the protection of Boaz by working solely in his field.

Ruth 3:9

" 'Who are you?' he asked.  'I am your servant Ruth,' she said. 'Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.' "
" 'Who are you?' he asked. 'I am your servant Ruth,' she said. 'Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.' "

Chapter Three

In verses 1-5, Naomi tells Ruth what she must do for Boaz to recognize her as worthy of his attention...

Naomi tells Ruth to go to the place where Boaz spends his time threshing his barley; he even sleeps there as a precaution for protecting his investments. Ruth is to lay down at Boaz's feet until such time as Boaz will recognize her [Ruth] and then give his own instructions. Ruth, ever faithful to her mother-in-law, does everything Naomi instructs her to do.

In verses 6-15, Boaz discovers Ruth at his feet...

Ruth went to threshing place and waited till after Boaz had finished eating his last meal of the day and laid down to sleep. She then uncovered his feet and lay down near them. Something, we don't know what (a bad dream or a sudden noise), woke Boaz up and he discovered Ruth at his feet; but, did not yet know it was Ruth. He asked Ruth for her identity, and she told him her name and asked that he spread his garment over her, symbol of a given protection. Boaz told Ruth he would gladly do so; but, that there was a closer relative to Elimelech who had the right to redeem her if he so chose to do so. Boaz told her he would go the very next day to meet with this other relative to settle the matter as soon as possible. He entreated her to stay at his feet until the morning came; but, then she was to leave before anyone saw her as he has already spread his protection over her by protection her reputation as a woman.

In verses 16-18, Ruth returns to her home and tells Naomi how the events of the previous night unfolded...

Ruth, upon returning home the next morning, brought yet more barley with her, telling Naomi that Boaz would not let her return home empty-handed. Naomi then tells Ruth to be patient and wait because Boaz would see the redemption matter settled as soon as was physically possible.

Ruth 4:17

"The women living there said, 'Naomi has a son.'  And they named him Obed.  He was the father of Jesse, the father of David."
"The women living there said, 'Naomi has a son.' And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David."

Chapter Four

In verses 1-12, Boaz is meeting with the relative who is closer to Elimelech than he is...

Boaz went immediately in the morning to sit at the city gate, the place where prominent men of the city met to solidify contracts and conduct civic legal issues, to wait for the closer relative to Elimelech. Boaz made sure there were other men there to witness the turn of events, as was custom; ten other men, to be exact. He told this other man that it was his (the closer relative) obligation and right to redeem Naomi's piece of property, which belonged to her husband, Elimelech. The man said he would surely redeem it. Next, Boaz brought in the fact that the man would also have to take Naomi and Ruth, Elimelech's widow and the wife of Elimelech's deceased son. This gave the man pause because to be made owner of the land, he would have to marry Ruth and give her sons in which to carry on Elimelech's line; those children then (of the man and Ruth) would have the inherited rights of the Elimelech's property. This man did not want to bring about harm to his own inheritance or estate, so, in front of the witnesses, the man took his sandal off (a way of formalizing or legalizing a transaction) and gave it to Boaz, who then announced his intention of marrying Ruth.

In verses 13-17, Boaz and Ruth are married...

Boaz took Ruth under his full protection as her kinsman-redeemer by becoming her husband. Ruth bore a son, whom Naomi cared for, named Obed. Obed, in turn, begat Jesse, who begat David, who later become King (after Saul).

In verses 18-22, shows a lineage the lineage line from Perez (son of Judah) to David...

Judah begat Perez;

Perez begat Hezron;

Hezron begat Ram;

Ram begat Amminadab;

Amminadab begat Nashon;

Nashon begat Salmon;

Salmon begat Boaz;

Boaz begat Obed;

Obed begat Jesse;

Jesse begat David.

Galatians 4:4-5

"But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons [and daughters]."
"But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons [and daughters]."

Our Kinsman-Redeemer

It should be noted here that Jesus had the same earthly lineage of King David, thereby making Ruth an important player to the ancestral earthly heritage of Jesus. Ruth was given a divine appointment by God, and she was there at her appointed time for her appointed calling.

We, the people of the world, Jew and Gentile alike, were enslaved to sin. We were bonded to sin with no way out. We needed a redeemer, a kinsman-redeemer, someone who would cover us with his wings of protection and bring life back into our bruised, beaten, broken hearts.

Jesus came and paid our debts for our sins by dying on the cross in our stead. As He opened His arms wide upon the crossbeam of that cross, He had men nail His hands in place. He spread wide His protection of love and mercy and thus became our Kinsman-Redeemer. Praise God!

Stay Tuned...

In First and Second Samuel, our Trusted Prophet...

First Samuel opens with Hannah, a barren woman, who every year goes to the temple to pray for a child. The child that God blesses her with is Samuel. He grows up in the service of the Lord, and is a mighty prophet and God's messenger to the people. He anoints Saul as king of Israel when the people beg for a king, andnd later he anoints David when Saul loses favor in God's eyes.

Second Samuel closes with King David building an altar to the Lord and sacrificing the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings to atone for a guilt he felt after having counted all the fighting men of the Judah and Israel. There is a plague sent on the people of Israel, and 70,000 people died. After David had sacrificed his offerings on the altar made at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Lord lifted the plague.

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