THE FIRST GOSPEL - THE HIDDEN LESSON OF RUTH
John (The Baptist), Son Of Zecharias
Introduction - Personal Perspective
It is strange how things we esteem the least turn out to be more relevant than one could possibly envisage at a glance. Such was the case for me in regard to the "Jewish Christmas" and another story of some struggling women. Although the details of Hannukah are matters for another article, the manner of the times are critical. Men who were strong-willed sought to dominate the remnant of Israel in the centuries before Christ when the idolatrous Greeks began to gain dominion over the Middle and Near East. There is a saying in the modern world; "You have no friends in business." In business one has to be mercenary. Ironic, is it not, for there is no mercy in that word. The men of Judah were consistently abiding in the business of killing; their allies and brethren. To maintain social power and a form of royal dynasty. I testify that events do not happen by chance; God is in control. Our God and that of the living Messiah. Even our language is an indicator of a forgotten gospel. A sign that gospel language would come to be dominated by common english. For the most commonly used adjective to describe men of ambition with lessened moral scruples is surely the word ruthless. Certainly there is no ruth in that word. Let me rephrase that slightly; Ruth-less. Hear another phrase; cover me, take me under your wing; a term for intimacy. Although there was a priesthood, let us not forget Zecharias; father of John The Baptist, yet the lack of another prophet (Luke1:67-79) for hundreds of years prior to this was conspicuous. The sanitised and mythological yet still highly relevant version of history is available still, in the Apocrypha, originally incorporated within the KJV Bible.
The Anointed One
"...a man acquainted with sickness; and we hid our faces at the sight of him; he was despised and we did not esteem him. Surely he has borne our sicknesses and carried our sorrows; yet we regarded him as a stricken one, smitten of God and afflicted..." Isaiah 53:3-4.
PROPHECY & GOSPEL
When the "Leper Messiah" ("leper scholar"; Trad. Rabbinic/Talmud interpretation of Isa.53:4) was born to this world, the nation of Israel no longer existed. The remnant of Israel was the shifting region of Judea. To the House Of Bread; Bethlehem, was the living gospel delivered. The fulfilment of events in the eighth book of the Old Testament or Tanakh and an esoteric aspect of Solomon's Temple (Rev.3:12) as shall be demonstrated herein. First the prophecy, then the physically manifest sign, ultimately the living reality. We need to examine the parallels between the different time periods and dissect the allegory to reveal the hidden gospel of The Book Of Ruth.
Looking in the direction of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River.
God reduced the remnant of Israel to poverty by means of famine according to their sin as accounted in Judges (Ruth1:1). God-King (Elimelech) departed Judah to a neighbouring land with his bride Naomi ("aka" Israel). Two sons accompanied them but they were born of famine, as their names suggested, and doomed to premature death. According to one school of thought the Egyptian word ephrati, the suspected root source of the noun Ephraim, collectively designates them aristocrats. This geographic designation; Ephratah (Gen.48:7), instigates an obvious circumstantial Messianic connection (Micah5:2). Now the son's names mean weak-unhealthy (Mahlon) and failing, wasting away (Chillion). Shortly God-King departs the world (Ruth1:3). The sons married to local Moabite women; back of the neck (Orpah) and [true] friend (Ruth). According to a parable aspect of the story this house (family) is back-sliding. They are going backward, not forward (Jer.7:24) as if in retreat to Egypt by the way of their reverse Exodus. The Hebrew word translated as back-sliding entails the concept of defecting to enemy territory and acting unfaithfully. The reality was life in a pagan nation with a most depraved religion.
The brothers both die leaving their widows. Elimelech's widow, Naomi, contemplates returning to her native Israel for word is bread can be found there once more. Naomi speaks to her daughters-in-law imploring them to remain, with a blessing. Orpah reluctantly turns her back. Ruth says "...whither thou goest, I will go..." She will stay with Naomi and know her God unto death.
Ruth & Naomi In The Wilderness
The trek of hope and desperation.
BACK TO BETHLEHEM
The town of Bethlehem is moved by Naomi's return but she takes on a new name (Ruth1:20) that is an emblem of her suffering in this material existence. It is an act with significance represented theologically throughout bibles (Isa.62:2, 65:15, Rev.2:17, 3:12, 19:12).
Following this background material the stage is set for a hero to make good the plight of the downcast widows. It turns out that Naomi has a masterful, valiant kinsman of God-King's house named Boaz. For there was too much blood upon the hands of Jachin (1Chron.22:8), Boaz brings the house to fulfilment in terms of the whole biblical story (see HubPages; Theomajor, THE CUP WILL NOT PASS - 'How It Is' By Biblical & Other Text Sources, [The Covenant, The Ark [and] The Holy Pace], 2013).
Ruth's first husband was named prophetically; weak. She requires a new husband to survive unless she is to subsist on charity and scraps. It is said that we are servants to [our first husband] the flesh. If Ruth were remarry Chillion, in accordance with the Law (Deut.25:5), he was literally named wasting away. This is the way of the flesh for all men are appointed a time to die in this life, albeit sooner or later. These bodies inevitably weaken and fade. Thus we are married to these absurd, mortal bodies spiritually and physically. Ruth seeks to find the favour of a man, as fate may have it, on the fields of harvest (Matt.13:24, Mark4:26). This is in itself a statement about Ruth's quest to find God. She has a definite faith but is unaware her epiphany is at hand. Fate is more tangible for now than the mighty hand of YHWH. Boaz sights Ruth in the fields and subtly enquires of her whilst she is having a short break. The testimony of her deeds before arriving in Israel matches her desire to self-sufficiency. In due course Boaz places his invitation to protection as a worker and member of his own household before Ruth. She is indebted and bows before him (Gen.37:7,9, Rev.5:14). Boaz does not consider her ethnicity or lack of wealth, but her good character as keys and implores God to protect her. This is prophetic to the blessings of a new member of Christ's flock. There is great safety afforded under the wing of our lord (Ruth2:12, Ps.17:8, 57:1, 61:4, 91:4, Isa.54:17, Matt.23:37, Acts16:25-26, 18:9-10, 28:3-6, 3Ne.10:4-6, The DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, D&C29:2, 43:24 (The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A., 1981), OUR HERITAGE A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A., 1996, p.49). Ruth is pleasantly overwhelmed by a turn in fortune.
Artistic Rendering Of Old Bethlehem
Modern Bethlehem appears a lot more built up. The unknown artist captures the gist of how things may once have looked.
This Boaz is a type of semi-urbanised Abraham (Gen.13:3-5) on one hand. No longer a nomad but a respected, strong Hebrew, blessed in relative wealth by the God Of Israel (1Chron.17:7). On the other hand we shall see a prophetic, Messianic side developing through his character. The first prophetic aspect comes through his greeting to the workers. "YHWH be with you." (Ruth2:4). As it is written; blessed be the one coming in the name of YHWH (Ps.118:26). The Messiah indeed fulfilled this matter at the Temple Court when he derided the sages and Pharisees saying no way would they see him again until they said "...baruch haba b'shem YHWH." (Matt.23:39). For Israel had largely abandoned the personal name of their God when the prophets were but memory. The full name of YHWH with all its vowels is hidden, safeguarded in the Allepo Codex, where it appears but twice as a result of error or intent. Boaz is symbolic of the heralded Messiah on this seemingly insignificant, obscure matter. Furthermore it is stated how Boaz provides Ruth with sour wine and bread from his own hand (Gen.14:18-19, Rev.3:20). A sign of Melchizedek blessing. Note that according to the Law it is forbidden for a [male] Moabite (Muavi) to convert to the religion of Israel because they did not greet Israel with bread and water (Deut.23:3-4). Not that an Israelite man is unable to marry a woman of Moab (Muaviah; Ruth2:21). Yet it would be culturally akin to a modern mixed-race marriage. The modern Jewish term is assimilation. Boaz has instructed his workers to permit extra grain to fall for Ruth's benefit. So she obtains an ephah of barley; seven times the expected appropriation for a gleaner. What Naomi states at the end of the day to Ruth goes into double meaning according to the way it is phrased by the narrative chronology. This is the hidden Messianic mission statement appearing for the first time in the Tanakh. "...YHWH...[is] not forsaking his kindness upon the living and [so too] with the dead..." The hand of Boaz represents God's mercy to the living and the dead (Ruth2:20, Ezek.37:1-13, 1Kgs.17:22, 2Kgs.4:34). This is the covert mission of Christ Jesus (Matt.27:52-53, 1Pet.3:19). The final prophecy in Ruth2 reiterates in terms of the mission statement the Natzer/et (Isa.11:1) aspect of the Messiah; the Ish (higher man) redeeming, or ransoming, us is near kin to Naomi. Near kin, but somewhat removed. The ransom term is used multiple times in Ruth (Isa.52:3).
Their Moment Upon The Field Of Barley
From Ruth 2:5. Boaz observes a woman of the age for courting (Ezek. 16:8).
The third part of the story is the romantic interlude of promise. Naomi is hopeful that her daughter-in-law will find favour and comfort with Boaz. She instructs Ruth to anoint herself (Ruth3:3), the first biblical example of this practice outside of the Tabernacle priestly services. She advises her that Boaz will be winnowing barley into the night in the threshing floor area. This dusty work entails separating the grain from the chaff. At the beginning of the Renewed Covenant (aka New Testament, see HubPages; Theomajor, THE CUP WILL NOT PASS - 'How It Is' By Biblical & Other Text Sources, [The New Covenant], 2013) the vitriolic allegory of John The Baptist reveals the Messianic Truth of this scene (Matt.3:12, Isa.30:24, 41:15-16). Like the parting of the ways between the goats and sheep (Matt.25:33). Yet the plan for this night is to unite rather than divide. Naomi evidently has some divine revelation on how things are to proceed and Ruth believed, she heard and obeyed (Deut.18:18, Surah2:285). Boaz's work is done for the night and he is fed and resting. Perhaps there is a little star or lunar light but naught else now. Ruth has marked his position and delicately finds shelter at his feet (Rev.1:19). At some point a startled Boaz awakens in the darkness and pushes away what is beneath him. A natural reaction in the darkness when there are surely wild animals about. Yet this is a woman! She reveals her identity when he cries out and asks for the covering of the hem of his garment (Num.15:37-40, Deut.22:12, Ruth2:12, Ps.17:8, 36:7, 57:1, 61:4, 63:7, 91:4, 147:3, Zech.8:23, Mal.4:2, Matt.9:20-21, 14:36, Mark6:56, Luke8:44, Rev.11:16). A request from his female servant to her near relative through marriage, and redeemer. The response is endearing but prophetic in a patriarchal manner (Gen.48:3-49:28). Ruth is a goy, a gentile, so the message is highly significant to any purported christian. The statement is that her latter [day] kindness is greater than her initial way (Ruth3:10). Boaz therefore invokes God's blessings upon her. She would not follow other tempters. The alluded tempters represent religions overwhelmed by false promise. Neither power, money nor appeal would sway her senses. It seems as though Boaz's appearance is not one that is desirable (Isa.53:2). Ruth is also a type of Mary (Matt.1:25). Yet there comes a fly in the ointment, another test for both of them. Boaz says he will arrange what she needs, for all those within their city gates know her worth. Yet how can he ransom her when there is another nearer in blood/kin? (Ruth3:12). They sleep near each other but swiftly and discreetly depart before dawn. Naomi is surprised and possibly dismayed when Ruth returns. Yet she is reassured by Boaz's parting gift of barley and recommends patience and faith to Ruth.
The Threshing Floor Of Mt. Moriah
Threshing floors were sited in locations where wind assisted the separation of grain from chaff. Bibles cite Araunah or Ornan as being the Jebusite from whom King David purchased this site.
This story presents an idyllic tale of redemption. The tragedy of the reality is how the bride Israel rejected her husband God. Yet amongst the tale of betrayal (Ezek.16:15-63) is written the promise of an idealistic existence; "When I passed by you again, I observed that you were of age for courting; so I spread out the skirts of my robe over you...and you became mine." (Ezek.16:8). This is just what you read in Ruth upon their initial meeting and later when Boaz awakens (Ruth2:5, 3:7).
Naomi & Ruth
This story defies our concept of time and eternity. It is as poignant in this modern society as it was approximately 3000 years ago.
MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB
In the final part of this parable Boaz stands at the roadside before the city gates and the kinsman he spoke of appears. He calls for ten elders of the town and swiftly seeks to establish who will redeem the estate of their deceased kin (Deut.25:7). The other kinsman claims to have no means to facilitate the land transaction. He speaks of a different inheritance, probably indicative of an existing family. If the other kinsman is representative of the Law, then this living truth must have the first chance to redeem Ruth. Yet it is not to be and the undeserved (Rom.3:24) Kindness and Spirit (Ps.85:10) have met Truth and Righteousness. Paul declared the Law to be rendered weak through the flesh (Rom.8:3). Hence God sent the Messiah in the guise of sinful flesh. That is one school of thought. The other is representative of the reluctant, widowed Joseph with his pre-existing family, he who married Mary according to lot (Surah3:44, Trad. Proto-Gospel; The Birth Of Mary/The Revelation Of James 9:1-3) and was the supposed father (Matt.22:41-46, Mark12:35, Luke20:41, John7:42) of the holy Messiah. Surely this would answer those who seek an additional precedent in the Law and Prophets (2Sam.12:24, 1Chron.22:9-10) for the Messianic [virgin] birth (Ruth4:6) for Joseph's desire was certainly not with Mary to begin with. It is time for the elders and general public to declare themselves witnesses. They declare a blessing by the hand of God that Ruth may be as fruitful as the daughters of Laban (Gen.29:16) and as illustrious as the descendants of Pharez (Gen.38:29, Num.26:20, 1Chron.2:5, Matt.1:3, Luke3:33).
Ruth becomes wife to Boaz (Ruth4:13) and conceives a son. What does this mean? Ruth is brought to the House Of Israel for Boaz is an Israelite of Judah. He also represents the Messiah for the common lineage of Joseph (Luke 3:31) and Mary (Matt.1:6) runs back to the seed of David (Ruth4:17,22). Back when Ruth waited (Ruth3:18) was the time period representative of where we still exist now. For we await this great marriage; The Marriage Of The Lamb (Rev.19:7, 21:2). Its allegory was firmly defined during Christ's ministry (Matt.22:2).
John The Revelator Saw...
All photographs are sourced from Photobucket.