Summary of Ruth 4:
Boaz goes to the town gate and waits for the other kinsman-redeemer to come along. When he does, Boaz gathers 10 of the town elders and asks this guy if he is going to redeem Naomi’s property. If not, then he will. The man says he will redeem it until Boaz says he will have to marry Naomi. The other kinsman-redeemer removed his sandal (to redeem and finalize the transfer of property) and handed it to Boaz.
Boaz announced in front of the witnesses that he had bought from Naomi all of Elimelech’s property and the right to have Ruth as his wife so Elimelech’s name will not disappear from the town records or the property. The elders witnessed the transaction and blessed Boaz.
Boaz and Ruth married and had a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse who was the father of David.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 6, Day 5: Ruth 4:
12) The definition of redeem is: “to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something).” The biblical definition is to describe God’s merciful and costly action on behalf of his people (sinful human beings). The basic concept is release or freedom on payment of a price, delivered by a costly method.
- Redemption is a necessary act. The only way the story of Ruth ends well is through redemption. And because we are by nature children of wrath, the only way our story ends well is through redemption in Jesus Christ.
- Redemption is a solo act. There can only be one redeemer. For Ruth and Naomi, this is Boaz. There is only one true redeemer, one name by which we can be saved: Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and No one comes to Father but by Him (John 14:6).
- Redemption is a sovereign act. Ruth says, “Boaz, redeem me” and then Boaz does all the work to make this happen. Ruth could not redeem herself and neither can we! “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- Redemption is a legal act. There was a debt that had to be paid…a legal transaction! Our sin demanded a payment (for the wages of sin is death) and the cross is the legal receipt that we have been purchased and are forever His!
- Redemption is a loving act. What made Boaz willing to go the distance? Not law, but love! The cross is not only a legal act, but also a loving act. For Christ so loved the Church that He gave Himself up for her.
- Redemption is an undeserving act. Ruth is a Moabite; she doesn’t deserve the act of redemption. We don’t deserve it either. But the Bible says that “while we were yet sinners” Christ died for us.
- Redemption is a public act. Boaz redeemed Ruth publicly in front of many witnesses; and Jesus died on the cross for all to see.
- Redemption is a costly act. Redemption cost Boaz everything, which he gladly gave. Our redemption required the “precious blood of Christ.”
- Redemption is a final act. The exchange of the sandal proved it was a done deal, never to be reversed. Jesus died for our sins “once and for all.” It is finished!
- Redemption is a hopeful act. It was this redeeming act that secured a future Ruth and Naomi. The Bible tells us we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Your past may be dark, but your future is bright because of the redeeming work of Jesus.
13) God promises David to make his name great, establish a house/throne for him, and one of his relatives (Jesus) will establish God’s house/kingdom forever. Jesus is the descendant of David. It shows how a Gentile (Ruth) became part of the Davidic ancestry as God planned it.
14) Personal Question. My answer: God is always faithful. He redeems. He rewards faith. He is there. He has a plan. Personally, I’m on the upswing of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and redemption. We’ve gone through some tough times, but through it all He’s been there and our future couldn’t be brighter. I’m in just such a state of gratefulness now for my life.
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 6, Day 5: Ruth 4:
I like how methodical, meticulous, and by the book Boaz is. He wants to make sure everything is done right. I love the happy ending here, and how good God is. I love the perfect example this is of life: tragedies coupled with triumphs. One of the best stories ever!
Read my original posting on Ruth HERE
Amazing video on the entire book of Ruth HERE
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 6, Day 5: Ruth 4:
The gate of the city was always the place where the esteemed and honorable men of the city sat. For an ancient city in Israel it was a combination of a city council chamber and a courtroom.
Bible scholar Huey says the gate was, “A kind of outdoor court, the place were judicial matters were resolved by the elders and those who had earned the confidence and respect of the people… a place for business and as a kind of forum or public meeting place.”
Although it worked out that Boaz and Ruth could be married, the nearer kinsman-redeemer should have married Ruth and fulfilled his obligations as such. Instead, he is now treated with contempt.
Literally, in the ancient Hebrew, when Boaz greeted the nearer kinsman he called him “Mr. So-and-so.” The writer of Ruth never identified the name of the nearer kinsman because he was not worthy of the honor. He declined to fulfill his obligations as the nearer kinsman to Ruth.
Bible scholar Poole explains, “Doubtless Boaz both knew his name, and called him by it; but it is omitted by the holy writer, partly because it was unnecessary to know it; and principally in way of contempt, as is usual, and a just punishment upon him, that he who would not preserve his brother’s name might lose his own, and lie buried in the grave of perpetual oblivion.”
What was the duty of the kinsman-redeemer?
The duty of the goel – the kinsman-redeemer – was more than the duty to preserve the family name of his brother in Israel. It was also to keep land allotted to members of the clan within the clan.
As we’ve just studied, when Israel came into the Promised Land during the days of Joshua, the land was divided among the tribes and then among the family groups. God intended that the land stay within those tribes and family groups, so the land could never permanently be sold. Every fifty years, it had be returned to the original family group (Leviticus 25:8-17)
But fifty years is a long time. So, God made provision for land that was “sold,” that it might be redeemed back to the family by the kinsman-redeemer.
Again, the kinsman-redeemer had the responsibility to protect the persons, property, and posterity of the larger family.
Boaz’s strategy to win Ruth:
When Boaz brought the matter up to the nearer kinsman, he brought it up as a matter regarding property – something any man would be interested in. When Boaz put it in terms of purely a land transaction, there was no hesitation on the nearer kinsman’s part. Of course, he said, “I will redeem it.”
Boaz then surprised the nearer kinsman by telling him he’d have to marry Ruth as well if he wanted the property. Because Naomi was older and beyond the years of bearing children, the nearer kinsman was not expected to marry Naomi and raise up children to the family name of her deceased husband Elimelech.
Upon hearing of Ruth, the kinsman changed his mind. Probably the man had grown sons that had already received their inheritance of lands. The problem of dividing that inheritance among future children he would have with Ruth was more than he wanted to deal with.
Also, no doubt the man was married – and knew it would be awkward (at best!) to bring home Ruth as wife number two.
Deuteronomy 25:5-10 describes the ceremony conducted when a kinsman declined his responsibility. The one declining removed a sandal and the woman he declined to honor spat in his face. But in this case, because there was no lack of honor was involved, they just did the part of the ceremony involving the sandal.
The Blessings of Faith
Back in chapter one, Ruth seemed to be giving up on her best chance of marriage by leaving her native land of Moab and giving her heart and life to the God of Israel. But as Ruth put God first, He brought her together in a relationship greater than she could have imagined. Today, God will bless those wanting to get married in the same way if they will only put Him first.
This explains why a marriage ceremony is important, and why it should be recognized by the civil authorities. Boaz had a love for Ruth that was public, a love that wanted to be publicly witnessed and registered.
Today, people wonder why a marriage ceremony, or a marriage license is important. “Can’t we just be married before God?” But there is something severely lacking in a love that doesn’t want to proclaim itself; that does not want witnesses; and that does not want the bond to be recognized by the civil authorities. That love falls short of true marital love.
No doubt, the crowd cheered! The men thought Ruth was beautiful and the women thought Boaz was handsome. Everybody could see what a romantic, loving occasion this was.
Rachel and Leah had thirteen children between them and were the “mothers” of the whole nation of Israel. This was a big blessing to put on Boaz and Ruth.
The story of the birth of Perez is in Genesis 38:27-30. It seems that Perez was the ancestor of the Bethlehemites in general (1 Ch. 2:5, 18, 50f.). Moreover, Perez gave his name to the section of the tribe of Judah that was descended from him (Num. 26:20).
The gift of children was never taken for granted in Israel. The fact that Boaz and Ruth were able to raise up a son to the deceased Elimelech was evidence of God’s blessing
What we learn from Naomi?
- She got right with God–and was blessed because of it
- God’s plan is perfect and filled with love, and even when we can’t figure out what He is doing and it all seems so desperate, He still knows what He is doing. We should learn that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose(Romans 8:28).
After saying in Ruth 1: the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me… the LORD has brought me home again empty… the LORD has testified against me (Ruth 1:20-21), she experienced God’s blessings beyond imagining.
Themes of Ruth 4:
“God’s hand is all over history. God works out His purpose, generation after generation. Limited as we are to one lifetime, each of us sees so little of what happens. A genealogy is a striking way of bringing before us the continuity of God’s purpose through the ages. The process of history is not haphazard. There is a purpose in it all. And the purpose is the purpose of God.” (Kidner)
Fun Biblical fact: Naomi’s return to Bethlehem, and the roots of David in Bethlehem, going back to Ruth and Boaz, are why Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to register in the census of Augustus (Luke 2:1-5). Ruth and Boaz are the reason why Jesus was born in Bethlehem!
How Boaz represents Jesus:
- The kinsman-redeemer had to be a family member; Jesus added humanity to His eternal deity, so He could be our kinsman and save us.
- The kinsman-redeemer had the duty of buying family members out of slavery; Jesus redeemed us from slavery to sin and death.
- The kinsman-redeemer had the duty of buying back land that had been forfeited; Jesus will redeem the earth that mankind “sold” over to Satan.
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, was not motivated by self-interest, but motivated by love for Ruth. Jesus’ motivation for redeeming us is His great love for us.
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, had to have a plan to redeem Ruth unto himself – and some might have thought the plan to be foolish. Jesus has a plan to redeem us, and some might think the plan foolish (saving men by dying for them on a cruel cross?), yet the plan works and is glorious.
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, took her as his bride; the people Jesus has redeemed are collectively called His bride (Ephesians 5:31-32; Revelation 21:9).
- Boaz, as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth, provided a glorious destiny for Ruth. Jesus, as our redeemer, provides a glorious destiny for us.
But it all comes back to the idea of Jesus as our kinsman-redeemer; this is why He became a man. God might have sent an angel to save us, but the angel would not have been our kinsman. Jesus, in His eternal glory, without the addition of humanity to His divine nature might have saved us, but He would not have been our kinsman. A great prophet or priest would be our kinsman, but his own sin would have disqualified him as our redeemer. Only Jesus, the eternal God who added humanity to His eternal deity, can be both the kinsman and the redeemer for mankind!
Isaiah 54:4-8 describes the beautiful ministry of the LORD as our goel – our kinsman-redeemer: Do not fear, for you will not be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame… your [Kinsman] Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel… For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit… with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you, says the LORD, your [Kinsman] Redeemer.
From eternity, God planned to bring Ruth and Boaz together, and thus make Bethlehem His entrance point for the coming of Jesus as our true Kinsman-Redeemer, fully God and fully man. Spiritually, we need to come to Bethlehem and let Jesus redeem us. The Christmas hymn, O Little Town of Bethlehem, underscores this point.
Fun Fact: The narrator of the book of Ruth never once mentions God; yet, God’s fingerprints are everywhere in this story. He’s everywhere in ours as well.