Ruth 3:1-4:22

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016


We have already seen –

    I.     The Migration and Sojourn in Moab – 1:1-5

We have also already seen –

  II.     Ruth’s Choice to Return with Naomi to Judah – 1:6-18

We have furthermore seen –

 III.     The Mournful Homecoming to Bethlehem – 1:19-22

Finally, we have already seen –

 IV. Boaz, a Friend in Need – 2:1-23

We continue with the –

   V.     The Redemption Law Invoked – 3:1-18


Ruth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest [i.e. a resting place, security] for thee, that it may be well with thee?


Rest is speaking of the security that comes from marriage.


Ruth 3:2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred [i.e. is not Boaz our kinsman], with whose maidens thou wast [i.e. whose maidens you were with]? Behold [i.e. In fact], he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor [i.e. at the threshing floor].


Ruth 3:3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee [i.e. put on your best garment], and get thee down to the floor [i.e. go down to the threshing floor]: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done [i.e. until he has finished] eating and drinking.


3:2-3 – (RSB) The grain had to be threshed and then guarded, both activities would be accompanied by festivity.


(RSB) raiment. Likely, a large outer garment to provide warmth during the night.


Ruth 3:4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark [i.e. take note of] the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.


3:4 – (RSB) uncover his feet. i.e., remove Boaz’s outer garment so that he would eventually wake up and notice her.


Ruth 3:5 And she [i.e. Ruth] said unto her [i.e. to Naomi], All that thou sayest unto me I will do [i.e. I will do what you said.].


Ruth 3:6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her [i.e. instructed her, told her to do].


Ruth 3:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn [i.e. at the end of the heap of grain]: and she came softly [i.e. she came quietly, she came secretly], and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.


3:7 – (RSB) Boaz slept by the grain in order to protect it.


Ruth 3:8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid [i.e. startled], and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet [i.e. lo and behold, a woman was lying at his feet!].


Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who art thou? [i.e. Who are you?] And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid [i.e. your maidservant]: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid [i.e. spread your covering over me, take me to wife]; for thou art a near kinsman [i.e. for you are a close relative, for you are a kinsman-redeemer].


3:9 – (RSB) spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid. As a pledge that he would marry her. This expression is used of God’s relation to Israel in Ezek. 16:8. The reason for Ruth’s request is that Boaz was a near kinsman (Heb., goel, “redeemer”). The responsibilities of the kinsman-redeemer included (1) redeeming family property that had changed ownership, and (2) marrying a childless widow to raise up children in her dead husband’s name. According to the law of levirate marriage, when there was no brother to raise up children in the name of the deceased, the responsibility was extended to the next of kin. Ruth’s action was in accord with this law, which required the initiative of the widow in seeking the marriage (Deut. 25:5, 7-10). Ruth was indicating that night her desire to have Boaz, who had given every evidence of willingness to perform the duties of kinsman-redeemer.


Ruth 3:10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.


3:10 – (RSB) Ruth’s kindness (Heb., hesed as in 1:8 and 2:20) . . . at the beginning was her consideration for her mother-in-law. Her kindness at the latter end was wishing to marry Boaz rather than one of the young men. Boaz evidently belonged to her father-in-law’s generation.


Ruth 3:11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest [i.e. all that you ask, all that you request]: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.


Ruth 3:12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.


3:12 – The desired arrangement was complicated by the fact that Boaz was not Elimelech’s nearest relative.


Ruth 3:13 Tarry [i.e. Stay] this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee [i.e. I will fulfill the role of kinsman-redeemer and marry you], as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.


Ruth 3:14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know [i.e. recognize] another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor [i.e. to the threshing floor].


3:14 – (RSB) Boaz wished to protect Ruth from gossip.


Ruth 3:15 Also he said, Bring the vail [i.e. shawl, cloak] that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.


3:15 – (RSB) vail filled with barley. A gift to Naomi of goodwill and assurance, probably carried on Ruth’s head.


(RSB) six measures. Probably six seahs, 42 qt.


Ruth 3:16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou [i.e. How did it go?], my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.


Ruth 3:17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.


Ruth 3:18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall [i.e. how the matter will turn out, what happens]: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day [i.e. Boaz won’t rest today until the matter is settled].

Next, we see –

 VI.     Boaz’ Acceptance of His Responsibility as Goel – 4:1-16


Ruth 4:1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside [i.e. come over here, my friend, Hey, so and so, Hey, you], sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.


4:1 – (RSB) The city gate functioned as a forum for public business, especially the kind described in this chapter.


Ruth 4:2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.


4:2 – (RSB) ten men are called on to witness this transaction.


Ruth 4:3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land [i.e. has to sell a parcel of land or is about to sell a parcel of land], which was our brother Elimelech’s [i.e. since Naomi was destitute, the relative’s duty was to buy it so as to keep it in the family]:


Ruth 4:4 And I thought to advertise thee [i.e. to advise you, to inform you], saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.


Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.


Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar [i.e. endanger] mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.


4:4-6 – (RSB) The nearer kinsman agreed to pay the price of purchasing the land of Elimelech, until he found out that it involved the responsibility of marrying and supporting the widow Ruth. This would mar (endanger) his own inheritance, being a double financial burden by (1) buying the field for Ruth’s heir, rather than for his own, and (2) providing for Ruth and her family.


Ruth 4:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off [i.e. took off] his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.


4:7 – (RSB) Handing over the sandal symbolized handing over the right of redemption to Boaz.


Deuteronomy 25:5-105 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger [i.e. to a stranger outside the family]: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead [i.e. shall carry on in the name of his dead brother, shall be considered the son of the dead brother], that his name be not put out of Israel. 7 And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother. 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it [i.e. if he stands firm, if he persists], and say, I like not to take her; 9 Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. 10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.


Ruth 4:8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee [i.e. for yourself]. So he [i.e. the kinsman] drew off his shoe.


The kinsman gave the shoe to Boaz.


Ruth 4:9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.


Ruth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased [i.e. acquired legally] to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead [i.e. Mahlon] upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.


Ruth 4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah [i.e. the ancient name of Bethlehem], and be famous in Bethlehem:


4:11 – (RSB) like Rachel and like Leah. The witnesses hoped that Boaz would be rewarded with a large family, as was Jacob.


Ruth 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.


4:12 – (RSB) house of Pharez. From whom Boaz descended (4:18-22).


Ruth 4:13 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.


4:13 – (RSB) the LORD gave her conception. Ruth had been childless during her marriage to Mahlon. That children are a gift from God needs to be reemphasized in modern times.


Ruth 4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman [i.e. a relative = Obed], that his [i.e. Obed’s] name may be famous in Israel.


4:14 – (RSB) This kinsman is Naomi’s grandson, Obed (meaning “servant”), the grandfather of David (v. 17).


Ruth 4:15 And he [i.e. Obed] shall be unto thee [i.e. to Naomi] a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him [i.e. Obed].


4:15 – (RSB) Since having seven sons would indicate the blessing of God, to describe Ruth the Moabitess as better . . . than seven sons was high praise indeed!


Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it [i.e. cared for him].


4:16 – (RSB) laid it in her bosom. Possibly a formal act of adoption.

Finally, we see –

VII.     The Promise and the Posterity – 4:17-22


Ruth 4:17 And the women her neighbours gave it [i.e. Ruth’s baby] 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.


Ruth 4:18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,


Ruth 4:19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,


Ruth 4:20 And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,


Ruth 4:21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,


Ruth 4:22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.


4:18-22 – (RSB) This genealogy traces the line of Judah from Pharez, son of Tamar, through Boaz to David.


Believer’s Bible Commentary – “Salmon lived at the beginning of the period of the judges, and David was not born until the beginning of the period of the kings, a span of almost 400 years. Names are often deliberately omitted in biblical genealogies.”



The purpose of the book of Ruth is to relate an episode in the ancestry of King David which accounted for the introduction of non-Israelite blood into the family line. It also demonstrates the grace of God to welcome even Gentile converts to the fellowship of His redeemed people. Most importantly, the book of Ruth shows the function of the goel or kinsman-redeemer which serves as a type of the Messiah. In order to fulfill his position as kinsman-redeemer, a man must be a blood relative, he must be able to purchase the forfeited inheritance, he must be willing to buy back the forfeited inheritance, and he must be willing to marry the wife of a deceased kinsman.


In the narrative Boaz represents Christ and Ruth represents the believer.


            1.   Christ became a blood relative of man by virtue of the virgin birth.


Hebrews 2:14-1514 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [i.e. Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same [i.e. shared in their humanity]; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


            2.   Christ was able to pay the price for sinners.


I Peter 1:18-1918 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:


            3.   Christ was willing to pay the price for sinners in that He laid down His life of His own will.


John 10:17-1817 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.


            4.   Christ will have for His bride the Church


Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.


Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.


This sermon is the 2nd part of the series, Study of Ruth. Other sermons in this series are: