Ruth Meets Boaz
Ruth 2:1 There was a relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz.
Elimelech was Naomi’s husband Elimelech died.
Israel was not in obedience to God so God brought a famine. The pleasant land of Israel became a bitter place to live.
In this sense, Naomi represents Israel while Elimelech represents God. God “departs” from Israel. (In no sense does it mean that God dies. Only that God departed from Israel)
Note: Although Naomi represents Israel, it does not mean that Naomi herself was disobedient. As in any “shadows and types” the man represents the physical world while the wife represents the spiritual world. Where the body goes, the spirit follows. God led the people out of the land with a famine before He “departed”.
Now, Naomi is returning to her homeland where she belongs. She is returning to the place where God was well known. Elimelech was well known in Israel, but not in Moab.
Naomi returns empty.
Ruth 2:2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.”
The Field represents “the world” and Satan has control of his fields. However; where God is, His fields are safe.
Satan is the “god of the world”, from man’s point of view they tend to follow him. God, however, owns the world and He is going to redeem it.
- 2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Boaz is a “Kinsman Redeemer” called a “Goel”.
Goel (lit. “redeemer”), in the Hebrew Bible and the rabbinical tradition, a goel is a person who, as the nearest relative of another, is charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs. One duty of the goel was to redeem (purchase back) a relative who had been sold into slavery.
- John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
- Hebrews 10:30a For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Hosea is another biblical example of a redeemer. He purchases his wife of harlotry Gomer for fifteen shekels of silver and one and one-half homers of barley. Note: Silver is the price of redemption. Barley is the grain for the poor and the animals. The word omer (homer) is sometimes translated as sheaf.
- A “kinsman” must be a part of the family. Jesus had to become a man in order to redeem mankind. (Only a person outside the pit can save someone inside the pit)
Three translations of the same verse follow to illustrate how Jesus, who was God from the beginning, emptied Himself of His rights and powers and subjected Himself to be exactly the same as a man and relied ONLY on the Father.
- Philippians 2:7 CJB He (Jesus) emptied himself (of His Godhead), in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are.
- AMP but (He) emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [… but was without sin…].
- PHILLIPS Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted him so high, and has given him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus “every knee shall bow”, whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why, in the end, “every tongue shall confess” that Jesus Christ” is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
2. He must be able to pay the price. Jesus’ blood is priceless.
The value of Jesus’ sinless blood is priceless. Sin is death. Jesus’ blood leads to eternal life. Sin is corruption of the body and disease. Jesus’ blood heals. Sin leads to absolute corruption of the soul called darkness. Jesus’ blood leads to Light. Sin leads to a twisted understanding of reality. Jesus’s blood leads to absolute Truth.
3. He must be willing to pay the price. Jesus was willing.
- Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord (The name of ‘Jesus” means ‘salvation’ and are interchangeable.”
Prophetic Note: Ruth the gentile Moabite is looking to Boaz for his favor in the same way the gentile church during the age of grace, is looking to Jesus for the redemption of sins. It is His blood which pays the price for the redemption of sins. It is Jesus who will take vengeance on those who have done evil to His children. All rights are restored which Satan has taken.
To glean is to gather leftover pieces after the harvest is finished, such as the corners of the field.
- Leviticus 23:22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’ ”
The Hebrew word for “grain” in this verse is Strong’s definition of h7641 šibōleṯ translated differently for difference translations. It literally means “growing out” as heads of wheat or ears of corn. It is also translated “a flood” or even “a Branch”; for example:
- Zec 4:12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches H7641 which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
A harvest represents resurrections. Types of grains are:
- Corn represents “that which is to come”. (ie: Joseph’s dreams).
- Barley is for the animals and the poor while wheat is a rich grain. The Jewish Feast of First Fruits occurs during the barley harvest and Jesus is the First Fruit of resurrections. It is a “Spring Feast” which points to Jesus’ first presence on the earth called His first advent.
- Jesus’ second advent is when He returns to earth. That is the autumn harvest, the wheat harvest. Wheat is a rich grain. Jesus will then rule over the earth and instead of being a poor man (barley) he will be a rich king (wheat).
Summary, the first advent is the barley harvest in the spring while the second advent is the wheat harvest in the autumn.
However; the word “grain” in this verse refers to any kind of grain.
And she (Naomi, the Jewess) said to her (Ruth, the gentile), “Go, my daughter.”
Ruth 2:3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech (Naomi’s departed husband).
Did “she happen” or did God lead her there? There are no coincidences with God.
Ruth 2:4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!”
Boaz, like Jesus, came from Bethlehem. Bethlehem was the birthplace of Jesus.
The reapers are the laborers and the angels:
- Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
- Matthew 13:39 The enemy who sowed them (the weeds) is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
- Revelation 14:14-16 Reaping the Earth’s Harvest – Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
And they answered him, “The Lord bless you!”
- 1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
Ruth 2:5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?”
Scripture repeats the word “young”. Ruth is young in comparison to Boaz who is old.
Ruth 2:6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.
The servant is the Holy Spirit reporting on the identity of Ruth and her background.
Ruth 2:7 And she (Ruth) said (telling the servant in charge of the reapers), ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”
Ruth is a diligent hard worker.
Ruth 2:8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women.
Other fields are dangerous. The field Boaz has control over is loving, safe, and abundant. Satan is the “god” of the other fields:
- 2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age (world) has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
The “young women” are symbolic of other believers.
Ruth 2:9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”
Boaz is protecting Ruth. It is evident that women in other fields are in danger of the young men there.
Ruth 2:10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner (and not a Jew)?”
- Ephesians 2:19 Christ Our Cornerstone: Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Ruth 2:11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.
Ruth 2:12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
- Psalm 36:7 How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
Ruth 2:13 Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to (Lit. to the heart of) your maidservant, (even) though I am not like one of your maidservants.”
Ruth humbles herself. She does not feel qualified to be an equal to other maidservants.
Ruth 2:14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.
Ruth eats a meal with Boaz (once). She shared in his vinegar, his suffering.
Ruth 2:15 And when she rose up to glean (Gather after the reapers), Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach (rebuke) her.
Ruth 2:16 Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.”
Ruth 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.
Barley h8184 śᵊʿōrâ This is a different word than grain. In this passage it is specified barley.
An “ephah” is equal to 64 pints.