Those who imply that there was something improper in Ruth’s actions ignore what two simple facts? Imitate Their Faith. She then put into motion a plan to get Boaz to fulfill his responsibility to Ruth. 21. What Naomi advised her to do might have seemed awkward or embarrassing​—even potentially humiliating—​yet Ruth agreed. Pay off the debt on Naomi’s behalf and redeem it, and 2. marry Ruth and produce a son to preserve the chain of inheritance for Ruth’s dead husband Mahlon. She hoisted it, perhaps bundling it in a cloth and carrying it on her head, and then made her way to Bethlehem in the gathering darkness.​—Ruth 2:17. Boaz found his potential rival and assembled ten elders at the city-gate, the ancient equivalent of city hall. Naomi asked: “Where did you glean today, and where did you work? Naomi and her husband were considerably older than Ruth so we could draw a conclusion that Boaz was closer to the age of Naomi than Ruth, however, this does not conclude a specific age difference. As a near relative Naomi had been aware of Boaz's capacity not only to marry Ruth but to also regain the lands of Naomi's husband according to the Law. The examples of Ruth and Naomi remind us to appreciate what family we have. One did. 8 Naomi urged Ruth to accept Boaz’ offer to keep gleaning in his fields and to stay near the young women of his own household so that she would escape harassment from the reapers. Ruth Works in the Field of Boaz. Ruth’s muscles surely protested the long day’s labor, for she had been working steadily since the morning. Her load may have weighed some 30 pounds (14 kg)! 25:5-7. Boaz declares his intention to marry Ruth and all is approved. Boaz reassured Naomi that when he redeems Ruth he will not leave Naomi behind. Imitate Their Faith, Audio download options (b) Ruth learned of what positive aspects of God’s Law and his people? As we learn how Ruth’s faith helped her through such challenges, we will find much to imitate.  |  That is why, on Naomi’s advice, she “washed, put on perfume, and got dressed in her best clothes.” Ruth became "better to you than seven sons" (verse 15). As the account reads, “Look! (a) What kind of work was Ruth doing? We might imagine the young woman’s eyes widening as her mother-in-law spoke. Why does Jehovah treasure such servants as Boaz, Naomi, and Ruth? She also “kept on dwelling with her  mother-in-law.” (Ruth 2:22, 23) In those words we see once more her hallmark quality​—loyal love. "Upon this right, which was founded upon traditional custom, Boaz based this condition, which he set before the nearer redeemer, that if he redeemed the field of Naomi he must also take Ruth, with the obligation to marry her, and through this marriage to set up the name of the deceased upon his inheritance.". 11 The right to marry such a widow was evidently extended first to the deceased man’s brothers and then to the nearest male relatives, as was the right to inheritance.​—Num. Necessarily, then, Naomi figured that an intimate relationship at the threshing floor would lead to marriage. 5, 6. ‘Then said she: ‘Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall; for the man will not rest, until he have finished the thing this day.’ We cannot, of course, know for certain. cutting corners), I decided to do a search on the Internet to see what kind of shortcuts I could find. If a woman was widowed while still childless, she was especially devastated because her husband’s name, his posterity, would be cut off, lost to future generations. It is not hard to see why Boaz was moved by this young woman’s unselfishness. She had also shown great kindness and sensitivity toward Naomi and her people, willingly adapting to ways and customs that were surely unfamiliar to her. (a) When Naomi called Boaz a “repurchaser,” to what loving provision of God’s Law was she referring? 25 Ruth is one of five women whom the Bible lists in the ancestry of Jesus. However, it did give Ruth the opportunity to ask Boaz to become her husband so as to provide protection and security for her (and for Naomi), as well as to produce a child who would carry on the family line. He went to the city gate, where the city elders usually met, and waited until the man who was a closer relative passed by. Thus reassured, Naomi gave consent. Boaz immediately picked up the covenantal responsibility and announced his commitment to marry Ruth. Knowing Boaz as she did – "For the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today" (3:18) – Naomi was convinced that Boaz would not allow his encounter with Ruth to remain an illicit relationship. This was a serious choice because it was not just about inheriting land or marrying a widow, it was about continuing a family line. There is no Yibum in such situations. She assured Ruth: “The man will have no rest unless he has brought the matter to an end today.”​—Ruth 3:18. Rather, she wanted to do good not only to Naomi but also to Naomi’s deceased husband, to carry on the dead man’s name in his homeland. Imitate Their Faith, Share Ruth quickly told her mother-in-law of all that had passed between her and Boaz. 28-31. Still she kept at it, swinging a small rod or flail down onto the stalks to loosen the grains. Boaz was now able to marry Ruth. Verse 2 speaks of Boaz going before 10 elders of the city. He is one of our repurchasers.” (Ruth 2:20) What did that mean? But why would this be? Ruth was a Moabite Israelite, which like many had done in Israel, may have worshiped the local deities but after her husband died chose to do teshuva returning to Judah’s territory with Naomi. Interestingly, the concluding scenes are of Naomi. Ruth is one of four women specifically named in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. The two of them are not married until after the scene at the city gate where this closer relative relinquishes his opportunity to marry Ruth (removing his sandal according to the custom of the … Boaz declared his hope that doing so would “cause the name of the dead man to rise upon his inheritance.” (Ruth 4:1-10) Boaz truly was an upright and unselfish man. Matthew 1:5–6 says, “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was … Boaz noted that a young woman like Ruth might easily have sought a husband among much younger men, whether rich or poor. So why would he need to purchase it from the widow? Moved, Naomi replied: “Blessed be he of Jehovah, who has not left off his loving-kindness toward the living and the dead.” (Ruth 2:20) She saw the kindness of Boaz as coming from Jehovah, who moves his servants to be generous and promises to reward his people for the kindness they show. Although she was a Moabite, Ruth insisted on doing all of the things that would have been expected of a Jewish girl. Show activity on this post. After her husband’s death, she chose to continue living with her former mother-in-law, Naomi, also widowed, who believed in the God of Israel. (a) Describe the scene at the threshing floor as Boaz finished working for the evening. 18 Boaz spoke, and no doubt his gentle, soothing tone comforted Ruth. *​—Deut. ^ par. Naomi suggests to Ruth that they need to … Some assume that there must be someone to fill each role​—husband, wife, son, daughter, grandparent, and so forth—​for a family to be “real.” But the examples of Ruth and Naomi remind us that servants of Jehovah can open their hearts and make even the smallest of families glow with warmth, kindness, and love. Instead of losing everything, as his relative feared, Boaz gained a preeminent place in the history of Israel. Though according to Boaz the marriage will “maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance” (Ruth 4:10), the marriage of Ruth and Boaz does not seem mandated by the law in Deuteronomy, given that Boaz is not Ruth’s brother-in-law, nor does the genealogy in Ruth 4 credit Ruth… He had taken fatherly notice of her today. He said: “Blessed may you be of Jehovah, my daughter. Then, before the witnesses there at the city gate, Boaz stated that he would act as the repurchaser, buying up the estate of Naomi’s dead husband, Elimelech, and marrying Ruth, the widow of Elimelech’s son Mahlon. I read about an older (well, 69, which isn’t that much older than me) man in Europe, who tried to take a shortcut home by cutting across an estuary and finding himself up to his knees in mud. Then there was a young man who took a shortcut when hiking in the mountains of Alaska and had to be rescued from a precarious position on the side of a mountain. The proceedings went quickly. Any kindness shown to Naomi and Ruth was, in effect, kindness to the men who would have wanted those dear women to be cared for. But what could Naomi do? Then, before the witnesses there at the city gate, Boaz stated that he would act as the repurchaser, buying up the estate of Naomi’s dead husband, Elimelech, and marrying Ruth, the widow of Elimelech’s son Mahlon. It should be acknowledged that since marrying Ruth would be an intrinsic part of Boaz agreeing to become a goel for her and Naomi, Ruth no doubt wanted Boaz to see that part of the role as something attractive and desirable. Would you like to read this article in %%? In addressing his relative before the quorum, Boaz informs him that with the land comes the obligation to marry Ruth (verse 5). Perhaps they played a major part in helping Ruth through her pregnancy, enough so that their input was solicited and accepted. The lives of these two women stand as vivid reminders that Jehovah God notices all those who toil humbly to provide for their own and who serve him loyally with his chosen people. After eating heartily, he lay down at one end of the heap. Boaz filled her cloak with a generous gift of barley, and she made her way back into Bethlehem.​—Read Ruth 3:13-15. 14. Boaz and Ruth were married and soon had a son named Obed. Then she waited. The other kinsman was willing to redeem Naomi’s lands, but he had no desire to marry Ruth. 16 Ruth crept closer, her heart racing. Ruth, as I’ve mentioned, was a young widow. So Boaz accepted a double duty to preserve the land. But he sensed that someone was there. Yibum could not have been Naomi’s motivation, for a number of reasons: Ruth was not actually married to Naomi’s son and she only converted after his death. Ruth’s supreme desire to be among God’s people was honored by God greatly. The spot chosen was usually on a hillside or hilltop, where the breezes were strong in the late afternoon and early evening. TERMS OF USE Ruth 2:1 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. Several interesting things take place in this story. (Read Psalm 71:17, 18.) What can we learn from Ruth and Naomi about family? He did this so that he could also acquire Naomi and Ruth. 21 How satisfying it must have been for Ruth to contemplate what Boaz had said​—that she was known among all the people as “an excellent woman”! Whatever the case, he defers the right of redemption to Boaz in verse 7 and gives Boaz his shoe as a witness to make it official (see Deuteronomy 25:5-10). When they arrived in Bethlehem, the barley harvest was just beginning. Or perhaps the spitting is simply not recorded. Israel’s Law was still new to Ruth, and many of its customs were still quite foreign to her. 14 That evening, Ruth made her way to the threshing floor​—a flat, hard-packed area where a number of farmers would take their grain for threshing and winnowing. 2 Were things finally starting to look up for this young widow? Perhaps it was the darkness that prompted the question, but Naomi also wanted to know whether Ruth was still the same unattached widow or one with prospects of marriage before her. 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