Links to Other Parts of Scripture
Introduction and Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION: Besides being a love story in its own right and a true historical account of the rescue of the lineage of King David and the Messiah, the book of Ruth is also an allegory of Messiah's benefits to those "returning to Elohim from among the Gentiles" (cf. Acts 15:19), made possible only by our Kinsman Redeemer from the tribe of Yehudah. The book is an epic recounted each year at Shavuoth (Pentecost), which is the first day of the wheat harvest and the end of the barley harvest. Some think the prophet Shmuel wrote this chronicle.
1. Now it happened that, in the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land; and a man from Beyth Lechem [in the tribal lands] of Yehudah went to dwell temporarily in the fields of Moav--he, his wife, and his two sons.
When the judges ruled: essentially an age of warlords, shortly after Yehoshua's conquest of Kanaan. Based on Judges 6:3, some date this famine to the time of Gid'on. Beyth Lechem means "House of Bread". Moav: the land of one of Lot's sons, meaning "from father" or "away from Father". It is east of the Dead Sea between Mt. Nevo and the Arnon River canyon. 4:11 tells us that this was Beyth Lechem Efrathah (where Messiah would also be born, Micha 5:2), and Judges 12 identifies Efrathites with Efrayimites, so the allegorical level of this story refers to the Northern Kingdom, which had left the Land because they had left the covenant. They had plenty, but when King Yarav'am set up alternative worship sites, there was a famine for hearing YHWH's words. (Amos 8:11) These are the "lost sheep of the House of Israel". (Yirmiyahu 50:6; Mat. 15:24) To leave the Land of Israel is always a "descent" in Hebrew terms. The Book of Judges details these times when "there was no king in the Land". When Y'shua went out among the nations to seek the lost sheep (Luke 15), that was where the food was, for He had the bread of life, as with Yoseyf during the famine in Yaaqov's day. Israel is only fed by coming to Him.
2. And the man's name was Elimelech, his wife's name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilyon.
Elimelech means â€œMy Elohim is a kingâ€. (Some took issue with this soon after this. 1 Shmuel 8:7) Note that he represents the House of Yehudah (v. 1). Naomi means pleasant. Mahlon (pronounce the "h") means an invalid, weakling, or sickly one; Kilyon, pining away, failing, or spent. These represent those go "away from the Father" and focus only on Y'shua yet take Him out of His context.
3. But Naomi's husband died, and she was left with her two sons,
4. And they took wives for themselves from the women of Moav. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the second was Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.
Orpah means gazelle, but is based on a root meaning obstinate or stiffnecked; Ruth means friendship. Watch how the meanings of their names plays out. The number ten often symbolizes completeness; here it indeed represents the filling up of the â€œtimes of the Gentilesâ€.
5. Then both of them (Mahlon and Kilyon) also died, so the woman was bereaved of both her two sons as well as her husband.
Naomi was now a true widow, having no one to care for her. She was alone in the world, so, like the prodigal son, remembered that when the world failed her and its resources dried up, she had a home to go back to. Those from Israel who went after foreign ways perished. YHWH says only a remnant would returnâ€”yet a remnant would!
6. So she got up and, along with her daughters-in-law, returned from the fields of Moav, because she had heard while in the fields of Moav that YHWH had visited His people in order to give them bread.
Returned also means â€œrepentedâ€ in Hebrew. Though Ruth herself had never literally been in Yehudah before, this term (which also means â€œrepentedâ€) shows that she symbolizes the Northern Kingdom (now indistinguishable from those with whom they mixed) that had left the Covenant, but is now turning away from the â€œfieldsâ€ (which symbolize the world, Matt. 13:38) and rejecting Moav (being away from the Father).
7. So she left the place where she had been staying along with her two daughters-in-law, and they set out on their way to return to the land of Yehudah.
8. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Each of you go back to the house of her mother. May YHWH deal kindly with you, as you have done with the dead men and with me.
9. "May YHWH grant that you find comfort, each in the household of her husband." And she kissed them, and they raised their voices and wept.
Her husband: i.e., a new husband.
10. But they replied to her, "No! We'll go back with you to your people!"
11. But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters! Do I still have more sons inside of me who can be your husbands?
12. "Turn back, my daughters! Go, because I am too old to get married again, and even if I thought there was still hope for me, and even if I should be given to a husband tonight, and could still bear sons,
13. "would you wait for them to grow up? Would you really shut yourselves off from belonging to a husband and reserve yourselves until then? No, my daughters, because it is much more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of YHWH has come out against me."
Than for you: they still had prospects for marriage. The Aggadah even says Ruth was the daughter of Eglon, King of Moav, and could have her choice of a husband, thus adding to the weight of her response.
14. Then they raised their voices and wept again, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her tightly.
Ruth showed loyalty to her husband by remaining with his family, and thus she retained a connection with Israel.
15. And Naomi said, "See, your sister-in-law has turned back to her people and to her gods; follow your sister-in-law's example and return, too!"
16. But Ruth said, "Don't press me to leave you, to turn back from following you, for wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people are now my people, and your Elohim is my Elohim.
17. "Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. My YHWH do thus to me, and more so, if anything but death separate you from me."
Not even her bones would be returned to the land of her birthâ€”the opposite of what Yaaqov and Yoseyf asked for themselves (Gen. 49:29; 50:25), because, though exiled, they identified with the Land of their inheritance. Ruth forsook hers for the â€œpearl of great priceâ€.
18. When she saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
19. And both of them kept traveling until they reached Beyth Lechem. And when they arrived in Beyth Lechem, the whole city was in an uproar because of them. They said, "Is this Naomi?"
The Jews returned to the Land first, amazing everyone in the world except those who had faith that YHWH would keep His promises.
20. But she told them, "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me.
Naomi means pleasant, but Mara means bitter.
21. "I left here full, but YHWH has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since YHWH has brought me low, and the Almighty has brought calamity on me?"
The Jews returned bitterly weakened right after the Holocaust which decimated them. Many forgot that this was the Holy Land, seeking only a safe haven where they could live in peace.
22. Thus it was that Naomi returned along with her daughter-in-law Ruth, the woman from Moav, who turned away from the fields of Moav. Now the time when they arrived in Beyth-Lechem was at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Barley harvest: Just after Passover, in the spring, the time grafting (Romans 11:17ff) is most successful. Passover is the time when more Gentiles take an interest in YHWHâ€™s festivals than any other time, so it is a season of ripeness. This is the first of two feasts of Firstfruits, the second of which we will encounter later in this account. This is the season of resurrection, for Yâ€™shua was resurrected on the first day of the Firstfruits of the Barley Harvest (1 Cor. 15:23), and indeed people began returning to YHWH from among the Gentiles right away. (Acts 3:26) But a Levitical firstfruit offering was brought into the Temple on each of the 49 days from then until Shavuoth (Pentecost) from a different area of Israel, so there are more firstfruits than just the Messiah alone. Barley is an unmistakable crop, unlike wheat (which can look just like tares or darnel, Mat. 13:25ff). It corresponds with the altar that is built prior to the rest of the Temple, and of uncut stonesâ€”those not shaped by human standards, but only by a river, i.e., the water of the Word. Barley is the first crop in Israel, and thus corresponds to Efrayim, whom YHWH calls His firstborn (the same word as firstfruits in Hebrew).
1. But Naomi did have a relative through marriage, a wealthy man from the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.
Boaz means “swiftness of movement”. In Rev. 1:1, Y’shua says the events surrounding His return will take place “in rapid succession”. Matithyahu 1:5 identifies him as the son of Rahav, the prostitute from Yericho who also joined the people of Israel during Yehoshua’s conquest. He was wealthy or mighty because his grandfather Nakhshon (4:18) was a “prince of the tribe of Yehudah” while they were still in the wilderness. (Numbers 2:3)
2. Now Ruth of Moav said to Naomi, "Please let me go out to the countryside and glean among the grainfields after whomever will look with favor on me." And she told her, "Go ahead, my daughter."
She diligently made use of a privilege Elohim had granted to the poor in His command that harvesters should leave the corners of their fields ungleaned for the needy to gather, Lev. 19:9, 10. The more one left for the poor, the more generous he was considered to be, and the more respected. (This corresponds with a Gentile's grasping the corners of a Jew's garment, Matt. 9:21.) As soon as she came to the Elohim of Israel, she began to receive provision and protection from His Torah (instruction). She sought out teaching, and the best was given to her.
3. So she went out and came into the field, and gleaned behind the reapers. And she "just happened” at random to come upon the part of the field that belonged to Boaz, who was from Elimelech's family.
The rabbis say, “Coincidence is not a kosher word!”
4. And, lo and behold, Boaz came from Beyth-Lechem and greeted his workers: "YHWH be with you!" And they answered him, "YHWH bless you!"
Notice that in that age, YHWH’s name was used for everyday greetings.
5. "But", said Boaz to the young servant he had appointed to oversee the reapers, "to whom does this young woman belong?"
6. And the young man who had been appointed overseer over the reapers answered, "She is a young woman from Moav who came with Naomi from the fields of Moav.
7. "And she said, 'Please let me glean, and I will gather from the sheaves after the harvesters have finished.' So she came, and has remained since the morning up until now, except that she sat down in the house for a little while."
Now he knew she was someone he was responsible for. Y’shua, too, narrowed His focus to the House of Israel. Sat down: A place where Torah is studied is called a Yeshiva--a place to sit! There she found the rest her soul was looking for. (Yirmiyahu 6:16; Mat. 11:28-30)
8. So Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen, my daughter, don't go to another field to glean, do you hear? Don't leave [the protective boundaries of] this field, but stay close to my servant-girls.
Y’shua told us to “stay in Him and let His words—the protective limits of YHWH’s instruction--remain in us (Yochanan/John 15:7). The field symbolizes the world (Mat. 13:38), which is a dangerous place if we are outside the camp, without protection of a community based on Torah.
9. "Keep your eyes on which field they reap, and follow along behind them. Don't you understand that I've commanded the young men not to touch you? When you get thirsty, just go to the containers [holding the water] that the young men will draw, and drink from them!"
Though she was a foreigner and had none of the responsibilities of the employees, she was given all the same privileges they had. “The sons of the Kingdom (Efrayim) are free.” (Matt. 17:26; 20:1-16) Ephesians 2:11-19 explains this story. Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:1 opens this invitation for those who cannot pay to come and drink freely. (Compare Yochanan/John 7:37)
10. Ruth fell on her face and bowed down to the ground, and asked him, "Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should notice me, when I am a foreigner?"
A foreigner: or is she?
11. And Boaz answered her, "I have been told about everything that you have done with your mother-in-law since your husband's death—how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and came to live among a people of whom you had no previous knowledge.
Everything you have done with your mother-in-law: compare Y’shua’s judgment of the nations based on what they had done for the least of His brethren (the House of Yehudah, Mat. 25:40).
12. "May YHWH reward you for your deeds, and may your wages be paid [completely, in peace] by YHWH, the Elohim of Israel, under whose wings you have come to find refuge!"
Deeds: Her “work” consisted of seeking YHWH’s refuge. (Yoch. 6:27) Wings: the outermost corners of one’s garment on which the reminders to obey YHWH’s commands are found. (Num. 15:38-39) Find refuge: compare 3:9; Psalm 91; Mal. 4:2; Mat. 9:21.
13. And she said, "Let me find favor in your eyes, my master, because you have brought me consolation, and because you have spoken to the heart of your maidservant—though I am certainly not to be compared to one of your maidservants!"
14. But Boaz said to her, "Come here at mealtimes, and you shall eat of the bread, and dip your morsel in the vinegar." So she sat at the side of the reapers, and he [reached over and] served her roasted grain, and she ate it, and was satisfied, and had some left over.
Dip your morsel: A symbol of friendship (Rev. 3:20)--the meaning of Ruth's name--but also a foreshadowing of Messiah's suffering, according to Jewish sources. Note the similarity to the moment with Yehudah/Judas at His last Passover (Mark 14:20). Roasted: or parched; Heb., qali, related in Ruth Rabbah to qalil (slight, since though it was only a little, she had some left over. (Since David’s kingdom will be restored, cf. 2 Shmuel 18) Notice the parallels to the feeding of the 5,000 with barley loaves, and the allusion of the harvest to the restoration of the Gentiles along with the estranged House of Israel (Gen. 48:16; Mat. 14:20; Yochanan/John 6:4-11). Roasted grain is ready to be ground into flour, thus made useful. Thus this symbolizes Y’shua giving the House of Israel people who have been through the earlier stages of winnowing and threshing, since we cannot confer life on others until our self-life has been done away with.
15. Then she rose up to glean. And Boaz instructed his young servants, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, but don't do it in a way that causes her embarrassment;
Glean: LXX, "Gather”; compare Y’shua’s command to gather up the leftovers after the children had eaten, and there was enough left for all twelve tribes. (Yochanan 6:12).
16. but rather pull some out from the bundles on purpose, and let it fall so she can glean it, and don't restrain her."
They were to allow her more than the usual “charity” (the crumbs that fell to the dogs, Matt. 15:27), giving her some of the grain of the omer itself from the heart of the field. If they made it too obvious, she would be ashamed, so they gave her the dignity of having picked it up herself. Likewise, YHWH is letting us “eleventh hour” hired hands have the dignity of at least working for an hour. (Mat. 20:6ff)
17. So she gleaned in the field until evening, and threshed out what she had gathered, and it came to about an eyfah of barley.
Eyfah: a little over a bushel, according to Josephus—no petty amount! It is the equivalent of ten omers. An omer is the amount of grain derived from one sheaf, and weighs half a sheqel, the redemption price of everyone who is counted in Israel. (Ex. 30:13ff) Ten men are considered a congregation, so an eyfah represents one whole congregation.
18. And she carried it back into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. Then she took some out and gave her what was left over after she had eaten her fill.
The benefits Messiah brings to the Gentiles brought into fellowship with Elohim spill back over to the House of Israel, whose assimilation with the nations gave those nations the opportunity to hear about YHWH in the first place. (cf. Rom. 11:15)
19. And her mother-in-law asked her, "Where have you gleaned today? Wherever you worked, may whomever gave you such [clearly generous] consideration be blessed!" So Ruth told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, "The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz."
It was easy for her to see from the amount Ruth gleaned that someone had been extremely generous to her. As it becomes obvious from whom these engrafted Gentiles are receiving their spiritual bounty, the Jews are meant to be provoked to jealousy. (Rom. 11:11; Deut. 32:21), and recognize that Y’shua is indeed their kin and their inheritance.
20. Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "May he be blessed by YHWH, Who has not forsaken His lovingkindness to either the living or the dead!" And Naomi told her, "The man is closely related to us; in fact, he is one of those qualified to be our kinsman-redeemer!"
The dead: Her late husband would not be left without an inheritance, and she realized now that if Boaz fulfilled his obligation, he would not be without an heir either. (Matt. 23:39) Kinsman-redeemer: designated by the laws of lineage as one who could purchase land an impoverished relative had lost in order to keep it in the family (Lev. 25:25-26). He would also marry the childless widow of one who had no living brother, to bring him an heir (Deut. 25:5-6; Num. 27:8-11). The southern kingdom of Yehudah (whose punishment was for a specific failure, Luk. 19:44) has returned to the land of its rightful heritage, but the northern Kingdom, which forfeited any rights by forsaking the covenant, must have their place in YHWH’s economy purchased back. Y’shua said He came for the "lost sheep of the House of Israel". On a larger scale, Adam, the legal representative of us all, forfeited the legal right to be ruler of the earth, but Y’shua, the Second Adam and his faithful kinsman, redeemed it.
21. And Ruth the Moavitess said, "He also told me, 'Stay close to the servants that are mine until they have finished reaping all of my harvest.'"
Throughout Scripture, harvest symbolizes both redemption and retribution. Y’shua offers asylum until YHWH's wrath has passed. During these days of grace, an arrangement is made whereby we can benefit from association with Him while His kingdom is not yet in place. (Matt. 13:30) Most Jews, who sowed, do not recognize the magnitude of the harvest, but most reapers know little about the seed of Torah. (Yochanan 4:37ff.)
22. Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, "It would be better for you to go out with his maidservants, so that men will not attack you in another field."
Attack you: She may have been afraid they would rape her and then wish to marry her, closing off Naomi’s last recourse to redemption.
23. So she stayed close to the young women who gleaned for Boaz until the ends of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. But she still resided with her mother-in-law.
The end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest both occur at the Festival of Shavuoth, which foreshadows the ingathering from among all nations--symbolized by leavened bread--between Messiah's first and second comings. It comes after 49 days of counting, paralleling Y’shua’s command to stay in Yerushalayim until this day, when they would be empowered from on high. (Acts 1:4-8) The leaven represents the mixture of ritually unclean Gentiles with Israel in this harvest of souls from which the hard-to-distinguish tares must be removed (Mat. 9:37) in contrast to the earlier, unleavened harvest. The end of the wheat harvest is not until Sukkoth, at the end of the summer. But we have not reached that point yet. (3:2) Did she wait until Sukkoth—through the whole summer? Yet in the next chapter he is still dealing with the barley harvest. The key is that the word “ends” here is the same as “brides” in Hebrew; it is like Yaaqov’s experience: his first bride came at the end of one “harvest” period, but his next came right afterward, at the beginning of his next “harvest”. Boaz obtains his bride right between the two:
1. Then her mother-in-law Naomi asked her, "My daughter, shall I not indeed look into arranging a settlement for you?
2. "So now, isn't Boaz, with whose young women you have been, our relative? Look here! He is winnowing barley at his threshing floor tonight.
Winnowing barley is easier in the evening when there is more breeze. Wind is the same as Spirit in Hebrew, and winnowing thus depicts teaching the word by putting it out where the Spirit can separate away the useless chaff. Thus it also symbolizes YHWH's separating the righteous from the wicked. (Matt. 3:12; Yirmiyahu/ Jeremiah 15:7) But he is winnowing at the place of threshingâ€”the job of the pastor (shepherd), who gently separates the hull first. The two steps are intricately connected. Judgment begins with the unleavened house of YHWH, represented by the barley, which must be finished before the wheat (2:23) can be threshed. Those who take part in the first harvest will also participate in the processing of the second.
3. "So take a [ritual] bath and anoint yourself, and put your garments on yourself, and go down to the threshing floor. But don't let the man take notice of you until after he has finished eating and drinking.
Ritual bath: required before a marriage, and symbolizing being "born again". Anoint yourself: put on perfume, but "anointed" is also the meaning of Messiah, and what is true of Him is true of His bride. (Compare Yirmiyahu 23:6 with 33:16) She receives not only His name but His nature. (1 Yochanan 3:2; 4:17) White garments show that the Bride has been purified to match Him. (Rev. 19:14; Dan. 7:9) The cup often symbolizes YHWH's wrath (Yirmiyahu 25:15), which Y'shua had to drink before Gentiles were permitted to be "wed" to Him. The threshing floor bears the same symbolism. Ruth's status could not be dealt with until after He drank. Y'shua will only drink again when His kingdom arrives. (Luk. 22:18)
4. "But when he lies down, be sure that you pay attention to where he lies down, then go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. And he will tell you what you are to do."
In the darkness she could not have distinguished him from those who were with him if she had not marked the spot in daylight. This compares to the readiness of the five wise virgins. (Mat. 25) Uncover his feet: this symbolizes digging out what the festivals (called "feet" in Exodus 23:14) mean, and they are all about Y'shua taking us under His wings. We can trust His judgment, for He knows what needs to be done about our plight.
5. And Ruth told her, "Whatever you say, I will do."
This is what Israel said when accepting the Torah at Sinai. Naomi is willing to give the instruction when she senses this readiness in Ruth.
6. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything just as her mother-in-law had instructed her.
Naomi (representing the Jews who know the Torah) knew the procedures, but Ruth "reaped" the benefits by simply obeying, though she had been a foreigner to Israel's ways.
7. When Boaz had eaten and drunk, his heart was cheerful, and he went to lie down at the end of the grain pile. And she sneaked in, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
Feet are symbolic of the Pilgrimage Festivals (Passover/Unleavened Bread, Shavuoth, and Sukkoth), since they are actually called â€œthree feetâ€ or â€œthree pacesâ€ in Ex.23:14. So this act symbolizes the Northern Kingdom coming back and finding rest in the appointed times YHWH had commanded.
8. But in the middle of the night, the man was startled, and he turned over to see what had awakened him, and, lo and behold, there was a woman lying at his feet!
9. And he said, "Who are you?!" And she said, "I am your maidservant Ruth, so spread your skirt over your maidservant, because you are [qualified to be] a kinsman-redeemer."
Spread your skirt over: Not a proposition, but a request that he fulfill his levirate duty (Deut. 25:5-9) by extending his protection to his relatives' family. (Compare note on 2:12 and Zecharyah 8:23.) The House of Israel are Y'shua's kinsmen. The covering also bespeaks His authority.
10. So he said, "May you be blessed by YHWH, my daughter! You have dealt more kindly at the latter end than at the beginning, in not going after young men, whether poor or rich.
She chose the old man--the ancient Adam, whom Y'shua is reconstructing--over the young (the image of the Beast), and this brought her YHWH's added blessing.
11. "So now, my daughter, do not be afraid. All that you have mentioned I will do for you, because all who are in the gate of my people realize that you are a worthy woman.
A worthy woman: eyshet chayil, the same phrase used in Prov. 31:10. Who can find one? Boaz could, and he represents Yâ€™shua, who found the spark of value in the dirtied Northern Kingdom. Kilyon was a poor representation of Yehudah, much like the â€œJesusâ€ that the Northern Kingdom first married. This connection was enough to give her a right to come back to YHWH, but to live in His holy Land, they must turn all the way back to the Torah. Since they have done so, the true Yâ€™shua is offered to them, for they have proven willing to leave their own context to truly follow Him into His.
12. "Now indeed it is true that I am one qualified to be a kinsmen-redeemer. However, there is another kinsman who is more closely related than I.
The plot thickens! Another man legally had the first option on fulfilling this role. The sin of Adam, our nearer kinsman, stands legally in the way of YHWH's love, but like Esau, this elder brother of Yahshua lost his rights, so Yahshua, who, like Adam, is called YHWH's Son, fulfilled the covenant that Adam broke. But there is another who goes back even further: haSatan, the King of Tyre (Yehezqel 28), who owned the earth before the creation of Adam.
13. "Stay here tonight, and in the morning it will be like this: if he wants redeem you, fine; he can redeem you. But if he has no wish to do so, then, as surely as YHWH lives, I will redeem you. So lie down until morning."
14. So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could tell who was who. And he said, "Don't let anyone know a woman has come to the threshing floor."
Donâ€™t let anyone know: This corresponds to Yoseyf waiting for the right moment to reveal his identity to his brothers.
15. But he said, "Bring me the cloak that is spread over you, and hold it out." So she held onto it, and he measured six measures of barley into it and set it upon her, and she went into the city.
Both the House of Yehudah and the fullness of the Gentiles are brought in within the first six millennia of earthâ€™s history. (Compare Yoch. 6:13).
16. And she came to her mother-in-law, who then said, "Who are you, my daughter?" And she told her all that the man had done for her.
Who are you? Has she been redeemed yet? Has she yet realized that she too is now Israel?
17. And she added, "He gave me these six measures of barley, 'because', he said, 'you should not go back to your mother-in-law with empty hands!'"
18. So she said, "Sit still, my daughter, until you find out how the thing falls out, because the man will not rest today until he has settled the matter!"
Compare Yeshayahu 62:7. After â€œsix measuresâ€, the Sabbath of rest must come soon, but he has an important job to complete first, so he must act quickly, for no one may harvest on the Sabbath. (Ex. 16:27; Numbers 15)
Fields around Migdal Eder,
with Bethlehem in the background.
1. So Boaz went up to the gate and sat there. And, lo and behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz had spoken passed by. So he said, "Such a distinguished personage! Step aside for a moment and have a seat here." So he turned aside and sat down.
Such a distinguished personage: the King of Tyre, or Heylel (Lucifer, Yeshayahu 14), was once the highest of YHWH's creations. This title relates to "going to and fro", which describes haSatan. (Gen. 8:7; Iyov/Job 1:7; 1 Kefa/Peter 5:8) But the root meaning is "forsaken one", which Heylel was after becoming lifted up with pride. But if he is still sitting in the gate, i.e., still in the heavenlies, where the elders sit, this is prior to that fall--or simultaneous with it. This deal was struck "before the foundation of the earth", when all who belong to Messiah were "chosen in Him". (Eph. 1:4)
2. Then Boaz gathered ten men from the city and said, "Have a seat here." So they sat down.
Ten men: a minyan, or quorum needed for legal business or public prayer; cf. Gen. 18:32; Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 15:1; Zech. 8:23. It also corresponds to the eyfah Ruth had gathered (2:17), representing the congregation on the heavenly mountain where haSatan had to report. (Yeshayahu 14:13)
3. And he said to the near kinsman, "Naomi, who returned from the fields of Moav, wants to sell a parcel of the land which belonged to our brother, Elimelech.
Her poverty was severe enough that she needed to sell some of her husband's inheritance in order to subsist. It was critical that she sell it to someone in the family so she could still be sustained by it. An unnamed contender arrives like an opportunist just at the time Naomi is in dire straits. Present-day Israel is has come to the point of willingness to surrender part of its land for false prospects of peace. The False Messiah, whose name (often known as Armilus) is never given in Scripture, and will have a certain claim on the Land through a peace treaty. (Dan. 9:27; Yoch. 5:43) He also appears to come from one of Israel's own tribes, Dan. (Gen. 49:17-18; Lev. 24:10; Rev. 7:4)
4. "So I thought I should let you hear about it, and ask you, in the presence of the elders of my people, to buy it. If you want to redeem it, do so, but if you do not wish to redeem it, tell me, so that I may know, because there is no one qualified to redeem it except you, and I am next in line after you." But he said, "I want to redeem it!"
I should let you hear about it: as the one having the first right. Everything, even something so clearly blessed by YHWH, must be done according to legal procedure to have the utmost of integrity.
5. But Boaz added, "Now in the day when you buy the field, you will have bought it from Ruth the Moavitess, the wife of the dead heir, in order to raise up the name of the deceased upon his inheritance."
Ruth would have no legal recourse to any inheritance should Naomi die, so she needed a more potent guarantee than mere association. So Boaz providentially uses the threat of calamity to finalize the matter.
6. Then the near kinsman said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, because I don't want to jeopardize my own inheritance. You redeem for yourself what it is my right to redeem, because I am not able to redeem it."
"My own inheritance" would have to be divided between his previous children and Ruth's, who would legally be Machlon's heirs. Adam could not be our redeemer, as he had his own sin to pay for. The Counterfeit Messiah, though initially appearing benevolent, shows himself to be selfish when put to the test. Therefore, Y'shua, who IS able to pay our debt and has an inheritance to spare, becomes our Bridegroom as well as our Kinsman Redeemer (Ephesians 5:23). Naomi represents Yehudah, which means "praise". HaSatan is more than willing to have praise for himself again, just as before creation. But this Northern Kingdom was another story: the wife of a dead man, without covenant, corrupted, unclean, it would besmirch his reputation. Yet Yehudah cannot be redeemed alone; all Israel must be bought back by one Redeemer, and Y'shua willingly went after the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel as well as those who had stayed close to the covenant.
7. Now this is what used to be done in Israel in regard to redemption and transactions, to confirm each matter: a man would take off his sandal and give it to his fellow citizen, and this counted as a contract in Israel.
The procedure is detailed in Deut. 25:5-10. The Torah also mentions that one is to spit in his face; the reward for pride is deeper humiliation.
8. So the near kinsman told Boaz, "Buy it for yourself", and took off his sandal.
HaSatan and his incarnation the Counterfeit Messiah are the "fowler" of Psalm 91 who tries to snare us. Thus they are like Esau, the hunter, the older brother of Yaaqov (the heel-grabber), who nonetheless obtained what he had first right to, being more worthy of it. By being bruised on His heel, Yâ€™shua crushed haSatanâ€™s head. (Gen. 3:15) The evil inclination affected the way Y'shua had to walk, for death had no right to Him, but He had to deal with our sin, but he eventually took haSatan's crown because He sued haSatan for His wrongful death. HaSatan had to hand it over, according to the Judge, and now Y'shua has the keys to sin and death which haSatan once had.
9. Then Boaz said to the elders and to all the townspeople, "You are witnesses today that I have bought all that belonged to Elimelech, and all that was Machlon's and Kilyon's, from the hand of Naomi.
"All authority in heaven and earth" was given to Yahshua (Matt. 28:18), who redeemed the cursed earth from Satan, who had gained it by Adam's forfeiture.
10. "Moreover, I have bought Ruth of Moav, the wife of Machlon, for myself as a wife, to raise up a name for the dead man as regards his inheritance. So the name of the dead man shall not be cut off from among his brothers, nor from the gate of his place.
Not be cut off: The importance of this particular line being continued is that it guaranteed the advent of the Messianic throne. But on a larger scale, once a descendant of Yaaqov is cut off from his inheritance, he cannot reclaim it on his own; only an immediate relative who still has rights can choose to provide a foot back in the door. Since the Northern Kingdom forfeited its rights in the Land by willfully departing from the covenant, they could not reclaim that connection without someone from Yehudah, the tribe that remained generally faithful to the Torah, and He in particular having obeyed it completely, could make it possible for the descendants of the apostates to return. The Renewed Covenant is YHWH's amazing, roundabout solution to the restoration of the scattered tribes to their original inheritance, and like Ruth, the nations with whom the House of Israel mixed also benefit from this redemption if they choose to take the option of joining themselves to Israel's Elohim. (Yeshayahu 55:5; Eph. 2:12ff) So Ruth represents the fulfillment of YHWH's promise to graft all nations into Avraham's seed. (Gen. 22:18) Gate: the law court, hence his legal rights. Once a descendant of Yaaqov was cut off from his inheritance, he could not reclaim it in his own right. Only an immediate relative who had rights could open the door for his or her return.
11. And all the people who were in the gate along with the elders said, "We are witnesses. May YHWH make the woman who is coming into your household like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the House of Israel. May you yourself also do worthily in Efrathah, and make a name for yourself in Beyth Lechem.
"May Elohim make you like Rachel and Leah" is a blessing still conferred on Israelite daughters today as each Sabbath begins. Make a name: The "name above every name" was conferred on Yahshua at Beyth-Lechem, the town of His birth! Efrathah means "fruitfulness". Built: or edified, strengthened.
12. "And may your household be like the House of Paretz, whom Thamar bore to Yehudah, of the seed which YHWH shall give to you from this young woman."
Like the House of Paretz: a seemingly unflattering blessing, considering the circumstances of Thamar's bearing Paretz (Gen. 38). But, as in the case of Boaz, it was a roundabout means by which YHWH established the continuation of the Messianic line, which had been threatened by Yehudah's failure to allow his son's widow the proper levirate redemption. The "seed" refers not only to the immediate redemption, but also to the descendant of hers who would fulfill the prophecy of the "Seed of the Woman" (Gen. 3:15).
13. So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; when he had relations with her, YHWH granted her conception, and she bore a son.
14. And the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be YHWH, who has not left you this day without a redeemer! And may his name become well-known in Israel.
The redemption was not complete until a son was raised up for Kilyon.
15. "May he be to you a restorer of life, and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, has borne him, who is better to you than seven sons!"
A restoprer of life: a dead man's lineage was resurrected. Better than seven sons: compare 1 Shmuel 1:8.
16. So Naomi took the child, and laid him on her lap, and became his nurse.
She sustained this graft into her line, as the fruitfulness of the branch later sustains the olive tree that sustains the branch!
17. And the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "This is a descendant born to Naomi!" So they called him Oved. He was the father of Yishai, the father of David.
Oved: "one who serves", in the sense of spiritual worship in YHWH's temple.
18. Now these are the generations of Paretz:
This discourse pattern signals the continuity of the Messianic genealogy, which is reiterated several times throughout Genesis. Herein also lies the key to the strange blessing in v. 12: after Adam's fall, this word "generations" is spelled "defectively", with one letter missing (though pronounced the same way) in every case until this one, where the full spelling is restored. Oved's birth sealed the guarantee that the throne of his grandson David, and thus Messiah's throne, would be established. The missing letter has the numeric value of 6, the number of man. Through this recombining of the Two Houses of Israel, one new man was formed. (Eph. 2:15).
Paretz fathered Chetzron;
19. Chetzron fathered Ram, and Ram fathered Amminadav;
20. Amminadav fathered Nachshon, and Nachshon, Salmon;
21. Salmon fathered Boaz, and Boaz, Oved;
22. Oved fathered Yishai, and Yishai, [King] David.
The "one who serves" begat "I possess" (symbolizing the return to dispossess the Land again), who begat "the beloved". The greatest in the Kingdom is the servant of all. (Mark 9:35) Of course, the Messiah Y'shua also came from the lineage of David.
A reconstructed judgment seat
in the city gates.