Ruth Chapter 4: Boaz Redeems Ruth, Lineage of Christ

Nov 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Ruth, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Ruth Chapter 4: Boaz Redeems Ruth, Lineage of Christ

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, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

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

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, which was our brother Elimelech’s:

Ruth 4:4 And I thought to advertise thee, 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.

Boaz was direct and methodical. He knew exactly what to do. He went to the gate where all judgment was given and where all of the people went through. No doubt he had gotten up early and gone to the gate quickly so that he would be sure to catch the kinsman. Seeing the kinsman, Boaz called out, “Ho, there!” When the kinsman turned, Boaz said, “Come over here and sit down.” Then Boaz ordered ten elders to sit down. He truly would not rest until the matter was settled. We are reminded of Jesus’ ability to perform, of his workmanship (pictured by cassia).

Jesus’ preexistent knowledge helped him to be faithful down here, but he also learned knowledge while on earth—experimental knowledge. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). Jesus was obedient before the First Advent, but he had to learn obedience under duress and persecution. He was put to the test. The compliance of the ten elders shows that Boaz was very respected and influential. And he was aged. His marriage to Ruth at such an old age corresponds to Jesus, who said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The ten were a panel of judges. The number 10 shows completeness along earthly lines, such as the ten horns, the ten toes, and the ten virgins (who are still on earth in the present life). The word “advertise” in verse 4 means “inform”: “I thought to advertise thee,” that is, Boaz informed the ten elders. Having the witnesses made the agreement a public contract.

Boaz did not want the kinsman to hem and haw. In other words, “Make a decision!” How Boaz’s heart must have sunk when the kinsman said he would redeem the land! Then Boaz reminded the kinsman that Ruth went with the land. The kinsman did not want Ruth, for that would mar his own inheritance, and he wanted to raise up a child in his own name.

Boaz was such a just man that he presented the matter in a business-like fashion, even though he might lose Ruth. Jesus is “the just [One]” (James 5:6; 1 Pet. 3:18). Another similarity between the two is that Jesus bought the field to get the treasure, and so did Boaz (Matt. 13:44).

Q: Does the kinsman still represent Adam?

A: That would seem to be the case because Adam had the right of redemption as the father of the human race.

Comment: The antitype would fit, for Adam and his posterity are generally interested in earthly things.

Reply: Adam and Noah were both told to multiply and fill the earth. Noah is a type of the Second Adam. Adam was the father of the human race up to the Flood, but after the Flood, Noah is the one from whom all life came. Jesus carries Adam’s name, and Boaz would have to carry the dead son’s name. Adam could not redeem, and neither did the near kinsman.

The oldest son got a double portion, and the other sons each got one portion. (If there was no male son, the oldest daughter got the double portion.) The near kinsman probably already had some sons, and with a Levirate marriage, the new son would get the double portion.

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

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 his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.

There is a difference between this account in Ruth and the Levirate custom in the twenty-fifth chapter of Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy, the woman spit in the face of the man who refused to perform the act of a Levirate marriage. “Changing” in verse 7 refers to the near kinsman’s changing his mind. First, he said he would redeem the land, but when it was made clear he had to take Ruth too, he reneged.

The NIV is good for verse 7, although it does not follow the Hebrew: “(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)” In Western nations, a handshake sealed a contract. Back there it was the loosing of a shoe.

The spiritual meaning is as follows. The nearest of kin refused to or could not perform the act Boaz requested, so Boaz fulfilled the duty of a near kinsman. In antitype, the nearest kinsman was Adam, who failed the test of obedience. Boaz represents the Second Adam, Jesus, who fulfilled the role. The “shoe” being loosed because the nearest kinsman failed to perform indicates the loss of a former standing. Similarly, we use our shoes when we stand. In other words, Adam fell. “Resurrection” (the Greek anastasis) means a standing up.

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

The nearest kinsman gave Boaz his shoe as if to say, “You, Boaz, stand in my stead regarding the contract.”

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.

Naomi’s sons had died without having children.

Ruth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead 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.

Here we find that Ruth had been Mahlon’s wife. In antitype, the purchase, or contract, was made down here. Jesus was made flesh. He was “the Son of [the] man [Adam]” (Matt. 12:8). Adam was created perfect, and Jesus was his Son, also being perfect.

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, and be famous in Bethlehem:

The contract was performed in the gate of the city. Judges sat in the city gate, and legal transactions and judgments took place there.

Why were Rachel and Leah, Jacob’s wives, mentioned? Out of these two came the 12 tribes of Israel. Rachel had two sons of her own (Joseph and Benjamin) and two more sons through her concubine. Leah had six sons of her own and two additional sons through her concubine plus a daughter, Dinah.

Ruth 1:1,2 mentions Bethlehem-judah, that is, the Bethlehem in Judah. Bethlehem was also in Ephratah. Rachel gave birth to Benjamin in the outskirts of Bethlehem (Gen. 35:16-18). There was another Bethlehem in the ten-tribe kingdom.

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.

Through subterfuge, Pharez was born to Tamar of Judah, her father-in-law, after her husband Er died, leaving her childless, and after Judah failed to provide another husband for her. The sin of Onan was that he spilled his seed on the ground instead of performing his Levirate duty. Onan wanted the pleasure of the act but refused to “give seed to his brother[‘s name].” Then the young brother, Shelah, was to be given to Tamar when he came of age, but Judah forgot and/or neglected to do this (Gen. 38:1-11).

Tamar was of the lineage of Messiah, which was traced through Pharez (Matt. 1:3). In his Gospel, Matthew listed in Messiah’s lineage those of questionable background who were approved of God: Rahab, Tamar, and Ruth (Matt. 1:5). Matthew and Luke recorded different genealogies: one maternal and one through in-laws. Ruth was called a “young woman” here. Probably she was in her late twenties.

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.

Boaz and Ruth bore a son whose name was Obed (see verse 21).

Ruth 4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

Ruth 4:15 And he shall be unto thee 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 borne him.

As a result of the birth of a son to Boaz and Ruth, the women of the town were very happy.

After the Millennial Age, when other planets are populated, Sarah will have more children than Hagar (Gal. 4:27). Those developed under the Sarah Covenant (the Little Flock) will give life to trillions of people. Obed’s name became famous in Messiah’s lineage, the genealogy being Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David (Matt. 1:5,6; Luke 3:31,32).

What a commendation for Ruth! She was better to Naomi “than seven sons.” In 1 Samuel 1:8, Elkanah used the same expression but from a different perspective when he said to his wife Hannah, who lamented her barrenness, “Am I not better to thee than ten sons?” Hannah was subsequently blessed with not only Samuel but also other children.

Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

Naomi became the nurse for Obed, just as the Church is nursed by the Sarah Covenant. Sarah was barren and Hagar bore first because the natural preceded the spiritual. Hagar pictures the Old Law Covenant, and Ishmael pictures the natural seed. Sarah represents the Grace Covenant, and Isaac represents the spiritual seed. Keturah, a picture of the New Covenant, came on the scene after Sarah died, that is, after the Grace Covenant ended.

Ruth 4:17 And the women her neighbours gave it 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.

The town women, Naomi’s neighbors, gave the son of Boaz and Ruth the name Obed, which means “serving,” “servant,” and “worshipped.

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.

Verses 18-22 prove that Boaz was in the lineage of Christ. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke show that Messiah was of David’s lineage in two ways. Boaz and David both picture Jesus. Ruth is special as a prophetic book. It shows the Harvest as a gathering in the field, first the barley and then the wheat. (Other pictures show the Harvest as a gathering into the barn.) The barley was threshed, but nothing is said about the threshing of the wheat. In the Book of Ruth, the fact the earlier barley harvest was superior to the wheat harvest shows that the Little Flock will go off the earthly scene before the Great Company. The threshing and the winnowing process was as follows:

1. The grain was sickled with the stalk.

2. The stalks were bundled.

3. The stalks were threshed to loosen the seed.

4. The seed was winnowed to get rid of the chaff. (The seed was thrown up into the air, and the wind blew the chaff away.)

Hence the order was (1) harvest gathering, (2) threshing, and (3) winnowing.

Since we are all called in the one hope, the Great Company are a by-product (Eph. 4:4). Both harvests (barley and wheat) end practically simultaneously because once the door to the high calling closes, no more will be called. The Book of Ruth brings out this fact.

Some Harvest pictures show the good (Little Flock) and the bad (tares), but the Book of Ruth shows the good (Little Flock) and the less good (Great Company). The barley harvest pertains to the Little Flock, and the wheat harvest pertains to the Great Company. No tares are shown. The Book of Ruth adds to and clarifies the subject of the Harvest.

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