Saturday, December 14, 2013


Chapter 2

There are several wonderful titles for this second chapter of Ruth that I found a blessing:

1.  A Humble Heart (Grace School of the Bible)
2.  Ruth Serving (Scofield)
3.  Meeting with Christ (Ironside)
4.  Submission {to Naomi, to Boaz} (My title)
5.  Service: Ruth Working (Wiersbe)
1)  We must live by Faith in the Lord (v1-3)
2)  We must live by the Grace of God (v4-16)
3)  We must live in Hope (v17-23)
6.  Ruth’s Rights (Ryrie Bible)
4)  Her Right to Glean (v1-3)
5)  The Results of her Gleaning (v4-17)
a)  Boaz Meets Ruth (v4-7)
b)  Boaz Protects Ruth (v8-13)
c)  Boaz Provides for Ruth (v14-16)
6)  The Report of her Gleaning (v17-23)

No matter what title you give this chapter as you meditate upon it, you see two prominent characters, Ruth and Boaz. You see how they are both led by the Lord and yielded to the Lord. Ruth’s overall characteristic is service and submission and Boaz’s grace. Does this not picture our relationship with the Lord Jesus? – Love and Grace! Warren Wiersbe made a statement concerning this chapter that I found a blessing: “Boaz is surprised by love and Ruth is overwhelmed by grace.

Ruth 2:1 – “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.”

The question concerning whether Naomi has a kinsman is answered in the beginning of this verse: “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s.” The word for “kinsman” is “moda” which means “acquaintance.” This is not the word “goel” which means “one who redeems.” Later we will see that word used in connection with Boaz (2:20). But first we see only the relationship, and that it is a distant one. It seems as though neither one is aware of the other at this time, only God is!

Naomi has been gone, she doesn’t know Boaz and may not even be aware of him at this time. She had never mentioned or considered him as a possible answer to their need on their journey home, for her words to Ruth were all about how there was no provision for her for a husband. Later, once Naomi is aware of Boaz, she will claim a deeper relationship and the obligation to redeem will come from this relationship.

Strong Encyclopedia says there are four Hebrew words translated in the KJV, three indicate a simple relationship (kinswoman (Num 27:11) or kin (Lev 18:12-13); kinswomen (Lev 18:17), literally acquaintance (Ruth 2:1, Ps 38:11); and kinsfolk (Job 19:14) literally near. The word used in this verse for Boaz speaks of “acquaintance,” showing that Naomi doesn’t yet realize there is a deeper relationship, and she won’t realize it until Ruth meets Boaz. The fourth Hebrew word for kinsman (goel) will claimed by Naomi in verse 20. There the word not only speaks of a relationship but implies obligations arising from that relationship. The primary idea is that of coming to help or rescue, of giving protection, redeeming, avenging. We will go into the meaning of that word in more detail in verse 20. But at this time neither Naomi or Ruth is aware of Boaz or this deeper relationship. It is not until Ruth steps out in faith, goes into that field and begins to glean, that she meets Boaz and will lay claim to him!

The description of that kinsman is seen in the rest of the verse: His Status: “a mighty man of wealth”. His Family: “of the family of Elimelech”. His Name: “and his name was Boaz.”

The first thing we see is that Boaz was “a mighty man of wealth” or “man of position and wealth.” Two words are used to describe Boaz: Mighty and Wealth. The word “mighty” means “warrior,” “powerful,” “chief,” or “champion.” The word “wealth” means “riches,” “strength,” “power,” “valor.” Both these words described the strength of the man, not just the wealth of the man. They speak of “power both in virtue, authority and riches” (Geneva Bible). They speak of his standing among God’s people: Militarily, and Materially, Physically and Spiritually.

The Hebrew words can be translated “man of standing” or “mighty man of valor.” These are the same words that are used of Gideon (Judges 6:12) and Jephthah (Judges 11:1). Each of these men were men of valor, mighty men, they were capable men. God knew what they were capable of, even if they did not, and then they proved themselves in battle, in testing and these qualities were seen by everyone else.

The next thing we see is that Boaz was “of the family of Elimelech”. He is from her husband’s family line and the name “Elimelech” (My God is king) also applies to him. The difference is he has lived up to the meaning of that name.

Finally we see his name: “and his name was Boaz.” The name “Boaz” means “in him is strength” or “strength”. His strength will come from his God who is his King! (My God is King). His strength is two-fold: strength of body and strength of spirit. The strength of this name is shown forth physically in that there were two pillars in the front of the temple, and one of those pillars was called “Boaz” (1 Ki 7:21; 2 Chron 3:17).

You find Boaz’s genealogy in Ruth 4:18-22 and 1 Chron 2:10-15, and his grandfather is called “a prince of Judah.” In those references you find the men of his family listed, but in Matthew 1 you find the women listed also, and one of those women is Rahab the harlot (Mt 1:5). There are wonderful similarities between Rahab and Ruth. Rahab was a Canaanite (Joshua 2) and Ruth was a Moabite (Ruth 1). Rahab gave a profession of faith (Josh 2:11) and Ruth gave a profession of faith (Ruth 1:16). Boaz would remember Rahab and have sympathy for Ruth, there would be no prejudice, he would judge her by her actions, not her past!
To be continued