Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Ruth 3:15 – “Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.”
What does Boaz tell Ruth to do? He tells her to bring her veil to him: “Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee.” Strong’s says this word “bring” comes from words “to come;” to grant; to permit” – This is an invitation. He will “give” and “provide” for her but before he does this he asks her to “permit” him to do this, she must give her permission, for he will not force a blessing upon her. What a wonderful picture showing that in order to receive the blessings of the Lord we must be willing to Him. He will never force a blessing upon us, He asks us to come in faith and receive. There is also another meaning for the word “bring.” Brown translates this as “come now!” – This is a command. The word is imperative and the tone is urgent, he doesn’t want her to delay. It also means to “to give; to provide.” Boaz is both inviting and commanding her to come near so that he can give her something, so that he can provide for her.
After Ruth does this, after she comes near to him, then Boaz tells her to hold out the veil: “and hold it” or “to take hold of it,” to “take as a possession.” The veil is hers already, but she is to “take hold of” and “take possession of” what he will put in it! Here is another step of faith on Ruth’s part. Ruth responds in perfect obedience, she does exactly what Boaz asks and in doing this she will receive from him a wonderful blessing. We are to take hold of the things of the Lord. God told His people in the Old Testament what they could and should take hold of, there were so many things. Through Isaiah God told them to: “take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me” (Isa 27:5) and “choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant” (Isa 56:4). Paul encouraged others to take hold of or lay hold of by faith. He said to “lay hold on eternal life” (1 Ti 6:12,19) and to “lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Heb 6:18). There are so many things that we can lay hold of that will enrich us and enable us.
What she holds out to Boaz is the veil that she is wearing: “the veil that thou has upon thee.” The veil is hers, it is her covering. The word “veil” means “mantle, shawl, or cloak. This was a large outer garment. “Eastern veils are like large sheets, they are wrapped around the head, and fall down over the shoulders, enveloping the whole person.” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown). She was wearing it, ready to leave. This covering was before Boaz and before man. It showed her modesty and her subjection and it also served two purposes, it was what concealed her from others and protected her at the same time. What a wonderful picture of her separation and her subjection. She came wearing it and she left carrying it because Boaz is her protection now!
What did Ruth do? She obeyed, she held out her veil: “And when she held it.” She “held it,” she “took hold of” it and by faith came to Boaz. After he filled it she would take “possession” of what he put in it! What a wonderful picture of both waiting to receive and receiving – both of which are done by faith.
Boaz then does something wonderful to seal the promise he has made to her. He “measured six measures of barley” to give to her. The word “measured” is in italics, it has been added. The Hebrew mentions no quantity! He chose the amount that he gave her, “six” but the amount is a mystery. This shows that there is no limit to what Jesus gives us. This shows that Jesus gives to us what we can appropriate, what we can carry. Boaz didn’t give to Ruth something she was not able to take home with her. It was more than enough, just enough, the right amount.
I think that the number “six” is interesting and thought about how that if we wanted to look at this in type and look at what Ruth would take back with her we could see the six as something that would also come forth from her. These “six” could figure six important descendents from Ruth and Boaz that end with Christ. 1) Obed; 2) Jesse; 3) David; 4) Solomon (the kingly line from Joseph); 5) Nathan (the righteous line of Mary); 6) Jesus. There are a lot of other descendents between those individuals leading to Christ but those five leading to the sixth, to Christ are so important. I thought about Ruth carrying back those six measures of barley that Boaz gave to her and how that from her would come forth these six men. I know that is speculation and not doctrine but it was such a blessing to my heart.
What we do see is that Boaz chose to give her from his supply, from that portion of grain that he had harvested and that he had guarded. He gave to her from his supply, his storehouse; he gave to her from the fruit of his labors. He gave to her and in the giving he “laid it upon her.” The word “laid” means “appoint, or lay (up).” He gave her what she was able to carry, no more – no less. He gave her what would sustain both her and Naomi. Ruth left the presence of Boaz carrying a veil filled with grain, but she was also carrying in her heart his promises. These are “all the promises of God” in Christ (2 Cor 1:20); they are the “better promises” (Heb 8:6); they are the “great and precious promises” (2 Pet 1:4). She had come to Boaz empty and she left full. She had come with nothing and left not just with something but with everything, she left by faith with “all things”! These promises, six measures of barely, are all the things that Jesus promises us!
Paul went to Damascus believing Jesus would tell him “all things” (Acts 20:35). There it was all the things he would do, all the will of God for his life. He said he believed “all things” (Acts 24:14) written in the law and prophets. Later Paul tells us about these “all things” – these many things. He says “all things work together for our good” (Ro 8:28); that Christ will “freely give us all things” (Ro 8:32); that through Christ are “all things” (Ro 11:36). He says these “all things” are the “deep things” (1 Cor 2:10) the Spirit shows us, and that all these things are ours. (1 Cor 3:21). What blessings Ruth left with when she left the presence of Boaz!
Finally, in this verse we see the wonderful promised provision given to Ruth by Boaz. This is a down payment on all the future blessings that will be hers. This is his assurance and his promise that he will provide for and care for her. And having been given this gift by Boaz she left and he left. “and she (or he) went into the city.” They both went home to do what they had to do. She went home to wait on his promise and he went home to full his promise. Boaz would not let her leave his presence without a blessing. Earlier he had blessed her in secret and she wasn’t aware of it (Ruth 2:16). It was a provision based on her labors as his servant. Now his providing for her is done openly, she knows he is the one giving to her. It is a provision based on his grace alone, not her service and she is no longer a servant but a bride! What is so wonderful in this portion is that it shows that when we leave the presence of Christ, we will always leave with a blessing!