The Book of Ruth, Part 14: Will You Redeem the Land?

Ruth’s proposal to Boaz in last week’s episode seemed promising, but in today’s episode we find her back at Naomi’s place with a heavy haul of barley, another gift from Boaz, as the waiting begins.

Ruth 3:14 (NET) So she slept beside him until morning. She woke up while it was still dark. Boaz thought, “No one must know that a woman visited the threshing floor.” 15 Then he said, “Hold out the shawl you are wearing and grip it tightly.” As she held it tightly, he measured out about sixty pounds of barley into the shawl and put it on her shoulders. Then he went into town, 16 and she returned to her mother-in-law.
When Ruth returned to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did things turn out for you, my daughter?” Ruth told her about all the man had done for her. 17 She said, “He gave me these sixty pounds of barley, for he said to me, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18 Then Naomi said, “Stay put, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out. For the man will not rest until he has taken care of the matter today.”

The Book of Ruth, Part 13, The Waiting Game

Ruth’s proposal to Boaz in last week’s episode seemed promising, but in today’s episode we find her back at Naomi’s place with a heavy haul of barley, another gift from Boaz, as the waiting begins.

Ruth 3:14 (NET) So she slept beside him until morning. She woke up while it was still dark. Boaz thought, “No one must know that a woman visited the threshing floor.” 15 Then he said, “Hold out the shawl you are wearing and grip it tightly.” As she held it tightly, he measured out about sixty pounds of barley into the shawl and put it on her shoulders. Then he went into town, 16 and she returned to her mother-in-law.
When Ruth returned to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did things turn out for you, my daughter?” Ruth told her about all the man had done for her. 17 She said, “He gave me these sixty pounds of barley, for he said to me, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18 Then Naomi said, “Stay put, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out. For the man will not rest until he has taken care of the matter today.”

The Book of Ruth, Part 10: Uncovering Boaz’s Feet

In today’s episode we get a bit of a jolt to the “love story” of Ruth and Boaz, and Naomi suggests something that might startle us. Ruth’s actions might be viewed with some skepticism too.

WARNING: While I think most will be fine listening to this episode with their children, you may wish to preview this one first.

This episode will be challenging our modern view of marriage and of women’s independence, but I also think it demonstrates just how strong of a woman Ruth was, especially in light of all that she has been through.

Ruth 3:1 (NET) At that time, Naomi, her mother-in-law, said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you so you will be secure. 2 Now Boaz, with whose female servants you worked, is our close relative. Look, tonight he is winnowing barley at the threshing floor. 3 So bathe yourself, rub on some perfumed oil, and get dressed up. Then go down to the threshing floor. But donʼt let the man know youʼre there until he finishes his meal. 4 When he gets ready to go to sleep, take careful notice of the place where he lies down. Then go, uncover his legs, and lie down beside him. He will tell you what you should do.” 5 Ruth replied to Naomi, “I will do everything you have told me to do.”

The Book of Ruth, Part 9: Boaz Exposed

Boaz Exposed

The story of Ruth is beginning to pick up speed. Ruth comes back from a day in the fields with a harvest beyond expectation, and Naomi rightfully wonders why. She soon finds out: Boaz is the benefactor. While we were given some insight into Boaz’s identity at the beginning of chapter 2, it is only now that Ruth finds out who he is, as Naomi exposes him.

There are many who think Boaz was seeking Ruth as a wife early on, and his kindness toward her is evidence of that. I’m not so sure though. While that case can be made, it is equally likely that he was just a kind man looking to take care of his deceased relative’s family. What do you think?

Ruth 2:18 (NET) She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much grain she had gathered. Then Ruth gave her the roasted grain she had saved from mealtime. 19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you gather grain today? Where did you work? May the one who took notice of you be rewarded!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked. She said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be rewarded by the Lord because he has shown loyalty to the living on behalf of the dead!” Then Naomi said to her, “This man is a close relative of ours; he is our guardian.” 21 Ruth the Moabite replied, “He even told me, ʻYou may go along beside my servants until they have finished gathering all my harvest!ʼ” 22 Naomi then said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, “It is good, my daughter, that you should go out to work with his female servants. That way you will not be harmed, which could happen in another field.” 23 So Ruth worked beside Boazʼs female servants, gathering grain until the end of the barley harvest as well as the wheat harvest. After that she stayed home with her mother-in-law.

The Book of Ruth, Part 8: Boaz’s Generosity Grows

Boaz's Generosity Grows

Boaz continues to show incredible kindness to Ruth, even inviting her to join him and his servants for dinner, but that wasn’t all – he gave her food in abundance.

Ruth 2:14 (NET) Later during the mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and have some food! Dip your bread in the vinegar!” So she sat down beside the harvesters. Then he handed her some roasted grain. She ate until she was full and saved the rest. 15 When she got up to gather grain, Boaz told his male servants, “Let her gather grain even among the bundles! Donʼt chase her off! 16 Make sure you pull out ears of grain for her and drop them so she can gather them up. Donʼt tell her not to!” 17 So she gathered grain in the field until evening. When she threshed what she had gathered, it came to about thirty pounds of barley!

The Book of Ruth, Part 6: Boaz Arrives

In this episode of Noble Bereans, we get our first glimpse of Boaz in action as he begins to put Ruth under his covering of protection and provision, even before he really knows her.

Ruth 2:4 (NET) Now at that very moment, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “May the Lord be with you!” They replied, “May the Lord bless you!” 5 Boaz asked his servant in charge of the harvesters, “To whom does this young woman belong?” 6 The servant in charge of the harvesters replied, “Sheʼs the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the region of Moab. 7 She asked, ʻMay I follow the harvesters and gather grain among the bundles?ʼ Since she arrived she has been working hard from this morning until now – except for sitting in the resting hut a short time.”

8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my dear! Do not leave to gather grain in another field. You need not go beyond the limits of this field. You may go along beside my female workers. 9 Take note of the field where the men are harvesting and follow behind with the female workers. I will tell the men to leave you alone. When you are thirsty, you may go to the water jars and drink some of the water the servants draw.”

The Book of Ruth, Part 5: Boaz’s Field

Ruth continues in the same respectful way as we’ve seen thus far, and she takes it upon herself to go into the fields to harvest some of the leftover Barley. This is where she meets Boaz for the first time.

Ruth 2:1 (NET) Now Naomi had a relative on her husbandʼs side of the family named Boaz. He was a wealthy, prominent man from the clan of Elimelech. 2 One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields so I can gather grain behind whoever permits me to do so.” Naomi replied, “You may go, my daughter.” 3 So Ruth went and gathered grain in the fields behind the harvesters. Now she just happened to end up in the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech.

Leviticus 19:9 (NET) ʻWhen you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest.”

Deuteronomy 24:19 where it is stated, “When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”

Deuteronomy 23:3 (NET) An Ammonite or Moabite may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation none of their descendants shall ever do so, 4 for they did not meet you with food and water on the way as you came from Egypt, and furthermore, they hired Balaam son of Beor of Pethor in Aram Naharaim to curse you.

The Book of Ruth, Part 4: Call Me Bitter

In this episode we look at Naomi’s and Ruth’s arrival into Bethlehem, joy in the eyes of some, but bitterness in the eyes of Naomi, who even asks to be called by a different name!

Ruth 1:18 (NET) When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped trying to dissuade her. 19 So the two of them journeyed together until they arrived in Bethlehem.

When they entered Bethlehem, the whole village was excited about their arrival. The women of the village said, “Can this be Naomi?” 20 But she replied to them, “Donʼt call me ʻNaomiʼ! Call me ʻMaraʼ because the Sovereign One has treated me very harshly. 21 I left here full, but the Lord has caused me to return empty-handed. Why do you call me ʻNaomi,ʼ seeing that the Lord has opposed me, and the Sovereign One has caused me to suffer?” 22 So Naomi returned, accompanied by her Moabite daughter-in-law Ruth, who came back with her from the region of Moab. (Now they arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.)