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RUTH SERIES – FROM TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH: CHAPTER 3

November 10, 2018

With the help of God and kindness of Boaz Ruth had successfully gleaned the barley and wheat harvest providing substances for Naomi and herself, and now that the harvest was over, Naomi showed concern about Ruth’s future and procuring her a husband.

Knowing the winnowing process and the practice of the owner of the field presence at the threshing-floor during this time, Naomi devised a plan for Ruth. Naomi instructed Ruth to make herself presentable, bathe, put on perfume and clean clothes and go and wait until Boaz completed overseeing the work, eating, drinking and laid down to sleep; then, Ruth was to silently go and lie at his feet covering herself with Boaz’s cloak.

Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions, and after sleeping awhile, Boaz woke up and was startled to find someone laying at his feet. When he questioned who it was, Ruth responded by telling him it was her and that she wanted him as her next-of-kin to marry her (spread his skirt over her). Boaz, an older man was surprised and elated that Ruth, a young woman, would want to marry him. He expressed this, his gratitude and Ruth’s virtue, which the town people had recognized and voiced. Additionally, he informed Ruth that there was a kinsman nearer than him; however, he would pursue the matter to see what that individual would want to do.

As suggested by Boaz, Ruth stayed with him until early in the morning. Then, to prevent being sullied, Ruth left before other people woke-up and Boaz gave her about eighty-eight pounds of barley to take home in her veil. Upon seeing the barley and hearing what transpired between Boaz and Ruth, Naomi said, “Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest until he have finished the thing this day.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

The Goel Law (Levirate Law) found in Numbers 36:1-9 and Deuteronomy 25:5-10 required if a married man died childless his male next of kin was to marry his widow allowing the family name to continue and family property to remain in the family. God-fearing, honorable, virtuous Boaz understood that Ruth was requesting a marriage proposal of him and he was willing to be her kinsmen-redeemer if the closer relative did not do so. Naomi’s plan worked.

In the Eastern culture spreading the skirt over someone is a symbol of protection, and for a woman, it is equivalent to a marriage contract. In requesting Boaz to marry her, Ruth was honoring the memory of her deceased husband. How many of us would marry someone to keep our family legacy intact?

Giving should be done in proportion to the means of the giver and needs of the receiver.

After doing what needs to be done, it is time to be still.

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