13 Boaz and Ruth

UNIT #: 
Lesson Theme: 
Faithfullness and God's promise of redemption.

To understand that God's redemptive work start with faith and the reward for faithfulness is redemption.

Bible Passage: 

Ruth 4:1-22

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down. Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” 11    Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12 and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

The Genealogy of David

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17 The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

18 Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19 Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20 Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, 21 Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22 Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

The Book of Ruth plays an important part in the redemptive process God started after the failure of man kind through Adam and Eve.  So it is amazing how a gentile woman's love and faith leads her to become a link in the chain of events that leads to the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ.  This beautiful little book links the Old Testament with the New Testament in a special way.

The story starts with the introduction that the events happened when the Judges ruled the chosen people and they were far away from the God who called them, there was the darkness of idolatry and because of their faithlessness to the true God of Israel, even the land was not producing enough to sustain the people. Even in Bethlehem, the word Bethlehem means "house of bread", there was famine and Elimelech and Naomi with their two sons had to move from Bethlehem to Moab.  

The faithlessness of the chosen ones and the faithful embrace of the same faith and the same God by a gentile woman and her devotion to her mother-in-law leads to God's blessing. 

This book also bring about the doctrine of Kinsman Redeemer from the Mosaic law to the New Testament Redeemer and Mediator Jesus Christ.  If we look faithfully we see God's plan of redemption starting to take shape in this book. 

Main Ideas: 

 The word of God gives importance as to how we treat our parents, elderly relatives and elders in the church and the society as a whole.  

In Proverbs 23:22, it says "Listen to your father who begot you and do not despise your mother when she is old".  In Leviticus 19:32, it says "You shall rise before the aged and defer to the old(meaning - honor elderly people); and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord".  In Ephesians 6:1-3, it says "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  "Honor your father and mother" - this is the first commandment with a promise: so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth".

Today we learn about how God rewarded a young woman for her love and devotion to her elderly widowed mother-in-law and accepted the God of Israel as her God .  The young widowed woman who went beyond her grief and limitations and accepted her husbands mother as her mother and accepted the God of Israel as her God was Ruth, a gentile Moabite woman.  Today we also learn about the kinsman redeemer of the old testament and our kinsman redeemer Jesus Christ.

The story begins when the Judges were ruling the people of Israel, the people were disobedient and they were not following the commandments God had given them.  Disobedience leads to God's punishment and there was famine in the land.  The family of Elimelech consisting of his wife Naomi, sons Mahlon and Kilion who were living in Bethlehem (the word Bethlehem means "house of bread) decided to move to Moab where there was no famine.  While living there for some time Elimelech suddenly died and Naomi was left with her two sons.  While living in Moab, Mahlon and Kilion married Moabite women Ruth and Orpah.  After the family lived there for ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died.  Now Naomi was left with her daughter-in-laws Ruth and Orpah.  Naomi without her husband and two sons wanted to go back to Judah and then heard that God has shown mercy to the people in Judah and that the famine has ended and there was food.  Naomi decided to go back to Judah and to Bethlehem where she had her husbands property.  Before leaving to Bethlehem Naomi asked Ruth and Orpah to return to their homes and get remarried and live a life with their families.  As Naomi insisted Orpah went back to her people, however Ruth took a completely different stand and told Naomi that she will not leave her.  Ruth told Naomi wherever she goes she will go with her and Naomi's people will be her people and Naomi's God will be her God.  

Naomi and Ruth went to Bethlehem and the people there welcomed them back and they heard Naomi's sad story and also how one of her daughters-in-law, in love and devotion to her had accompanied her to Bethlehem.  They came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley harvest time.  

Naomi and Ruth being widows had no one to provide for them, they had to find work or somehow find food to live by.  Ruth undertook that responsibility and was willing to work to get food.  Then Naomi told Ruth about a wealthy man, Boaz, who was a relative of Elimelech and was also a Kinsman to Naomi.  In the Levite law, a relative also known as kinsman can redeem the property of a dead man who died without any children by marrying the widow.  This law was to save the widow from poverty and widowhood.  

Ruth went to the field of Boaz to glean after the reapers of the barley harvest.  (Gleaning means gathering leftover grain after a harvest).  Boaz saw Ruth at the field and enquired about her and met her and told his servants to show kindness to her as Ruth showed love and kindness to Naomi.  Ruth gleaned in the field of Boaz the whole day and in the evening she got an ephah or a bushel of barley and she took that to Naomi.  Naomi was very pleased about what Ruth had done and where she went for gleaning.  Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz for the barley and wheat harvest.  Naomi then told Ruth that Boaz can redeem her and asked Ruth to go and meet Boaz at the threshing floor and ask Boaz to redeem her.  Ruth did as Naomi told her and Boaz was very kind and told Ruth that he will redeem her, however there was another kinsman who was closer in relationship to Naomi than him and if only the other person does nor redeem her he can redeem her.  Ruth went back to Naomi and told her what had happened.

Boaz went to the village gate early next morning to meet with the kinsman who was closer in relationship to Naomi and find out whether he was willing to redeem Ruth or not.

In those days things were decided and transactions were finalized at the gate of the village or town.  Elders will gather at a particular time, mostly in the morning, and if there is anything to be decided upon all parties will gather and things will be discussed and it will be decided up on that day.

As expected by Boaz the other kinsman of Naomi also came to village gate and Boaz asked him to sit down with him. Boaz then asked the other kinsman whether he is willing to redeem the property of Elimelech their kinsman, the other kinsman then told Boaz that he was willing to buy the property but did not want to marry Ruth the moabite woman, because it will affect his and his children's inheritance.  The other kinsman then asked Boaz to redeem Elimelech's property and Ruth the moabite woman and as a sign of his acceptance of the redemption by Boaz he took his sandal and gave it to Boaz.

Boaz then called the elders of the village together and told them that he has acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon and also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be his wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place and they were all witness for this.  The elders and the people of the gate accepted it and then blessed Boaz the blessing of Israel.

Boaz took Ruth as his wife and Ruth later bore a son for Boaz and Naomi the grand mother and her people named the boy Obed.  Obed grew up and became a man and he married and he begot a son named Jesse and Jesse later on became the father of David.  

Jesus Christ our Lord and savior was born in the house of David and in the tribe of Judah.  See how God in his mercy blessed a gentile moabite woman for her love and faithfulness and her acceptance of the God of Israel as her God and  rewarded her to became a part of God's plan for the salvation of all mankind.  

Jesus Christ is our kinsman redeemer and the reason is, Jesus is the son of God; he came down to earth and became a human being just like us and he suffered the worst kind of suffering a man can endure and shed his blood and died on the cross for all our sins and by his blood redeemed us.   Just like the other kinsman, Jesus didn't have do it, but in his love for all of us he did it, So Jesus is our redeemer, our kinsman redeemer. 




Lesson Review: 

1. Out of the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses, which commandment is the one with a promise?

a. 1st b. 3rd c.5th d. 7th (Answer - 5th - Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you).

2. The word Bethlehem means .........................................

a. David's city b. House of barley c.House of grains d. House of bread(Answer d - House of bread)

3. Why did Elimelech and his family move to Moab?

a. Eleimelech got a job in Moab b.His wife told him c. Because of famine in Judah d. He liked the weather there. (Answer - c Because of famine in Judah)

4. Why did Naomi wanted to go back to Bethlehem her husbands native place?

a. She lost her husband and children b. She heard that the famine in Judea has ended c. Her daughter-in-law's asked her to d. She felt alone in Moab (Answer b. famine in Judea has ended)

5. Why did Orpah leave Naomi and go back to her people?

a. Naomi asked her to go and have a new life b. She didn't like Naomi c. She didn't want to stay with Naomi and Ruth d. Her parents asked her to come back (Answer a. Naomi asked her to go and have a new life)

6. Why did Ruth decided to accompany Naomi to Bethlehem?

a. She wanted to see Bethlehem b. She loved Naomi and believed in the God of Israel c. She wanted to leave Moab d. She did not want Naomi to go alone (Answer b. She loved Naomi and believed in the God of Israel)

7. Who was Boaz?

a. An Israelite b. a village councilor c. a cousin of Elemelech d. a farmer (Answer a & c  a. An Israelite & c. cousin of Elemelech)

​8. Who is a kinsman redeemer?

a. A knight b. A hero c. A close relative of a widows husband d. A Priest (Answer c. close relative of a widows husband)

9. Why is Jesus called our kinsman redeemer?

a. Jesus redeems us from poverty b. Jesus redeems us from this world c. Jesus the Son of God became a human being to save us d. Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross for us (Answer c & d c. Jesus the Son of God became a human being to save us d.Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross for us)

Values for Life: 

Honoring God in all circumstance of life and honoring your parents, elders and the law of the land leads to a blessed life in this world and in the world to come. 

Life Response/My Decision: 

I will honor God in everything I do.  I will honor and obey my parents,  and will honor my teachers and elders in the church and the leaders in the community. 

Memory Verse: 

Ruth 1:16

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

16 But Ruth said,

“Do not press me to leave you
    or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
    where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
    and your God my God.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord in your love for mankind you send your only Son to this world to redeem us from this world, Jesus became a human being just like us so that he became the kinsman redeemer for us, even when he had to suffer much and die on the cross for us.  We understand your deep love for us and we pray together to help and strengthen us to live a live pleasing to you just as Jesus did in this world.  We are sinners but your grace is sufficient to lead us in this world. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen. 

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