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Archive for the ‘Boaz’ Category

Ruth 4:13-22

A Blessed Marriage

Observations

  • Although Jewish law and tradition (Ruth 4:5) states that Obed would be credited to Mahlon as Mahlon’s heir and maintaining the line of Elimelech, when Matthew and  Luke give the geneology of Jesus (Matthew 1:5, Luke 3:23) both of them list Boaz, not Mahlon as Obed’s father.
  • Obed will become the grandfather of King David. Obed is the father of Jesse and the grandfather of King David
  • Jesus is born of the family of David.
  • Boaz himself has a Canaanite mother – Rahab (Matthew 1:5)
  • Jesus has both Canaanite and Moabite heritage.
  • Obed was well accepted by the community. (Ruth 4:14-15)
  • Obviously, since the Lord chose David to be king, the rule that no Moabite should enter the assembly of the Lord for 10 generations does not apply here.

Questions

  • Why do you think that the women were so ready and quick with their praise of Obed?
  • Why do you think that both Luke and Matthew list Boaz in the geneology and not Mahlon?
  • Why do you think God blessed this marriage so richly?
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Ruth 4: 1-12

Boaz marries Ruth!

There are many reasons not to do so.

  • There’s a large age difference.
  • She’s a Moabite.
  • A son born from this union would be considered Elimelech’s and not his own.
  • It appears that he is not obligated to do so. He’s a relative, but not the closest relative – and definitely not Mahlon’s brother.

However, he is a relative. He seems to care for Ruth. He definitely thinks highly of her. He is flattered that she would ask him.

I think it’s easy to understand why the other man did not want to marry Ruth. It’s no slight to Ruth, but he probably already had a wife and children. He was thinking about them. It’s a little harder to understand Boaz marrying Ruth. Was it simply that he fell in love with her? It could be. He didn’t wait long to go talk to the other relative. Naomi knew that he wouldn’t let the sun set without speaking to him. What were the signals that she picked up, I wonder.

Did a sense of duty enter into it? He was a kinsman-redeemer, after all.

Observations

  • Boaz had a relative who was born as a result of the kinsman-redeemer law. His name was Perez. The story is in Genesis 38.
  • His mother was Rahab – a Canaanite of Jericho who helped the Hebrew spies.

No wonder he had a tender heart for the foreigner! He must have understood something of the sacrifices that Ruth made in leaving her country for that of Naomi. He knew that where one’s heart is, is more important than the country of one’s birth.

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“That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers.” (Ruth 2:20, NIV)

Kinsman-Redeemer is a translation of the Hebrew word go’el which can mean kinsman or redeemer. Let’s see how it is translated here in other versions.

  • family redeemers – (New Living Translation & Holman Christian Standard Bible)
  • our closest relatives – (New American Standard Bible)
  • our redeemers – (English Standard Version)
  • one of those who is supposed to look after us – (Contemporary English Version)
  • one of our close relatives – (NKJV)

The go’el is a kinsman who has the the right and obligation to help a poor relative in his time of need, particularly if he has had to sell some property. The Hebrews an interesting system which you can read about in Leviticus 25. When they sold property, it wasn’t a real sale. It was more of an extended lease, the right to use the property until the year of Jubilee. There was a year of Jubilee every 50 years. The value of the land would depend on how long it was until the next year of Jubilee.

Naomi apparently could sell her property to anyone, and it would come back to her heirs at the Jubilee. But what, if she had no heirs to inherit it? She needed an heir. She needed someone to both buy her property and provide her with an heir.

Boaz could meet that need. He could marry Ruth and buy her field. He was a close relative. However, apparently he was not the closest relative. There was another man who is closer. We are not given his name. He’s a John Doe.

However, Boaz is willing to serve as kinsman-redeemer if the John Doe does not want to do it. Boaz is a relative. He has the money. He is willing to pay the price. He is willing to take Ruth the Moabite as his bride.

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