When Ruth returned at the end of her day of gleaning, she had an exceptionally large amount of grain, about half a bushel. Naomi noted this and recognized that Ruth had been treated with favor.
“Her mother-in-law then said to her, ‘Where did you glean today and where did you work? May he who took notice of you be blessed.’ So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, ‘The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.’ And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘May he be blessed of the LORD who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead.’ Again Naomi said to her, ‘The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives.'” ~ Ruth 2:19-20
Instead of the word “relative”, the King James Version uses the word “kinsman”, which in Hebrew is ga’al (pronounced as go-el) meaning “kinsman redeemer”. During that time in Israel, if a man left behind a childless widow, it was the responsibility of the brother to marry her and have a child, who would be the heir of the dead man, thus keeping that man’s name and lineage alive. If there were no brothers, a next of kin could be asked instead. It was the widow’s right, and responsibility, to ask.
In the book of Ruth, Ruth went to Boaz and asked for his pledge to marry her. And here is his reply.
“Then he said, ‘May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.'” ~ Ruth 3:10-11
Long story short (read the book- it is beautiful!), Boaz cleared the way legally (he bought a field) and took Ruth as his wife. She bore a child, a son named Obed. Does that name ring a bell? “He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” ~ Ruth 4:17b
While studying this passage, I read the following commentary from Pastor Chuck Smith ~
“So in the kingdom parables, ‘the kingdom is like unto a man going through a field, discovering a treasure, who for the joy thereof immediately goes out and sells all that he had in order that he might buy the field, and obtain the treasure’ (Matthew 13:44) So Jesus seeing the treasure, His church, His bride, within the world, bought the whole world in order to take His bride out of it. Beautiful, beautiful sort of a parallel here with Boaz and Ruth, and Jesus and the church…
Even as Boaz was the kinsman redeemer, fulfilled the law, redeemed the property in order to get the bride, so Jesus Christ is our kinsman redeemer. He became a man in order that He might be next of kin to man, in order that He could redeem man. It was necessary for Him in order to be the kinsman redeemer, the goel, to become a man.”
Our kinsman redeemer, Jesus, was descended from King David, through Ruth and Boaz. I love how the Bible all ties together so perfectly, and how it ultimately points us to our Redeemer, Jesus.
Have you been redeemed by our goel, Jesus? All you have to do is ask Him, and Jesus will redeem you. He already bought the whole world, paid for it with His death. He longs to redeem us all. It is our right, and responsibility, to do the asking. 🙂