Ruth a Faithful Moabitess
Word of the Day: Moabites
A descendant of Moab, the son of Lot.
Ruth was a descendant from the Moabites, her name means "friend or friendship". She grew up in the high plateau between the Dead Sea and the Arabian Desert. The Moabites worshiped a falsely god Chemosh. Her husband was Mahlon a Hebrew man without convictions the son of Naomi and Elimelech.
Tragedy came to their land, and for this reason Elimelech felt forced to move his family into the country of Moab. Elimelech lived in Moab enough time for their two boys to find a wife. The other son was Chilion who married Orpah the other Moabite. But all three men died including his two boys and all this happened in a period of ten years. From the moment these two boys were born they were given fragile names, Mahlon means "the sickly one" and Chilion "the wasting away".
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
The Jewish had strict laws regarding the marriage to a Moabite and it was totally against God's will.
An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever:
After the death of the two boys Ruth bonded well with her mother in law. Naomi had heard that the famine in her land had past and decides to go back. Ruth was a young widow and thought she could not have a future outside her husband's family. It makes me think that she had found a family once she married her husband, and now she only had Naomi. Ruth followed Naomi wherever she went and found peace being beside her. Naomi did not get to become a grandmother from the marriages of her children therefore she saw no reason to stay in Moab.
Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.
7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
As they were heading to Bethlehem Naomi tells her two daughters' in law to return to their land. It must have been a sad moment as the three ladies cried. They wanted to come with her but Naomi did not want the uncertainty for them and urged them to go back. She did not want the ladies to accompany her by obligation but by their own decision. That meant that they would have to leave everything behind including their pagan lives and their gods and that is a personal decision. The other reason why Naomi refused for them to come with her is because she had no other children to offer these ladies. The law of Moses said if the husband dies the widow was able to marry one of the brothers but Naomi could not offer that protection through that custom.
And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
9 The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Orpah made de decision to go back to her gods, but Ruth decided to stay with Naomi, she wanted a change in her life. This is the moment when Ruth profecess that Naomi's God will be her God. Perhaps the Lord was preparing her heart during the short period she was married to Mahlon. Although Naomi's children married a pagan woman that does not mean that she did not teach well the Word of God. We have to always consider that our kids have their own mind and heart which means that they will not always choose according to God's will.
And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
The two ladies arrived at Bethlehem, and Ruth now as the Moabite but identified with God was about to experience a new life full of surprises. Naomi was old and could no longer work plus she had returned ten years older, her appearance was not the same as when she left to Moab. When they arrived at Bethlehem it was the beginning of the harvest.
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
21 I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
Naomi had a relative from the husband's side who was wealthy and his name was Boaz, this man was not only wealthy but had an impeccable reputation. Ruth decides to go work in the fields for she was very eager to start a new life. She had found hope in Bethlehem, at the harvest field Ruth as a widow was able to glean from the side. The right to pick up the grain from the side was left by Moses to the poor people and the widows.
And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.
3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that theLordthy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.
Ruth came to Boaz's field, she did not know who this man was. As soon as he saw her he wanted to know who she was. Boaz was told that she was the Moabite that had come with Naomi. Boaz was kind to Ruth and said to her that she could reap with his maidens meaning that she was no longer gleaning from the leftover. In this story I also noticed that Ruth submitted to the customs of Bethlehem.
And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee.
5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
Ruth had found grace in Boaz's eyes and told her not glean in other fields. She just fell on her face and asked him "why have I found grace in thine eyes". Boaz was very impressed at the fact that she had left her family to accompany Naomi to a place where she did not know anyone.
Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
Naomi right away recognized that Ruth had found a distinct favor in Boaz's eyes. He let her gather enough food for several days by commanding his workers to drop extra sheaves by her side.
And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.
20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.
23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.
As soon as Ruth mentioned his name Naomi remembered Boaz name and the fact that he was a relative of her husband. This meant that Ruth could be redeemed by Boaz. Naomi gave Ruth specific instructions on how to conquer Boaz's heart. It was by law that the next relative in line would be obligated to marry this woman. Naomi told Ruth to wash her self and put on the best garment, to mark the spot where he was going to lie down, once he lies down for her come and lie at his feet.
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
Ruth claims Boaz as a close relative of her husband, he was charged with redeeming the family property. When she says: "spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid" this represents a symbolic pledge for marriage. Back in those days it was appropriate for a widow to claim a close relative as her redeemer, so she was acting according to society. Boaz agrees to redeem her and even calls her a virtuous woman
And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
Boaz went to the city gate and this is where the public affairs took place. Naomi possessed a piece of land which meant that whoever purchased it had to marry the widow. There was a closer relative that had to redeem Ruth before Boaz. Boaz went in to talk to this man to advertise the land and explained to him the requirements for such a purchase. Although this man wanted the land he did not want what came with the purchase.
Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
Boaz was able to arrange the business details and was able to purchase everything that belonged to Elimelech including Ruth. They have a big wedding at the gate of the city where all the public figures met. Boaz was not ashamed of marrying a woman who was a widow but also a Moabite and was accepted just like Rachel and Leah.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
Conclusion: In this story, Ruth represents us, the gentiles and Boaz Christ our redeemer. Christ is the wealthy person who paid a high price to give us a name in Heaven. The law said that Ruth had to be redeemed by a close relative and the Lord has also promised us that one day he will come back for His bride.
*Please let me know if this post has been a blessing to you through a comment, for it would be a blessing for me to know.
have added some verses down below for those who are not sure if heaven is your future home. Please share with me if you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior through this post. I will be happy to rejoice with you!
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.