AN AMAZING FRIENDSHIP
This is the story of an amazing friendship between two women, one an Israelite, and one a Gentile. Naomi needed her land back, and Ruth needed a husband. They helped each other, and they were both blessed.
This is the story of Israel, and the Church.
NAOMI AND RUTH
Naomi is the wife of Elimelech, an Israelite from Bethlehem Ephrata. Her name Naomi means “pleasant.” The Bible calls Israel “the pleasant land.” (Psalm 106:24)
It is a spiritual low time in Israel, and there is famine. Naomi and Elimelech, together with their two sons, move to Moab. This is the land of the gentiles. During this time, Elimelech dies, and leaves Naomi as a widow behind.
Her sons, Mahlon and Chilion, in Hebrew it means “sickly” and “wasting,” died too. They’re married to two Moabite girls, Ruth and Orpah. They too are now widows. Naomi, begs her daughters-in-law to go back to their families. Orpah turned and went back to her idols.
Ruth clings to Naomi and would not leave her side. She abandons her past, and claims the God of Naomi, Yahweh, as her God. Her name means “friendship or desirable.” These two women developed a tender friendship.
According to the laws of the Torah, Naomi needs a kinsman-redeemer. Blood family to buy the land of Elimelech back, and descendants to keep the land in the family, but she is old now. The same Torah laws makes provision for Ruth, a kinsman-redeemer to marry her.
Both women need a kinsman-redeemer, this is the Hebrew concept of a “go’el.” A man that is blood family, wealthy and willing to save the day.
Together, Naomi and Ruth travel back to Israel. God works undercover, and Boaz notice Ruth while she gathers grain on his field. The name Boaz means “inherent strength” in Hebrew. He is a blood relative of Elimelech, the lawful kinsman-redeemer.
A widow who had no child, had certain rights under the law, to keep the land in the family. Deuteronomy 25:5 “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife.”
Every kinsman-redeemer, had to meet four conditions. He had to be:
- blood family
- wealthy enough to buy back the inheritance.
- willing. It is consider shameful to refuse, but he did have a choice.
- avenge the late husband’s death in case of a murder.
NAOMI CANNOT, BUT RUTH CAN
Naomi renounces her own claim on Boaz as a close relative. She hands it down to Ruth, her gentile daughter-in-law, to bring forth children.
A marriage between Ruth and Boaz is the perfect solution, it solves everything. Elimelech can buy the land for Naomi back. Ruth can have the children to inherit, since she is old and unable.
What the law cannot do, grace can do it.
Naomi instructs Ruth in the Jewish tradition. She told Ruth to ask Boaz to “spread thy skirt over me”, which is asking for his protection and care. From that day on Boaz provides for them, and the famine did not harm them.
THE CASE FOR THE LAND
The courthouse of the day was the city gate, and Boaz use it to make a legal case for the land. Ruth 4:3 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3.Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.”
Naomi got her land back, even though she left and came back.
THE CASE FOR THE BRIDE
Boaz addresses the only nearer kinsman in front of the council, asking him to take on the role of the go’el. This man is willing to redeem the land, but he has no taste for the bride. He does not want to marry Ruth, and he gave it a pass.
Ruth 4:9-10 “ And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate.”
We don’t like the idea of men purchasing women, but remember that Jesus Christ purchased us with His blood.
GENEALOGY OF CHRIST
This beautiful story is in the genealogy of our kinsman-redeemer, Jesus Christ. Boaz and Ruth had a son Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and the grandfather of David. This is the line of Judah.
Jesus is our kinsman-redeemer! He was born into the human family. He is wealthy and will take all the land promised to Israel. He is willing, and waiting to marry the gentile bride. One day, He will avenge the blood of those who were murdered.
The land of Israel belongs to God. In Leviticus, God lays out the “Law of Redemption” for Israel. The Israelites could lease the land out, but they were not allowed to sell it to non-family members. Even then, a lease only lasted for a designated number of years, or until the year of Jubilee. In that 50th year, the land would return to the original Jewish owners.
We see this principle when God instructs Jeremiah to buy land. God tells him to buy the land so that after the captivity, Jeremiah’s descendants can return and claim the land. Jeremiah 32:10 I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales.
See more about Israel End Times, Israel
THE SCROLL WITH SEVEN SEALS
In ancient Israel, the Title Deed that named the landowner was a scroll with seven seals. On its backside it would hold the details for the redemption procedure. Only the near kinsman can break the seals.
In Revelation 5 we encounter a moment in time when the scroll with seven seals comes out. The Title Deed for the earth, and the only one allowed to open it has to be:
- Blood family, a kinsman of Adam
- Wealthy, able to redeem the land.
- Willing, to assume all the obligations
- Avenge the blood of the saints.
Revelation 5:2 “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof. 5. Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
The book of Revelation is the consumption of all things!
Sources used for Ruth and Naomi:
Romance of redemption by Dr. Chuck Missler.