Search
Ruth and Naomi's Relationship

From Loss to Legacy: The Inspiring Story of Ruth and Naomi’s relationship

This captivating story recounts the powerful relationship between Ruth and Naomi — a friendship between two women who faced immense loss and adversity but emerged as symbols of hope and resilience.

We explore their challenges, including widowhood, migration, societal expectations, and how they overcame these obstacles together. 

Through their unwavering faith and determination, they rebuilt their lives and left a lasting legacy for generations: a typology of Israel and the Church.

Join us as we delve into the book of Ruth and the women’s inspiring journey.

THE BACKGROUND

Naomi was a Jew, and Ruth was a Gentile. Naomi needed her land in Israel back, and Ruth, the Gentile, needed a husband. So, they set out to help each other. 

NAOMI

Naomi was the wife of Elimelech, an Israelite from Bethlehem Ephrata. During the famine in Israel, Naomi, Elimelech, and their two sons moved to Moab, the land of the Gentiles and idols.

Soon after, Elimelech died and left Naomi as a widow. Her sons died, too. Mahlon and Chilion, which means “sickly” and “wasting” in Hebrew, married two Moabite girls, Ruth and Orpah, and left them widows behind. 

Naomi begged her daughters-in-law to go back to their families. Orpah turned and went back to her family, but Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back.”

RUTH

Ruth, a Moabite woman and a Gentile by birth, found herself widowed after being married to Naomi’s son. As Ruth’s story unfurled, she showed compassion towards her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Ruth embraced Naomi’s God, Yahweh, forsaking the idols of the Moabites and followed Naomi to Israel.

Ruth and Naomi Journeyed Together
Ruth and Naomi Journeyed Together

 

THE KINSMAN-REDEEMER

This is where the story of Ruth and Naomi’s friendship takes an exciting turn. Let me introduce the “go-el,” a concept in the Bible without further due. It is a Hebrew term for a man who can act lawfully as a Kinsman-Redeemer. The four criteria were:

  • He had to be blood family
  • He had to be wealthy and able to take the land back 
  • He had to be willing to marry
  • He had to avenge murder in case of foul play

BOAZ WAS THE ONE FOR RUTH AND NAOMI

Who would be eligible as lawful Kinsman-Redeemer for Ruth and Naomi? 

According to the Torah laws, in this case, the man had to be one of Elimelech’s family members who would step up to intercede for the two women.

HE HAD TO BE BLOOD FAMILY

Boaz was Elimelech’s blood relative, but would he be willing to do so? His name means “inherent strength” in Hebrew.

Naomi instructed Ruth in Jewish traditions. Subsequently, Ruth went to the field to gather grain for them to eat, as stipulated in God’s Law for the poor. Then, she went to the threshing floor to ask Boaz for protection and provision.

Ruth 3:9: “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.”

Boaz stepped in to provide for Ruth and Naomi, and the famine did not harm them.

HE HAD TO BE ABLE TO TAKE LAND BACK

In the book of Leviticus, God lays out the “Law of Redemption” for the land of Israel. 

The Israelites could lease the land but not sell it to non-family members. Every lease lasted only 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. See more in Leviticus 25.

Accordingly, men often marry “the wife of the dead” to keep the land in a tribe.

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.”

Though Naomi’s husband left to go to the land of the Moabites, the land was still allocated for his family. Naomi needed to find a Kinsman-Redeemer from Elimelech’s blood family to repurchase Elimelech’s land for her. 

Boaz did that. He went down to the city gate, the courthouse of the day, and made a legal case for Elimelech’s land.

Ruth 4:2: “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.”

 

Boaz - A Kinsman-Redeemer Bought Naomi's Land
Boaz - A Kinsman-Redeemer Bought Naomi's Land

 

HE HAD TO BE WILLING TO MARRY

Boaz then had to marry the wife of the deceased Elimelech, Naomi, and it would follow that she would bear children to keep the land in the family custody. But there was one problem: Naomi was an older woman. 

However, the Law made provision that Ruth, instead of Naomi, could marry the Kinsman-Redeemer since the women were family. Ruth could bear the children, and Naomi would get the land back for her and her family.

Then, Boaz addressed the only man nearer to Naomi as Kinsman-Redeemer in front of the council, asking him to take on the role of the “go’el.” This man was able to redeem the land but was not willing to marry the Gentile bride, Ruth. 

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.” 

Boaz loved Ruth and was willing to marry her. 

Boaz - A Kinsman-Redeemer Married Ruth
Boaz - A Kinsman-Redeemer Married Ruth

 

HE HAD TO AVENGE MURDER IF NEEDED

In this case, Elimelech and his sons died a natural death, and there was no need for revenge. Case closed.

JESUS IS THE ONE 

Boaz was the Kinsman-Redeemer for Ruth and Naomi. Likewise, Jesus is the Kinsman-Redeemer for Israel and the Church.

JESUS IS FAMILY

Jesus had to be born as One of us to be able to be our Kinsman-Redeemer. He is 100% God and 100% man.

1 John: “1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

JESUS WILL TAKE THE LAND BACK

In ancient Israel, the Title Deed was a scroll with seven seals named for the rightful owner. On its backside, it held details for the redemption procedure. Only the rightful Kinsman-Redeemer could break the seals.

In Revelation 5, we encounter a scroll with seven seals. It is the Title Deed for the earth, and the only one allowed to open it is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

Revelation 5:2: “Who is worthy to open the book, and to lose 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.”

At the right time, Jesus will throw out Satan and his cronies, and He will come to reign and rule over the earth.

JESUS WILL MARRY HER

Ruth and Boaz had a beautiful love story. It is a small picture of the unfolding love story between Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church. The Church is a bride waiting for that glorious moment of the marriage of the Lamb.

Until then, the Church is betrothed to Jesus Christ. Paul speaks of her responsibility during the betrothal period to be faithful.

2 Corinthians 11:2: “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

Every Jew and Gentile who trusts in the salvation work of Christ at the cross becomes part of the Church. At the right time, according to Scripture, Jesus will marry her.

JESUS WILL AVENGE EVERY DROP OF BLOOD

The first book of the Bible is Genesis. We read here about Cain murdering his brother Able, and God said, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me.”

Genesis 4:10: “The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

In the last book in the Bible, Revelation 6, the martyrs cry out to God, asking Him to avenge their blood.

Revelation 6:10: “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

And then, at the right time, Jesus Christ will avenge their blood.

Revelation 19:15: “He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

 

ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

The late Chuck Missler opened my eyes to this beautiful truth. The Bible is layered with truths and information for those with eyes to see. The relationship between Ruth and Naomi is a layer of a stunning prophecy about Israel and the Church.

The Jewish woman, Naomi, represents Israel. Even her name Naomi means “pleasant”, as in Israel, the pleasant land. See Psalm 106:24. For her, it is about the land. The Gentile woman, Ruth, represents the Church. For her it is about the right One to marry her. 

According to Scripture, the Church was the new brand grafted into the older tree, Israel. Together, they now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.

Romans 11:11: “Again I ask: Did they (Israel) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles.”

A Branch Grafted Onto An Olive Tree
A Branch Grafted Onto An Olive Tree

WRAPPING IT UP

Ruth and Naomi’s relationship was a great example of loss turned into a legacy. Ruth was blessed with children. She became the mother of Boaz, the father of Obed. This man, Obed, was the father of Jesse and grandfather of King David. From his line, the Messiah was born.

Naomi was blessed with Ruth in every sense. God restored to them what life stole from them.

Ruth 4:15: “And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. 17Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.”

Israel and the Church are not enemies; they are friends. They will share the same Kinsman-Redeemer, Jesus Christ, when He comes again.

THE END

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *