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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Ruth 2

 

 

Verses 1-23

RUTH AND THE MAN OF GREAT WEALTH

(vv. 1-23)

Verse 1 of this chapter introduces us to Boaz, a man of great wealth who is clearly a type of the Lord Jesus. Besides being wealthy, he was a close relative of Naomi, though at this time Ruth did not know it.The Lord Jesus has a close relationship to Israel too, though Israel has for centuries ignored this, not realizing that all their blessings depend on this Redeemer.

Ruth, with lovely energy of faith, desiring support for her mother-in-law as well as herself, urged Naomi to allow her to glean heads of grain after the reapers had passed (v. 2).It may be she had learned of the provision God had directed to be made for the poor when the harvest was reaped (Leviticus 19:9-10). The harvesters were not to reap the corners of their fields nor to gather up any gleanings, but leave them for the poor and the stranger.

Obtaining Naomi's permission Ruth went out and happened (surely by the direction of God) to come to the field of Boaz where she gleaned.Her gleaning speaks of her gathering up small portions of the word of God, just as the godly remnant of Israel will find for themselves after the Church of God has been raptured to heaven, so that the truth will not then be proclaimed as it is today, though God will provide some measure of blessing for those whose faith is awakened to seek Him.

The name of Boaz means "in him is strength," and his character was most commendable, as verse 4 shows.In coming to the reapers of his field, he greeted them,"The Lord be with you," and they answered, "The Lord bless you!" He showed genuine respect for his reapers, and they fully respected him -- a relationship not often seen between an employer and his employees!As king the supervisor of the reapers who the young woman was who was gleaning grain, Boaz was told she was the Moabite woman who had come back with Naomi from the land of Moab. The supervisor commended her diligence in gleaning all day except for a short rest.

Boaz then spoke kindly to Ruth, encouraging her to continue gleaning in his field, keeping close to his young women (vv. 8-9). How good it is if we also discern the instructions of the Lord Jesus to us, to go to no other field, but glean in the place where He is acknowledged as Lord and in fellowship with those who are His servants. Boaz invited Ruth also to drink from the vessels of water that had been drawn by his young men.The young men speak of those with spiritual energy to minister the fresh, refreshing Word of God for the blessing of the Lord's people.May we take advantage ofsuch ministry.

The attitude of Ruth in her response to Boaz was surely refreshing to his heart (v. 10). In genuine humility she asked him why she, a foreigner, should be so kindly treated by him, a prominent Israelite.His answer to this was most gracious too.He had been given a full report of her kindness to her mother-in-law since the death of her husband, and that her devotedness to Naomi had been such as to leave her parents and choose to live in another land among people she had not known (v. 11).

Boaz recognized that this devotion of hers must spring from faith in the God of Israel, and expressed the desire that the Lord would repay her work with a full reward, for he said she had come for refuge under the wings of the Lord God of Israel (v. 12).

Maintaining her lowly attitude, Ruth expressed her deep appreciation of the comforting words of Boaz, reminding him that she was not like his maidservants and yet he had been so kind to her (v. 13).Such too will be the humble attitude of the godly remnant of Israel when they return to their land, feeling themselves to be no longer entitled to blessing from Israel's Messiah. Indeed, this is the right attitude for any sinner today, whether Jewish or Gentile, for none of us deserve the blessing of the Lord of glory. At mealtime he invited her to share with him, giving her parched grain, so she was satisfied and kept some (v. 14) for Naomi (v. 18).

The kindness of Boaz is further seen in his instructing his harvesters to let Ruth glean even among the sheaves and also to let grain fall purposely for her (vv. 15-16).Thus the Lord will encourage the faith of His people Israel during the time of tribulation.Boaz might have simply given a large amount of grain to Ruth, and save her the work of gleaning and beating out the grain, but he wisely left her with work to do, while encouraging her in seeing that her work was not in vain.

Working all day, Ruth then beat out the barley from the stalks (not easy work either) and found she had about an ephah of grain, which evidently amounted to about 7 gallons -- not a light load to carry home (v. 17). When she brought it home, Naomi "saw what she had gleaned," but Ruth gave to Naomi what food she had reserved from the meal Boaz had supplied (v. 18).In answer to Naomi's question as to whose field she had gleaned in, Ruth told her the man's name was Boaz (v. 19).This was pleasant news to Naomi, who was glad to hear that Boaz had been so kind to Ruth, specially since he was a close relative of Elimelech (v. 20).

Ruth also told her that Boaz had urged her to stay close by his harvesters until the harvest was completely gathered (v. 21).Naomi therefore confirmed this advice, adding that Ruth should not expose herself to the possibility that people might see her in another field (v. 22). Boaz had not said this, but Naomi's words illustrate the fact that we are often more affected by what people see us do than we are by the plain instructions of scripture. For Ruth, the words of Boaz would surely be enough, and God's Word ought to be enough for us.We should be gleaning in the Lord's field.If we should go to another field, we might be embarrassed in meeting someone there whom we would not want to influence in the wrong way and yet our example carries with it such an influence.We should obey the Lord out of love for Him, not for fear of the opinions of others.

Ruth therefore remained in the fellowship of the servants of Boaz, gleaning through all the barley harvest and the wheat harvest that followed.Thus she fully accepted the advice of Boaz and showed a faithful, devoted affection for her mother-in-law.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Ruth 2:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/ruth-2.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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