Ruth 3: Ruth snags Boaz

Synopsis:

Naomi tells Ruth to go sleep at the feet of Boaz after he threshes the barley. This she does. When he wakes up to find her there, and asks why she is there, she tells him, are you not my kinsman (in other words, I don’t have a child from my husband, your duty as nearest kinsman is to provide me one).  He is impressed by her piety to the family and that she didn’t go running after young men. He gives her 6 measures of barley and sends her home and tells her – I will do my duty as your nearest kinsman (to give you a child for your late husband) and everyone will know you are a virtuous woman.

In other words:

With Naomi’s help, Ruth convinces Boaz to marry her by asking him to give her a child to be named after her late husband.

Best bit:

That Boaz falls for this (Ruth 3:11)

Least favorite bit:

That the whole thing is a bit manipulative. (Ruth 3:9)

Why I feel conflicted:

What other choice did they have? They were widows with no men to take care of them. Might as well go after the richest guy in town. And he is clearly a really good man who does not take advantage of people.   Plus – my grandmother kind of tricked my grandfather into marrying her and making him think it was his idea, so – despite it being manipulative – I do feel a bit of kinship with these women.

Moral Lesson Learned:

It is possible to get what you want while doing the right and moral thing at the same time (Ruth 3)

Ruth 4: Ruth gets remarried and has a son

Synopsis:

Boaz goes to the towns elders and says – I want to buy the land from Naomi – but I wanted to make sure no one else wanted it first. Be aware, who buys this land must also take Ruth as his wife and provide her a son to raise up the name of the dead. The other kinsmen say – we don’t want to do that – you go ahead. It will be just like Pharez whom Tamar bore from Judah (back in Genesis 38) So Boaz marries Ruth and went in unto her and she bare a son. He is named Obed and he is nursed by Naomi. We are now just 2 generations away from David. Here is the lineage from Pharez (Judah and Tamar’s son). Phraze begat Herzon, who begat Ram who begat Amminadab, who begat Nahshon who begat Salmon who begat Boaz who begat Obed who begat Jesse who begat David. (So we now have a line directly to Abraham since Abraham begat Jacob and Jacob begat Judah (among several others – Judah being the one who argued to spare Joseph’s life).

In other words:

Ruth marries Boaz and has a son named Obed (we are 2 generations from David now)

Favorite bit:

(Ruth 4:4-8) Where Boaz gets permission from everyone else to purchase the inheritance of Naomi and marry Ruth. No one else wanted the obligation of giving away some inheritance to a dead man’s son.

Least favorite bit:

The blessing of the women of Bethlehem – it’s nice but seems strange to me. Congrats – you now have someone to watch after you in your old age! I understand that’s important, but... it’s still a bit ingratiating to me.

Coolest bit:

Where not only is the story of Judah and Tamar invoked, we are also given the lineage – and it is important because this is the lineage to that leads to David.

Moral lesson learned:

Consensus is important to good relationships (Ruth 4)

Ruth 1: We meet Ruth

Synopsis:

A woman from Bethlehem-judah named Naomi goes to Moab with her husband Elimelch and their 2 sons. The 2 sons get married to Orpah and Ruth. The husband and the 2 sons die so Naomi makes plans to go back to Bethlehem-judah. The widows of her sons want to come with her – she tells them go back to your families and have happy lifes. No need to stay with me and morn. Orpah goes back but Ruth refuses and stays with Naomi. They return at the beginning of the barley harvest.

In other words:

A moabite named Ruth marries into Naomi’s family and she and Naomi return alone to Bethlehem-judah.

Favorite bit:

That we are given the names of all the women involved in this story. Not only that – they are important. The men, not so much. (Ruth 1:2)

Least favorite bit:

That all the men die and leave the women without support (Ruth 1:3 & 5)

What’s nice:

That Naomi releases both daughter in laws from their obligations.  And, it’s doubly nice that Ruth decides to stay with Naomi anyway. (Ruth1:8-17)

Moral Lesson Learned:

Women need to stick together (Ruth 1)

Ruth 2: The women hatch a plan

Synopsis:

Naomi and Ruth show up in Bethlehem-judah during the barley harvest. Naomi and Ruth decide to target a kinsman of Naomi’s husband, a wealthy man named Boaz. Ruth goes to glean in his field and he takes a liking to her and gives her permission to glean close to the men harvesting and Boaz further instructed the men to make sure that they left good barley for her. Ruth stayed with her mother in law and gleaned until the end of the barley and wheat harvest with the other maidens of Boaz.

In other words:

Ruth intentionally gains the favor of a rich man named Boaz.

Favorite bit:

Ruth 2:15,16 – Where Boaz instructs his men to leave some handfuls of barley on purpose for her.

2nd favorite bit:

That basically Boaz is a very good man, who helps out a complete stranger, just because it’s the right thing to do.  (Ruth 2:11)

Least favorite bit:

Naomi is very intent that Ruth not fraternize with any of the men harvesting, but to keep with the maidens so that her reputation is above reproach. They are clearly targeting Boaz for romance with Ruth.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Keep your reputation good by being a good person (Ruth 2)