Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Ruth

Lesson 5: Ruth Makes a Marriage Proposal

(Scripture to Read: Ruth 3:1–18)

The kindness Boaz showed Naomi and Ruth made Naomi realize this was a chance to arrange a secure future for Ruth. Naomi was acting within her rights to send Ruth to Boaz with the suggestion that he act on his role as the family’s kinsman-redeemer. Deuteronomy 25:7-10 gives a widow in situations like this the right to take the initiative when her male relative was not fulfilling his obligation.

Boaz knew what Ruth was proposing, and he was delighted that she was willing to marry him even though he was older. He was obviously attracted to Ruth’s beauty and honorable character, and readily stated his willingness to take the kinsman-redeemer role. But then this love story took a dramatic twist. Unknown to Naomi, there was a closer family member who had to be given the opportunity to marry Ruth and acquire any property involved. Naomi didn’t know what the outcome would be, but she knew Boaz would get the issue settled quickly.

Study Questions

  1. Naomi told Ruth to uncover Boaz’s feet while he slept. Why was Naomi confident that Boaz would not take advantage of Ruth?
  2. Naomi sent Ruth to Boaz at the threshing floor for a legitimate and honorable reason. How did Boaz’s response vindicate Naomi’s confidence in his godly character?
  3. The imagery of spreading a garment over someone symbolized marriage (see Ezekiel 16:8). How did Boaz’s answer reveal his desire to see Ruth cared for, whatever it might take?
  4. What plan did Boaz suggest to Ruth so that her coming to him at night would not be discovered and perhaps lead to false rumors?
  5. Explain how the gift of "six measures of barley" that Boaz gave to Ruth and Naomi helped to assure Naomi that he would take care of the situation.

Something to Think About

Sordid love stories are so common today, both in real life and in entertainment, that it is refreshing to read about two people who acted with honor and faithfulness toward each other.

Let the story of Ruth and Boaz serve as a reminder to us of the need for honesty and purity in all of our relationships.

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