Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Ruth

Lesson 6: Boaz Speaks up for Ruth

(Scripture to Read: Ruth 4:1–10)

No Hollywood producer could have scripted a happier ending to a love story than the final chapter of Ruth. There was even a dramatic twist in the plot that could have radically altered the outcome. Even though Boaz loved Ruth, he had to step aside and give another relative the opportunity to marry Ruth if he chose to do so. He gathered ten elders from Bethlehem to act as official witnesses in the case he was about to bring to his relative’s attention.

It is interesting that Boaz began by mentioning the land involved in the redemption process. Perhaps he felt that if he started out this way, by the time he got around to mentioning Ruth the other man would be intimidated by the scope of the "deal." Whatever Boaz’s plan was, it worked. The other relative passed the right of redemption and marriage on to Boaz, and they sealed the agreement with an ancient version of "signing on the dotted line."

Study Questions

  1. The law of levirate marriage (taken from a Latin term meaning "husband’s brother") is described in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Why was it important that a dead person’s name and inheritance be kept alive in Israel?
  2. How would buying Naomi’s property and marrying Ruth "endanger" the other relative’s own estate?
  3. What indication do you see in verse 9 that Naomi’s dead family members had not been forgotten?
  4. Boaz had acted in accordance with the Law of Moses. How important was it to his and Ruth’s future that Boaz obey the law and not try to take matters into his own hands?

Something to Think About

The book of Ruth is filled with examples of the providence of God-His guiding hand that may not always be seen, but is always at work.

If you are waiting for a problem to be resolved, or a hard circumstance to be reversed, follow Boaz’s example. Do what you know is right, and trust God to work in the situation, even when you cannot see His hand at work in your life.