The Book of Ruth Bible Study Chapter 2 Part 1


On to Ruth 2:1-9


v1: Kinsman: This is a unique name, in Hebrew, for “relative”. It means someone who Naomi knew very well. Boaz (whose name means ‘in power’) is mentioned immediately as they come into the city. Naomi will not understand his connection – why he is there, what he is going to do – until much later on. G-d is at work. He was already beginning to move and direct things among this family, in order that they could experience blessing. 
A man of wealth, as the NKJV translates it, is not a great translation of this Hebrew word. A better translation of this word would be ‘man of valour’ or a ‘hero/deliverer’. It implies that Boaz was a man who submitted to G-d, lived according to faith and applied Biblical Truth to his life. Boaz got his power from obeying the Word of G-d. Applying Scriptural truth to his life enabled him to get access to the power of G-d to do great things – i.e to be able to do G-d’s will. 


v2: In Lev 19:9-10 there are two Biblical commands concerning the stranger/the widow/the orphan/the one in need. The first command(mitzvah) was to leave the fringes/borders of one’s field ungleaned. This is a mitzvah without measurement attached to it. The border could be narrow or wide. If someone wanted to be a blessing, they left a wider border. If they wanted to be restrictive, they didn’t leave as much.  


The second mitzvah was that if anything fell to the ground, when harvesting, that would also be left for the poor. They would then come, to this field, to glean and so find food for themselves.
If Ruth had been allowed to glean in a field (found “favour”) she would have known (because someone would have previously instructed her) that the landowner was utilizing Scriptural Truth. i.e. practicing the commands of G-d.
There is a change in Naomi and Ruth’s relationship. Naomi is no longer calling Ruth ‘daughter-in-law’ but ‘daughter’. It speaks of a close relationship that had developed between them. 


v3: Ruth followed the harvesters to pick up anything that fell to the ground. By applying the command, found in the Word of G-d, she was able to get provision for herself as well as for Naomi. 
She happened to come: This expression is rare in Scripture -but when it appears it is so significant. When these “happening” events occur they show G-d moving, in a miraculous way, in order that His will and purposes be met in the life of an individual. Because Ruth applied G-d’s Word to her life, G-d moved and directed her so that she would come to the right place at the right time. The “happening”, we find in this verse, is that she gleaned in the field of Boaz (a close family member) who could fulfil the commandment found in Deut 25:5-10. This is a command to do with a very unique type of marriage. The brother/relative marries the childless widow of a deceased relative so that an heir can be born and raised in the name of the deceased. This ensures that the name of the deceased is not blotted out from Israel. 


v4: The L-rd be with you: This is very similar to the name Immanuel – “G-d with us”. This name relates to Redemption. The first words that Boaz spoke bring an emphasis of redemption into the text. 


v5: Normally only men and women who worked on the estate/farm would be doing the harvesting.  Strangers would not ordinarily be there – unless they were practicing this commandment referred to previously. Boaz took note of this unusual occurrence. 


v6-7: Ruth had asked for, and been granted, permission to glean. She had said who she was – a Moabite woman with Naomi – her mother-in-law. She had been diligently gleaning, picking up, what had fallen within the boundaries of the commandments. What did Boaz see? He saw a Gentile woman who was utilizing the Torah for provision.  She was receiving for herself but was also being a blessing to her mother-in-law. Boaz did not respond to this saying: “This is only for the Jewish people etc.” He showed kindness and extended grace to her. 


v8: Calling Ruth “my daughter” was a term of love and affection of the purest form. 
The young women, from Boaz estate, who were harvesting, had his protection because they belonged to him and to his family. Boaz wanted nobody to harm Ruth and knew that a single woman, among men, was at risk of inappropriate behavior. The safest place, that we can be, is in the place of obedience to the Word of G-d. 


v9: Boaz also ensured that Ruth’s need for water was met – she didn’t have to spend time finding her own water. Boaz did this for Ruth because he recognized and honored a woman who was obedient to the Word of G-d. 

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