Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor, Ruth 3:1-18 and 4:13-22

Naomi was the matchmaker/mediator between Ruth and Boaz. She taught Ruth how to follow the Hebrew customs of the day to show Boaz, her husband’s kinsman, that she wanted him to marry her, so that her dead husband’s family line could continue.

The responsibility of the nearest kinsman-redeemer was to marry the widow or pass the responsibility on to the next kinsman-redeemer in line, which in this case was Boaz. The nearest kinsman-redeemer to Naomi had renounced his duties. He did not want to marry Ruth the Moabite because he would risk losing or jeopardizing the inheritance of his own estate.

By taking up the responsibility of kinsman-redeemer, Boaz became an ancestor of both King David and Jesus.

When we accept Jesus as our savior He redeems us and we become part of God’s family. In this way Jesus becomes both our kinsman and our redeemer.

Background Reading

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

3:1 Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi, told her, “My daughter, should I not make inquiries about your financial security, so you’ll be better off in life? 2 Isn’t Boaz one of our close relatives? You’ve been associating with his women servants lately. Look, he’ll be winnowing barley at the threshing floor tonight. 3 So get cleaned up, put on some perfume, dress up, and go to the threshing floor, but don’t let him see you until after he’s finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, be sure to notice where he is resting. Then go over, uncover his feet, and lie down. He’ll tell you what to do.”

5 Ruth replied, “I’ll do everything you’ve said.” 6 So she went out to the threshing floor and did precisely what her mother-in-law had advised.

Ruth’s Meeting with Boaz

7 After Boaz had finished eating and drinking to his heart’s content, he went over and lay down next to the pile of threshed grain. Ruth came in quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night, Boaz was startled awake and turned over in surprise to see a woman lying at his feet.

9 He asked her, “Who are you?”

She answered, “I’m only Ruth, your servant. Spread the edge of your garment over your servant, because you are my related redeemer.”

10 He replied, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You’ve added to the gracious love you’ve already demonstrated by not pursuing younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 Don’t be afraid, my daughter. I’ll do for you everything that you have asked, since all of my people in town are aware that you’re a virtuous woman. 12 It’s true that I’m your related redeemer, but there is another related redeemer even closer than I. 13 Stay the night, and if he fulfills his duty as your related redeemer in the morning, that will be acceptable. But if he isn’t inclined to do so, then, as the LORD lives, I will act as your related redeemer myself. So lie down until morning.”

14 So she lay down at his feet until dawn approached, then got up while it was still difficult for anyone to be recognized. Then he told her, “It shouldn’t be known that a woman has come to the threshing floor.” 15 So he said, “Take your cloak and hold it out.” She did so, and he measured out six units of barley and placed them in a sack on her. Then she left for town.

Naomi’s Response to Ruth

16 When Ruth returned to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked her, “How did it go, my daughter?”

Then she related everything that the man had done for her. 17 Ruth also said, “He gave me these six units of barley and told me, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”

18 Naomi replied, “Be patient, my daughter, until you learn how this works out, because the man won’t rest until he finishes everything today.”
Ruth 3:1-18

More Information:

What Naomi asked Ruth to do in the Jewish Culture of the day. By telling to Ruth to
uncover Boaz feet and lay at his feet was a way a woman could propose to a man.


Other modules in this unit: