Digging Deeper posts are intended to help us go farther into God’s word than a simple surface reading
and are designed to help us discover new tools in the process.
Curious as to why we Dig Deeper? Here’s Why!
Ruth 4:13-22 English Standard Version (ESV)
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron,19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.
1) What was the significance of Boaz taking Ruth as his wife?
2) Why do the women say, “A son has been born to Naomi”?
3) What is the importance of the family lineage list at the end of Ruth?
A trip to www.studylight.org is in order here.
We will get super cozy with this site as we study Scripture together!
Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom!
It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse?
Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage?
Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
The Findings for Original Intent
1) The custom of the day after a woman became a widow was that a male relative, namely a brother (but if the brother was deceased another relative) would “redeem” her and give her value by marrying her. The hope was that a son would be born giving the woman a legacy and a family to belong to and be taken care of by. This allowed for the original husband’s name to continue because the son would take his name. For Ruth, her future and legacy as a Moabite woman would come through the hope of marrying an Israelite man from her husband’s family. (Deuteronomy 25:5-6)
2) Naomi had returned home a widow herself, motherless from the death of her sons. She had nothing. She was desperate and Ruth, a Moabite woman, was her only comfort. She was bitter and angry. When Obed was born, this was redemption for Naomi as much as it was for Ruth. Naomi’s family name, her son’s name, would now live on. She would be taken care of and, for her family, it showed that God had not forgotten. God was aware of her need and He met that need through the birth of Obed.
3) As we read through the different names, most of which we cannot pronounce, you might wonder why you need to read these? Why are these important? They are important because this list sets the stage for how God is working through His people. Through the story of Ruth and Naomi, God would bring about the eternal redemption of His people. The entire Old Testament is littered with snippets of Israelite history were we see a very intimate God personally involved in the lives of His people and bringing redemption to their situations.
Some Applications for Our Everyday Lives
1) Boaz was Ruth’s kinsman redeemer. As we scale back and see the broader scope of this story, we see that it is a great analogy of Christ’s role in our lives. We are Ruth in need of a place to belong, in need of a family, in desperate need of a redeemer. Our kinsman redeemer came in the form of a God-man, Jesus Christ!. He redeems us from our past, our sin, and sets us towards eternity. “They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.” (Psalm 78:35)
2) I love the story of Naomi and Ruth because it reminds me of how God sees His people. Naomi desired to be called Mara because she was bitter and angry at life’s circumstances; she seems so lost but God refused to leave her there. (Ruth 1:20) He saw her! He remembered her! He redeemed her misery and heartache through the birth of this precious baby boy, Obed. God moved Naomi out of her blindness and into His faithfulness, the light of His redemptive power.
3) David was Obed’s grandson. God works in mysterious ways by using a foreign Moabite woman and redeeming her because of her faithfulness. Ruth was grafted into the lineage of not only the greatest king of Israel, David, but also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. The people that God chooses to use aren’t famous or even the most likely candidate for the job. Rather, God gives all an opportunity to belong to His Kingdom, even the outcast, the downtrodden, and least likely!
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