However, to know what Boaz really means by this, we need to consider his entire statement. The book of Ruth is amazing story about providence, love, and redemption. (Part 3), on Did Ruth seduce Boaz to get him to marry her? In the next several posts I’ll respond to this interpretation by addressing the various claims it’s based on. This is in keeping with his characterization in the book as a godly and honorable protector, and so it is quite unfair to him to assert that he took advantage of Ruth when no one was looking. and there will I be buried. But the story of Ruth explains how God provided for them and blessed them. Naomi saw immediately what had happened, and encouraged Ruth to keep on working in Boaz’s fields. At the barley harvest, Naomi suggested that Ruth go to Boaz while he winnowed barley and essentially ask him to be her kinsman-redeemer. Answer: The book of Ruth largely focuses on the relationship between Ruth and Boaz. 12) Boaz and Ruth had a son, whose name was ____? (Part 1). Where did John the Baptist get the idea of water baptism, and why was Jesus baptized? This was true generally of the threshing floor after harvest in the pagan world, and perhaps even in much of Israel during the period of the judges, in which the book of Ruth is set, when “everyone did as they saw fit.”. The fact is that by this point in the book, Ruth is no longer desperate. In a follow-up post, “Was Ruth inviting Boaz to contract a marriage by consummating that marriage?” I address a variation on the modern sexual interpretations of the threshing floor episode. Ruth 3:14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.” Boaz protected Naomi’s honour, as shown above. “To get enough money to live on, Naomi is selling the portion of the fields around Bethlehem that belonged to her late husband Elimelek. What happens to people who never hear about Jesus? The poetry absolutely stands out there. Did God cause or permit Absalom to have sexual relations with David’s concubines? 3) Which of Naomi's two daughters-in-law insisted on going with Naomi back to Israel? Realizing Boaz is Ruth’s kinsmen redeemer, she tells Ruth to take a bath, put on some perfume, and to go down to the threshing floor while the men go to sleep. This, Boaz recognizes, is a “greater kindness,” an even more significant personal sacrifice than the one she’s already made by leaving her homeland. Who was Ruth in the Bible? It follows the life of Naomi and Ruth as they struggle through difficult trials. But this also means that as young widow, Ruth is sacrificing the opportunity for a new love match with a man closer to her own age. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Does this mean that they were naked and covering up modestly in the presence of God? I have two questions for your, a little more in depth. Bible like in the Psalms. Then he could choose what he would do. A second argument I’ve heard in favor of a sexual interpretation of the threshing floor episode is that Ruth was in desperate circumstances but powerless, so we can’t blame her for using sex, the only tool at her disposal, to ensure her survival. Wasn’t the Messiah supposed to be named Emmanuel? Ruth was a Moabite woman had come to Israel as the widow of an Israelite man. © 2020 Hope From The Bible | Header designed by. It’s actually with a view towards Ruth’s long-term marriage prospects, not towards their own short-term survival, that Naomi sends Ruth to the threshing floor. Ruth is both a professor (“your God will be my God” 1:16) and possessor who returned to Bethlehem with Naomi (1:19). Boaz has allowed her to glean on such generous terms, in fact, that Naomi has been amazed by how much grain she has brought home. After elegantly concluding her poem by varying the you-I progression with a solemn final statement, Ruth swears an oath that she asks God to enforce:  “May the Lord do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you!”. Ruth was telling Boaz you are God’s answer to my problem, spread your wings over me and I will put my trust in you. That the phrase is actually describing marriage is clear from the parallel statement that immediately follows: “I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you . Of all the heroes in the Bible, Ruth stands out for her virtues of humility and kindness. or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? The specific incest laws that follow use this same idiom. Ruth had an open mind and a teachable spirit, so she listened to her mother-in-law and did as she had requested (Ruth 3:2–5). If Jesus gave up his divine attributes to become incarnate, how was he able to do miracles? Boaz was the kinsman redeemer, who redeems Naomi by marrying Ruth and he is an example of the Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus, who God would send to redeem mankind. Therefore spread your skirt over your handmaid; for you are a near kinsman.'" Ruth 4:8 (WEB), "So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and Yahweh gave her conception, and she bore a son... they named him Obed." In other words, when Ruth and Boaz meet again on the threshing floor, he’s not speaking at all about a “kindness” that she has just done for him, sexual or otherwise. And there is no reason to believe that she would, not after seeing God provide for her when she stepped out into the unknown, first leaving her home country, and then bravely gleaning in the fields. 30. According to Jewish tradition, laying at the feet at a man, was a way of asking … In my first post in response to this question, I answered the claim most commonly advanced in support of this… See also Ruth 2:8-9. This page is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi) In the Bible,the story of Ruth and Boaz can be found on the book of Ruth.Ruth, a Moabite woman, was married to an Israelite man named Elimelech who was sojourning with his parents in the land of Moab.Unfortunately the man, his brother, and father died in the land of Moab. Why did the first kinsman redeemer refuse to marry Ruth? The hope is that, as the law intends, a goel (family guardian) will ‘redeem’ this property, buying it from Naomi, but also on her behalf, so that she has both the money from the sale and the field’s produce year by year. God is providentially looking out for them and arranging circumstances for their blessing unseen to them. To respond to this second question of yours, you’re right, Ruth’s words to Naomi really do stand out as Hebrew poetry, in parallel couplets. How long did the baby Jesus stay in the manger in the stable? It’s significant, for one thing, that Naomi tells Ruth to “uncover his feet and lie down,” and that the narrator then reports that she “uncovered his feet and lay down.”  If this really were a euphemism for sexual relations, she would instead lie down first and then “uncover his feet.”. Before you attempt to answer the questions below you should read these chapters in the Bible and answer the questions at the end of each chapter found at the website www.DoingGood.org. Can Christians kneel at an elder’s grave or celebrate Halloween? The words can be left to right, up and down, or diagonally. How long did Ruth glean from Boaz's fields? Boaz responded favorably, but he knew of an even closer male relative who would be first in line to redeem Ruth … Some see this in contexts such as Isaiah’s vision of the seraphim, who covered their faces with two of their wings and their “feet” with two other wings. on Did Ruth seduce Boaz to get him to marry her? 13) What was the name of Obed's grandson (great-grandson of Boaz)? The precise age difference between Boaz and Ruth is unknown. and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, Question: "Why did the first kinsman redeemer refuse to marry Ruth?" This is a self-test on the Book of Ruth. I’m wondering if you know where these words come from in Hebrew culture? The Jewish community has always looked upon marriage as a sacred and divine institution. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you” (Ruth … Let me begin with the one about Boaz. Her words are loving, kind and respectful, both to Naomi and to Boaz. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. What is the story of Ruth and Boaz? In the ancient oral culture, this would make the saying memorable and repeatable (kind of like an advertizing slogan today). 6) Who asked Boaz to fulfill his role as kinsman redeemer? In other words, this is a symbolic act. We are studying Ruth 3 for Sunday, August 18. Any insight on this? It’s a disputed point whether “feet” is ever used in Hebrew as a euphemism for the male sexual organs. Let me begin in this post with the claim that the statement that Ruth “uncovered his feet” is a euphemism meaning that she had sexual relations with Boaz. Why can't I feel God's presence in my life? (Naomi, an older widow herself, is one of Ruth’s dependents, and so Ruth’s proposal to Boaz, as I noted in. I’ll answer your question about Ruth’s poetic promise to Naomi in my next post. Accuracy: A team of editors takes feedback from our visitors to keep trivia as up to date and as accurate as possible. Was Jesus the “angel of the Lord” who appeared to the shepherds? What does Naomi tell Ruth to do? We need to appreciate that in this culture, women were dependent on male relatives for provision and protection. If he did have another wife, which is possible (although again, not mentioned in the book, so we should not assume it), this would raise the further question of polygamy. What was really going on between Ruth and Boaz that night on the threshing floor? The poetry absolutely stands out there. Any insight on this? Why was Ruth so loyal to Naomi? 1. 2) I have also heard the theory that Boaz was already married when this story happened, and that he probably took Ruth as a second wife (or perhaps more). We need to appreciate that in this culture, women were dependent on male relatives for provision and protection. So Ruth is not using sex to catch a new husband. Why did God reject Saul as king for making one small mistake. 4) When Naomi and Ruth returned to Israel, Ruth gleaned behind the harvesters in the field belonging to whom? Given the marriage themes in the book, I have wondered if they might have been part of the ancient Israelite marital vows or something similar. Ruth Bible Study Guide – 4 Free Online Lessons With Discussion Questions. Rather, it’s characteristic of Hebrew narrative that when someone has something crucial to say, on which the story line turns, they say it in poetry. I’m wondering if you know where these words come from in Hebrew culture? What is a kinsman redeemer? So while the wine is indeed flowing freely at this harvest celebration (the book tells us that when Boaz went to sleep, his “heart was merry,” and this was no doubt true of the others), this deep sleep only makes it possible for Ruth to slip in unobserved and enact the symbolic proposal ritual. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. The story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz in the book of Ruth in the Bible teaches us that God loves to bless his people. These small group studies of Ruth contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, teaching points, and applications. 10) In the end, which of Ruth's kinsmen redeemed her and Naomi and their land? As you note, this was a real estate transaction. When we first meet him, he greets his harvesters in the name of the Lord. on Did Boaz already have another wife when he married Ruth? For example, when Sheba son of Bikri foments a rebellion against David, he shouts in poetry: We have no share in David, Q. He will tell you what to do.”. This interpretation has spread farther and wider than I’d ever imagined. . When does Ruth become aware that Boaz is their near-kinsman? Here are my notes on the text: BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT: After the opening of… (Part 3), Did Ruth seduce Boaz to get him to marry her? Similar symbolism is used, in a different context, when Jonathan makes a covenant of friendship with David:  he gives him his robe to show that he will provide for him (along with his weapons to show that he will protect him). What we do know about Boaz, as we’re told when we first meet him, is that he’s a “man of standing,” prosperous and influential. "[Ruth] said to him, 'Why have I found favor in your sight...?'" Bible text at Ruth 2 In Bethlehem Ruth met Boaz, a rich land-owner and relative of Naomi. She lived with _____. 31. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Now it is true that I am a near kinsman; however there is a kinsman nearer than I." If we argue instead that out of desperation she adopted expedients and compromised herself–but, we hasten to add, “we understand, because of her situation”–we are condescending to a woman whose trust in God may well be greater than our own. 2) Who in Elimelek's immediate family did NOT die in Moab? We see in Ruth an example of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. I’ve heard the interpretation that she seduced him in order to get him to marry her. Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, “Ruth in Boaz’s Field,” 1828. The sexual interpretation of this episode reflects an inadequate understanding of Hebrew vocabulary and idiom, of the thematic development of the book of Ruth, and of ancient Israelite customs. Answer: In Ruth 3:4, Naomi encouraged Ruth to go to Boaz at night, saying, “When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. But when he learns he must also marry Ruth and give her children in her late husband’s name, he backs out, explaining, ‘I might endanger my own estate.’ (He can’t afford to part with the money for the property and then divide his remaining worth among his current children and those Ruth will have in the future.) And also you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her” (Ruth 2:15, 16). Or were they clothed and covering their actual feet, in a sign of reverence? For more fun Bible quizzes like this, visit www.HopeFromTheBible.com/bible-quizzes. Why were some books removed from the Bible and is it a sin to read them? If he did have another wife, which is possible (although again, not mentioned in the book, so we should not assume it), this would raise the further question of polygamy. Before Tristan and Isolde, before Romeo and Juliet, and even before Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth of Pride and Prejudice, there were Boaz and Ruth.Their love story, dating from approximately 1000 BC, is still powerfully relevant in the twenty-first century. 7) Where did Ruth go to tell Boaz that he was her kinsman redeemer? He later assures Ruth that he’s ordered his men not to lay a hand on her. Ruth 3:6 (WEB), "Now, my daughter, don’t be afraid; I will do to you all that you say; for all the city of my people does know that you are a worthy woman. Why is it so difficult to reconcile the mind and heart regarding faith in Jesus Christ? In addition to being devoted to her family (Ruth 1:15-18; Proverbs 31:10-12) and faithfully dependent upon God (Ruth 2:12; Proverbs 31:30), we see in Ruth a woman of godly speech. Ruth is trusting in God. I hope you’ve found what you were looking for. As I explain in my Joshua-Judges-Ruth study guide: “To get enough money to live on, Naomi is selling the portion of the fields around Bethlehem that belonged to her late husband Elimelek. And we have to admit that among her many other qualities as a “woman of noble character,” Ruth was a fine poet. A better understanding of Hebrew idiom and Israelite customs shows that Ruth is not having sexual relations with Boaz when she “uncovers his feet.”  I’ll continue to address the claims that are made in support of a sexual interpretation of this passage in the book of Ruth in my next post. Wings are spoken of as a covering, and a place of safety in the O.T. So there is no need for Ruth to resort to desperate tactics. What did it mean to spread the corner of your garment over someone? By being willing to marry an older, well-established man, she is ensuring that Naomi will be provided for into the future. What was really going on between Ruth and Boaz that night on the threshing floor? 8) How did Boaz respond to the request for him to fulfill his role as kinsman redeemer? Rather, this action, which occurred literally, was a prelude to her request to Boaz, “Spread the corner of your garment over me,” a symbolic action promising that he would care for her as her husband. In response to my first two posts about it, someone contacted me to say that they’d recently heard it in Christian circles over on the other side of the world! Some might argue that this passage in Ezekiel is a “smoking gun” that proves the expression “spread the corner of one’s garment,” for its part, is a euphemism for sexual activity:  “When I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body.”  But we need to understand this statement in the context of Ezekiel’s parable, in which the woman is represented as naked because she was abandoned as a baby and has never been cared for or provided for. What questions did Naomi ask Ruth about her gleaning? After they got married, Ruth had a son named Obed, who became the father of Jesse, who became the father of David. I don’t think this language is actually taken from an ancient Israelite marriage ceremony. He took off his shoe." It seems to have been love at first sight for him, and he ordered his workers to treat Ruth well when she worked in his fields. Ruth 2:10 (WEB). So the commandment in the law of Moses for a close relative to marry a widow, even if he was already married himself, was a compassionate provision for her needs and those of her current and future children and dependents. Is that right? "She answered, 'I am Ruth your handmaid. Let me now address another claim that is made in favor of a sexual interpretation of this episode. 5) How did Boaz treat Ruth when he saw she was gleaning behind the harvesters? First, I’ve heard it said that since the threshing floor, where a successful harvest was celebrated, was notorious in ancient times as a place of drunkenness and immorality, we should only expect sexual activity there between Boaz and Ruth. Why did Ruth and Orpah make different decisions? I've heard the interpretation that she seduced him in order to get him to marry her. She has courageously gone out to glean and has seen God go ahead of her providentially to lead her to the fields of Boaz, where she has been safe and favored. Samuel speaks similarly in poetry when he announces God’s rejection of Saul as king and when he pronounces judgment on Agag. Ruth “uncovered” Boaz’s feet, pulling back his garment, specifically so that she then could ask him to “spread his garment” over her, meaning to assume the responsibility for her care, as her husband. What does it mean to say that Jesus is the Messiah? Title: Ruth and Boaz Word Search Created Date: If anything, she’s making other values and commitments a priority as she approaches a new marriage. While it’s possible that Boaz did have another wife (in this culture, this wouldn’t have kept him from marrying Ruth), it doesn’t say anywhere in the book that he did, so we shouldn’t assume this. How was Jesus from the line of King David if his real father was not Joseph? They have only had limited dialogue to this point, so the reference is not hard to identify. It is viewed as a holy covenant between a man and a woman, a necessity for the divine plan to propagate the human race (Gen. 1:28), and so important that even the study of the Torah could be put aside to celebrate with and bring joy to a newly married couple. How old was Jesus at his presentation at the temple? Question: "What did it mean to spread the corner of your garment over someone?" Ruth : Quiz Questions This category is for questions and answers related to Ruth, as asked by users of FunTrivia.com. But since this interpretation, as I said in my first post, reflects an inadequate understanding of Hebrew vocabulary and idiom, of the thematic development of the book of Ruth, and of ancient Israelite customs, I think it’s important to set the record straight. Schnorr von Carolsfeld, “Ruth in Boaz’s fields of Boaz ’ s words and turned into! As possible Naomi suggested that Ruth seduced Boaz, “I am your servant Ruth his feet is! 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