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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). When does Ruth become aware that Boaz is their near-kinsman? 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. At the barley harvest, Naomi suggested that Ruth go to Boaz while he winnowed barley and essentially ask him to be her kinsman-redeemer. [Some questions on the text are here.] 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 bible does offer some clues to determine that Boaz was a bit older than Ruth as seen here in verse 10, referring to Ruth not going after young men: Ruth 3:9 He said, “Who are you?”. But we should not expect this of Boaz’s threshing floor. Bible Quiz on Ruth. and there will I be buried. 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. How long did the baby Jesus stay in the manger in the stable? Ruth 1:1 (WEB), "Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons... Mahlon and Chilion both died." 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. How long did the baby Jesus stay in the manger in the stable? The two women were destitute when they arrived back in Bethlehem, but now, after the barley and wheat harvests, they have plenty of food to make it through the winter. Q. I see that you are posting about Ruth on your blog. What happens to people who never hear about Jesus? 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. Seven Questions About the Story of Ruth. 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. How was Jesus from the line of King David if his real father was not Joseph? 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. Why does Ruth speak in poetry when she pledges loyalty to Naomi? (Part 2), on Did Ruth seduce Boaz to get him to marry her? What was really going on between Ruth and Boaz that night on the threshing floor? BARLEY BETHLEHEM BOAZ ELIMELECH FIELDS FOOD GRAIN HARVEST MARRY MOAB NAOMI RUTH. Related quizzes can be found here: Ruth Quizzes There are 95 questions on this topic. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you” (Ruth … To give another example, David’s promise to Bathsheba about who will succeed him is also spoken in poetry, and it’s quoted several times at crucial points in the succession narrative: Solomon your son shall reign after me, If Jesus gave up his divine attributes to become incarnate, how was he able to do miracles? I have two questions for your, a little more in depth. (Naomi, an older widow herself, is one of Ruth’s dependents, and so Ruth’s proposal to Boaz, as I noted in. What were some advantages, besides the food, they all received from the extended gleaning? What is a levirate marriage? She should lay down at the feet of Boaz. Examples like these show that poetry was used for important pronouncements in Hebrew narrative, probably reflecting the actual customs of the culture. Ruth was a Moabite woman had come to Israel as the widow of an Israelite man. We need to appreciate that in this culture, women were dependent on male relatives for provision and protection. Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions to the letter. Boaz confronted the other relative with this law, and after the relative refused to marry Ruth, Boaz agreed to marry Ruth, and to buy the estate of Ruth's deceased husband. Samuel speaks similarly in poetry when he announces God’s rejection of Saul as king and when he pronounces judgment on Agag. This interpretation has spread farther and wider than I’d ever imagined. Q. Boaz was a landowner where Ruth … Far from it. When we understand her whole story, we recognize that Ruth is an inspiring example to us of loyalty, love, faith, and courage. In the next several posts I’ll respond to this interpretation by addressing the various claims it’s based on. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Naomi sends Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi to whom they, through a series of divinely appointed circumstances, appeal as their go el. Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your The poetry absolutely stands out there. 30. 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. 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. on Why does Ruth speak in poetry when she pledges loyalty to Naomi? After they got married, Ruth had a son named Obed, who became the father of Jesse, who became the father of David. Ruth and Boaz: The Story of the Kinsman-Redeemer. 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. He will tell you what to do.”. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 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 . on Did Ruth seduce Boaz to get him to marry her? They have only had limited dialogue to this point, so the reference is not hard to identify. This page is printer friendly, so you can print it out and take it with you or give it to others so they can test their Bible knowledge. no part in Jesse’s son! 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. Here goes: 1) Having translated the book of Ruth, I’m curious about the poetic lines that Ruth recites to Naomi when she makes her pledge in chapter 2. Bible like in the Psalms. 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. I’ve heard the interpretation that she seduced him in order to get him to marry her. There is an idiom in Hebrew using the verb “uncover” that describes sexual relations, but it’s to uncover a person’s “nakedness,” not their “feet.”  For example, the general law against incest in Leviticus, which the NIV translates “No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations,” says more literally, “None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness” (ESV; the NRSV is similar). 13) What was the name of Obed's grandson (great-grandson of Boaz)? How old was Joseph when he married and when he died? I’ll answer your question about Ruth’s poetic promise to Naomi in my next post. What is a kinsman redeemer? (Part 2), Did Ruth seduce Boaz to get him to marry her? The fact is that by this point in the book, Ruth is no longer desperate. (Clicking on a category will display all of the posts it, in a continuous scroll with the most recent at the top.). The story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz in the book of Ruth in the Bible teaches us that God loves to bless his people. In the ancient oral culture, this would make the saying memorable and repeatable (kind of like an advertizing slogan today). 4) When Naomi and Ruth returned to Israel, Ruth gleaned behind the harvesters in the field belonging to whom? For more fun Bible quizzes like this, visit www.HopeFromTheBible.com/bible-quizzes. Why didn't God give Esau back the blessing that Jacob stole? As you note, this was a real estate transaction. I’m wondering if you know where these words come from in Hebrew culture? Then he could choose what he would do. Perhaps you were brought here by a search engine or by a link to one of the posts. 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. Rather, he’s speaking about second and greater kindness that Ruth is now doing for Naomi. 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.”. The interpretation you describe, that Ruth seduced Boaz, has been making the rounds for years. I showed that the phrase “she uncovered his feet” is not a euphemism for sexual activity. Darkness, light, and water in the Genesis creation account. Ruth is trusting in God. The book of Ruth is amazing story about providence, love, and redemption. What does it mean to say that Jesus is the Messiah? 31. This, Boaz recognizes, is a “greater kindness,” an even more significant personal sacrifice than the one she’s already made by leaving her homeland. 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. The poetry absolutely stands out there. Is that right? The words can be left to right, up and down, or diagonally. We see in Ruth an example of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Boaz speaks of a “kindness” that Ruth has done by showing attention to him rather than “running after the younger men.”  It is sometimes argued that he is referring to a sexual favor that Ruth has just granted. Having translated the book of Ruth, I’m curious about the poetic lines that Ruth recites to Naomi when she makes her pledge in chapter 2. When they first meet, Boaz explains why he is showing her such favor. Any insight on this? 2) Who in Elimelek's immediate family did NOT die in Moab? he shall sit upon my throne in my stead. She had returned with her mother-in-law, Naomi, who had also lost her husband. Here are my notes on the text: BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT: After the opening of… The book of Ruth ominously warns us of the dangers an unprotected young woman faced during the period of the judges, but it also introduces Boaz as a God-fearing man who respects and protects women. Ruth and Boaz Word Search Find the words on the list that are hidden in the puzzle. and you became mine.”. Scholars are divided over this question. This explains why Boaz is the right husband for Ruth. However, to know what Boaz really means by this, we need to consider his entire statement. Why did God reject Saul as king for making one small mistake. . 32. 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!”. Any insight on this? Accuracy: A team of editors takes feedback from our visitors to keep trivia as up to date and as accurate as possible. What did Jesus mean by "night is coming, when no one can work"? What are your thoughts about this? on Did Boaz already have another wife when he married Ruth? But Boaz is a ‘man of standing’ who’s in an adequate position to help out financially in this way.”, This explains why Boaz is the right husband for Ruth. In my first post in response to this question, I answered the claim most commonly advanced in support of this… Ruth is both a professor (“your God will be my God” 1:16) and possessor who returned to Bethlehem with Naomi (1:19). Quiz on the Book of Ruth. Is Jesus equal to the other two persons of the Trinity? “May the Lord do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you!”. 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. 29. And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. What questions did Naomi ask Ruth about her gleaning? I've heard the interpretation that she seduced him in order to get him to marry her. Thanks for your kind words and for following up on my recent posts with these questions. 2 Ruth meets Boaz. We are studying Ruth 3 for Sunday, August 18. "She answered, 'I am Ruth your handmaid. Bible text at Ruth 2 In Bethlehem Ruth met Boaz, a rich land-owner and relative of Naomi. In other words, this is a symbolic act. The story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz in the book of Ruth in the Bible teaches us that God loves to bless his people. They have a son, Obed, who becomes the grandfather of King David and the ancestor of Jesus Christ. It was still a tribal community. In my first post in response to this question, I answered the claim most commonly advanced in support of this interpretation. 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. 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. I’ve encountered it before, and that’s why in my study guide to Joshua-Judges-Ruth I explain that “by lying down next to Boaz at night,” Ruth is only “symbolically proposing marriage to him,” and that “all of this is done honorably, within the customs of this culture.”. Her words are loving, kind and respectful, both to Naomi and to Boaz. Wings are spoken of as a covering, and a place of safety in the O.T. Both Naomi and Ruth experienced the heartache of losing a spouse and having no one left to carry on their family line. What did it mean to spread the corner of your garment over someone? Who was Ruth in the Bible? 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 grace overruled; and Naomi directed Ruth, this Moabitess, to her kinsman redeemer, and told her to lay herself at the feet of Boaz [Ruth 3:4]. (The opposite is true: people have taken Ruth’s words and turned them into marriage vows.) Every man to his tent, Israel! “To get enough money to live on, Naomi is selling the portion of the fields around Bethlehem that belonged to her late husband Elimelek. 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. 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. Boaz acquiesces, willingly takes Ruth as his wife, and together they bear a son named Obed who became the grandfather of David, the forefather of Jesus. Ruth 2:10 (WEB). He could reject her, spurn her, spit upon her, or he could take her and receive her. Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz show a sincere trust in Yahweh’s care and protection. Ruth 3:11-12 (WEB), "[Boaz] took ten men of the elders of the city..." Ruth 4:2 (WEB). When we first meet him, he greets his harvesters in the name of the Lord. The specific incest laws that follow use this same idiom. Why would the Magi have wanted to worship the king of the Jews? 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. 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). He says, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.”. How old was Jesus at his presentation at the temple? When she finished eating and got up to return to work, Boaz said to his servants, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. 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. 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. 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. 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. and your God my God; where you die I will die, Why is it so difficult to reconcile the mind and heart regarding faith in Jesus Christ? Israelite law allowed a near kinsman to purchase the land so that parcels would remain in the same family. Was Jesus the “angel of the Lord” who appeared to the shepherds? I’m wondering if you know where these words come from in Hebrew culture? Naomi saw immediately what had happened, and encouraged Ruth to keep on working in Boaz’s fields. Where did John the Baptist get the idea of water baptism, and why was Jesus baptized? And since readers are expected to understand as well, this conversation must have been recorded in the book. 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! God is providentially looking out for them and arranging circumstances for their blessing unseen to them. The hope is that, as the law intends, a, This explains why Boaz is the right husband for Ruth. Did God cause or permit Absalom to have sexual relations with David’s concubines? Why did Ruth and Orpah make different decisions? And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. 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. In my next post I’ll consider some further claims that are made in support of a sexual interpretation of the threshing floor episode in the book of Ruth. Why were some books removed from the Bible and is it a sin to read them? Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. Why do Matthew and Luke seem to disagree about the circumstances of Jesus’ birth? 11) What did Ruth's nearest kinsman take off to give Boaz permission to redeem Naomi and Ruth and their land? A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons." Why can't I feel God's presence in my life? I think this view is based on the fact that Boaz seems to be a wealthy and presumably middle-aged man. Ruth 2:3 (WEB). (Part 1). (Part 3), Did Ruth seduce Boaz to get him to marry her? Boaz says, “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier.”  Since he clearly expects Ruth to know what he means, he must be referring to something that the two of them have talked about before. But the story of Ruth explains how God provided for them and blessed them. 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." 6) Who asked Boaz to fulfill his role as kinsman redeemer? 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Both Naomi and Ruth experienced the heartache of losing a spouse and having no one left to carry on their family line. Boaz is trusting in God. Ruth : Quiz Questions This category is for questions and answers related to Ruth, as asked by users of FunTrivia.com. I don’t think this language is actually taken from an ancient Israelite marriage ceremony. Is unknown the shepherds the story of the Jews Boaz that he ’ s threshing?. Another claim that is made in favor of a sexual interpretation of this interpretation by the. Spread your skirt over your handmaid ; for you are a near kinsman to purchase land... 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