Revelations from the Word

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Boaz the redeemer and Ruth the bride

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah" (Matthew 1:5-6).

"Naomi, her mother-in law, said to her: My daughter, I would like to assure your peace, so that you may be happy. And now Boaz with whose young women servants you have been, is he not our relative? Behold, this night he is to be winnowing the barley at the threshing floor. Wash yourself and anoint yourself and put on your garments, and go down to the threshing floor. Do not make yourself known to him, until he has finished eating and drinking. And when he goes to lie down, observe the place where he lies down. Then go and uncover his feet, and lie down. He himself will tell you what you are to do. She answered her, I will do all that you have said" (Ruth 3:1-5).

When Boaz discovered that a woman was laying at his feet, he said, "Who are you?" She replied, "I am Ruth, your maidservant; stretch out your wing over your maidservant, for you have the right to redeem [goel]" (Ruth 3:9). After Boaz had exercised his right to redemption, Ruth became his wife and gave birth to Obed, the grandfather of King David. According to Leviticus, the right of redemption [goel] is accorded to a near relative in favour of a widow in order to assure the latter of descendants. Naomi desired the happiness of her daughter-in-law and her peace, but God did more than that trough Boaz who became her redeemer [goel] and caused her to enter the story of God's people.

In the same way God redeemed His people for Himself through Jesus, His Son, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, in that He has visited and redeemed [lutrosis] His people, and has raised up for us a powerful Saviour in the house of David, His servant" (Luke 1:68-69). The Greek word lutrosis is derived from the Greek verb luo meaning to loose, it is the equivalent of the Hebrew word goel and means redemption; so redemption looses us from our former master in order to attach us to Goel. When we accept redemption through Jesus Christ, we are set free, that is to say loosed from our former situation in order to belong to Him

Ruth made the choice to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, "Your people will be my people, your God will be my God" (Ruth 1:16). But to be a part of the people of God, she had also to be redeemed (bought back). It is in that way, by redemption, Ruth, the Moabite woman became Ruth, the Jewess and participated fully in the blessing of Israel by giving birth to Obed from whom issued Jesus the Messiah. As Ruth was added to the people of God through the redemption of Boaz, we are also added to the people of God by the redemption of Jesus Christ, that is to say "grafted onto Israel, the olive tree" (Romans 11:17) in order to enter into the plans of God and receive "the Holy Spirit" (Galatians 3:14) which is the blessing of Abraham the Jew. And so Jesus the Jew, our Goel, redeems us so that we can be part of His Bride.