Ruth 3–4 records several customs that are not practiced today. The following explanations may help you as you read:
Under the law of Moses, the nearest relative was responsible to take care of widows, including marrying those who could still have children (see Deuteronomy 25:5–10).
In Ruth 3, Ruth followed certain customs to let Boaz know she was available for marriage. Nothing immoral took place. When Ruth asked Boaz to take her under his “skirt,” she was saying, in effect, “Please take care of me.”
There was a man more closely related to Ruth than Boaz, but he was unwilling to accept the responsibilities of caring for Naomi and Ruth—especially the responsibility to marry Ruth. So Boaz was able to accept the responsibility.
Understanding the Scriptures
|Winnoweth (v. 2)||Separates the grain from the chaff|
|Threshing floor (v. 2)||Place where winnowing is done|
|Anoint (v. 3)||Perfume|
|Raiment (v. 3)||Clothing|
|Mark (v. 4)||Find out|
|Bade (v. 6)||Asked or commanded|
|Virtuous (v. 11)||Pure in thought and action|
|Requirest (v. 11)||Are requesting|
|Howbeit (v. 12)||However|
|Fall (v. 18)||Turn out|
|Turn aside (v. 1)||Leave what you are doing and come speak with me.|
|Parcel (v. 3)||Piece|
|Advertise (v. 4)||Make something known|
|Redeem (vv. 4, 6)||Purchase or fulfill one’s part of an agreement|
|Raise up the name of the dead (vv. 5, 10)||Provide children for a relative who has died|
|Mar (v. 6)||Ruin|
|Former (v. 7)||Earlier|
|Plucked (v. 7)||Took off|
|Testimony (v. 7)||The sign or witness of a formal agreement|
|Conception (v. 13)||Becoming pregnant|
|Restorer (v. 15)||One who replaces or gives back a thing or returns something to its original condition|
|Nourisher (v. 15)||One who feeds others and takes care of their needs|
Studying the Scriptures
Do activities A and B as you study Ruth 3–4.
Choosing a Husband or Wife
Give examples from Ruth 1–4 that show what qualities Boaz had as a husband (if you are a woman) or what qualities Ruth had as a wife (if you are a man).
Optional Activity—Answer Questions
How might the things Boaz did for Ruth be similar to what Christ did (and does) for us?
How are Ruth’s actions an example of what we can do to “come unto Christ”?