Ruth 3–4: Ruth and Boaz Marry

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 89–90


Ruth 3–4 records several customs that are not practiced today. The following explanations may help you as you read:

  1. 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).

  2. 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.”

  3. 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

Ruth 3

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 

Ruth 4

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.

Activity A iconChoosing 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).

Activity B iconOptional Activity—Answer Questions

  1. 1.

    How might the things Boaz did for Ruth be similar to what Christ did (and does) for us?

  2. 2.

    How are Ruth’s actions an example of what we can do to “come unto Christ”?