Ruth 3:1-5


I. Verse 1, Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

A.  Judges 14:1-10 - It is the custom for Hebrew parents to arrange the marriage of their daughters.

1.   It is not wrong for parents to be involved in who their children chose for a marriage partner.

2.   As a matter of fact, there is something extremely wrong if neither the parents or the child want to be involved.

3.   It is also wrong to try to force the child to "date" or marry only the parents choice.

4.   There ought to be a mutual love and respect for the choice God would have them both make.

B.   Naomi counted her daughter in law as her own daughter.  (Note: Naomi didn't have a natural daughter, but God always provides the desire of our heart.)

D.  1:12 - Although Naomi was to old for a husband, she knew Ruth wasn't.  When you get older and have no need for the things of youth, don't forget that youth has a desire for those things you used to have.

E.   Seeking rest for Ruth.  Marriage is considered a state of rest. (1:9).

1.   Emotions are at rest in your spouse. (no divorce, of course).  Those wandering affections are now fixed on one person.

2.   The longer you're married, the more you love (if done right.)

F.   That it may be well with thee (best for their souls).

1.   Must chose right.

2.   Parents have an obligation to their children to see that they marry right.

3.   Children have the obligation to respect their parents wishes.  But if children won't obey their parents in small matters, they won't in this large matter.


II.   Verse 2, And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.


The Law of Kinsman Redeemer


This information is taken from

The Bible Knowledge Commentary

by John F. Wolvoord and Roy B. Zurk


The Book of Jewish Knowledge

under the word



            In only one kind of circumstance was marriage to a close relative permitted.  Marriage to a divorced or widowed sister in law was forbidden (Lev. 18:16) unless the following conditions were met.  The brothers must have been living together (i.e., they inherited their father's property jointly), and the deceased brother must have died without a male heir.  If both of these conditions were met then levirate (from the Latin {levir}, "brother in law" or husband's brother) marriage was to take place.  Levirate marriage thus would provide a male heir who in turn could care for the parents in their old age and prevent the alienation of family property.

            Furthermore the first son born from the levirate marriage was given the deceased brother's that his name would not be blotted out from Israel.  In this was even though a man died before the Lord fulfilled the covenant promises made to Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 15:5, 18-21; 17:19; 22:17,18; 28:13,14; 35:12) he could participate, in a sense, in the glorious future of Israel, through his descendants.

            If a widow's brother in law refused to fulfill his duty - either through greed (not wanting to share the family inheritance with his sister in law - she could tell the elders of his town about it.  She could then remove one of his sandals and spit in his face.  These actions would show her strong disapproval of his refusal.  This embarrassment to him, along with the stigma of being known for his refusal, illustrates how God sued social pressure to motivate His people to obedience.


A.  Boaz is a near kinsman.

1.   Compare with 2:20.

2.   Naomi knows Boaz is a near kinsman.

3.   Does she know about the other kinsman?

4.   Boaz does.

5.   She must know about the other kinsman, for the other kinsman is her husband's brother!

B.   Winnoweth tonight.

1.   Naomi told Ruth the plans on the very day of execution.

2.   Ruth has time to think about it, for she has known for a good while that Boaz is a near kinsman. (2:20).

3.   Therefore Ruth readily accepts Naomi's suggestion.

C.   There is nothing immoral or wrong with what Naomi told Ruth to do.

1.   I don't believe it's in the character of Naomi or Ruth.

2.   It was in Tamar. (Gen. 38).

D.  Deut. 25:5-10 - Naomi and Ruth are supposed to go before the elders of the city, but instead they go directly to Boaz.

1.   An excellent example of grace under the law.

2.   They didn't approach Boaz straightforward to talk about the problem.

3.   This doesn't seem to be the custom.

4.   They didn't advertise by telling others.

5.   They didn't hint except directly to Boaz.

6.   They didn't tell how unjust Boaz was in not doing his duty.

a.   Boaz had good reason for not fulfilling the near kinsman's part.

b.   He was not the first near kinsman.

c.   We should not be quick to criticize people today.

d.   There may be more than meets the eyes.

E.   The problem was: How do you approach the subject?  They decided:

1.   As God gives direction.

2.   As a last resort.

a.   Winnowing (probably also a party of some kind) marked the end of harvest.

b.   Thus Ruth probably wouldn't be in daily contact with Boaz for a while.

c.   They will present the problem while it is clear in the mind of Boaz.

d.   If they get out of sight, they might also get out of mind.

3.   When Boaz is relaxed.

4.   When work is done.  Boaz will be more able to take care of this thing, rather than having so many other things on his mind.


III. Verse 3, Wash thy self therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

A.  Wash and anoint.

1.   I Tim. 2:9,10, In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

2.   Not paint as Jezebel, II Kings 9:30, And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard          of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

B.   Thy raiment - not the attire of a harlot like Tamar put on. (Gen. 38:14,15).

C.   Make thyself not known to the man.

1.   Not like Tamar, who kept her identity a secret.

2.   Don't confront the man yet.

3.   Wait until the time is right.

4.   Then strike while the iron is hot.


IV. Verse 4, And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

A.  The whole point is to do in secret that which the law commanded to be done in public.

B.   Ruth went in softly. (verse 7).

C.   Totally unknown to Boaz. (verse 8, 9).

D.  Ruth is fully dressed.

E.   Uncover his feet.

1.   Ruth is laying crossways at the feet of Boaz.

2.   She is laying like a servant, not like a mistress.

3.   The word "skirt" (verse 9) means "wing" or "protection", not that Boaz was wearing a woman's skirt.

4.   To uncover his feet is to expose his shoes.

5.   The passing of a shoe is a sign of a business contract. (4:7,8).

6.   This is the method Ruth uses to remind Boaz of him being a near kinsman.

F.   He will tell thee what to do.

1.   After men have done all they can do, then things must be left in the hands of God.

2.   God always gives the best to those that leave the choice with Him.


V.  Verse 5, And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

A.  Ruth was completely willing to follow the commands of her mother in law.

1.   She is new to the country of Israel and doesn't understand all the procedures of this new land.

2.   When we are new at something, it is generally best to keep our mouth shut and our ears open.

B.   The saved person should be completely willing to follow the commands of their heavenly father.