Study Notes

Ruth 4:11-22


We have come nearly to the end of the book of Ruth. Boaz has chosen to redeem Naomi's land and Ruth's hand. He has made the public statement at the city gate,

Ruth 4:9-10 ..."You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Kil-YONE and Makh-LONE. Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Makh-LONE, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased may not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today."

Now the people of the city respond to that statement with blessings.

4:11 Rachel And Leah

In Genesis 29, Jacob married Leah accidentally, then Rachel on purpose. You remember the story:

Jacob fell in love with Rachel and told her father Laban that he would work seven years for him to marry her. But after the seven years had passed, and the wedding took place, Jacob woke up in the morning and found out the woman he had married was Rachel's older sister Leah! Then he married Rachel.

These two, along with their handmaidens, were the mothers of the sons of Israel. Born to Leah were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Her maid Zilpah gave birth to Gad and Asher. Rachel birthed Joseph, and her maid Bilhah conceived Dan and Naphtali.

So this blessing spoken upon Ruth is that she will be fruitful.

They also spoke blessing over Boaz, that he would be rich and famous.

4:12 Perez, Tamar, And Judah

Perez was Boaz' great-great-great-great-grandfather, but it is strange that they bring him up at all, and especially mentioning Perez' parents, Judah and Tamar. Maybe you remember the story:

In Genesis 38, we read that Judah took Tamar as a wife for his son Er. After Er died, his brother Onan married her. But then he died too. The next brother, Shelah, wasn't old enough to marry yet, so Tamar was told to wait for him to grow up. But in reality, Judah was thinking that he might die too.

Shelah had grown up, and Tamar was still not given to him. Seeing what was happening, she conceived a plan. She dressed up like a prostitute, and went up to Timnah where Judah was shearing his sheep.

Gen. 38:15-18 When Judah saw her, he thought she {was} a harlot, for she had covered her face. So he turned aside to her by the road, and said, "Here now, let me come in to you"; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, "What will you give me, that you may come in to me?" He said, therefore, "I will send you a kid from the flock." She said, moreover, "Will you give a pledge until you send {it?} " And he said, "What pledge shall I give you?" And she said, "Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand." So he gave {them} to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him.

She had gotten pregnant during the encounter. When Judah had tried to send the kid to pay his debt, the "prostitute" was nowhere to be found.

Gen. 38:24-26 Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry." Then Judah said, "Bring her out and let her be burned!" It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, "I am with child by the man to whom these things belong." And she said, "Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?" And Judah recognized {them,} and said, "She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah." And he did not have relations with her again.

Tamar gave birth to twins: Perez and Zerah.

Now this is an ugly story, an embarrassment to have in your family tree. But they say,

Ruth 4:12 "...May your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the LORD shall give you by this young woman."

In spite of a strange marriage, the family was fruitful, producing most of the Bethlehemites, including the families of Boaz and Naomi's late husband El-ee-MEH-lek.

4:13 The Lord Enabled Her To Conceive

Today, most people view conception as a remarkable product of evolution. But when you begin to look at the intricacies of the process, you realize that there is no way that random chance brought this about.

The King James translates this literally, saying,

Ruth 4:13 ...the LORD gave her conception...

Conceiving children is a miracle of God. Solomon wrote in Psalm 127,

Ps. 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Even in the story of Rachel and Leah, we are told,

Gen. 29:31 Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.

The Lord can give anyone conception - an barren woman like Manoah, an old woman like Sarah, or a virgin like Mary.

4:14-17 Obed

Ruth's son is named Obed. He would become the grandfather of King David. But notice the announcement at his naming. It was not said, "A son has been born to Ruth," but "a son has been born to Naomi." Why?

Because now her inheritance will continue throughout the ages. If there had been no son, her death would have marked the end of the family. But now Obed will carry on the family tree and maintain the family inheritance.

4:18-22 Generations To David

In tracing David's genealogy, the author begins with Judah and Tamar's son Perez, takes us down through Boaz, and then to David.

Prophetic Overview

And so ends the book of Ruth. A happy story, a love story, but also a prophetic story.

You see, God has used the canvas of Ruth to paint a prophetic picture for us.

The Family

Naomi and her family were representative of the nation of Israel. They were dwelling in the land of Canaan, in Bethlehem, the land of bread. But God's judgment struck with famine, for the people were in sin, everyone doing that which was right in their own eyes.

They were driven out of the land, into the land of the gentiles.

This is what happened to Israel after they rejected Jesus Christ. They were dwelling in the land of Canaan, but Jesus said,

Matt. 23:37-38 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!"

So in 70 AD, God's judgment came down upon the nation. The Jews were scattered throughout the world - in the land of the gentiles.


While in the land of the gentiles, 3/4 of the family died. Naomi was the only remnant left. She becomes the type of the Jews that we know today.

While scattered throughout the nations, many Jews have died. Six million in Hitler's Holocaust alone. Over the last 1,900 years, the Israelites have suffered many afflictions and many losses. But then in 1948, they returned to their homeland, just as Naomi did after ten years, returning to Bethlehem.

Awaiting A Redeemer

Although Naomi was in the land, she did not have possession of her true inheritance. She was bitter, feeling abandoned and afflicted by God. The majority of the Jews today in the land of Israel have forsaken God in bitterness. "How could a true God have allowed us to endure what we have for so many years?" they ask.


Meanwhile, we see that Ruth is representative of the church. During Naomi's absence from the land of Israel, this gentile woman was being prepared for a husband. It is her marriage to the kinsman redeemer that will both gain her a husband, and restore the land to Naomi.


Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, is of course a picture of Jesus Christ. The one who marries the church, His gentile bride, and restores the land to Israel.

The Law

Ruth was separated from God by the Law which stated,

Deut. 23:3 "No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their {descendants,} even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD,

As a Moabitess, she was separated from God. But the grace of her kinsman redeemer brought her into the people of God.

Return To The Land

After spending a long time of affliction and death in the land of the gentiles, Naomi returned to Israel. The same is true for Israel today. God had prophesied in Ezekiel,

Ezek. 36:24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land.

The nation of Israel was reformed in 1948. They regained Biblical Jerusalem in 1967. But they still have not as yet occupied their entire inheritance.

At The Harvest

The time that Naomi entered the land was the time of harvest. So too, Israel has come back into the land at the end of the age. Jesus said,

Mark 13:28-30 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, {right} at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

The harvest is near.

The Instruction

In chapter three, Ruth followed Naomi's instructions to be united with Boaz. The Jews have kept the Word of God, our instructions, pure for thousands of years. It is by following the Word of God that we come to know how our kinsman redeemer accepts us.

The Tribulation

Ruth spent the night on the threshing floor at Boaz' feet. In Scripture, the threshing floor often speaks of the time of God's judgment upon the earth. We as the church will be with our kinsman redeemer during the dark of night, safe and secure, hidden under His wings. In Isaiah, He says,

Isa. 26:20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms, And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while, Until indignation runs {its} course.

The church will be in safety in heaven during the Great Tribulation.

The Other Kinsman

Remember that there was a nearer kinsman - a relative of Boaz and the rightful redeemer of Ruth. He should have been able to redeem Ruth, but he could not.

This man was a picture of the Law, who has every legal right to make us holy and acceptable, to redeem us, but cannot.

Gal. 4:4-5 ...God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law...

Instead, Jesus, a relative of the Law, stepped forward to redeem us.

The Redemption

After the threshing floor, after the wedding, Naomi's land was redeemed back to her. So too, the nation of Israel will receive the full inheritance of their land during the millennial reign of Christ.

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