Yeshua was born to Jewish parents in Israel, the Jewish homeland. His ministry was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. His first disciples were all Jewish, and they took the Gospel to the nations. It is impossible to separate Yeshua from His Jewish identity and mission in the same way that it is impossible to separate His return from the role that Israel plays when they cry out, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23: 39). – Jonathan Bernis
Last blog on the Book of Ruth… Studying this story from the Hebrew perspective for context helps so much! There’s such truth and beauty in the prophetic message of this story!
Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. 4 So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.” 5 Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” 6 Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it” (Ruth 1:1-6 ESV).
Business was conducted at the gate of the city. And Boaz had business to conduct with the man who was nearer kin to Naomi than he. This unnamed relative had determined to sell the parcel of land that had belonged to Elimelech, but Boaz reminds him that according to the Law, to redeem the land, he would have to take “Ruth the Moabite” as his wife. Along with this went the understanding that if a child was born to their union, that child would inherit the land when the parents died, even though the father might have other older children, and thus, the inheritance would be essentially lost. And so, the kinsman redeemer, suggests that Boaz purchase the right of redemption from him. This, of course, was Boaz’s intent.
Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel. 8 So when the redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” he drew off his sandal. 9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. 10 Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day” (Ruth 4:7-10 ESV).
When land was sold, the one previously owning the land would give his shoe to the one who had bought it, signifying that he freely gave up his right to walk upon the soil in favor of the person who had acquired the possession.
Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman” (Ruth 4:11-12 ESV).
Bethlehem would, indeed, ever be renowned. The Son of David, the great Descendant of Ruth and ultimate Kinsman Redeemer, would be born in Bethlehem some 1,200 years later.
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David (Ruth 4:13-17 ESV).
Ruth’s little baby boy was the nearest kinsman, still nearer than Boaz. And to be sure, the child, who was the ancestor of David, and ultimately, the Son of David, the Messiah Jesus, is linked to the renown of which Naomi prophesies. The child was born to Naomi through Boaz and Ruth, who were fulfilling the Law by raising up seed for the dead and keeping his name alive. Their seed was to carry on his place in Israel.
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; her husband’s brother shall go in unto her and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of and husband’s brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she bears shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel (Deut 25:5-6 KJV).
The ultimate “Son” Who would be born of Naomi, representing Israel, will one day rule the world, His Name being the LORD Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.
The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham… (Matt 1:1 KJV).
Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, 19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David (Ruth 4:18-22 ESV).
And so, Ruth, the God-Fearer, former pagan Moabite, joined the genealogy of the Great King. She was grafted in by Faith in the One True God Jehovah. A prophetic story indeed!
I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal” (Rom 11:1-4 NASB).