Ruth (Rut) Chapter 3

Rut 3:1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?

Naomi wants Rut to have a better life than a life of poverty.

Deuteronomy 25:5-9 "When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And it shall be that the first-born whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel. But if the man does not desire to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.' "Then the leaders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, 'I do not desire to take her,' then his brother's wife shall come to him in the sight of the leaders, and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare,' Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.' (NAS)

This law may seem strange to us today, however it was designed to do three things. First, provide for the widow. Second, see that the family property stayed in the family and did not go to some non-family member that the widow married. G-d not only gave the land of Israel to the children of Israel. Each tribe was given a particular region and each family was given a particular plot of land. Third, the family name would not die out. So the first child born to the widow would not be considered the second husband’s child but the child of the first husband.

It was not only Rut’s right to request Boaz to be her kinsman redeemer; it was her duty to her dead husband. And we can see from this passage that if he refused she could have legally spit in his face!

The third letter corresponding to the third chapter is Gimel. Gimel- lovingkindness; culmination, as in planting a seed and caring for it until it matures.

Rut 3:2 "And now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.

Winnowing - tossing grain into the air to finish separating the grain from the chaff. The wind would blow away the chaff.

Naomi sees that Rut has not gone to Boaz and asked for what is rightfully hers to request, so she gives her a little push.

Rut 3:3-5 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. And it shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do." And she said to her, "All that you say I will do."

The threshing floor was a large area of hard ground with stones around the edge where the winnowing took place. It was normally located at the top of a hill where there would be more of a breeze. However, in this case, it appears that it was downhill from the town notice the words “go down to the threshing floor”. Winnowing was a community event and others would also be there winnowing. The men would sleep with their heads towards their grain on the threshing floor and their feet facing away from the grain to protect it from being stolen.

Remember that Rut symbolizes the church, body of believers. Boaz symbolizes Yeshua Ha Mashiach.

Rut’s preparing to go see Boaz is a picture of the sinner coming before Yeshua.

Rut 3:6-9 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her. When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. And it happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and look, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, "Who are you?" And she answered, "I am Rut your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative."

his heart was merry - There was a good crop this year in comparison to the past years of famine.

Spread your covering over your maid - She is asking for his protection as kinsman redeemer.

Rut is in effect proposing marriage to Boaz. He is much older than Rut and probably would not have pursued her. Also, he is not the closest relative.

Rut 3:10-11 Then he said, "May you be blessed of the L-RD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.

not going after young men - here we see in Boaz’s own words that he is much older than Rut.

last kindness - She is still true to Naomi in being willing to marry an older man, she is true to her former husband, and true to the torah. He probably feels this young girl is showing him, an older man, kindness too.

a woman of excellence - or a virtuous woman. She is the epitome of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31. Rut has been in town about two months and she is well known. Everyone knows that she is a virtuous woman.