The Book Of Ruth
Chapter 2:8-14
"Grace From Boaz"

 

Chapter 2:8-14
"Grace from Boaz"

J. Deering, AncientPath.net

 


RUTH 2:8-14

1. Master Study

2. Visualized Text

3. Outline With Text

4. Reference Materials

5. Questions


 

MASTER STUDY
Introduction, Visualized Text with Commentary and Q&A, Charts

 


 

INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS:
 

We want to keep stressing our three applications of this book.
1. The Story itself.

2. Parallel 1 Israel

3. Parallel 2 believers

 

Chapter 2:8-14 brings us into the care and provision that comes in abundance for Ruth from Boaz. We are still in "Boaz's Field," and the blessings abound.

 

The issue of "Why" is dealt with here. Boaz has insisted that Ruth continue to come back and glean from this field. While she has been in the care of this field she has received permission to glean; she has gleaned more than she had anticipated; she has been provided food, water, shelter, and rest while there and all from the master of the field, Boaz.

 

What is it that has brought Boaz to extend such grace to this Moabite Gentile? What has she done to deserve all of these things. First of all we must notice that Boaz, by nature and character, is a man who has always allowed the foreigner and the poor to glean. It is his practice to do so. When Ruth comes to the field searching for a place to glean she receives permission from the field supervisor without question – It is the master's will that this be done.

 

Boaz gives us a short list of his reasons: 1. All that you have done for Naomi. 2. How you have left your father, mother, and land. 3. How you came to a people that you did not know. Behind these three reasons is a single unifying idea – "I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God."

 

If we clearly understand the imagery of the book then this is the central statement, "Your God, shall be My God. The story of the book, so far, has been rebellion, chastisement, repentance, and the journey from repentance to renewed fellowship and faith.

 

We are so used to thinking that when we are trapped in sin, and then we confess our sin, everything is back to normal. We should know instead that everything in life is a process and the book of Ruth specializes in the process of returning to God. The writer brings us so many nuances of the process. Ruth came to know Jehovah-Elohim while married to Mahlon, and she became a proselyte of the Jewish faith. In turning to Him she had to turn away from her past idols and sins. Then came the introduction to the family of God and the People of God. She realized her need for His sustenance and went to His field to "glean." And she went as one who knew that she was poor and different. She was accepted into the field because it was the character of the Master of the field to be accepting of the foreigner and the poor. He graciously provided work, food, water, rest, and the constant invitation to come back for more.

 

When the believer first comes to the Lord Jesus Christ we are foreigners to His grace, and poor in spirit. When we come He is gracious and gives us important work to do, spiritual food to eat, "Living Water," and shelter under His wings. It is a process. We don't get saved and then arrive in the Body of Christ as mature, glorified members of His family – that takes time, it is a process. He provides for your needs (food, water, rest, and protection) while you have the opportunity to grow into adult spiritual believers.

 

As the result of this new relationship we should "throw ourselves head first to the ground" and worship Him and adore Him as we recognize His wonderful grace.

 

As the result of this new relationship we should "throw ourselves head first to the ground" and worship Him and adore Him as we recognize His wonderful grace.

 


 

THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB)  (conjunctions & prepositions (and other important words) underlined, words not in original text in italics)  (alternate text in purple)

 

(2:8)

Then
            Boaz said to Ruth,
                                    "Listen carefully,
                                    my daughter.
                                    Do not go to glean in another field;
                        furthermore,
                                    do not go on from this one,
                                    but stay here with my maids.

 

Brief Commentary on Ruth 2:8

 

Listen carefully! Ruth has come to Boaz and the first thing he has to say to her is, "Listen carefully!" It is not "welcome to my field, are you finding everything you need?" Boaz's first concern is that Ruth understand that there is no other field where she can come like this. (Acts 4:10-12  "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.")

 

Questions and Answers about Ruth 2:8

  1. Why would Boaz (the master of the field) speak with a foreign woman gleaning in his field?
    The context of the surrounding verses indicates that having foreigners and the poor was a planned part of his practice in running the fields as owner. He is a man of wealth and power and takes seriously the commandment of the LORD in providing for the less fortunate. His interest lies there.)

  2. Why does Boaz call her "my daughter"?
    (The informal address to Ruth is based on the fact that Boaz recognizes that she is family, and she is younger than He. It is also a cultural sign of respect toward her.)

  3. Why does Boaz ask her to stay in his field?
    (Boaz has taken an interest in her and following the symbolism of these verses he knows that his care and his supply are not only the best, but what she needs.)


 

(2:9)

"Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and

go after them.
Indeed,

            I have commanded the servants

                        not to touch you.
            When you are thirsty,
                        go to the water jars and

                                    drink

                                                from what the servants draw."

 

Brief Commentary on Ruth 2:9

 

Now that Ruth is in the field of Boaz he tells her to watch and pay attention to THE FIELD. See the process of "the field" and how it is worked, how it is labored over, how it is harvested. (John 4: 34-38  "Jesus saith unto them, 'My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

 

And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.'" And only then does Boaz tell Ruth of the provisions he has made for her.

 

Questions and Answers about Ruth 2:9

  1. Why would Boaz not want her to look for another field to glean?
    (He knows the surrounding fields and the dangers there. He also has developed an interest in her.)

  2. If Boaz had not warned the servants to not touch her, what would they have done ?
    (The meaning of the words "touch her" were part of an idiomatic expression that was used in common language to mean sexual contact. The actions and morality of slaves or servants is the problem here. While the usage of this expression could point directly to this problem it is more probable that Boaz meant that they were not to keep her from trespassing the rules and taking more than just the gleanings. They were not to interfere or punish her for doing so.)

  3. What is the importance of Boaz allowing her to share their water?
    (Water is a precious commodity in Judah. Who can work a field for any length of time without having to stop for water. Boaz wishes her to stay in her field and glean, she could not do that for long without water. It is easy and not a stretch at all, so see the words of Jesus with the "Woman at the well," "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.")


 

 (2:10)

Then

            she fell on her face,
                        bowing to the ground and
                        said to him,
                                    "Why have I found favor

                                                in your sight
                                                that

                                                            you should take notice of me,
                                                                        since I am a foreigner?"

 

Brief Commentary on Ruth 2:10

 

Blessed is Ruth for understanding immediately her proper response to Grace; first obeisance, prostrating herself before her master; and then the question we all ask: "Why?"

 

Questions and Answers about Ruth 2:10

  1. Why does Ruth "fall on her face" before Boaz?
    (Put yourself in her place; indigent, poor, hungry, thirsty, and taking the risk of going to a field to glean – then finding not only acceptance there, but also a complete invitation to stay, and glean, and drink, and enjoy protection. She fell on her face because of finding GRACE (unmerited favor) instead of all the problems and dangers she expected.)

  2. Why is Ruth troubled about Boaz's attention to her?
    (Wouldn't you be suspicious?)

  3. Ruth is not just a foreigner, she's a Moabitess - What's so important about that?
    (All of Judah has been in the process of cleaning up their idolatrous act – that's why the rains have come and the grain has grown – because of God's call to repentance. Judah has cleansed herself of idol worshippers and unbelieving foreign wives. Why should Boaz extend his graceful hand to her?)


 

(2:11)

And

            Boaz

                        answered and

                        said to her,
                                    "All that you have done for your mother-in-law
                                                after the death of your husband
                                                has been fully reported to me, and
                                                how you left

                                                            your father and

                                                            your mother and

                                                            the land of your birth,

                                                and
                                                            came to a people
                                                                        that

                                                                        you did not previously know.

 

Brief Commentary on Ruth 2:11

 

And the Master answers "all that you have done – you turned to Me, away from idols, away from father and mother, away from your land and your people – you turned to Me!

 

Questions and Answers about Ruth 2:11

  1. Go back over Chapter 1 and re-read what Ruth has said and done?
    (Married Elimelech's son, Loved Elimelech's wife Naomi, repented of her pagan idolatrous life and turned to the God of Israel as her savior, left her own parents and land, returned with Naomi, continues to remain with her and love her, and now gleans to support herself and Naomi.)

  2. Why is Ruth's dedication to Naomi of such interest to Boaz?
    ("Such a woman is this!" and she's young, attractive, available, and part of the tribal family.)

  3. What would be required of Ruth to live amongst the Israelites with Naomi?
    (Have you ever lived among the people of another culture? Language, habits, knowing and understanding the culture, to be always seen as different, and perhaps even inferior.)


 

(2:12)

"May the LORD
            reward

                        your work, and
                        your wages

                                    be full from the LORD,
                                                the God of Israel,
                                                under whose wings

                                                            you have come

                                                                        to seek refuge."

 

Brief Commentary on Ruth 2:12

 

What a wonderful blessing, but it looks to the future not the now or the past! Yes you have come to Him for refuge – but there is work to be done, in you, and by you.

 

Questions and Answers about Ruth 2:12

  1. What are the individual parts of Boaz's blessing upon Ruth?
    (Jehovah's blessing; for the work she has done [everything since she married Mahlon], may you be paid well for that, may you be paid by the LORD (YHWH), specifically the God (Elohim) of Israel, and an acknowledgement of Ruth's spiritual quest with Jehovah-Elohim (shelter under His wings).)

  2. If Ruth was successful in her hard work, wouldn't Boaz suffer the loss of much grain?
    (Boaz is a man of grace – he sees his responsibility as a child of God to take care of the stranger and the poor – he also sees God's point of view that the owner of the field is only the caretaker of what rightly belongs to the Lord, he can be gracious because his LORD is gracious)

  3. What religion would Ruth be as she was from Moab?
    (Ruth has already forsaken her idols, her land of idols, and repented (turned around) away from idols to The God of Israel. She is a Believer in the Lord God. She has become a proselyte Jew)

  4. What is so important about Ruth seeking refuge from The God of Israel?
    (This is what we all do when we become believers, we seek refuge from this world. She has been a sinner against God. She has been guilty under her own knowledge and conscience as a Gentile, She has been found guilty under the Mosaic law as she has been a proselyte, and she seeks refuge under the atoning wings of The LORD God.)


 

(2:13)

Then
            she said,
                        "I have found favor in your sight, my lord,
                                    for

                                                You

                                                            have comforted me and

                                                            indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant,
                                                                        though I am not like one of your maidservants."

 

Brief Commentary on Ruth 2:13

 

"I'm different, I'm an ex-idolater, I'm just a maidservant, but YOU have comforted me, YOU have spoken kindly to me, YOU don't find me different, and YOU have given me unmerited favor!"

 

Questions and Answers about Ruth 2:13

  1. Why does Ruth say that she has found comfort in Boaz's words?
    (She came to the fields in fear and now she has found herself to be acceptable to the Master of the fields. She came to glean and she found grace in abundance.)


 

(2:14)

And

            at mealtime

                        Boaz said to her,
                                    "Come here,
                                                that

                                                            you may

                                                                        eat of the bread and
                                                                        dip your piece of bread in the vinegar."

So

            She

                        sat beside the reapers; and
            he

                        served her roasted grain, and
            she

                        ate and
                        was satisfied and
                        had some left.

 

Brief Commentary on Ruth 2:14

 

Isn't it wonderful to be accepted by The LORD God through His Son, Jesus Christ! "I was once a sinner – Saved by God." And now I find fellowship and acceptance as a gift from Him. And not only was her cup now full but overflowing (Luke 6:38 Jesus said, "… good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over…."). We should not miss the imagery of Boaz the Master inviting Ruth to come and eat of the bread, or of the fact that Boaz both prepares and serves the meal to his servants – Boaz, being servant to the servants (and he placed a towel around Himself and washed the disciples feet, and He served them with bread and wine).

 

Questions and Answers about Ruth 2:14

  1. Boaz requests Ruth to sit with his servants, and then he serves them with roasted grain.  What is the writer saying about Boaz, The God of Israel, The Nation of Israel, and Those who Love Him?

  2. (Matthew 11:28-30  Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.)

    Note from Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI., 1978 reprint, p. 479, citing AT Robinson (Pal. Ii. P. 394) gives the following description of a harvest scene in the neighborhood of Kubeibeh: "In one field nearly two hundred reapers and gleaners were at work, the latter being nearly as numerous as the former. A few were taking their refreshment, and offered us some of their "parched corn." In the season of harvest, the grains of wheat not yet fully dry and hard, are roasted in a pan or on an iron plate, and constitute a very palatable article of food; this is eaten along with bread, or instead of it."

 


 

 Horizontal Chart for Ruth 1:1-5

 

Ruth 2:8-14 "Grace From Boaz"

Ruth 2:8-9
Boaz's Instructions
"
Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids.
9 "Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw."

Ruth 2:10
Ruth's Question
"
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"

Ruth 2:11-12
Ruth's Reputation

"And Boaz answered and said to her, "All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.
12 "May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."

Ruth 2:13
Ruth's Humility
"Then she said, "I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."
 

Ruth 2:14
Boaz's Grace

"And at mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." So she sat beside the reapers; and he served her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some left."


 

Verse Percentage Chart for Ruth 1:1-5

 

 


RUTH 2:8-14

1. Master Study

2. Visualized Text

3. Outline With Text

4. Reference Materials

5. Questions


The Book of Ruth, Bible Study, J. Deering, AncientPath.net, study materials are a ministry of AncientPath.net, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them.  No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without the express permission of AncientPath.net. 2008 AncientPath.net, All rights reserved.


2012-11-20