Book Of Ruth
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
1. Master Study
Introduction, Visualized Text with Commentary and Q&A, Charts
The scene shifts now to Boaz. There are times in a man's life when he considers himself to be happy. Here he is at the end of a very successful harvest. The grain is in and Boaz is not only master of the field, but of the harvest. He has done a years work in preparation of this time. Sewing the seed, plowing, watering, that is all done now. The worry over too little or too much rain, the ever present threat of fire – it is all behind him now. He sits quietly now and enjoys a meal before bedtime as he watches over his grain. Now the worry has shifted to robbers coming to the field at night and taking the grain. As master of the harvest it falls to him to sleep there with the grain, watching over it. Can you see him there? Can you see him crawling up on top of a sun warmed pile of grain, pulling a covering over him and settling down for a good uninterrupted sleep? He closes his eyes … and he's asleep quickly.
His sleep will be interrupted however. A young lady, dressed in marriage clothes, has entered into the grain room. She has come to make the traditional proposal for marriage – a very special kind of marriage – the Levirate marriage.
She crouches down and uncovers his feet, as she has been instructed to, and places herself there in the place of submission awaiting his attention and response to this traditional request to the Kinsman-Redeemer.
THE VISUALIZED TEXT (NASB) (conjunctions & prepositions (and other important words) underlined, words not in original text in italics) (alternate text in purple)
had eaten and
his heart was merry,
he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and
came secretly, and
uncovered his feet and
Specifically the text tells us that Ruth does what Naomi has requested. Ruth has waited in secrecy for the moment when Boaz had finished his dinner and fallen asleep for the night upon his warm grain. She has come under the cover of darkness and willingly placed herself into the position of submission. Now comes the waiting – will he awake? Will he wake up and find the love of his life there, or will he find just a deluded servant girl? What will he do? Will he be happy or angry? Will he embrace her as his wife or will he rape her and discard her? The risks are many.
the term "When" indicate?
(Time and Scene change to Boaz, something is about to happen after we are told what has already taken place. "1 - When - 2 after Boaz had….. – 3 (then) She came and…." Take a close look at the placement of the parts of the outline of this verse above; When, Boaz, She.)
the main characters in this verse?
(Boaz and Ruth – the story has now shifted away from Naomi)
things did Boaz do?
(eat, drank, had a contented heart, lie down)
meanings can you "glean" from these four actions?
(Boaz was hungry and he ate, he was thirsty and he drank, he was comforted by those two things – and by his accomplishment of filling up the storage area with the harvest – hand he probably found some comfort in developing this new relationship with the young woman in the fields (Ruth), and that he was tired after working all day so he lie down to sleep upon the warm comfortable pile of winnowed grain.)
she come secretly?
(Since there is no improper motive mentioned anywhere in the text we must assume that she came to keep the event secret)
she want to keep the event secret?
(as mentioned elsewhere, many times, this was an errand that if Boaz refused the responsibility of becoming her husband (via Levirate law) then he and his family would suffer dishonor in the community. God made it quite clear that this was an important responsibility to Him and the community would feel that way as well. Ruth would be in a place of public shame if she was an "unwanted" woman as well.)
Ruth uncover Boaz's feet?
(Feet play a large role in Jewish traditional and symbolic life. One who places themselves at another's feet voluntarily is a "Bond Servant." A free slave who chooses servanthood based on the character of the one who is served. Being one's footstool is one who has become subservient, usually by force. One who washes another's feet is the lowest servant (the position of a priest). The feet are where there should be no barrier to touching the ground where holiness is. If Boaz, once he becomes the rightful Kinsman-Redeemer, refuses to take that responsibility he must put on a special shoe, made of Kosher animal skin, that is sewn together in two pieces (His and Hers, the stitch binding the two together), proclaim his unwillingness to fulfill the lay, and then remove the shoe, cast it away, and spit on the ground (spitting upon the holy ground of God and His law). With the uncovering of Boaz's feet she willingly asks the question "will you marry me?")
Why does she
lie down at his feet after uncovering them?
(This is the fulfilling act of humility and submission that completes the woman's part of the symbolic ritual of the Levirate.)
Horizontal Chart for Ruth 3:7
|"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."|
Verse Percentage Chart for Ruth 3:7
1. Master Study
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.