TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2001 James Melough
has studded the OT with types of Christ, and of those types none more clearly
depicts Him as the great kinsman Redeemer than does Boaz, introduced in Ruth
2:1 as a kinsman of Naomi’s husband, and described as, “... a mighty man
of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.”
means “in him is strength.” No
more appropriate name could have been given the man chosen of God to represent
with the word “mighty” is the thought of power, reminding us that the One
portrayed by Boaz is none other than God the Son, the One Who called all
creation into existence by a word, and Who upholds “all things by the word
of His power,” Heb 1:3. And he
was “of wealth,” fitting picture of Him to Whom belong the silver and gold
“and the cattle upon a thousand hills,” Ps 50:10, and of Whom it is
written, “... though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye
through His poverty might be rich,” 2 Cor 8:9.
being a kinsman of Naomi’s husband reminds us that the Lord Jesus Christ
deigned to make Himself our Kinsman by becoming man, by becoming like us in
everything except sin.
Ruth 2:4 he is presented as coming from Bethlehem into the harvest field, but
since Bethlehem means “House of bread,” and since the field represents the
world, (Mt 13:38), it is apparent that God would have us see in this detail a
picture of the Lord’s incarnation. He
Who entered the world via Bethlehem’s manger had come there from the true
Bethlehem, heaven, to present Himself as “the living bread which came down
from heaven,” Jn 6:51.
requires that we pass over other details and move to Ruth 3:8, “And it came
to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and behold,
a woman lay at his feet.” Only spiritual blindness will prevent our seeing
here the foreshadowing of that night which preceded the greater work of
redemption of which Boaz’s redemption of Ruth was but the symbol. Will anyone fail to see here a picture of Gethsemane where
type gave place to reality? Where
instead of a Boaz who “had eaten and drunk,” lying down at the end of the
heap of corn on the threshing floor, we see the Lord Who had eaten and drunk
the last passover, prostrate in the garden, in such agony of soul that “His
sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground,” Lk
22:44? The “virtuous” woman,
Ruth 3:11, who lay at the feet of Boaz that night, and whom he would redeem
and make his bride on the morrow, is a picture of the Church; but here
similarity gives place to contrast. None
of Ruth’s virtues were found in us prior to our redemption.
She had everything to commend her: we, nothing.
The virtue possessed by believers exists by reason of redemption.
Prior to redemption we had nothing to commend us.
that midnight hour at the threshing floor was followed next day by the
redemption transaction in the gate, in the presence of the elders and all the
people, so was Gethsamene’s darkness followed the next day by the redemption
of your soul and mine, outside the gate, and in the presence of the elders and
all the people.
price paid by Boaz isn’t recorded, nor are we told whether it consisted of
silver or gold. No symbol could
begin to portray the price that was paid that day at Calvary; for we are
reminded, “... ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and
gold ... but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish
and without spot....” 1 Pe 1:18_19.
result of that redemption was that Ruth became the wife of her redeemer,
bearing him a son who became the grandfather of David.
The result of Calvary’s redemptive work is that believers become
wedded to Christ, a union designed by God to result in the production of
Christ in each one of us, as declared by Paul, “My little children, of whom
I travail in birth again, “until Christ be formed in you,” Gal 4:19.