For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2001 James Melough


God 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.”

Boaz means “in him is strength.”  No more appropriate name could have been given the man chosen of God to represent Christ.

Connected 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.

His 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.

In 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.

Space 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.

As 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.

The 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.

The 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.



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough