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Theme of Ruth: Redeeming Love Title of Ruth: The Kinsman-Redeemer Gives Rest Titles Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter Four Seeking a New Home by Faith Seeking Provisions Responsibility Seeking Redeeming LoveReceiving Love’s Rewards Ruth’s DecisionRuth’s DevotionRuth’s RedeemerRuth’s Reward Ruth’s Love DemonstratedRuth’s Love Rewarded Love’s Resolve Ruth’s Noble Choice Love’s Response Ruth’s Lowly Service Love’s Request Ruth’s Tender Appeal Love’s Reward Ruth’s Marital Joys ThemesChoiceLabourClaimReward Key Persons Ruth and NaomiRuth and Boaz Depressed NaomiDependent NaomiDecisive NaomiDelighted Naomi Place/ Setting Moab (1:1-5) Bethlehem (1:6-22) The Field of Boaz The Threshing Floor of Boaz The City Gate Boaz’s House Key Event Deaths of Naomi’s husband & 2 sons Boaz Meets Ruth Naomi Seeks a Husband for Ruth Boaz Redeems Ruth Ref. to God the LORD (v6,8,9,13,17, 21 twice), God (v16 twice), the Almighty (v20,21) the LORD (v4 twice, 12 twice, 20), the God of Israel (v12) the LORD (v10,13)the LORD (v,11,12,13,14) Naomi: wife, widow, mother-in-law, grandmother Ruth: Moabitess, wife, widow, daughter-in-law, wife Boaz: very wealthy man, kinsman, husband Author: unknown, most likely Samuel Date Written: after David became king (4:22) Historical Setting: In the days of Judges (1:1), lawless (2:22) Key Words/Phrases: relative, close(-est) relative, redeem (-er) Purpose(s): 1) To show God’s providential care for all who take refuge under His wings, whether Jew or Gentile (2:12); 2) To explain how a Gentile woman could become a member of the royal lineage of David and show the divine origin of the Davidic dynasty (4:18-22); 3) To illustrate the activities of the kinsman-redeemer and point to the saving work of our Kinsman-Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ; 4) To call God’s people to responsible holy living even in the dark days of Judges Copyright © Cecilia Perh 2006
Concern for the Poor / Seeking Provisions Responsibly Love’s Response / Ruth’s Lowly Service The Provision of God v1-3v4-7v8-16v17-23 Ruth Gleans in Boaz’s Field Boaz Comes to Bethlehem Boaz’s Kindness to Ruth Ruth’s Rich Gleanings Ruth and BoazRuth and Naomi God Provides Through His LawHis Obedient Servantthrough Ruth Ruth WorksBoaz InstructsWork Rewarded Boaz Blesses RuthNaomi Blesses Boaz The SettingThe MeetingThe Recounting Ruth Chapter 2 illustrates the truth of God’s Providential Care: God’s Provision is received through God’s Obedient Servants! Working with the hands is noble work (2 Thess 3:6-15) Copyright © Cecilia Perh 2006
Customs in the Book of Ruth – Levirate Marriage (Ruth 1:11-13) Deuteronomy 25: the wife of the deceased is to be married to her husband’s brother & the first-born whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel (v5-6). Legal procedure if if the man refuses & persists in his refusal after the elders has spoken to him - then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, 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.’ And in Israel his name shall be called, ‘The house of him whose sandal is removed’ (v7-10) Genesis 38 – the source of this ancient custom – Judah and Tamar Judah’s Sons through a Canaanite woman (v1-5) The Death of Judah’s Two Older Sons (v6-11) Judah and Tamar (v12-19) Judah Fails to Reclaim His Pledge (v20-23) Judah’s Judgment on Tamar & Her Vindication (v24-26) The Birth of Perez and Zerah (v27-30) Matthew 1:1-6 – Tamar was one of the ancestress of Christ Numbers 27: Reasons Why a Man would Perform the Levirate Marriage – to possess the family inheritance (v11) Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22 – Rich landowners are not reap to the very corners of their field, neither gather the gleanings of their harvest, nor glean or gather the fallen fruit of their vineyard; They are to leave them for the needy and for the stranger Deuteronomy 24:19-22 – When a sheaf is left behind, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow; they can only beat their olive trees once and gather the grapes once – anything left behind is for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow Obedience will bring God’s blessing - the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands (v19b) Leviticus 25:25-55 – The Law of Redemption Redemption of a Hebrew Slave (v25-28) Redemption of City and Village Houses (v29-31) Redemption of Levitical Houses (v32-34) Lending to a Fellow Countryman (v35-38) Treatment of a Hebrew Slave (v39-43) Possession of Pagan Male & Female Slaves (v44-46) Redemption of a Fellow Countryman (v47-55) Some Facts about the Jubilee The most unusual observance that God commanded the Israelites through Moses was the keeping of the year of jubilee. For most people this celebration occurred only once in their life time, and for many not even that, as it occurred only once every 50 years. At this year of jubilee all Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery were set free, and all land that had been sold reverted to its original owner. This meant that no Israelite could ever be in permanent slavery; nor could any Israelite permanently lose his inheritance. The English word jubilee comes from the Hebrew word yobel meaning a trumpet or ram's horn. These rams' horns were blown on the Day of Atonement to announce the start of the year of jubilee. Deuteronomy 15:1-18 Remission of Debts at end of every 7 years (v1-3) with corresponding blessings for obedience (v4-6) Giving to a Poor Fellow Countryman (v7-11) Giving to a Servant who is a Kinsman(v12-18) Exodus 15:1-11 Ordinances for a Hebrew Slave (v1-6) Ordinances for a Female Slave (v7-11) The law of the brother marrying his dead brother’s widow is known as the law of the Levirate. Levir is a Latin translation for brother-in-law which is yavam in Hebrew. As we have seen earlier, a child born of that union is considered to be perpetuating the “name” (lineage, honor, and inheritance) of the deceased. This is God’s version of social security in order to promote social and economic stability. Refusal to fulfill this obligation resulted in public shame, because it indicates a greater concern for one’s personal welfare than the welfare of one’s extended family. See Levirate Marriage by Solomon Schechter and Levirate Marriage and Halizah Copyright © Cecilia Perh 2006
God’s Concern for the Poor, the Widows and the Orphans God’s Protection for Widows and Orphans Ex 22:22-24 –If you afflict any widow or orphan and if he does cry out to God, God will surely hear his cry; and His anger will be kindled, and He will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless Deut 10:17-18 – God is totally impartial and he will execute justice for the orphan and the widow, and show His love for the alien by giving him food & clothing Deut 24: You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow's garment in pledge Deut 27:19 - 'Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow Psalm 68:5 - A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows is God in His holy habitation Psalm 146:9 - The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow; But He thwarts the way of the wicked. Proverbs 15:25 - The LORD will tear down the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow. Jeremiah 22:3 - do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow John 14:16-18 – Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to be with us and in us forever. He will not leave us as orphans, He’ll come again God’s Provision for Widows and Orphans Deut 14:28-29; 26:12 – the welfare tithe (collected once every 3 years) is for the Levite, the orphan & the widow in your town Obedience brings the Lord’s blessing in all the work of your hand (Deut 14:29) Obedience allows you to ask for God’s blessing Psalm 68:5 - A father of the fatherless is God in His holy habitation. Psalm 146:9 - The LORD supports the fatherless and the widow Jeremiah 49:11 – God promises to look after the orphans & calls the widows to trust in Him 1 Timothy 5:3-16 The Church is to support truly needy widows with no dependents (v3) Widows who have children are to be supported by their own children (v4-8) – to not provide for your own family is to be worse than an unbeliever Widows who are over 60 years old & who have a reputation of good works & moral character so that they can do the ministry(v9-10) Younger widows are not to be put on the church list for support but rather are encouraged to remarry and have children and keep the house (v11-15) – If not, they may become idle, gossips & busybodies and fall into sin because of their sensual desires & desire to get married, thus setting aside their previous pledge If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, let her assist them, and let not the church be burdened (v16) James 1:27 pure & undefiled religion in God’s sight = to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world God’s Judgment if His people do not protect or provide for widows and orphans Isaiah 1: Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow – Some commands to prove genuine repentance - If you obey, you will eat the best of the land but if you refuse & rebel, you will be devoured by the sword Isaiah 9:17 – No compassion when judgment falls on His people – no pity for their orphans and widows Isaiah 10:1-4 - Woe to those who enact evil statutes, so as to deprive the needy of justice, rob the poor of My people of their rights, in order that widows may be their spoil, & that they may plunder the orphans – No help from God in the day of their punishment or from the coming devastation Zech 7:8-14 – When they refused to obey God’s commands to dispense true justice, practice kindness & compassion, to not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and not devise evil in your hearts against one another – Then God refuses to hear their cries in the day of judgment Mal 3:5 – God will judge those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien, and do not fear Him Matt 23:14 - Woe to scribes & Pharisees, who devour widows' houses = shall receive greater condemnation Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20: Beware of the scribes who devour widows' houses = receive greater condemnation Copyright © Cecilia Perh 2006
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