Book of Ruth
A Typological Study of Ruth
The book of Ruth is a wonderful love story between two very different people. Ruth is a poverty-stricken Gentile widow who meets a rich and powerful Jew by the name of Boaz. They get married at the end of the story, and they are in the genealogical line of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In addition to being a literally true story, Ruth is a wonderful picture of the bride of Christ, and Boaz is a beautiful picture of our Redeemer. Tragedy and misfortune scar Naomi, and she is an amazingly accurate portrayal of the nation of Israel.
The book of Ruth is rich in typology that portrays the unfolding of God's plan of redemption. The book is comprehensive in its typology in that it reveals the dealings of God with both the bride of Christ and the nation of Israel throughout the ages, even to the end of the tribulation period when Israel and its land are redeemed by the Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Most works on Ruth have emphasized Boaz as a type of the Redeemer Jesus Christ, and Ruth as a type of the Church. This is partially true since Ruth is a type of the bride of Christ, but she does not represent all of the Church. Ruth and Orpah together typify the whole Church, and Ruth typifies the faithful members of the Church who become the bride of Christ. It is Ruth who clings to Naomi even in her poverty-stricken condition. It is Orpah who goes back to Moab, a type of the Gentile world system.
The type of Naomi follows the history of Israel exactly. Her sojourn in the "land" is a picture of Israel's existence in the land of Israel for a period of time. The dispersion of the family of Naomi by famine in the land is a picture of the spiritual poverty of Israel at the time of Christ, and Israel's dispersion into the Gentile nations in 70 A.D. with the invasion of Israel by the Roman General Titus. The sufferings and trials of Naomi in Gentile Moab follow the exact pattern of God's prophecies about Israel's persecutions among the Gentile nations. The return of Naomi at the "good news" of the restored fertility in the land has been experienced by the nation of Israel in 1948 and up to the present time. Just as Naomi has returned to the land but does not receive her lost inheritance until after the harvest, Israel is in her land, but she does not yet have complete possession of it. Israel will totally possess the land after the harvest of the Church is complete, and the dark night of threshing (i.e., the tribulation) is completely over. The land that God gave Israel includes the Sinai Peninsula, Syria, part of Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, so Israel is still dispossessed of most of her land. Most of the land and the oil wealth of the Arab nations will belong to Israel when she receives her full inheritance.
Ruth and Orpah prefigure the Church. As Gentiles under the curse and estranged from God, both are brought into the family of God through the "exile" or Diaspora of Israel. Both believe in Naomi's God and both follow Naomi out of the land of exile toward the land of promise. It is Ruth who crosses over the Jordan River into the land, but Orpah turns back before she crosses over Jordan. Crossing Over Jordan is a type for entering the spirit-filled life, so only Ruth enters the spirit-filled life. Orpah fails to do so. This does not negate the fact that Orpah was still part of the family of God, even though she turned back to the world. Consequently, Orpah typifies the unfaithful members of the Church who are spiritually saved but do not go on into maturity in the faith.
It is Ruth who goes to the threshing floor at midnight and lies at the feet of Boaz during the entire night of threshing. It is at midnight that Boaz agrees to take Ruth as his bride, but it is not until daybreak that Boaz as the Kinsman-Redeemer redeems Naomi’s land.
NOTE: Currently in time, we are at the point where Ruth is about to go to the threshing floor at midnight to lie at the feet of Boaz for the long night of threshing. It is time for the bride of Christ to go and lie at the feet of Jesus until the morning when Jesus will return to His brethren the Jews and redeem them and their land. In type, the Main Harvest Rapture occurs at the time of the fourth watch of the night, which is 3:00 AM or just before the darkest part of the night. The Firstfruits Rapture takes place at the third watch of the night, which is at midnight. The period between 12:00 midnight and 3:00 AM represents the first half of the tribulation period. The time period between 3:00AM and sunup represents the last half of the tribulation period. The first half of the tribulation period is the “hour of trial” for the main body of the Church. The last half of the tribulation period is the “time of Jacob’s trouble”. The Church is persecuted during the hour of trial. Israel is persecuted during the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
We will now begin our verse-by-verse prophetic interpretation of the book of Ruth.
(Ruth 1:1 KJV) Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine .in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
"In the days when the judges ruled" typifies the present time of the Diaspora when Israel is without a king and everyone does that which is right in his own eyes. This is also typified in the following Scripture:
(Judg 21:25 KJV) In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
Famine is a picture of God's judgment upon disobedience. The exit of the certain man with his wife Naomi and two sons from Israel is a picture of the Diaspora of the Jews from the land of Israel, and their sojourning in the land of the Gentiles. It was because of Israel's rejection of Jesus Christ and disobedience that God allowed the Roman General Titus to come into the land and disperse the Jews into the lands of the Gentiles. This fact is also seen in other types and statements such as Jonah being cast into the sea, where he died, but he was miraculously resurrected to life after three days. The vision of the valley of dry bones also depicts this death and resurrection of Israel while in the Gentile nations of the world.
(Ruth 1:2 KJV) And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
The word Elimelech means "God of the King." Since Jesus Christ is the King, Elimelech would be a type of God the Father. Naomi means "pleasant, delight, splendor or grace". Israel is the pleasant land and the Jews are the apple of God's eye. Consequently, Naomi is a type of the nation of Israel, the wife of God the Father. Mahlon and Chilion as offspring of Naomi would typify the separated nations of Israel and Judah, the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel. Both are in the dispersion and both die while in the world among the Gentile nations. Mahlon means sickly, grieved or suffering from infirmity. Chilion means pining or wasting.
An Ephrathite is a person from Bethlehem of Judea, so they represent the descendants of Israel who will realize their earthly inheritance in the land when Jesus comes back to restore Israel to its land. Moab is a Gentile country outside of Israel, which comes from a mixed group of people. Moab typifies the diverse ethnic peoples from which the Church will be taken. Israel comes into the world and continues there for a long time. We will see later that they remained there for 10 years. Ten is the number of ordinal completion and represents the complete time ordained by God for Israel to remain in the Diaspora.
(Ruth 1:3 KJV) And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
Elimelech and Naomi are separated. Death means separation as God separates or divorces Israel while they are in the Diaspora. The two nations of Israel and Judah remain distinct during the time of the Diaspora.
(Ruth 1:4 KJV) And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
During the time of the dispersion, Ruth and Orpah become members of the family of God. They remain in the land for a complete time of ten years. The name Orpah comes from a word that means "declining, stiff-necked, or destroyed," so she typifies those in the Church who are saved, but they fall back or decline into the ways of the world. The word for Ruth means a friend, companion, or associate, and it comes from a word that means one who tends or feeds a flock. Even more significant, the derivative of the name in the Hebrew means "be satisfied (with water)" or "abundant water". Ruth typifies those in the Church who are faithful to the Word of God and remain friends to the nation of Israel. Ruth typifies those in the Church who tend, feed and nourish the flock of God. Ruth typifies those in the Church who are filled with the Holy Spirit, since water is a type of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is also typified by a well where much water is obtained, so Ruth would be one who spends much time in the Bible. This is highly significant, since the engrafted Word of God is that which saves our souls (James 1:21) and prepares us to be the bride of Christ.
The word for "the name of" in reference to both Ruth and Orpah means ones that have entered a definite and conspicuous position with individuality, and implying honor, authority and character. There is no doubt that both Ruth and Orpah have entered into this position that was ordained by God. The fact that Orpah later departs and returns to the world has no bearing on her spirit salvation and her membership in the family of God. Orpah and Ruth together typify the Church.
(Ruth 1:5 KJV) And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
Since Naomi typifies the nation of Israel, which returns to the land of Israel and receives the inheritance, Mahlon and Chilion typify those among the divided nations of Israel and Judah who perish or are destroyed in the wilderness. The following Scripture confirms that a third will come through the fire but two-thirds will be cut off or die.
(Zec 13:7 KJV) Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
(Zec 13:8 KJV) And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
(Zec 13:9 KJV) And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
(Ruth 1:6 KJV) Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.
Naomi hears that the land is fertile again so she arises to return to the land. This is what has happened in the nation of Israel. Israel was a land that was totally devastated from wars and abuse of the land. It has now become a fertile land with abundant trees and abundant crops of fruits and vegetable. The Jews are even growing fruits and vegetables in the desert with modern agricultural techniques. The Lord has allowed the Jews to return to the land just as Naomi returned, but they are still dispossessed of their inheritance. They will not receive their inheritance back into their possession until after the harvest is over at the end of the long night of threshing. At that time both the widowhood of Ruth will be redeemed and the land of Israel will be redeemed.
The word "arose" implies regeneration to a living state and it would apply to the remnant of Israel (i.e., Naomi) and the entire Church (i.e., both daughters-in-law). The word "return" implies repentance and the word "might" shows that all three might repent and leave the world (i.e., Moab), but they might not repent. Repentance is a condition for soul salvation, but not spirit salvation. Repentance is a work and spirit salvation is not by works.
The word for "visited" means that the Lord had again paid attention to His people the Jews. They had been dispersed into the Gentile nations for almost two thousand years, and early in the 20th century God began to deal with Israel again to make the land fertile so that Israel could return to it.
(Ruth 1:7 KJV) Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
Naomi and both daughters-in-law began the trek to Israel. It is significant that all three leave the place where they were. There is no doubt that Orpah was sincere in her intentions to leave the world and go into the Promised Land. The word for "place" figuratively means a state of mind. All three have demonstrated a sincere mindset to go to the Promised Land.
(Ruth 1:8 KJV) And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
In this verse and the following verses, Naomi attempts to persuade both Ruth and Orpah to return to their land and their people. Naomi states that the Lord will "deal kindly" with them even if they go back to their land. The word for "deal kindly" means "to accomplish or act with effect," or to complete something. Even if both go back to the world and do not cross over Jordan, the Lord will still bring to completion that which He has wrought in both Ruth and Orpah. Crossing Over Jordan is a picture of dying to self and entering into the spirit-filled life. This will bring great reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but the Christians who do not do this will still be conformed to the image of Christ. Jesus will complete the work in the Christian, even if the Christian goes back to the world without entering into the spirit-filled life. However, this Christian will not become the bride of Christ (i.e., Boaz), and the inheritance of the earth will be forfeited. The following Scripture confirms that Christ will complete the work in the Christian that He has begun in the Christian:
(Phil 1:3 KJV) I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
(Phil 1:4 KJV) Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
(Phil 1:5 KJV) For your fellowship in the gospel (i.e., of grace) from the first day until now;
(Phil 1:6 KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
(Phil 1:7 KJV) Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Naomi states that both Ruth and Orpah have dealt kindly with "the dead" and with her (i.e, Israel's resurrection). This confirms even further that both Ruth and Orpah have accomplished repentance and living the resurrected life. However, this is not all that the Christian needs to do to enter into the spirit-filled life and become the bride of Christ. Belief, repentance and resurrection into newness of life are seen in the first three feasts of the seven feasts. However, there are three remaining feasts before one realizes the seventh feast of Tabernacles, which typifies the spirit-filled life. The following chart under the column labeled “Figurative” parallels the seven feasts with the mature life that a Christian should live in order to enter into the spirit- filled life:
THREE BIBLICAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SEVEN FEASTS
In type both Ruth and Orpah experienced the figurative fulfillment of the first three feasts in their Christian walk, but only Ruth goes on to receive the filling of the Holy Spirit, which leads to the figurative fulfillment of the remaining feasts. Only Ruth crosses over of Jordan, which typifies entering into the spirit-filled life.
(Ruth 1:9 KJV) The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
Naomi continues in her exhortation for both to count the costs that would apply if they continued to follow her into the land. Jesus did the same thing with His disciples. He told them to count the costs that would be exacted for following Him. It would be better for them to turn back then than to go on into spiritual maturity and then turn back later. It is better for a Christian to have not known the spirit-filled life, than to have known it and then depart from it. The judgment will be much stricter at the Judgment Seat of Christ for a Christian who has matured in the faith and then fallen away from the faith.
Naomi expresses a petition that the Lord grant them both to find rest in the house of their husband. The rest is the millennial kingdom and the betrothed is Jesus Christ. It is seen later that only Ruth enters into the millennial kingdom in the position of the bride. It is because of her work in the fields of Boaz, and receiving his special attention because of her faithfulness to her work and her love for Naomi (i.e., Israel).
The kiss by Naomi is indicative of a show of love, respect and reverence for both Ruth and Orpah. Orpah is clearly a member of the household of God. Naomi's advice for the two daughters-in-law apparently comes to the Church via the Word of God, the Bible, which was given to the Church via the Jews.
(Ruth 1:10 KJV) And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
At this point both daughters-in-law are determined to go on with Naomi. This further clarifies the determination by Ruth and Orpah to be faithful, and to complete the spiritual journey into the Promised Land across the Jordan River. The prophetic meaning of crossing the Jordan River is to enter into the spirit-filled life and qualify for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The figurative meaning of crossing over Jordan is to die physically and go to heaven.
(Ruth 1:11 KJV) And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
The meaning of "will ye go" figuratively refers to the manner of life. It also means to die, to live. It has reference to a continuation in living the exchanged life. It refers to faithfulness in going on into maturity. Naomi refers to the hopelessness in the power of the flesh to redeem their widowhood. She was elderly and her womb was unfruitful for the bearing of children.
(Ruth 1:12 KJV) Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
Naomi reiterates the hopelessness in the power of the flesh to redeem their widowhood. It should be repeated here that both Ruth and Naomi have entered into the familial relationship with God. Both serve as a type for the Christian, and now they are both being exhorted to count the costs for going on into the spirit-filled Christian life. It is expensive for the Christian to enter into the spirit-filled life, for he must lose his life. He must die to self and allow Christ to live His life through him. It has been stated that the Christian's spirit is saved by the death of Christ, but the Christian’s soul is saved by the life of Christ. The following passage of Scripture is referring to discipleship and not simply becoming a Christian:
(Luke 14:25 KJV) And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
(Luke 14:26 KJV) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
(Luke 14:27 KJV) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
(Luke 14:28 KJV) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
(Luke 14:29 KJV) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
(Luke 14:30 KJV) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
(Luke 14:31 KJV) Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
(Luke 14:32 KJV) Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
(Luke 14:33 KJV) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
A Christian must be willing to take up his cross and lose his life (i.e., soul) in order to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Ruth 1:13 KJV) Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.
Naomi continues to enumerate the costs that apply to entering into the spirit-filled life. The word for "tarry for" means to wait for and hope for a long time for the redemption of their widowhood. The word for "grown" means to become powerful and be magnified. The prophetic meaning is would they be willing to wait a long, long, time for the redemption of their widowhood by one who will become powerful and magnified as the Great One. "Would ye stay for them from having husbands?" means that would they be willing to keep themselves pure and undefiled from the world. The implication is that it will be a long, long time before Jesus returns, and they might become weary during that time and go back to the world. The consequences then would be much more severe than if they turned back now. The consequences for entering into the spirit-filled life and then turning back are far worse at the Judgment Seat of Christ than if the Christian never entered into the spirit-filled life. This is why Jesus states that we must count the costs beforehand and determine if we are willing to lose our life before becoming a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Naomi then states that she is greatly embittered because of the punishment wrought against her by the Lord. Israel is greatly embittered by the punishment exacted upon them by the Lord for their unfaithfulness. During the time of the Diaspora God has called out the Church (i.e., Orpah and Ruth), but only Ruth (i.e., the bride) will receive the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. Naomi will still receive the earthly inheritance in the land of Israel. There is a jealousy on the part of Israel that the Church was offered the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven after Israel forfeited it. It is because of this jealousy that many Jews have become part of the Church and many will also be part of the bride of Christ at His Coming again. This is confirmed in the following Scriptures:
(Rom 10:19 KJV) But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people (i.e., the Church), and by a foolish nation (i.e., the Church) I will anger you.
(Rom 11:11 KJV) I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
(Ruth 1:14 KJV) And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
It is a tough decision, but Orpah expresses her affection to Naomi and returns to the world, but Ruth clings to Naomi and crosses over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Orpah has decided that she cannot endure the costs of going on into the promised inheritance, but Ruth has decided that she is willing to pay the price for realizing her inheritance. Ruth will discover that she will be required to work diligently in the field of Boaz, but He will provide for her needs and watch over her and protect her during the time that she will be working in His field. Also, Ruth will become the bride of this rich and powerful Jew, and she will share in His wealth and His power. The costs are great, but the reward will be worth the costs.
One important lesson in this passage is that the Lord Himself has warned Christians about the costs involved in becoming His disciple. Numerous Christians have decided that the costs are too great, and they are not willing to pay the price for being a disciple of the Lord. Consequently, Christians who have become disciples of the Lord and are looking forward to the Blessed Hope should not be surprised that these other Christians are not looking forward to this Blessed Hope, for they have already decided against striving for it. The hopes and desires of these other Christians rest in the world and the world system, so they are unable to understand our longing and desire for the Bridegroom to return. Jesus Christ is the Blessed Hope for those Christians who have counted the costs and determined to follow Jesus as disciples in spite of the persecutions and hardships that these Christians must endure.
Unfortunately, there are numerous Christians who have chosen the world, but have deceived themselves that they will still realize the inheritance of being the bride of Christ without any sacrifice or work on their part. This is a common belief in this Laodicean church age, and these Christians will actually get angry with those Christians who enumerate the costs for realizing the redemption of our widowhood.
(Ruth 1:15 KJV) And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
Naomi makes one last effort to encourage Ruth to go back to her people and her gods just as Orpah has done. One important question that occurred to me in my study of the prophetic meaning of Ruth was how Naomi was fulfilling this prophecy in exhorting the Church to count the costs before entering into the spirit-filled life. It was then that I realized that it was Naomi or Israel that gave us the Word of God in the Bible, and the Bible exhorts us to count the costs before becoming disciples.
(Ruth 1:16 KJV) And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
This verse confirms that there comes a time when the decision to be a disciple is final, and the entreaty to return to the world stops. Ruth has chosen to remain close to the family of God and to serve the God of the Jews with all of her heart, mind and soul. Her walk or manner of life will reflect the same as the people of God, and she will dwell in the tents of Shem. Ruth has decided to follow the God of the Jews, and in the process, she will love the Jews and remain close to them. The faithful Christian prays for the peace of Jerusalem and for the Jewish people to return to God the Father and to their Messiah, Jesus Christ. The faithful Christian remains close to the Jews for he realizes that they are still God's people and they will still realize their earthly inheritance.
(Ruth 1:17 KJV) Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Ruth takes an oath that she will remain faithful to the people of God even until death, and she states that she realizes that punishment will be substantial if she ever departs from this oath.
(Ruth 1:18 KJV) When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
Naomi stops speaking to Ruth about going back to the world once Naomi is certain that Ruth has resolutely determined in her mind that she is going to cross over the Jordan River. Once a Christian has made up his mind to be a disciple, the consequences for turning back become even more severe. It is then that the exhortations for remaining faithful become important to the Christian. We will see that this is just what Naomi does in the following verses.
(Ruth 1:19 KJV) So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
Naomi and Ruth travel until they came to Bethlehem. Bethlehem means the "house of bread," and it has reference to the Word of God. The Bible is the source of our bread, and it is necessary for realizing the inheritance of the Blessed Hope. We must read and study the Word of God. The Christian who thinks that he can realize the inheritance by working diligently in the Church, but never going to the Bible for nourishment and maturing in the faith is greatly deceived. Many Christians, including pastors, work hard and long hours in the Church without ever studying the Bible. This is unfortunate for all of our nourishment for growth and maturity comes from the Word of God.
When Israel was reestablished, the whole city was in a stir because of the return of the Jews to Israel. The word for city means a place guarded by a waking or watch. In other words, that part of the Church that was awake and watching for the Return of the Lord came to be in a stir when Israel returned to the land. In 1948 my Grandfather stated that Jesus would return before this generation passes away, since the nation of Israel had been reestablished. We are now very close to the end for this generation to pass away. Jesus Christ will surely return very soon.
(Ruth 1:20 KJV) And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
Naomi tells the people who are awake and watching not to call her Naomi, which means pleasant, but to call her Mara, which means bitter, for the Almighty has dealt with her bitterly during the time of her exile. God has dealt with Israel bitterly because of her disobedience, but she has returned to the land, and she will be restored to her earthly inheritance. This will occur after the long night of threshing and winnowing, which is to take place during the tribulation period.
(Ruth 1:21 KJV) I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
Israel was put out of the land because she was puffed up and prideful in her position as the family of God. In this position, she had rejected the Kinsman-Redeemer that God the Father had sent to her. Israel not only rejected Jesus Christ, but she crucified Him. Israel was dispersed from the land because of her pride and arrogance, but she was brought back to the land in an empty state. It was after Hitler had killed six million Jews, and Israel was at its lowest point in history that God brought Israel back into the land. Israel went out of the land because of her pride and arrogance, but she was brought back into the land in humility and emptiness. The word for empty also means undeservedly. In other words, Israel was brought back into the land out of God's Grace and not because she deserved to be brought back into the land.
The Lord had testified or judged Israel, and the Almighty had afflicted her or punished her for her disobedience. It is also important to note that she is still empty. Israel has not yet been filled with the Spirit of God, even though she has been returned to the land. It is important that the vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel demonstrates that the nation of Israel will be resurrected physically as a nation before she is regenerated spiritually. The spiritual resurrection will take place after the long night of threshing and winnowing, which is the seven-year tribulation period.
(Ruth 1:22 KJV) So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
It is at the time that Israel has returned to the land that the bride of Christ leaves the world and comes into the house of bread. This takes place at the beginning of barley harvest. Barley harvest is a type of the early or Firstfruits harvest before the time of the hot summer sun and the wheat harvest. We will see in the following chapters how Ruth, the bride, will be working in the barley field of Boaz gleaning before she appears at His feet at midnight. The Firstfruits Rapture of the faithful pertains to the barley harvest, but the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church pertains to the wheat harvest after the hot summer sun (i.e., the tribulation) ripens the grain.
(Ruth 2:1 KJV) And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
It is in this verse that the Kinsman-Redeemer is introduced. He is Boaz, a type of Jesus Christ, both Israel's Redeemer and the Church's Redeemer. In order to redeem the land of Israel, the lost condition of the Church, and the widowhood of the bride, Jesus Christ had to become a kinsman to all of us. This is why God had to become a human being. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He had to be both Human and Deity. Jesus Christ has both the nature of God, and the nature of Man. In theology, this is called the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ where His human and divine natures are united. Jesus Christ is both fully man and fully God. Our minds cannot quite conceive this fully, but it was essential for Him to be able to redeem us from our sins. His human nature came from Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, and His Deity came from His Father via the Holy Spirit. His human name is Jesus and His divine name is Christ.
Under the Old Testament laws of redemption, a redeemer must be a near-kinsman, able to pay the price for redemption, and willing to pay the price for redemption. In type, Boaz meets all three of these conditions, and we will see that in antitype, Jesus Christ also meets all three of these conditions. Jesus Christ is our kinsman as the Son of Man, He is able to pay the price of Atonement as the Son of God, and He did pay the price as the Lamb of God in His substitutionary death in our place.
This verse confirms that Boaz was a kinsman of Naomi (i.e., Israel) and he was a kinsman of Elimelech (i.e., God). In the Old Testament, God the Father is portrayed as the husband of Israel, and Israel is portrayed as the unfaithful wife of God the Father. The whole book of Hosea depicts this relationship of God the Father with the nation of Israel. Hosea is a type of God the Father, and Gomer is depicted as Israel, the unfaithful wife of God the Father. The story portrays Hosea as divorcing Gomer, but redeeming her and marrying her again. In the present age, God has divorced Israel for spiritual adultery, but He will redeem her and take her back as his wife, just as Hosea did to Gomer.
The name Boaz means "strength". Boaz was also one of the two brazen pillars on the porch or entrance to Solomon's temple. The other pillar was named Jachin. The pillars held up the temple. The pillars were made of bronze, a type for judgment, and decorated with lilies, a flower that typifies Jesus Christ. Lilies are red, blue and white and symbolize atonement, grace and purity. In order to enter the temple, the meeting place with God, one must come via the two pillars, which typify Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
(Ruth 2:2 KJV) And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.
It is after Ruth has crossed over Jordan and entered into the land that she works or gleans in the field of Boaz. This means that work for the Lord comes after dying to self and entering into the spirit-filled life. It is then that a person can work for the Lord in His field, such that He takes notice. Ruth knows about Boaz just as the Church knows about Jesus, but she must work in His field to come to know Him. Ruth is already a member of Boaz's family, but now she will work in His field to find grace (i.e., acceptance or favor) in his sight. The word for "go" means to walk after or to follow Him to gain favor or acceptance in His sight. The bride of Christ works in His field to gain favor in His sight. She works for reward. The Scriptures are clear that working for reward is right, appropriate, and it pleases God. It shows faith or belief in what God has stated in His Word. The Scriptures are replete with the teaching that spirit salvation is a free gift of God, but rewards are according to works. Those who denigrate working for reward are denigrating the Word of God.
The word for "go" also means "to die, to live, manner of life (figuratively)". It is confirmed by Israel—those who gave us the oracles of God—that Ruth must die to self, and allow Christ to live in her to make her manner of life acceptable to God. We must allow Christ to live His life in us to be acceptable to God. Otherwise, our lives or souls—not our spirits—will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(Ruth 2:3 KJV) And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
The word for "went" means "to walk", and the word for "came" means "to enter in, bring to pass, or attain to something." In other words, it states right here in introduction that Ruth walked with the Lord, entered into the kingdom, and attained to become the bride of Christ. The rest of the story describes how she accomplishes this task.
Ruth gleaned in the field after the reapers. This means that she worked in a subordinate or lower position than the reapers or harvesters. She worked behind them gathering the grain and threshing it a little bit at a time. The reapers are the primary figures or members in the Church who are also working in the fields harvesting the grain. These are those in the Church who evangelize in the field of the Lord. They are the ones who receive the attention for their work in harvesting the grain, and they hardly notice poor Ruth who is gleaning in the field behind them. However, we will see that Boaz does take notice of her faithfulness in meticulously separating the chaff from the grain. The bride is not the great evangelist, but the one who works meticulously with the individual stalks of grain in separating the chaff from the grain. The bride is the soul-winner in the Church. She is the one who meticulously helps other Christians—few in number—put off the old man and put on the new man in Christ. She does not work with the main part of the grain harvest, but only with a few here and there.
It is interesting that the word for reaper means one who is impatient, vexed and grieved. The reapers go after the whole field to harvest it. They do not have the patience to attend to the few stalks of grain that need to be threshed and winnowed. They are also vexed or annoyed easily, and they shall be grieved or mourn for lost hopes. It is likely that they were annoyed by poor little Ruth, who seemed to be more of a hindrance to their work than co-worker.
It was by chance or unforeseen circumstance that Ruth just happened to be gleaning in the field of Boaz. The bride does not see ahead of time that she will be working in the field of Jesus Christ. She likely had her mind on other things in the world, but she winds up gleaning in the portion of the field that belongs to Jesus Christ. She does not work in the whole field—the world—as the reapers do, but she works among the sheaves of grain. The bride works in the Church—the portion belonging to Boaz—and not the world. The reapers see Ruth as being inconsequential, but Boaz takes notice of her.
(Ruth 2:4 KJV) And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.
Boaz comes from Bethlehem, which means "house of bread", and He does speak to the reapers and acknowledges their work by saying that the Lord is with them in this work. The reapers are doing the work of the Lord, and He acknowledges this. The reapers then "answer him" and this means that they said in their hearts that they adored and worshipped the Lord. A prophetic translation of the above verse is as follows:
(Ruth 2:4 Prophetic Translation) And, behold, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and He said unto the Church, I the Lord am with you. And they answered to Him, the Lord, we worship and adore thee.
(Ruth 2:5 KJV) Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
Then Boaz says to His Servant Who is over the reapers, "Who is this young woman?" Boaz takes special notice of this marriageable young woman, and inquires of the Holy Spirit about her, since the Holy Spirit is over all of the reapers and this young woman.
(Ruth 2:6 KJV) And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
The Servant—the Holy Spirit—informs the Lord Jesus Christ that this marriageable young woman came out of the world in repentance with the delightful one (i.e., Naomi or Israel).
(Ruth 2:7 KJV) And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
The Holy Spirit informs the Lord that this damsel had made an entreaty or request to gather grain from among the sheaves of grain that had already been harvested by the reapers. The Holy Spirit continues to describe the bride as one who has faithfully worked in the field, and she only relaxed or sat in the household of faith for a short time. The bride is not one to sit and relax in the Church under the covering or rest of the Grace of God. She has gone to the field to work and glean among the grain to separate the chaff from the wheat.
(Ruth 2:8 KJV) Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
The word for "said" means "to be called." Boaz called Ruth unto faithfulness to work or glean in his field only. This means Ruth, or the future bride, was called to work among the Church to bring about soul salvation in the lives of Christians. Boaz also told her not to listen to what others tell her she needs to do, but to not leave His field to glean in another field. He told Ruth to cling to or follow closely with the other maidens, or marriageable young women. Ruth and the marriageable young women appear to be a special group of Christians in the Church who are called to work in the Church among Christians to bring them into faithfulness, and to help them in separating from the world to get the chaff or sin out of their lives. We will see later that Ruth gathers the grain very carefully stalk by stalk and threshes a little bit at a time to separate the grain from the chaff. This is a gathering and threshing of grain in which Ruth participates.
The implication in this verse is that other Christians will attempt to get Ruth to go out and work in another field, and that field is the world. It is commonly thought in the Church that if a Christian is not out knocking on doors attempting to evangelize the world to try to get people saved, then he is not being faithful. A common question among Christians is "How many people have you saved?" There appears to be a great misunderstanding among the majority of Christians that being saved or born again spiritually is the only work of Christians, but this is just the first step in the life of a Christian. It is then incumbent upon a Christian to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord for the purpose of entering the kingdom of heaven to reign and rule with Christ in the millennial kingdom. It is only a small group of Christians that realize the truth of seeking the kingdom of God for the purpose of reigning and ruling with Christ.
The great majority of Christians seem to misunderstand the importance of studying the Word of God, so that they can become mature Christians. It is commonly thought among Christians that the sole work that a Christian needs to do is to "get people saved." The Scriptures are neglected and prophecy is relegated as unimportant. It is not seen or understood that the bride has a special calling to help other Christians to mature in the faith and to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord. This calls for much patience in studying and learning the Word of God and in encouraging and helping other Christians to study the Scriptures. It is the getting rid of the chaff in ones life and receiving with meekness the engrafted Word of God that saves the Christian's soul in accordance with the following verse:
(James 1:21 KJV) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
(Ruth 2:9 KJV) Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
Boaz tells Ruth to let her eyes (i.e., spiritual and mental faculties) be on the same field in which the young maidens are working. Ruth is to continue working in the field of Boaz just as the other young maidens are working. The word for "and go thou" is in reference to the manner of life that a Christian leads. Ruth (i.e., the bride) is to live the life of dying to self and living according to the life of Christ.
The young men commanded not to touch Ruth appear to be the messengers of God who are given charge over this special group of Christians who are ordained to be the bride. These messengers would be the preachers and teachers who draw the water of life from the source of life, and that source is the Word of God. The Bible is the well from which the water of life is drawn. These servants are not to chastise or punish Ruth, but they are to help her and assist her in understanding the Word of God.
(Ruth 2:10 KJV) Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
Ruth (i.e., the bride) humbles herself before the Lord Jesus Christ. She bows down and worships Him, and she is curious as to why she has found such grace in the eyes of the Lord, and why she is given such special treatment. Ruth was a stranger to the family of the Lord, but she has now been saved by grace to become a member of the family of God. She is now given special consideration in working in the Lord's field (i.e., the Church) and she is given special assistance in understanding the Word of God. The word for "shouldest take knowledge" means to have a special regard for someone and to acknowledge this person with honor and respect. This seems to indicate that not only are Christians ordained for spirit salvation, but the bride is also chosen and ordained by God to be the bride of Christ. Neither position is earned or deserved by the people in these positions, but the bride does receive a special call unto soul salvation and a special call unto a faithfulness that will qualify her as the bride of Christ. The bride of Christ has a special desire to be intimate with the Lord and to be His bride. Most Christians in the Church today are perfectly content to be saved and go to heaven with no desire to know the Lord intimately.
(Ruth 2:11 KJV) And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
Even though the bride appears to be ordained to this position, she comes from those who have been faithful in coming to the truth according to the oracles of God provided in the Bible by the Jews. These Christians understand the importance of the Jew and the Jew's important position in the mind of God. The bride of Christ understands the importance of treating the Jews with love and respect as the elect of God in spite of their disobedience. The bride has also been willing to depart from her way of life (i.e., her mother and father) and her own flesh nature (i.e., her nativity). The bride has come into the truth of the Word of God provided by the Jews who brought us the Word of God.
The "death of thine husband" has special reference to the death of her person or the death of her self in coming into a right relationship with the Lord by being faithful to the oracles of God provided by the Jews. The bride has come into the household of God from the household of the world and she has become faithful to the Lord.
(Ruth 2:12 KJV) The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Boaz tells her that the Lord will recompense her work, and that the Lord God of Israel will give her a full reward. Ruth has willingly placed herself under the protective wings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and she will receive the full reward because of it. The full reward is the prize of the high calling of God, which is to win Christ. It is to become the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ and reign from the highest position in the kingdom of heaven. The bride knows about the full reward, and she seeks after it just like Paul sought after it.
The bride understands about seeking or working for the rewards that the Lord has offered to them who diligently seek Him. It is not wrong to work for or seek after reward, since the grand prize is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The bride wants to be close to and intimate with the Lord. She is not caught up in the things of the world, but she seeks after pleasing the Lord Jesus Christ. The bride puts her faith and trust in the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in worldly wealth or her own ability. She works in the power of the Holy Spirit. She places herself under the Lord's wings and she does His bidding. This is true even though others in the Church criticize her for working for reward, or for remaining close to and working in the Church (i.e., the field of the Lord) instead of going out into the world (i.e., another's field) to evangelize.
(Ruth 2:13 KJV) Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.
The bride asks to be found in favor of the Lord even though she does not see herself as being equal to the other handmaidens or bondservants. The bride has humility and does not feel qualified to be among the other bondservants, but she asks to be among the group anyway, as she seeks the intimacy of Christ in all humility and deference to the other bondservants. A bondservant is one who has been freed as a slave, but he chooses to remain in the household of the Master as a servant forever. The bondservant that humbles himself the most will become the bride of the Master of the household of faith. Just as Adam’s bride was only a small portion of his body, the bride of Christ will be a small portion of the body of Christ.
The word for “favour” means grace or acceptance in the house of the Lord. "Thou hast comforted me," means the Lord has had special compassion upon this maiden. "Spoken friendly" means that He has given her a special understanding of the knowledge and mind of God, and she sees the Lord having done this even though she is completely unworthy of this special favor and attention.
(Ruth 2:14 KJV) And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.
Boaz called Ruth to come to him at mealtime, and she sat right next to the reapers (i.e., evangelists), and he fed her Himself. He gave her the food (the Word of God) that is to sustain her, and she was allowed to dip the morsels of food into the vinegar. Vinegar is pungent or bitter, so the bride is fed by the Lord Himself, but she is also to partake of the bitterness, sorrow and grieving that is part and parcel with dying to self and being faithful to the Lord. The bride must do this voluntarily, and it is not something that is forced upon her. She dips the morsels of food into the vinegar herself. She is not forced to do it. The bride of Christ must be willing to partake of the bitterness (i.e., the vinegar) that comes with the eating of the roasted and purified food from the Word of God.
(Ruth 2:15 KJV) And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:
We noted earlier that the young men typify the messengers of God in the Church, and these are the preachers and teachers who have been called by God to preach and teach the Word of God. The sheaves of grain are the bundles that have been harvested and gathered together in the field. The sheaves typify the local churches with the individual stalks representing individual Christians in these churches.
With the above typical understanding, Boaz (i.e., Jesus Christ) commands the preachers and teachers to allow Ruth (i.e., the bride) to even glean among the sheaves (i.e., churches), and not to reproach her for it. This means that Ruth (i.e., the bride) should be allowed to glean among those who are in local churches, and the preachers and teachers of the Word of God should not rebuke her for it. There are some preachers who are more concerned about the numbers in their local church than they are of the growth and maturity of their members. The faithful preacher or teacher is more concerned about the spiritual growth of those in his care than about achieving large numbers. The work of the bride is among the local churches just as much as it is among those who are unchurched.
(Ruth 2:16 KJV) And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
The preachers and teachers are even commanded to direct some of these stalks to be placed in the path of the bride so she may glean them also, and she is not to be rebuked for doing this. It should be stated here that the purpose of the bride is to take certain select members of the Church, whether attending church or not, and to individually thresh and separate the chaff from the grain. This is a tedious process and is not intended for the complete harvest at the present time. It is for the Firstfruits of the harvest who are to enter into the kingdom at an earlier point to reign and rule with Christ. There will come a time when the whole Church will be threshed and winnowed at the same time. There will be a threshing during the tribulation period, and the winnowing of the whole Church will take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The purpose of the threshing is to loosen the grain from the stalks, and the winnowing completely separates the grain from the chaff. As stated above, it is the duty of the bride to do this currently as an ongoing process. It is the bride who teaches the difference between spirit and soul salvation, and the difference between entering heaven and entering the kingdom of heaven. The bride teaches this to select members of the Church who are inside and outside of the local churches. The preachers and teachers in the Church should be able to recognize this, and they should definitely not rebuke her for doing what the Lord has called her to do.
(Ruth 2:17 KJV) So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.
Ruth continues to work or glean in the field of the Lord until night (i.e., evening) or the end of the day. Ruth continues until the end of the Age of Grace or the end of the Church Age. The word for "evening" means "the end." Ruth does not stop at the point of spirit salvation, but she beats out or threshes that which she has gleaned in the field of the Lord. This means that she works to separate the chaff from the wheat, or the evil and sin out of the life of those with whom she works. The engrafted Word of God accomplishes this separation of the chaff from the grain. Consequently, Ruth tends and feeds the flock of the Lord with the manna of God.
The ephah of barley is 10 omers of barley, and one omer was the sheaf of grain that consisted of the First of the Firstfruits. Ten is the number of ordinal completion, so the completion of the Firstfruits (i.e., the two loaves baked with leaven) is accomplished before Ruth is taken up to the "City", and the Jews finally perceive what Ruth has accomplished. This is seen in the following verse.
(Ruth 2:18 KJV) And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.
And Ruth was taken up and went into the "city". The word for "took up" means that Ruth was exalted, taken up, taken away, carried away, and sustained or endured. It is the bride of Christ who endures unto the end and is taken away in the Firstfruits Rapture to that Great City called the New Jerusalem.
When the bride and her court are taken away in the Firstfruits Rapture, it is then that the 144,000 Firstfruits of Israel will perceive what Ruth has accomplished in her gleaning and threshing. The work for "brought forth" also means "to go out, exit, or depart", and the word for "what she had gleaned" means that which has been consecrated or delivered. After the Firstfruits Rapture occurs, the 144,000 Jews will perceive that part of the Church has been sanctified and delivered from the world system and the tribulation period. There will be some leftover that will be for the purpose of sustaining her mother-in law, Naomi. Naomi typifies the remnant of Israel that will be saved, and the 144,000 are the Jewish firstfruits of this group.
(Ruth 2:19 KJV) And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she showed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.
The mother-in-law inquires as to where she had gleaned, and how Ruth had accomplished what she did. Naomi blesses the One that took notice of or acknowledged Ruth. The 144,000 Jews will acknowledge the One who blesses the bride of Christ, and Jesus will be shown or be made known to the Jews. We take note in verse 18 above that it was that which was left that sustains or is meant for the mother-in-law.
Naomi learns that the one who blessed Ruth was Boaz and his name means "strength" or "lively". Just as Ruth received her strength and life from Jesus Christ, the Jews can receive their strength and life from Jesus Christ.
(Ruth 2:20 KJV) And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
Naomi says to the daughter-in-law, Blessed be the Lord, who has been kind to both the living and the dead. The living would be the faithful and fruitful in the Church, and the dead would be the unfaithful or unfruitful in the Church. Naomi identifies Boaz as the near kinsman or the Kinsman-Redeemer of both Ruth and Israel.
(Ruth 2:21 KJV) And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
Ruth explains to Naomi what Boaz had told her about being joined to or close by his young servants. We have seen earlier how these young servants typify the pastors and teachers in the Church. Ruth is to stay close to these servants of the Lord, and Ruth is to glean right along with them in the field of the Lord. The word young could imply a certain immaturity of these pastors and teachers, but that is not certain. Throughout the book of Ruth, Ruth remains a faithful and hard worker in the field of the Lord, and she has received the notice of and been acknowledged by the One Who is the Bridegroom. In addition to this special notice and attention from the Kinsman-Redeemer, she is to work right along with the pastors and teachers in the Church, and they are not to rebuke or bother her in her work. We have learned earlier that they are to allow her to work or glean even among the sheaves, and the bundled sheaves of grain typify the local churches.
(Ruth 2:22 KJV) And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.
Naomi says unto Ruth that it is good that Ruth will "go out", or exit or depart with the maidens. We have learned earlier that the maidens are the ones who will be taken in the Firstfruits Rapture, but they are not the bride of Christ. They will wind up being the bridesmaids at the wedding between Jesus Christ and His bride. Both the bride and the bridesmaids work in the field of the Lord, and not the field of the world. Their primary function is in the Church, and it pertains to bringing Christians who have already been spiritually regenerated into a close intimate walk with the Lord. The bride and the bridesmaids (i.e., Ruth and the maidens) work diligently among and with Christians for the purpose of soul salvation and the sanctification of believers. This is not to say that Ruth and the maidens do not participate in evangelism at all, but their primary function is to help Christians mature in the faith. This is accomplished by the study and teaching of the Word of God. Evangelists are generally not well-versed in the Scriptures, but the bride and the maidens are well-versed in the Scriptures, since the engrafted Word of God brings about the salvation of the soul, as we have seen in James 1:21.
(Ruth 2:23 KJV) So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.
Ruth stays close to the maidens working in the field of Boaz gleaning until the end of barley harvest and to the time for the wheat harvest. The end of barley harvest is the Firstfruits Rapture, and this is the beginning of the wheat harvest during the hot summer time (i.e., the tribulation). Barley harvest is in the spring, but wheat harvest is in the summer. The wheat harvest is the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church, and these Christians are here during the hot summer sun, or the first half of the tribulation period. We have learned from the Olivet Discourse, that the Firstfruits Rapture takes place right at the time that summer is "nigh." The Firstfruits Rapture will take place, and the tribulation will begin almost immediately to ripen the wheat during the time of the hot summer sun (i.e., the tribulation period). See my exegesis of Isaiah 18 for a description of the hot summer of tribulation.
Ruth will dwell with or continue in support of Israel right up to the time of the Firstfruits Rapture. The bride of Christ will remain fast and supportive of the nation of Israel, even when others in the Church will depart from Israel in regard to any support that is given Israel in her current predicament with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
(Ruth 3:1 KJV) Then Naomi her mother-in-law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
Naomi addresses Ruth and encourages her to seek rest, so she will not only enter into heaven, but she will also enter into rest. Entering into rest is a type of entering into the millennial kingdom with a position of authority. As the bride of Christ, Ruth is already saved spiritually, but she has not yet attained unto being the bride of Christ. She must seek it with the assistance of Naomi. As a type of the nation of Israel, Naomi has provided the Church with the Scriptures that explain how we are to enter into this rest and become the bride of Christ. The Christian must follow these instructions from the Word of God in order to attain to and win Christ. Attaining to the bride of Christ is the grand prize by living a Christian life that is pleasing to God. This prize is something that is sought after by Christians, and the prize is definitely related to our works in the Christian life. The bride of Christ is the highest position in the kingdom of heaven, but it can only be attained to with much sacrifice and suffering on the part of the Christian. Paul describes his efforts in attempting to win Christ in the following passage:
(Phil 3:8 KJV) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
(Phil 3:9 KJV) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
(Phil 3:10 KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
(Phil 3:11 KJV) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection (i.e., out-resurrection) of the dead.
(Phil 3:12 KJV) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
(Phil 3:13 KJV) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
(Phil 3:14 KJV) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
(Phil 3:15 KJV) Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Please note in the above passage that even though Paul is already born again spiritually, he is seeking to attain unto the out-resurrection and to win Christ. The out-resurrection is the Firstfruits Rapture, and winning Christ is attaining to become the bride of Christ. The word for resurrection in verse 11 above is only used once in Scripture, and it is accurately translated "out-resurrection". It is a resurrection out from among other Christians who will be resurrected at the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church.
Naomi assists Ruth in this effort through the Scriptures. Salvation is of the Jew, and this includes both spirit and soul salvation.
The word rest means a settled and comfortable home for her. The phrase "be well with thee" means to be happy, successful and to find favor with God.
(Ruth 3:2 KJV) And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshing floor.
Naomi, through the Scriptures, explains to Ruth about Boaz as the Kinsman-Redeemer, and that Ruth was among the young marriageable women eligible to become the bride of Boaz. Naomi also explains the coming tribulation period and the winnowing of the grain on the threshing floor. The bride of Christ is informed of the coming tribulation period and the threshing and winnowing of the grain. The first half of the night is the time of threshing and winnowing of the grain, and this is a type of the first half of the tribulation period. Most of the Church will be threshed and winnowed during the first half of the tribulation period, but the bride will spend this time at the feet of Jesus Christ under his raiment of protection. However, there is something that she must do before she is able to go to the threshing floor and be protected by Jesus Christ. Naomi describes in the following verse what Ruth must do before she can go to the threshing floor and be received by Boaz. The Christian must do something in order to be received as the bride of Christ. This does not just happen automatically because one is a born-again Christian. This is something that the bride seeks after on purpose such as Paul in the above passage in Philippians.
(Ruth 3:3 KJV) Wash thy self therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
Ruth is told to wash herself and to anoint herself with oil, and to put on her raiment, and to go down to the threshing floor. These are very important things that the Christian must do in order to entrust one's spiritual wellbeing unto Christ. The Christian must be constantly cleansed from sin and to grow in righteousness. This means more than just exercising 1 John 1:9. It is "the washing of water by the word of God" in accordance with the following Scripture passage:
(Eph 5:25 KJV) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
(Eph 5:26 KJV) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
(Eph 5:27 KJV) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Please note the two conditional words "might" in verses 26 and 27 and the one conditional word "should" in verse 27. The washing of water by the word is the cleansing that takes place by our studying the word of God and allowing Christ to live His life through us. Water is a type of cleansing from sin and a type of the Holy Spirit. The Christian has to allow himself to be sanctified (i.e., cleansed and made holy) and he does this through both the written Word of God and the Living Word of God. The Bible is the written Word and Jesus Christ is the Living Word. We study the Bible and we grow in grace and knowledge of Christ. We are then sanctified and cleansed by the water of the Word. If we do this, then we are presented to Christ without spot, or wrinkle or any such filthy thing, and we will be holy and without blemish.
It is hard work for the Christian to wash himself. It is more than praying 1 John 1:9 several times a day, though that is part of it, for we cannot live without committing some sin inadvertently. It means to become a mature Christian as we study and apply the written Word of God. When we do this the Living Word of God lives His life through us and we receive "the washing of water by the word."
Ruth is also told to anoint herself with oil. Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit and to be anointed with oil means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This means that the Christian must be controlled by the Holy Spirit in living the Christian life. The Christian who first submits himself to the washing can then be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit—be anointed with oil.
The next thing that Ruth is to do is to put her raiment upon herself. This raiment is a garment and typifies the wedding garment that a young virgin sews for herself for her wedding. Clothes typify the good works that we do. It is the bride who works hard on her wedding garment. It is the garment of righteous deeds with which the bride adorns herself. These righteous deeds or righteous acts can only be accomplished if the Christian has first been washed and anointed with oil. All of these instructions to the Christian are in the order in which they must be performed. Only the Christian who has been washed by the word and filled with the Holy Spirit can perform good works that are pleasing to God. The works are the works that Christ performs through us as we are cleansed and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ruth is then to "get thee down to the floor". The word for "get thee down" means to descend to a lower region. It means that when the Christian has gone through the above steps for sanctification, he is able to humble himself to the point that he allows himself to be threshed and winnowed. The threshing is the persecution and suffering that the bride must put herself under so that she can be winnowed. Winnowing is the separation of the chaff from the grain, and it typifies all of the worthless things in a Christian's life. These things may be sin, but they also include all things that hinder spiritual growth and maturity. Paul was referring to this winnowing process in the following passage of Scripture:
(Heb 12:1 KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
(Heb 12:2 KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Heb 12:3 KJV) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
(Heb 12:4 KJV) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
(Heb 12:5 KJV) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
(Heb 12:6 KJV) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
The weights in verse 1 above are the things that hinder us in our Christian walk, and the besetting sin is the sin of unbelief. Many Christians commit the sin of unbelief. They do not believe the promises and warnings in God's Word. The Israelites were delivered from Egypt through the blood of the Lamb, but they then perished in the wilderness because of unbelief of what God had promised them in the land. They were still God's people but they perished without receiving the promised inheritance. Many born again Christians will perish without receiving the promised inheritance. They will be in heaven and they will be conformed to the image of Christ. They will be redeemed in spirit, soul and body, but they will not have a position of glory and honor in the kingdom of heaven.
The chastening of the Lord is the threshing that helps the Christian go on into maturity in the Christian life. The Christian must do all of the above, including getting himself down to the threshing floor in order to be presented as the bride of Christ. We will see shortly that she must also greatly desire to be intimate with the Lord. This intimacy can only come about through the things described above in coming into maturity in the faith.
Ruth is not to present herself to Boaz until the end of the eating and drinking. This is the end of the Church Age, and the Church Age is the time of partaking of the bread and the wine. Christ has presented his body and blood for us to grow and mature in the faith, and we will not present ourselves to Him as His bride until the offering of His body and blood is complete. Our growth and maturity will not be complete until the end or the finish of Christ offering his body and blood. If a Christian should die before the Firstfruits Rapture, his partaking of the bread and wine is finished, but Christ is still offering his body and blood to other Christians. We will not be able to present ourselves for judgment until Christ has finished with the meal for the whole Church.
(Ruth 3:4 KJV) And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
Prophetically, this verse states, "When it shall definitely come to pass that Jesus Christ shall take His rest, you shall know by experience the place where he shall take His rest, and you shall enter in, and take your rest at the revealed place of His feet, and He will explain to you your position (i.e., in the kingdom).
(Ruth 3:5 KJV) And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
And Ruth tells Naomi that she will do everything that she has told her. Prophetically, the bride will do everything that has been revealed to her in the Scriptures (i.e., oracles of God) in regard to entering the kingdom of heaven and becoming the bride of Christ. The Jews brought us the Word of God, and the bride is faithful to follow the commandments in detail. The bride is faithful to follow the commandments of God.
(Ruth 3:6 KJV) And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
The bride humbles herself and allows herself to be threshed to separate the chaff from the wheat. This is what is meant prophetically about Ruth descending to the threshing floor. Also, the bride performs all that is commanded her to do.
(Ruth 3:7 KJV) And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
When Christ had finished the feeding of his body and blood, and he was pleased with the result, he took His rest at the end of the time of the sheaf gathering Church Age. The "heap of corn" typifies the entire Church as it means the totality of the sheaves. The Church Age is over and all of the sheaves have been gathered—though not yet threshed. The bride goes down to the threshing floor herself to allow the separation of the chaff from the grain. The great majority of the Church will remain in the bundles (i.e., the local churches) to be threshed and winnowed during the tribulation period and at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Jesus takes His rest at the end of the Church Age when the Church is complete. The bride will rest with Him, but the remainder of the Church must still go through the threshing and winnowing. Remember that the bride has already been threshed and winnowed.
The bride desires to have the chaff removed from her life, so that she can be purified, but the majority of the Church is satisfied to be caught up in worldly things. The bride is purified in this life, while the main body of the Church is not purified. As explained above, the bride receives the washing of water by the Word, but the main body of the Church does not receive this washing. The majority of Christians do not study and apply the engrafted Word of God.
The bride receives the anointing with oil, which is the filling of the Holy Spirit. The bride prepares her wedding garment of good works, whereas the main body of the Church does not prepare the garment. The bride descends or humbles herself to be threshed, whereas the main body of the Church does not. The bride enters her rest at the same time that Jesus enters His rest, but the main body of the Church does not yet enter the rest. The main body of the Church must pass through the long night (i.e., the first half of the tribulation period) of threshing and winnowing.
(Ruth 3:8 KJV) And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
Midnight is the time of the Separation or the Firstfruits Rapture, and the time will finally come when it will take place. Jesus Christ is anxiously desirous for this time to come for Him to set up His kingdom and take His bride. This verse portrays this time when the bride will be raptured and take her position at the feet of Jesus Christ. This verse is translated prophetically as follows:
(Ruth 3:8 Prophetic Paraphrase) And the end of the Church Age came to pass, and the Great One was anxiously desirous, and He changed his position, and behold, His bride had taken her position at the place of His feet.
(Ruth 3:9 KJV) And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
Prophetically, this verse states that Jesus turns to the handmaid (i.e., bondslave) and asks her to whom she belongs. The bride avows that she belongs to Him as His bondslave. She then proceeds to ask Jesus to spread His garment of his robe of protection over her for He is the near kinsman unto her. In plain English, she asks Jesus Christ to redeem her widowhood and make her His bride. This may seem strange to many, but the bride has the right to ask the near kinsman to redeem her widowhood. The bride desires to be close and intimate with the Bridegroom, and she desires it enough to prepare herself ahead of time as described above. The bride will have prepared herself for her meeting with the Bridegroom and she will not shrink back in shame when she encounters Him. She will have the boldness to ask for her widowhood to be redeemed.
(Ruth 3:10 KJV) And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
The Bridegroom is greatly pleased with the bride for desiring to be close and intimate with Him to the point that she washed herself, anointed herself with oil, put on her wedding garment, and went down to the threshing floor to prepare herself to be His bride. He pronounces a blessing upon her, and states that she has been even more pleasing and faithful at the end than at the beginning. He also states that she has not followed the other young men or elect ones, and it did not matter whether they were lowly or noble. The young men typify other elect Christians, and the bride does not follow these Christians. It mattered not whether these Christians were spiritually rich or spiritually poor. The bride kept her focus on the Bridegroom or Jesus Christ, and she did not use other Christians as her model for living the Christian life. It mattered not whether these Christians were spiritually rich or spiritually poor. The faithful Christian can learn from other Christians, but the faithful Christian should always look unto Jesus Christ as the example to follow. Other Christians will fail you and disappoint you, but Jesus Christ will always remain faithful and love you with the unconditional love of God. We should never set other Christians up as our example to emulate, for they will fail you at some point in time.
(Ruth 3:11 KJV) And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
And Jesus Christ continues His respond to the bride, and He states that He will do all that she has requested. He then states that the whole city of His people knows that she is a virtuous woman. The word "daughter" means "the apple of the eye" and it means the one who is the focus of attention. It also refers to the character of a person and one who has an adoptive relationship to the one calling her daughter. All of these are true. The bride is the focus of Jesus Christ, and she has His character, and she has an adoptive relationship as a member of the Church. The Jews have the natural relationship, but the Church is in an adoptive relationship.
He then states that all those gathered through The Open Door know that she is a woman with character and that she is virtuous. This clause states that it is clear to all those who come through The Open Door that the one selected as the bride is deserving of this honor. This does not refer to the whole Church, for much of the Church is still on the earth, and those still on the earth did not see anything special about the bride of Christ. In other words, those who attain unto the Firstfruits Rapture will have knowledge of those faithful Christians who will attain unto being the bride of Christ. The court of the bride will have recognized the faithfulness of the bride of Christ, and they will not be surprised that she becomes the bride. This is in stark contrast to those in the Church who miss the Firstfruits Rapture and make the following statement after the Firstfruits Rapture takes place:
(Song of Solomon 6:13) "Return, return, O Shulamite! Return, return, that we may gaze upon you. What is so special about the Shulamite? To be placed in the company of the sacred courts."
(Ruth 3:12 KJV) And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
Jesus Christ is our near kinsman as He took on humanity by becoming the natural son of Mary. Jesus even called Himself the Son of Man to demonstrate this relationship as our near kinsman. However, the virgin birth of Jesus gave Jesus humanity through His mother alone, for His father was God Himself. We have learned from the testing of the chromosomes in the blood taken from the Ark of the Covenant that Jesus' blood contained only 24 chromosomes. It contained the 23 that He received from His mother and He received 1 miraculous Y chromosome from the Holy Spirit. This means that Jesus is our near kinsman as a human being, but it also means that every other human being born of the seed of Adam are nearer kinsman to us than Jesus, having received the full complement of 46 chromosomes through the seed of Adam. Of course, this also means that every other human being is also tainted with the same sin nature as we.
(Ruth 3:13 KJV) Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.
Boaz tells Ruth to remain with Him during the long night of threshing, and He will verify whether the nearer kinsman will perform the part of the kinsman redeemer. Of course, we already know that all of our brethren of the seed of Adam will be unable to redeem us, for all of them have their own debt to pay. Our nearer kinsman is also our own self or soulical nature, but it is in the same manner unable to redeem us since it has its own debt to pay.
(Ruth 3:14 KJV) And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
The bride remains at the feet of Jesus during the night of tribulation (i.e., threshing), and early in the morning before the sun comes up, she will rise up from rest. This means before Jesus returns to earth as the redeemer of Naomi (i.e., Israel) and the world (i.e., the Gentiles) the bride will rise up and receive her inheritance and go into the city. "The city is the New Jerusalem and will be the home of the bride of Christ, for she will reflect the honor and glory of Jesus Christ throughout the millennium and all eternity. She will enter into the city before Jesus returns to earth as the redeemer of Israel. After the Second Coming in power and glory, the bride will be introduced in accordance with the following verse:
(Rev 21:1 KJV) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
(Rev 21:2 KJV) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
He states for her not to let it be known that the woman (i.e., bride) came to the threshing floor of her own free will. This is something that will be announced later after the redemption of Israel and the nations (i.e., the Gentiles) at the very end of the tribulation period. Israel, the nations and the majority of the Church are totally unaware of the plans for the Firstfruits Rapture of the bride. They are also unaware that she allowed herself to be threshed before the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church, and before the resurrection of Israel and the nations at the end of the tribulation period.
(Ruth 3:15 KJV) Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
The veil is the wide outer cloak of a woman, and it typifies the wedding garment that the bride makes for herself. It represents the good works or the righteous deeds that the bride performs in the power of the Holy Spirit. It represents the works that the bride performs to earn her reward. The holding of the veil shows that she has taken possession of it herself. This is her work that she has performed, even though it has been in the power of the Holy Spirit. Boaz rewards her plenteously in accordance with her work. The six measures of barley would be equivalent to 60 lbs of grain, and would represent the maximum amount that she could carry. It is a full and complete reward for her work.
As soon as Ruth is rewarded, she enters into the New Jerusalem as her future home. The New Jerusalem will be revealed later when the bride is introduced as the wife of the Lamb of God.
(Ruth 3:16 KJV) And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
At the end of the long night of threshing the bride will appear to redeemed Israel, and Israel will ask "Who art thou?" The bride will describe in detail everything that Jesus has done for her. The Hebrew word for man is the word for husband, so Ruth tells all that her husband has done for her.
(Ruth 3:17 KJV) And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.
Ruth tells Naomi that Boaz had said to her not to go empty or in a vain and empty condition to the mother-in-law. The bride of Christ is not to appear vain and worthless to redeemed Israel. She will appear with glory and honor and immortality of the soul. She will not appear to redeemed Israel in a vain and empty condition as much of the Church will appear.
(Ruth 3:18 KJV) Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
Naomi tells Ruth to remain at rest until she will be introduced as the bride of Christ. Naomi knows that Boaz will act quickly to complete the legal transaction to redeem the widowhood of Ruth. I reiterate that Naomi speaks to Ruth through the Scriptures, for it is Israel that gave us the oracles of God, which contains our instructions about the bride, redemption and the timing of the redemption of the widowhood of the bride of Christ.
(Ruth 4:1 KJV) Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.
Boaz goes up to the gate, which was the seat of government in the city. To sit in the gate means to be in a position of authority and the place of judging. This is apparently the Sheep and Goat Judgment at the end of the tribulation period, and Jesus seeks out those who are the nearer kinsman of Ruth to see if he is willing and able to redeem the widowhood of Ruth. The nearer kinsman may also be the Jews who will enter into the earthly aspect of the kingdom, for the text indicates that the nearer kinsman is willing and able to redeem the land of Israel (i.e., Naomi) but the nearer kinsman is unable to redeem the widowhood of Ruth. This is significant for the faithfulness of Israel is required in order for the land of Israel to be redeemed for Israel, but their faithfulness is unable to redeem the Gentile bride for the purpose of the heavenly aspect of the inheritance. It is only Jesus Christ Who is able to grant the heavenly aspect of the inheritance to the bride of Christ and to make her worthy of being the bride of Christ. The faithful Jews are unable to redeem this inheritance, and they would ruin their own inheritance by claiming to be able to redeem Ruth's widowhood and the heavenly aspect of the kingdom. The Jews forfeited the heavenly aspect of the kingdom for good, and they will never be able to redeem it for themselves, much less those in the Church who qualify for entering into this aspect of the kingdom.
(Ruth 4:2 KJV) And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.
The number ten is the number of ordinal completion, and it represents the very end of the age of Grace. It is the very end of judgment of the saved, so it is either the Sheep and Goat Judgment of the nations (i.e., Gentiles) of the world, or the Atonement of Israel. These saved Gentiles of the earth or the Jews who receive the atonement are our nearer kinsman, and it will turn out that they are unable to redeem the widowhood of Ruth, for their own inheritance of the earthly aspect of the kingdom would be marred or ruined. Their lives during the tribulation period have warranted their inheritance in the earthly aspect of the kingdom, but they are unable to redeem the heavenly aspect of the kingdom for Ruth or the bride, even though they are the nearer kinsman.
The ten elders of the city would be a quorum of the 24 elders who enter into the heavenly aspect of the kingdom. They are not among the bride, but they are part of the inheritance of the heavenly aspect of the kingdom. They are in the second level of reign and rule in the kingdom of the heavens. It is the bride who is in the first level, but she remains in the city (i.e., the New Jerusalem) when Jesus returns for the atonement of Israel and the Sheep and Goat Judgment.
(Ruth 4:3 KJV) And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's:
Boaz (i.e., Jesus) addresses the nearer kinsman (i.e., believing Gentiles) and provides a brief statement of the situation. He explains that Naomi (i.e., Israel) has come out of Moab (i.e., the world). Moab means "waste" or "nothingness". He also explains the necessity for a redeemer to redeem the land of Naomi, which belonged to Elimelech (i.e., God the Father), with Naomi (i.e., Israel) as His wife.
(Ruth 4:4 KJV) And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.
Boaz continues to explain the situation to the nearer kinsman. Boaz tells him that he can redeem the land for Naomi, but he has to do it publicly before the inhabitants and the elders of Israel. The transaction is a public transaction. There is no hint that the nearer kinsman is unable to redeem the land. After Boaz tells him that they are the only two who are able to redeem the land, and that he is a nearer kinsman than Boaz, the nearer kinsman agrees to redeem the land.
(Ruth 4:5 KJV) Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
Boaz then throws in the kicker by explaining that the person who redeems the land for Naomi, must also redeem the widowhood of Ruth. This means that the person who purchases back the land for Israel must also marry Ruth.
(Ruth 4:6 KJV) And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
This concealed condition is a bit too much for the nearer kinsman, so he admits that he is unable to redeem both the land and Ruth, and he gives as his reason that his own inheritance would be marred or destroyed. It still appears that the Jews and Gentiles who qualify for entrance into the earthly aspect of the kingdom during the last half of the tribulation period could be the nearer kinsman, but it seems more likely that the nearer kinsman typifies the Jews who enter the earthly aspect of the kingdom, the reason being that the Jews who become faithful during the last half of the tribulation period would qualify as able, ready and willing to redeem the land of Israel from Satan. They would not be able to marry since part of their inheritance-in addition to receipt of the land-is to be married to God the Father. If they were to redeem the widowhood of Ruth by marriage, part of their own inheritance of marriage to God the Father would be marred or destroyed. Consequently, they are unable to redeem the land and the widowhood of Ruth, so it is left up to Boaz to perform the act as the Kinsman Redeemer.
(Ruth 4:7 KJV) Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.
It was considered a great shame in Israel if a brother died and the individual did not or was unable to redeem the widowhood of his brother. The following Scripture describes this great shame.
(Deu 25:5 KJV) If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
(Deu 25:6 KJV) And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
(Deu 25:7 KJV) And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
(Deu 25:8 KJV) Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
(Deu 25:9 KJV) Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
(Deu 25:10 KJV) And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.
Jesus had to go through this same ritual when the New Testament Jews thought He was unable to redeem them. The Scripture does not mention the loosing of the shoe, but it does address Jesus being spat upon, being slapped with the open hand, and having his beard plucked out. The slapping with the open hand implied that He was not man enough to be hit with the fist, and plucking the beard out was a sign that He was not man enough to have a beard. All are acts to inflict shame upon an individual. It is certain that His shoe would have been removed also. What the Jews did not understand was that the very acts, including crucifixion, that Jesus had to endure were the actual payment of the required redemption price. Jesus was paying the price of redemption without their knowledge, and the time will come when the Jews as a nation will receive their atonement. They will also be reunited as the wife of God the Father. The Jews will regain all of their land promised from the beginning of their existence, and the faithful in the Church will have their widowhood redeemed. The earth itself will be redeemed from Satan and the curse will be removed forever.
(Ruth 4:8 KJV) Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
We have stated above that the Jews appear to be the antitype of the nearer kinsman, so they must go through this shame and contempt also, since they are unable to redeem the bride of their brother, Jesus Christ. Even though the Jews are unable to redeem the earth, the land of Israel, and the Church, they provided the means for the redemption of all just as the first coming of Jesus provided the means for the redemption of all. The Jews gave us the oracles of God in the Bible and the kinsman redeemer Jesus Christ. The Jews also died as a nation, but they have now been regathered as a nation and are awaiting resurrection and atonement when they receive their Messiah on some future celebration of the Feast of Atonement.
In this verse, the nearer kinsman recognizes his inability to pay the price of redemption, and he recognizes that Boaz (i.e., Jesus Christ) is the nearer kinsman willing and able to pay the price of redemption. This is a picture of the Jews recognizing Jesus Christ as the Messiah at the very end of the tribulation period. The Jews will humble themselves and turn to Jesus as the redeemer of Israel, the redeemer of the Church and the redeemer of the widowhood of the bride of Christ, which will come out of the Church. Just as Adam’s bride was a small portion of his body, the bride of Christ will be a small portion of His body, which is the Church.
In type, this action of the Jews recognizing Jesus as the kinsman redeemer will take place in the morning after the long night of threshing and winnowing. In antitype, it will place at the very end of the seven-year tribulation period when the nation of Israel will recognize as their true Messiah and redeemer.
(Ruth 4:9 KJV) And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.
It is very significant that this verse states that Boaz redeemed all that was Chilion's, since Orpah belonged to Chilion. This is the final confirmation that Orpah received her redemption in the end, even though she did not attain to being the bride of Christ. It must be reemphasized that Ruth and Orpah typify the Church, while Ruth typifies the bride.
In type, this verse is the public proclamation of Jesus Christ after His return in power and glory that He has redeemed the land of Israel for the Jews (i.e. Naomi). He has also redeemed the earth for the widows of Chilion and Mahlon, Ruth and Orpah. In addition Jesus has redeemed the widowhood of the bride of Christ in accordance with the following verse.
(Ruth 4:10 KJV) Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.
In this verse, Boaz typifying Jesus Christ announces his redemption of the bride of Christ. The bride of Christ will come from those in the Church who have been faithful and attained to this great honor and position by dying to the old nature and allowing Christ to live through them. Not all Christians do this, as the Bible states very clearly in numerous passages.
(Ruth 4:11 KJV) And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
It appears that "all the people that were in the gate" refer to the Jews and Gentiles who inherit the earthly aspect of the kingdom, and the elders refer to the 24 elders who were around the throne in heaven after the Firstfruits Rapture. There is no reference to the four living creatures, as “the woman” who becomes the bride typifies them. It is important to remember that sitting in the gate refers to being in a position of authority. For example, Lot sat in the gate of Sodom, which means that he was a ruler in the city. It is likely that lot was the highest leader in Sodom. The following Scriptures utilize this phrase to show rulership in a position of authority:
(Gen 19:1 KJV) And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
(2 Sam 19:8 KJV) Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.
(Dan 2:49 KJV) Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
Verse 11 above also has the people beseeching the Lord to make the woman (i.e., Ruth) who has come into the house like Rachel and Leah, who were fruitful and built up the house of Israel. The bride of Christ will also be fruitful and will build up and enhance the Church, as she shares with Jesus Christ the position of leadership over the Church during the millennium.
(Ruth 4:12 KJV) And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
The request for blessing continues with the comparison of the births of the twins Pharez and Zarah. Pharez was the bastard son of Judah and Tamar. Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah, and she tricked Judah into impregnating her by pretending to be a prostitute. The twins Pharez and Zarah are types of the Church and Israel. Zarah (i.e., Israel) held the scarlet thread of redemption in his hand, but it was Pharez (i.e., the Church) that burst forth and took over the rights and inheritance of the Firstborn. In the same manner, Ruth was a foreigner and stranger to the promises of God, but she came forth to receive the grandest inheritance of all as the bride. As the bride of Boaz, Ruth was in the genealogical line of the birth of King David and Jesus Christ. Even though Ruth was a stranger and foreigner to the inheritance of the Firstborn, she attained unto it by her faithfulness in the fields of Boaz. The same will be true for those faithful ones in the Church who are gleaning in the field of Jesus Christ. Their work will be rewarded with great honor and glory as the highest leaders in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
(Gen 38:27 KJV) And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.
(Gen 38:28 KJV) And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.
(Gen 38:29 KJV) And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez.
(Gen 38:30 KJV) And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.
Zarah as a type of Israel holding the scarlet thread of redemption should have been the firstborn, but Pharez as a type of the Church burst forth to receive the reward normally belonging to the firstborn son.
(Ruth 4:13 KJV) So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.
In type, Jesus Christ takes those in the Church who have been faithful and pure as His bride, and He draws near unto her, and she bears fruit and is established. The word for bare figuratively means "to have one's pedigree established," and the word for son figuratively means to be established. This essentially means that Ruth is proclaimed as the child of God the Father, and she is established in her position as the wife of Jesus Christ and coheir with Him. This will apparently be a public proclamation at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. The following Scriptures describe this process:
(Rev 21:9 KJV) And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
(Rev 21:11 KJV) Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
This is the formal presentation of the bride to the people of God. The bride and the New Jerusalem are inseparably linked, as she will reflect the Glory of Jesus Christ and light up the city. The passage compares the bride to a clear crystal, which has the ability to reflect a source of Light into all directions at once. Of course, Jesus Christ is the source of the light, but His bride is the one who reflects this light that lights up the whole city. This light can even be seen upon the earth in accordance with the following Scripture.
(Rev 21:23 KJV) And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
(Rev 21:24 KJV) And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
(Ruth 4:14 KJV) And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
The women typify the bridesmaids or court of the bride, who pronounce a blessing upon Israel. The bridesmaids or court of the bride are those in the Church who enter into the second level of reign and rule in the kingdom of heaven. In the book of Revelation, the 24 elders typify the bridesmaids or court, and the Four Living Creatures typify the bride.
Jesus Christ is also the Kinsman of Israel and His name will be famous in Israel during His millennial reign. At that time the Jews will come to realize that Jesus Christ had not failed in performing His function as the Kinsman-Redeemer, and they will weep and wail over the one that they pierced.
(Ruth 4:15 KJV) And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him.
Jesus Christ will be the restorer of life to the Jews. This means that the Jews will be brought back into a spiritual relationship with God the Father through the repentance of Israel. A “nourisher” is one who sustains and supports, and Jesus Christ will be the One who sustains and supports the nation of Israel during the millennium and afterwards. The nation of Israel is an ancient nation going back 4000 years. It is when Israel is old that she will be redeemed and restored to life and to her land in of Israel.
This verse reiterates the love that the bride will have for the nation of Israel, and how the bride is more faithful and supportive of Israel than seven sons. The Scriptures seem to be clear that a Christian who does not love Israel, and is not supportive of Israel will not be part of the bride of Christ. It is amazing that there are whole denominations that believe that God is through with Israel and all of Israel's blessings now belong to the Church. They apparently believe this in spite of the numerous Scriptures and types that portray Israel as being totally and finally redeemed at the end of the tribulation period.
(Ruth 4:16 KJV) And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
The child that is born to Ruth (i.e., the bride) is called Obed, and Obed means "serving". Obed typifies those Gentiles who enter in the earthly aspect of the millennial kingdom and are faithful to the Lord. This would include those who are born during the millennium and are faithful to the Lord. It is Israel (i.e., Naomi) who will faithfully nourish and feed these Gentiles during the millennium. It was Israel's job to do it during the current time, but Israel failed to go unto the Gentiles and preach and teach, just as Jonah failed to go to the city of Ninevah and preach and teach. Just as Jonah went back to Ninevah and preached, Israel will the second time around be faithful to do that which God has called her to do.
(Ruth 4:17 KJV) And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The word “women” again refers to the bridesmaids or court of the bride, and they name or proclaim the child Obed, which means "serving one" or "a servant" The name "Jesse" means "Jehovah exists". The son of Jesse is David, and David means "Beloved". All three of these names depict the Trinity of God who will dwell with mankind upon the earth. "The Servant" is God the Holy Spirit, and "Jehovah Exists" is God the Father. "The Beloved" is God the Son. The whole verse depicts the millennial kingdom when God will dwell with mankind upon the earth in the Persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The purpose of the following verses is to document that King David was the first rightful and true king of Israel. This means that Saul was not a rightful king of Israel even though Israel requested him. Saul was a type of Antichrist who will be desired by Israel, but who will forsake Israel and cause it to be greatly injured. Saul hated David just as Antichrist hates Jesus Christ. Saul did everything he could to destroy David just as Antichrist will do everything he can to destroy Jesus Christ. However, just as David was crowned King of Israel and reigned over Israel during the Golden Age, Jesus Christ will be crowned King of Israel and will reign over Israel during the Millennial Age, which will be the antitype of the Golden Age of Israel.
It must be remembered that Pharez was a bastard son of Tamar and Judah, and the Scriptures state as follows:
(Deu 23:2 KJV) A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
This apparently means that there cannot be a rightful king of Israel until the tenth generation after an illegitimate son is born. We can see that the tenth generation is David, who was the rightful king of Israel in the line of Judah. Saul was in the line of Benjamin (1 Sam 9:1), so he could not be the rightful king of Israel.
It is appropriate to end the prophetic interpretation of this book of redemption with an overview of the redemptive plan of God using the names of the ten generations from Pharez to King David. The names and their meanings are provided after the verse in which they are found, and it should be noted that the names portray an outline of redemption from the fall until the establishment of the millennial kingdom.
(Ruth 4:18 KJV) Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,
Pharez means breaking forth violently, and it refers to the fall of man from God's care and protection.
Hezron means enclosed, walled in, or shut in and it refers to the hopelessness of man in his fallen state and his inability to do anything to bring about his redemption.
(Ruth 4:19 KJV) And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,
Ram mean high, exalted or elevated and refers to the arrogance of man in elevating himself above God and everything. Under the influence of Satan, man has placed himself in a position of godhood.
Amminadab means the Kinsman is Generous and refers to Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of Mankind. He was generous in allowing Himself to die as a substitute for us and take on the penalty for our rebellion, self-exaltation and arrogance.
(Ruth 4:20 KJV) And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,
Nahshon means One that Foretells and refers to the Holy Spirit, Who gave us the oracles of God (i.e., the Bible) telling us about this Redeemer Who died for us.
Salmon means raiment or garment and refers to the covering of atonement provided for us by Jesus Christ. This garment provided by Jesus Christ is the imputed righteousness of Christ provided for all of the redeemed.
(Ruth 4:21 KJV) And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
Boaz means in Him is strength and refers to the right of all believers to appropriate the righteousnesses or righteous acts or deeds that we can achieve by allowing Christ to live His life through us.
Obed means serving or servant and refers to the discipleship of a believer who has appropriated the life and strength of Jesus Christ.
(Ruth 4:22 KJV) And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
Jesse means Jehovah exists and refers to the believer who allows Christ to live His life through the believer. If we do this, then we reflect the righteousness and godliness that we are supposed to reflect. Other people are supposed to see Christ in us, but this can only happen if we appropriate the life and strength of Jesus Christ by dying to the old nature, and studying and applying the Word of God to our lives. The Holy Spirit not only told us about the coming Redeemer, but he also told us how to appropriate the life of this coming Redeemer in order to reflect His Glory and Character, and to reign and rule with Him in His coming kingdom.
David means beloved, and refers to the bride of Christ who is the beloved of Jesus Christ. Ruth is the type of the beloved one, and the whole story of Ruth relates prophetically to this story of redemption for the bride of Christ. The names of these ten generations of Israel reflect the whole story of the redemption of the bride from the fall until the exaltation of the bride at the Second Coming of Christ in Power and Glory.