One last look at the observations before I move on to interpretation. Some of this is research and some of it is thoughts shared by the group on Sunday.
- Time of Judges was a time of weak faith. “Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (repeated often) and “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
- Yet the line of David (and thus Jesus) came out of this time. Perhaps it took someone of strong faith showing an act of love to break the cycle of sin and overcome the age that she lived in.
- Have I mentioned yet that the main character here is a woman? That in itself is a critical point here.
- Map of Moab in relation to Israel.
- Moabites: descendants of Lot (he had a child with his daughter named Moab – see Gen 19:37)
- When the Israelites left the wilderness to enter the promised land, the Moabites did not let them pass through their land because they didn’t trust the Israelites. Judges 11
- Sometimes relations between the nations were peaceful – perhaps during the time that Ruth took place – see Wikipedia
- Jeopardizing the inheritance: It seems that the other kinsman redeemer was unwilling to take the land when he found out that he had to take Ruth because the law/custom stated that he had to help her former husband to maintain his name by producing a son. That son would have some rights to the rest of his estates as well, so perhaps he didn’t want to take anything away from his current son(s) by splitting what they would inherit too much.
- Rachel and Leah were Jacob’s wives that bore children to start the 12 tribes of Israel
- Ephrathah is another name for Bethlehem
- Perez was the son of Judah and Tamar – Tamar was a widow (like Ruth) and Judah was supposed to have one of his sons redeem her and give her a child. He did not so she tricked Judah into helping her conceive a child by pretending to be a harlot. (Gen 38)
- In contrast, Boaz did the right thing by redeeming Ruth. (Yet God used both cases to his own glory)
Final thought (and really more of an interpretation): Jesus Christ is our Kinsman redeemer!