, , , ,

In the climax of Ruth, Boaz agrees to redeem the fortunes of two widows, Naomi and Ruth, and to also marry Ruth, an impoverished foreigner. This act of Boaz makes no sense in terms of his personal well-being: it is a sheer act of grace (just as Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi comes at great personal cost and also demonstrates great grace). How are we to understand this action?

What reading did the author put on this act of redemption by Boaz ? Did he realize that if a mere man, a creature of God, could behave in the manner described, and had indeed by his action exhibited the power to redeem an outcast and bring her into fellowship with the living God, then two things could be said of the creator of Boaz? (1) God must feel at least as compassionate towards all the Ruths of Moab and of Babylon and of every other land as his creature Boaz felt towards Ruth; (2) God must actually be a God of redemption with the desire and the power to redeem all outcasts into fellowship with himself.

G. A.F. Knight, quoted in Leon Morris, Ruth