In this third lesson on the Book of Ruth we see the plan of Naomi. See what happens when Ruth waits in the shadows and then makes her move in the dark of night.
We pray this Bible study of Ruth is a blessing to you.
1. What exactly did Naomi instruct Ruth to do in the beginning of Chapter 3?
2. There is limited biblical and extra biblical evidence for the legal precedence of ancient Israelites regarding the role of the kinsman-redeemer. Precisely how the ancient reader understood the role is not clear but it was obviously not as ambiguous as it is for today's reader.
Many have studied three texts (Genesis 38; Leviticus 25:25-34; and Deuteronomy 25:5-10) to develop an understanding of the role. However, as Professor Robert L. Hubbard Jr. points out, the ancient Hebrew legal system was more about the application of principles to situations not a prescription for action on legal matters.
Professor Hubbard reminds us that the ancient Hebrew legal system reflected their strong obligation to, and protection of, their fundamental value system. With this understanding, read the following texts to understand the background of the kinsman-redeemer:
From your reading, what values are represented by these texts?
3. Much has been written about Naomi's instructions to Ruth regarding the uncovering of Boaz' feet in verse 4. It's been speculated that this language was understood to mean that Ruth was to uncover his genitals for a sexual encounter. Based on your reading of the text, does this seem probable? Why or why not?
4. Who were the three people who knew of Ruth being at the threshing floor and why was it necessary that only they know of her presence?
5. What can we learn about the character of those in this story from the following verses?
6. Upon learning of her at his feet, Boaz instructs Ruth to remain until morning. Do you think she was able to sleep well? What might she have been thinking? What about Boaz, do you think he slept well and what might he have been thinking? Finally, what about Naomi, do you think she slept well that night?
7. In verse 9, Ruth basically proposes a marriage to Boaz (compare Ezekiel 16:8 and Malachi 2:16). Some may think this is rather forward of her; however, we don't know all of the details regarding their previous interactions.
For example, it may have been that she was wearing the traditional clothes of a widow previously which may have deterred Boaz. In any regard, do you think the man should propose a marriage, or do you think it's OK for a woman to do so?
8. Does Naomi's plot to send Ruth to the threshing floor to propose to Boaz violate the principle of relying on God to provide for one's family?
8. What were the dangers Ruth faced in Naomi's plan?
9. Did Ruth follow Noami's plan exactly?
10. How many times is Ruth referred to as "my daughter" in this chapter and who is using this term of endearment?
11. How have you helped your extended family? Or how has your extended family helped you overcome hardships or tough times?