Ruth Resting and Rewarded & Places of Doing Business

There are still no kings or Judges, but there’s no chaos here like it was with the Israelites.  Therefore, I must assume that You have Your hand in here? 

Bethlehem. Town of David Bethlehem Ephrathah ~ Birthplace of Jesus
Famous for being the birthplace of Jesus.
Bethlehem of Judah is not to be confused with another Bethlehem in Galilee. The Galilean location, Bethlehem of Zebulun (currently Beit Lahm), is referenced in Joshua 91:15, and is located approximately 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Nazareth.
The existence of more than one Bethlehem merely reflects the popularity of its name. This name, as with most Hebrew names, had a significant meaning; “house of bread”.

It looks like You are guiding and protecting Ruth, even Boaz has assumed that.

Naomi has a plan for Ruth, but know that God is guiding it all.

“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? 

And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast?  Behold, he winnoweth barley tonight in the threshing floor.

Wash thyself 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.

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” (Ruth 3:1-4).

And Ruth did all that Naomi told her to do.  At midnight Boaz turned and saw her and asked who she was and she told him.

“And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. 

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 now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.

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. 

Not all women were powerful like Ruth, her power came from her faith in God.
Athaliah: the only Queen of Judah

Some other powerful women: Elizabeth 1 of England

Another powerful woman: Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of England

Athaliah had an impeccable royal lineage. She was either daughter of the greatest king of Israel, Omri, and sister-in-law of Jezebel, or daughter of Ahab and Jezebel.

She married the crown prince of Judah, Jehoram, who ruled as king of Judah for eight years before he died at the age of 40 – comparatively young, even for those times.

He had a turbulent reign, mostly spent on the battlefield.

Jehoram was succeeded by Athaliah’s 22 year old son Ahaziah, and her position immediately became much more powerful.

The top woman in a kingdom was not the king’s wife – wives went in and out of favor.

It was the Queen Mother, who acted as counselor to her son and was often the only person he could trust.

Now the story gets a bit muddy. According to the Bible, Athaliah set out to destroy all of her own family, seizing power for herself.

Why she should do this is not clear.

She was bound to face violent opposition. The only credible explanation is that every one of her male children and grandchildren were already dead, and she did not want to die with them.

It’s possible that the boys were killed by Jehu’s followers, and that Athaliah managed to save herself but was later blamed for the carnage.

During this time Athaliah was the ruler of Judah – the only female monarch Judah or Israel ever had.

But at the end of that six years there was another palace coup, led by one of the Yahwist priests, Jehoiada – who was also, as it happened, the husband of Jehosheba.

He knew about the hidden boy, and produced the by-now six year old, telling members of the military they should place the boy on the throne – with Jehoiada as regent, of course.

Pool of blood on stone surface The breakaway group crowned the boy and anointed him, saluting him with cries of ‘Long live the King!’

They then went after Athaliah.

She ran to the Temple but was cornered, alone in a hostile crowd. At the Horse Gate of the Temple, they beat and stabbed her to death.

The seven-year old Jehoash became king.
2 Kgs 8:26-29, 9:27-29, 10:12-14, 11:1-16, 2 Chr 22:10-23:15.

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.

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. 

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.

And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law. 

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” (Ruth 3:10-18).

Boaz went and sat at the gate and the kinsman came with 10 elders of the city and sat down (the kinsman is closer in relationship to Naomi then Boaz is).  And the kinsman said, Naomi…selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s. 

And he said that he would buy it from her, so Boaz told him to go ahead, but he let him to know that Ruth goes with the property because she had been married to one of Naomi’s sons – that was the law.  The kinsman didn’t want Ruth, so Boaz said he’d buy it.

“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.

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.

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 (Remember these were Jacob’s wives, he had worked for Labon for seven years for each of them), which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Beth-lehem” (Ruth 4:9-10).

“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. 

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. 

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 born him. 

And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

And the women her neighbors 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” (Ruth 4:13-16).

This is King David, the father of King Solomon, and you will meet him in the next chapter with King Saul.

“Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,

And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,

And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,

And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,

And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David” (Ruth 4:17-22 – see Matt 1:1-17).

Places of Doing Business

Ruth first made her appeal to Boaz at his threshing floor (Ruth 3).

Threshing floors in various towns seem to have served as a king of “courtroom” where village elders could settle minor disputes of various sorts.  Later we have a good example of their use when the kings of Israel and Judah sat on thrones at the threshing floor of Samaria for a significant hearing (1 Kgs 22:10, 2 Chr 18:9).

Ruth’s appeal as taken to the gate of Bethlehem, where Boaz met with the village elders to get a decision on his legal situation (Ruth 4:1). 

Business  and legal deals were often settled at the city gate.  For example, at Tell En-Nashbeh and Dan excavations show that there was an open square in front of the gate with benches built around it. 

David’s rebellious son, Absalom, met at the gate of Jerusalem with the inhabitants to hear their complaints and win them to his cause (2 Sam 15:2-4).  Later, Amos condemned injustice “in the gates” (Amos 5:10, 12, 15).