Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.CHAPTER 2 Gleaning in the Field
1. Ruth gleaning in the field of Boaz (Ruth 2:1-3)
2. Grace shown to Ruth by Boaz (Ruth 2:4-17)
3. Ruth hears concerning Boaz (Ruth 2:18-23)
Boaz comes now upon the scene. His name means “in Him is strength.” He is called “a mighty man of wealth.” As the kinsman-redeemer he is a beautiful type of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one in whom there is strength, the rich one. Ruth knows at first little of him and the coming relationship with the wealthy one. Boaz is related to Elimelech, whose name “my God is king” is typical of Israel’s faith. Through Elimelech only Naomi (the nation Israel) has a claim on Boaz. And she can only lay claim through Ruth. Even so Israel has a claim on the blessings promised to her through the remnant which returns to Him in the beginning of the harvest, the end of the age; that remnant, as stated before, is represented in Ruth.
How simple and beautiful is the story which follows. The mighty man of valor knows evidently all about her, though he does not act at once in her behalf. He appears on the harvest field. Beautiful greeting he brings! “The LORD be with you”; and they answer him, “The LORD bless thee.” Gracious are his words to her, who had cast herself upon his grace, for Ruth had said to Naomi, “Let me now go to the field and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.” She anticipated in faith, though she did not fully know what grace was awaiting her. Even so the remnant of Israel in the last days. How he permits her to continue in the humble work. He provides for her. She is only to glean in his field. She is not to be molested; his gracious power shields her. She can also drink of the water he provides. Then she falls on her face. Beautiful are her words of humility, “Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldst take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?” Then she hears from his lips that he knows all about her. More than that. He assures her of coming blessings, blessings Ruth will get because she trusted; blessings not of works, the law covenant, but of grace, because she believed. “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.
All foreshadows dispensationally the soul-exercise of the believing remnant of Israel, when the harvest begins, and the gracious dealing of the Lord with that remnant. Another application may also be made on spiritual lines of a soul which seeks blessing and how the Lord deals in His grace with those that seek Him. This we cannot follow in these brief annotations. Then he comes closer to her. She receives from his own hands. He also, unknown to her, gives instructions that “handfuls on purpose” are to be dropped, just for her. What evidences that the mighty, wealthy Boaz loves the poor stranger, Ruth! So the remnant will gradually learn of His love. And we also find our comfort here. We glean in His Word. It is typified by the wheat, the barley and the corn. Then when we feel our need and dependence on Him, and plead, as we always should, our ignorance, He drops the handfuls on purpose, so that we find just what we need for our spiritual sustenance and comfort.
And Naomi tells her something about Boaz. But she only calls him “one of our redeemers.” She should have said he is the redeemer. The secret who he is and what he will do for her, the trusting Ruth, she will learn only from himself. So unbelieving Israel does not know the full story of Him, who is the Redeemer. Boaz, Christ Himself, will make it known when He reveals Himself in His grace and power to the remnant of His people.