1 Then Naomi her mother in law [chamot] said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest [manoach (a resting place)] for thee, that it may be well with thee?
Naomi recognises that she has a responsibility towards Ruth, seeing that she had left her own land and people to sojourn with her in Bethlehem. She decides to seek ''rest" for her. The word is menowach and signifies a place of rest, protection, honour, and security.
A husband's house is his wife's menuchah or place of security (feminine form of this
word). When Naomi blessed her daughters in law with the words:
"Yahweh grant you that ye may find rest (menuchah), each of you in the house of her
husband" (Ruth 1:9),
it was this that she meant. The term is used in relation to Israel's association with the land in the blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49:15). Moses used the expression when speaking with Israel in the wilderness:
"Ye are not as yet come to the rest (menuchah) and to the inheritance, which Yahweh your Elohim giveth you" (Deut. 12:9).
That "rest" is the rest, or menuchah, of marriage. To attain unto such a "rest" the bride must make herself attractive to her groom, and so "labour to enter into her rest" (Heb. 4: 11).
...Naomi recognised Ruth's need of such a rest (menuchah) if the name of Elimelech were not to cease in Israel; She had awaited a near kinsman to come forward to act as husband as specified in the Law, but no such offer had been made, probably because of the Moabitish origin of Ruth.
At last she decided to take matters into her own hands, and initiate the necessary action.
What she did was based upon the law of inheritance as laid down in Scripture (Deut. 25:5), and which differs from the law of redemption. The law of inheritance required that in the case of a childless widow, one of the brethren of the deceased husband should raise up seed to his "brother". The word "brother" ('ach in Hebrew) signifies a near relative, a kinsman.
The law stipulated that such a relative must be of the same tribe and community as the deceased; and that the firstborn of such a union would be considered as his son, and so inherit the property of his mother's former husband. Naomi had to seek "one of the kindred" of her late husband for the purpose she had in mind.
Boaz was one such. The word she used there to describe him is not goel but mowdaath:
"Is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast?"
she remarked. As such, he was qualified to act the part of husband unto Ruth in accordance with the instructions of the Law.
14 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.
Many, yea very many, of the beloved and faithful are now sleeping where their kinsman "the mighty man of wealth" whose name is "Strength" once lay, and must remain in the threshing floor until morning. But the Man of Strength will take off the vail which Paul calls the flesh, and as Boaz did to Ruth, will fill it, so that she went not empty away.
Naomi declared the kinsman would finish the work that day, and would not rest until it was accomplished; how suggestive. We perceive the land to be redeemed must as it were, have the signature of the natural Israel, and the wild by nature. For Boaz said, what day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, to raise up the name of the dead.
It was proved that Ruth had a nearer kinsman than that of Boaz, but he could not redeem the inheritance, nor raise up the name of the dead, lest he mar his own inheritance. But Boaz, the mighty man of wealth, who said I am after thee declared he would redeem it, if the nearer kinsman would give him the right.
He did so, and the mighty man of wealth not only redeemed the inheritance, but purchased Ruth to be his wife, and they two became one flesh.
Blessed be the Lord God who hath not left us this day without a kinsman, whose name is famous in Israel, who has indeed been a restorer of life, to raise up the name of the dead that the name of the dead be not cut off from his brethren, and from the gate of his place.
The people and elders prayed that Ruth also may, like Leah and Rachel, build the house of Israel and be famous in Bethlehem.
Gentile Ruth, did from her issue fill up the "Holy Square," the hundred and forty and four thousand, but for Obed, no Jesse; but for Jesse, no David; but David, no Christ; the mighty man of wealth, whose name is Eternal Strength. Ruth was indeed famous in Israel, and we her daughters will call her blessed.
The Christadelphian, Mar 1872