The Rapture – Old Testament Types and Shadows

The Rapture – Old Testament Types and Shadows

The Rapture
Old Testament Types and Shadows

If you have followed along with the Superior Word sermons, then you are fully aware that every single passage of Scripture points to Jesus Christ – His Person and His work. In our journey through Genesis, Ruth, and our continued journey through Exodus, we have seen literally thousands of such types and pictures of Him.

If you haven’t been following along with our sermons, then get on the stick and get to it. Proper theological understanding of the New Testament is pretty much impossible without knowing the Old. This doesn’t mean that the core doctrines of the faith are unattainable without the Old, but it does mean that those core doctrines are likely to be misunderstood without first knowing the context of what has been seen in the Old.

And so it is a shame that so many people run ahead with their theology by either making stuff up out of their own head concerning doctrinal issues, or they have an unbalanced view of those doctrines because they haven’t taken the time to see what God has already shown in type and picture.

This problem results in countless variations of biblical doctrines with proponents of a particular view mis-analyzing verses and coming to faulty conclusions. From their skewed analyses come followers who only further propagate what is clearly wrong.

In reality, then, there is actual harm to what is being relayed in the Bible by evaluating the New Testament verses without considering the pictures from the Old. Solomon tells us this in a unique way with the following words. They are our text verse for this sermon.

Text Verse: “That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

This isn’t some arbitrary statement meant to confuse the reader of the Bible concerning possible historical patterns. Instead, it is a note from the mind of God to the readers of His word that He repeats things in order for us to see what will happen again. If it is recorded in His word, we can expect the same type of thing to occur again in the process of redemptive history.

As this is so, and as the doctrine of the rapture is accepted by dispensationalists as a valid doctrine, then there must be types and pictures of it in the Old Testament. The question is then, “If it is pictured in the Old Testament, can we determine whether a pre/mid/or post tribulation rapture is defined as well?”

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Today, we will take a very brief look at four different accounts, all of which point to a pre-tribulation rapture. Two are from Genesis, one is from Exodus, and the final one is from Ruth. We will do this without making unfounded deductions and we will analyze these types in proper context.

It may be that you won’t fully understand what I present. The reason for this is that each of these pictures comes from a greater whole which was laid out in a sequence of sermons. What you might want to do is go back and watch the surrounding sermons if you aren’t clueing in to what is presented.

Question: Why is it that some people who accept that there will be a rapture still adamantly refuse to believe that it will be a pre-tribulation rapture? I believe my friend Richard in New Zealand sums it up rather well –

“I suspect that underlying the anti pre trib rapture movement, there is a deficient understanding of the finished work of the Cross. This idea that we have to go through part of or all of the tribulation seems like a form of protestant purgatory to me. That somehow, by enduring the tribulation horror, adds some kind of merit to the broken body and shed blood of the Savior.” Richard MacGregor, Auckland NZ

He is right. Christ’s work is sufficient, and Christ will not allow His bride to be subjected to this time of wrath to come. She is His precious Jewel, not His punching bag. We will see this today.

Before we get into these things though, it should be noted that the rapture is not some impossible doctrine which should be laughed off by anyone of reason. Rather, it happened twice already in history to individuals. The first was Enoch. His translation is described in Genesis 5:21-24 –

“Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”

His translation is further explained in Hebrews 11 –

“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5

The second translation is that of Elijah. His is recorded in 2 Kings –

“Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” 2 Kings 2:11

Elijah is still alive today and his return is expected before the great and terrible Day of the Lord which is coming. What is most probable is that together, Enoch and Elijah – a Gentile and a Hebrew – will come back as the two witnesses of Revelation. This can be sufficiently determined from several passages of Scripture, but it isn’t relative to the doctrine of the rapture.

However, their translation is. If God can take them up, He can do the same for all of the saints of the church, just as His word says. I hope you enjoy this word from God’s word today, and if you enjoy this sermon but have never watched Superior Word sermons before, then you are only cheating yourself. J

Go back to Genesis 1:1 and start watching. If you watch one a day (like taking your vitamins) you will be caught up in about 1/2 a year. So get started. Great stuff is to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. Pulled Out of Danger (Genesis 19:9-11)

And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. Genesis 19:9-11

Lot was in a pickle. He was a fallible man, but he was also a righteous man. This is seen in the words of Peter in the New Testament –

“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” 2 Peter 2:4-9

So we see that despite his failings, he was a righteous man. It is a biblical axiom, however, that righteousness stems not from man, but from God. Therefore, he is used as a picture of those who are in the Lord’s church. They are deemed righteous by God because of the work of Christ. Not because we are inherently righteous. Just look around at those in the church… and go look in the mirror too, and you will see this it true.

Just as Lot was tormented in his righteous soul because of the depravity of the world around him, so should we be tormented at the horrendous depravity around us. The pattern of the past is seen again in today’s cesspool of wickedness. One week’s prophecy update is enough to show anyone with even a modicum of morals that we are ripe for judgment.

For those whose hope is not in this world, we have the same hope of an open door before us as that which John saw so long ago –

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven.” Revelation 4:1

John saw a door, and Lot was pulled through a door. Let’s look again at the verses about him and see not only what literally happened to him, but what they are picturing for us.

9 And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.

This verse is tied to Genesis 19:1 where Lot was noted as being at the city gate. He acted like a judge here because he was probably a judge at the gate. It’s very probable, although not stated, that he was appointed a judge after Abraham defeated the kings of the east. This was an awarded position based on his relationship with his uncle. Whether this is the case or not, he sat in the gates and was noted as an authority.

But the crowd is no longer interested in set authority and has determined to cast it off. They have become so depraved that they rejected his offer of his own daughters in place of the men that had come under the shelter of his roof. The people surrounding Lot’s house are not only perverts, but they have become unreasonably violent by the conduct of their wicked lives. It sounds like our world once again today, doesn’t it.

The translators of the Geneva Bible make this comment about living too close to sin, as Lot is –

“Nothing is more dangerous than to live where sin reigns: for it corrupts all.”

This is a lesson Lot learned the hard way, and it is a lesson that we need to pay attention to in our own lives.

10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.

Lot is brought into complete safety, away from the wickedness of the people, and into the presence of the Lord. That the Lord is there isn’t evident yet, but the term used for someone he speaks to later indicates that the Lord is there with him behind the door. Once Lot is pulled in, the door that was open is now shut.

11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

The type of blindness, or as the Hebrew says it “with blindnesses” (it is plural) – is the word ba’sanveriim. It is found in only two accounts in the Old Testament. The other time is in 2 Kings 6:18 –

“So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.”

The blindness they experience is a peculiar sort that has much less to do with the eyes than it does with the mind. The heads of the people in Sodom, just like those with Elisha in Dothan, were confused, and their thinking was clouded. It’s a state of blindness which is more mental and spiritual than physical.

We know this because Elisha led the army of Syria all the way from Dothan to Samaria and they followed him. The people of Sodom groped for the door, even though it’s still there… right there… but they can’t find it. In other words, the very thing they’re intent upon finding is the thing they can’t see. It is as if they see a door and they find thorn bush, and when they see a thorn bush, they think it’s a door.

Are you seeing how these verses picture the coming rapture? Let’s stand back and look at the whole scene as if it were the time before Christ’s coming for us and compare what we see with how the Bible describes that glorious day when we are called home.

We saw how Peter describes the wickedness of the world which will receive God’s judgment. In those verses, he told about the righteousness of Lot. The similarity between the state of Sodom and the world which our liberal progressive leaders are rushing us towards is completely evident.

The state that Sodom was in is the state of today’s world. Later in that same epistle, Peter speaks about the destruction of the people he described and about the hope of the believer. Remember these concepts are made in comparison to Sodom before and after its destruction –

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:10-13

In the time of wickedness which preceded destruction, Lot was physically snatched back through the door by the angels and rescued by them from the people’s evil intent. This is exactly how Paul describes our coming rescue in 1 Thessalonians 4 –

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

The word Paul uses for “caught up” there is harpagesometha, or in its more recognizable form harpazo. It means to seize or carry off by force, or to snatch away. This is exactly the picture we were given when the angels in the house seized Lot and pulled him behind the door and into the presence of the Lord.

If you remember, after Lot was pulled to safety, the door was shut and no one could open it. All outside were excluded from safety. Now see how Jesus explains this same concept to the church of Philadelphia and the result of being left out of His safe protection, just as Sodom was –

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,|
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” Revelation 3:7-11

There is an hour of trial coming upon the whole world and the world will be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people. But, we are promised safety from this, just as Lot was. Jesus’ own words promise to keep us out (Greek: ek) “out of” this hour of trial. There is deliverance from it because of our position in Him. Here is how Paul describes it in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 –

“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10

We are not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Christ. In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul explains the timing of this and what will occur after that moment. Listen carefully and see the amazing parallel to what occurred in Sodom.

“Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8

Paul notes that the Restrainer will first be taken out of the way. This is the promise, the guarantee of the Holy Spirit. If we have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee, and He is taken and we are not, then that was not a very good guarantee. Rather, God is faithful to keep us safe from the coming tribulation period.

The next thing to notice is that it says in verse 8 that “…then the lawless one will be revealed.” This is speaking of the antichrist. If the antichrist is only revealed after the One who restrains is taken out of the way, then that means we will not know who the antichrist is.

So why watch a lot of nonsense videos that supposedly pinpoint who he is. They have always failed and they will continue to do so because our focus in the church is to be on Christ, not this person.

Further, if the signing of the peace deal with Israel, which is for seven years, is initiated by the antichrist, and if he is revealed after the rapture, and if the seven year peace deal is the seven years of tribulation mentioned in Revelation, all of which are doctrinally correct statements, then this shows with all certainty that the rapture is not post- or mid-tribulation, but pre-tribulation.

The fact that the antichrist is the one who signs the peace deal is succinctly laid out in Daniel 9 –

“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:27

If he “confirms a covenant with many for one week” and only in the middle of the week breaks the treaty, then this is speaking of the entire tribulation period. As we will not know who he is according to 2 Thessalonians 2:8, then this assures us of a pre-tribulation rapture.

And so let’s continue with Lot. He was pulled through the door to safety and only after that were the people given “blindnesses” or sanveriim. Remember how I explained it then. This was a mental or spiritual blindness, not a physical one. This is exactly what Paul says will happen again. Here are the continued words of 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12 –

” And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

The world will be given a “strong delusion” so that they will believe the lie. They will look for the door and they will find a thorn bush. They will see a thorn bush and they will think it is the door… In reality, they will search for God and find the antichrist. They will see the antichrist and think he is God.

Further, both the Genesis type and the prophetic fulfillment from Paul’s hand mention the blindnesses as coming after the pulling to safety, not before. It is another indication of a pre-tribulation rapture. They were pulled through the door, and then blindness came.

And what is the door that Lot was pulled through? It was the same Door that we will be pulled through. Do you remember the verse I cited a few minutes ago? Just prior to the tribulation, in Revelation 4, as the church age is ending, John saw a Door opened in heaven.

As he looked a voice called out to him “come up here” into the presence of the Lord – just as Lot was pulled into the presence of the Lord. What door did he see? In John chapter 10, Jesus Himself explains what the Door in Sodom’s time was, and Who the Door in the future is –

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:9, 10

The Door is Jesus, but behind the door is the Lord as well. In Genesis 19:18, after Lot was pulled to safety behind the door, it says v’yomer Lot alehem al na Adonai – “Then he said to them, no my Lord.” The word adonai means the Lord God. It indicated that not only were the two angels there, but the Lord was there as well. In type and in fulfillment, we will be snatched through the door and into the presence of the Lord – prior to the tribulation period.

II. The Transfer of Authority (Genesis 38:13-26)

13 And it was told Tamar, saying, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she took off her widow’s garments, covered herself with a veil and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place which was on the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as a wife. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she had covered her face. 16 Then he turned to her by the way, and said, “Please let me come in to you”; for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.
So she said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”
17 And he said, “I will send a young goat from the flock.”
So she said, “Will you give me a pledge till you send it?
18 Then he said, “What pledge shall I give you?”
So she said, “Your signet and cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” Then he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 So she arose and went away, and laid aside her veil and put on the garments of her widowhood.
20 And Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand, but he did not find her. 21 Then he asked the men of that place, saying, “Where is the harlot who was openly by the roadside?”
And they said, “There was no harlot in this place.
22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place.
23 Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed; for I sent this young goat and you have not found her.”
24 And it came to pass, about three months after, that Judah was told, saying, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; furthermore she is with child by harlotry.”
So Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!”
25 When she was brought out, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” And she said, “Please determine whose these are—the signet and cord, and staff.”
26 So Judah acknowledged them and said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to Shelah my son.” And he never knew her again.

The next section for you today which clearly shows the dispensenational model, and which shows us an implicit picture of a pre-tribulational rapture, is found in Genesis 38. It is the story of Judah and Tamar. It is a simple and remarkable story of the coming Christ, but it also shows us much more.

In this story, Judah is a picture of the Jewish people. Tamar is a picture of the Gentile-led church. Judah possessed the cord, staff, and signet, each which symbolizes the Person and authority of Christ. Judah however bargained this right away for the price of a harlot, something clearly seen in the spiritual harlotry of Israel when they sold off Christ at His first coming.

In agreement to the deal that was made, Tamar asked for a pledge until the payment was rendered. The word for pledge here is eravon. It indicates an earnest deposit. When the expected payment from Judah, which was a goat, was received then the earnest was to be returned.

This Hebrew word, eravon, which is used only three times in Old Testament, and all in this chapter, was later adopted by the traders of Greece and Rome. It is also used in the New Testament three times, all by Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. Each time he states  the eravon is our promised redemption, the sealing of the Holy Spirit.

In the Bible, identical words between Hebrew and Greek are most unusual and yet this word was carried over, certainly so that we wouldn’t miss the significance of what it is showing us. Here are all three examples from the NT for you to see the connection –

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22

“Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 5:5

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13, 14

Each time this word is used, it is referring to the Holy Spirit. He is the security, given in hand, for the fulfillment of every promise which relates to our salvation and hope of eternal life. All who hold the pledge, and can so produce it, will be saved from condemnation and will be granted eternal life. This is the surety we have because of our pledge; the Holy Spirit. And this is what Judah’s pledge represents.

The pledge consisted of his signet, cord, and staff representing Judah’s identity, authority, and tribe. In type, they symbolize the Person and authority of Christ. This is what Tamar asked for and what was granted to her. And this is what passed from the Jews to the Gentiles during this dispensation known as the Church Age.

By being the bearer of the Messiah, as Tamar was, and as the church now is, we share in His identity and His authority. The carrying of Christ, pictured by these implements went to Tamar. Tamar means “palm tree.” In the Bible, the palm symbolizes uprightness and righteousness, something applied to the redeemed of the church numerous times in Paul’s letters.

It is also what Lot was called as well. Are you seeing the connection? Christ! Our righteousness! So in this story we see at least a dispensational model, but how does it point to a pre-tribulation rapture? Because of where the word eravon, or pledge, is noted by Paul. Remember his words of Ephesians 1:13, 14

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

As we saw in the previous section concerning Lot, if the guarantee is given and the Holy Spirit is taken out, and yet those who are sealed with the Spirit are not, then that is not a very good guarantee. Further, in picture, Judah received the signet, cord, and staff back all at one time when it was sent to him from Tamar.

There was no contact between them then, and the account says that there was no further contact between them in the future. In other words, the two dispensations do not overlap. The church age ends, and the symbols of Christ’s authority transfer back to the Jews. It is an implicit reference to a pre-tribulation rapture which is built on by other explicit references.

III. The Flock of Jethro (Exodus 3:1)

The next account is of Jethro’s flocks which is recorded in one verse in Exodus 3:1. In order to understand the context and the picture that is being made, we have to go back to an earlier point in Moses’ life and follow the events up to the time he tends to Jethro’s flock.

Moses, whose name means “He who draws out,” is a type of Christ. This is explicitly seen in Acts 7 during Stephen’s speech to the leaders of Israel. Just as the Hebrews challenged Moses’ authority in Exodus 2, the leaders of Israel challenged Jesus’ authority during His ministry among them.

After this occurred, Moses went to Midian and there took a Gentile Bride, Zipporah. Likewise, Jesus departed His people and also has taken a Gentile bride, pictured by Moses’ marriage to Zipporah. He stayed there for a full forty years. EW Bullinger defines the meaning of forty in Scripture. Think of God’s working through the church as I read it –

It “has long been universally recognized as an important number, both on account of the frequency of its occurrence, and the uniformity of its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement—(not judgment, like the number 9, which stands in connection with the punishment of enemies, but the chastisement of sons, and of a covenant people). It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8). This is certainly the case where forty relates to a period of evident probation. But where it relates to enlarged dominion, or to renewed or extended rule, then it does so in virtue of its factors 4 and 10, and in harmony with their signification.

In other words, the duration of the church age is perfectly summed up in the forty years that Moses spent in Midian. But there was a time for Moses to depart and go back to Egypt which is a picture of the fallen world.

When Moses goes back to Egypt, it will be to face off against a new Pharaoh. This individual is a type of the antichrist. The plagues which will come upon him, and upon Egypt, are only shadows and types of the parallel judgments which will come upon the world during the seven years of tribulation period.

In fact, they are a perfect mirror of what lies ahead, culminating in the swallowing of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and the casting of the antichrist alive into the Lake of Fire. However, before Moses returns to Egypt, there is the issue of the church, the flock of God, which needs to be dealt with. This is seen in just one verse of Exodus 3, and which we will now analyze.

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.” Exodus 3:1

Before this verse, there were beautiful patterns of history revealed in the first two chapters of Exodus. There was the time of Israel’s rejection of Christ, just as Moses was rejected by his people. There was the Church Age after that, with the seven churches of that age being seen in the seven daughters of Reuel.

With the Church Age ending, we are seeing the time when God is getting ready to redeem Israel and bring them out of their place of hardship and bondage, leading them into the kingdom age. Matthew Henry partly clued into this pattern when he said the following –

“The years of Moses’s life are remarkably divided into three forties; the first forty he spent as a prince in Pharaoh’s court, the second a shepherd in Midian, the third a king in Jeshurun.” Matthew Henry

Israel has not been forgotten by Him, and their period of trial and testing after exile will come to an end. It is pictured in Moses’ next portion of life in which the call to that life begins to be seen now.

Christ is at this time in redemptive history our Good Shepherd, leading the flocks of the church from the Place of Judgment, pictured by Moses tending to flocks in Midian, which means exactly that – Place of Judgment. Moses is tending to the flocks, but immediately a new name is introduced – Jethro.

He is identified as Moses’ father-in-law and the priest of Midian. However, scholars debate as to whether this is the same man as Reuel or not. The term for “father-in-law” is also used to describe other marital relations, such as son-in-law, brother-in-law, etc.

Some argue that if Reuel was older when Moses married his daughter 40 years earlier, then this may be his son or nephew who has become the priest in his place. Without getting bogged down in that, what the account asks us to do is determine the meaning of his name, not really how he is now related to Moses.

Reuel means “Friend of God” and he was used to picture the corporate body of people from whom the collective church is derived. As the seven churches are the friends of God, they willingly invited Jesus into their home, just as Reuel willingly called Moses into his.

Now we have this new figure – or at least a new name, Jethro. This comes from the word yatar which means “to remain over,” or “to be at rest.” The HAW Theological Wordbook submits, “It refers to one portion of a quantity which has been divided. Generally it is the smaller part and sometimes it is the part of least quality.”

Therefore, Abarim translates the name Jethro as “remnant.” If Reuel was there to picture the time of the church age, then Jethro must be introduced for another reason. If the church age is ending and God is ready to restore Israel to its inherited place in redemptive history after the tribulation period, then this name must be tied to that.

This word yatar, from which Jethro is derived, is used in Ruth 2:18 concerning the food which Ruth had kept back for her mother-in-law Naomi. There it said, “So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.”

That was a transfer of food from a Gentile to her Jewish mother-in-law. That story, if you know its meaning, showed Naomi as picturing Israel in captivity awaiting their restoration, which came at the end of the story. This word yatar, is also used in this set of verses from Ezekiel 39 –

“When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. 29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 39:27-29

A study on this word time and again gives hidden clues of the return of Israel to the land and to its exalted place as chief among the nations in the end times. It is fitting then that the name Jethro is introduced after Reuel.

There is the church age, Reuel, and then there is the restoration of the remnant of God’s people, Israel – pictured by Jethro. Seemingly unimportant names actually bear directly on what is about to transpire and what will continue to occur, even thousands of years later. Every detail fits like a God-manufactured glove, perfectly aligning with His redemptive plan. Let’s now analyze Exodus 3:1 –

And he led the flock to the back of the desert,

The words “to the back of the desert” are akhar ha’midbar. Akhar means “behind” or “the following part.” It is also translated as “west” and this is how some versions translate it. The second word, ha’midbar, means “the desert.”

In the Hebrew way of dividing the points of the compass, if the east is before a person, the west then is behind him. The south would then be right and the north would be to the left. The east is a place of exile. When Adam was kicked out of the garden, it was to the east that the cherub was placed to guard against entry.

When the tabernacle was erected, cherubim were woven into the veil which then pointed east, symbolizing restricted entry into the Holy of Holies. When Moses died, he was buried east of Canaan as punishment for his transgression. And when Israel was exiled to Babylon, it was east.

 (con’t) and came to Horeb,

Horeb is the same area as Sinai. The names are used to indicate the same place, but the words are selected to be used for different reasons when they are, in fact, used. Horeb means “Arid” or “Desert” which, interestingly, the same in meaning to Zion, the mountain of God, which in one sense means “Parched Place.”

(con’t) the mountain of God.

In Hebrew, it says el har ha’elohim – “to mountain ‘the’ God.” The definite article is before “God” not “mountain.” This is showing us something and it is specific and particular. It is intended to show us that the flock is being taken to a specific location to worship the One true God.

Later, in chapter 4 of Exodus, it will say that Moses returns to Jethro, but the flock isn’t mentioned. This is the first and last time it is referred to. What is that picturing? Before I explain it, I want to give the verse in Hebrew with a short commentary and translation from my Israeli friend, Sergio –

Ve-inhag et ha-tson ahar ha-midbar ve-yavo el har-ha’elohim horba – What’s interesting is that the word midbar means word/mouth – for example dbar elohim (God’s word). So the sentence could be read like this: And [he] drove the herd [of sheep] according to the words and [he] came to mountain of the God, Horeb

The dual meaning of the verse is showing us a picture of something. Abarim publications states the following concerning the roots of the word dabar

“These two root-verbs are really quite adjacent in Hebrew thought. Note that the word מדבר (midbar) means wilderness (or desert), and the related verb דבר (dabar) means to speak. When Paul augments Isaiah’s spiritual armor, he adds the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God … Words commonly protrude from one’s mouth, and the mouth is typically a wet place, not a dry place. But it should be noted that the Meribah incident occurred at Horeb [the same place we are looking at right now – HOREB] (Exodus 17:6), “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”

This may sound like way too much information, but the Hebrew is exact, and it is important. Let’s look it over. The pictures have shown that Israel is in exile and it is now the Church Age. Suddenly, with almost no information in 40 years of Moses’ life being noted, which is the church age, we come to the end of the 40 years. And now Moses is heading west with his flocks.

If east is exile and from whence comes destruction, and the flocks are being led west, then it is to a place of safety and from whence comes life. Horeb means “Arid” or “Desert,” just as Zion means “Parched Place.” It seems curious that the mountain of “the” God would be defined this way, but what is it that gives life? Water.

The word proceeds from the wet place, the mouth, and the Word of God is where the water of life issues from. Horeb is where the water from the rock came from. Paul in the New Testament says this about that account –

“…all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:3, 4

In the New Jerusalem, the heavenly Mount Zion (remember Zion means “Parched Place”), where does the water proceed from? From the throne of God and the Lamb! As Moses pictures Jesus, the prophetic explanation of this verse would translate it as, “And Christ drove the herd according to the word and came to the mountain of the God, even to Horeb.”

This one verse is clearly showing the transition from the Church Age to the time where Israel will be redeemed from Egypt, and it perfectly matches the words of 1 Thessalonians 4 concerning the end of the church age? Here is the passage –

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

This transition verse is given in type and picture to show the end of the Church Age at the rapture; at the word of the Lord. Without abusing the text, the Hebrew, or the concepts which permeate Scripture concerning Israel and the dispensational model, we can paraphrase the words, “And (Christ) drove the flock (the church) according to the word, and (they) came to the mountain of THE God, even the Parched Place, Zion.” Christ is calling us home to the Heavenly Mount Zion at the word of the Lord. We are going home!

Finally, as these events preceded the judgment on Egypt, all of which picture the seven-year tribulation period on earth described in Revelation, it is an anticipatory look from 3500 years ago into a pre-tribulation rapture. The focus on Israel does not begin until after the flock of Jethro is first secured away. Once again, a pre-tribulation rapture is seen in these ancient types and pictures./

IV. The Day of the Lord

Our final picture of a pre-tribulation rapture today comes from a pattern which runs throughout Scripture. The 66-books of the Bible actually form a perfect circle of three concentric circles. Each inner circle forms spokes, just as you would have on a wheel.

Each spoke is based on a letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. There are 22 spokes which divide the 66 books of the Bible, and therefore, there are three books on each spoke. These spokes form marvelous patterns between the books on each spoke.

In fact, the number of patterns which runs through them is almost infinite. The 8th spoke, corresponding to the Hebrew letter khet, which has the meaning of “outside,” “divide,” etc. contains the book of Ruth, Amos, and 1 Thessalonians. A pre-tribulation rapture becomes evident in this spoke containing these books.

As I noted earlier, in Ruth there was a transfer of food from a Gentile to her Jewish mother-in-law. Naomi pictured Israel in captivity awaiting their restoration. This came at the end of the story. Before that occurred, the hero of the story, Boaz, married Ruth. In both type and picture, he prefigures Christ.

After the marriage of Boaz to Ruth in verse 13, Ruth is not mentioned again in the story. The focus goes back solely to Naomi, picturing Israel who was in captivity and is now receiving back her proper place. The child who is born to the marriage is Obed. The final clause of verse 17 says, “And they called his name Obed.”

The name the women of the city called out for this wonderful child is Obed. It is tied to the fact that he is Naomi’s son and to the fact that he is, in fact, a son. And so they call him Obed, which means “Servant.” What does his being Naomi’s son have to do with him being a servant?

This is what confounds people, but the answer comes from the account itself. Just three verses earlier, as soon as it was said that Ruth was given conception and bore a son, the women said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative, (meaning a redeemer); and may his name be famous in Israel!”

In the very next verse, it says, “…may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age.” The son is the close relative, the goel, who is Naomi’s redeemer. He is the one who will be the restorer of life and the nourisher of her. He will be a servant to her and so they called him Obed.

All of this transpired after the marriage of Boaz to Ruth. It pictures Christ’s return to Israel as their Redeemer. But how does this show a pre-tribulation rapture? It does it by the position of the book of Ruth in the order of the Bible. As I said earlier, the books of Ruth, Amos, and 2 Thessalonians are all on the 8th spoke of the wheel.

Ruth ends with only four chapters. However, in both Amos 5 and 1 Thessalonians 5, the focus is on the Day of the Lord. The taking of the bride is found in both Ruth 4 and in 1 Thessalonians 4. Only after that is the Day of the Lord introduced in 1 Thessalonians 5. The pattern reveals what God has done and what He will do.

Only after the Gentile woman becomes a bride does the Day of the Lord come. And as this Day of the Lord is only after the revealing of the antichrist, and as the antichrist is revealed only after the taking out of the eravon, the guarantee, the Holy Spirit… then we can be assured of a pre-tribulation rapture.

The patterns are consistent, and they permeate Scripture. We don’t need to be confused by varying interpretations of a few New Testament verses which are twisted to suit the preferences of one choice of doctrine or another. Instead, God has shown us in Old Testament types and pictures where our proper theology stands.

This is true with every major doctrine of the Bible, including that of eschatology. Within the doctrine of eschatology, the rapture is clearly defined by these ancient types as well. Today we’ve looked at just four of them. But there are others waiting for you to see. They are put on display as an assurance of our blessed hope… the return of Christ for His church.

You see, everything points to Jesus – Old Testament and New. All people are either moving toward the Door or they are alienated from it. There is a spiritual blindness which covers the eyes of the people of the world, but when we call out to Jesus, the blindness is replaced with sight; darkness is replaced with light; condemnation is replaced with salvation; and death is replaced with life.

If our eyes are opened to Christ, we become a part of His flock and we are set on a wonderful path, heading west once again to the land of delight that was lost so long ago. There is a time of evil coming upon the whole world and when the call is made for the righteous to come home to glory, there will only be suffering and death for those left behind.

It is Jesus who holds the keys to life and death in His hands. We have a choice to make before that great day of wrath comes and I hope and pray you will make the right one before it arrives. If you have never called on Christ and asked Him to save you from this terrible time which lies ahead, let me tell you how you can do it, even today… even right now.

Closing Verse: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14


Ruth Poem

This is the entire book of Ruth, put into a poem format. The divisions correspond to the sermons I preached on the Book of Ruth and each poem was given at the end of those particular verses. The small dash in the middle of each poem is where the Bible text ends and my own ending poetry begins. I hope you will enjoy this poetic journey through Ruth.

Be advised, this is NOT to be considered for doctrine and is not an attempt to change the word of God from its intent and meaning. Rather, it is a poem based on Ruth, nothing more.

Ruth 1:1-5

A Famine in the Land

Now it came to pass, as we understand
In the days when ruled the judges
That there was a famine in the land
Which brought about difficulties, toils, and trudges

And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah
To dwell in the country of Moab went
He and his wife and his two sons
Until the time of the famine was spent

The name of the man was Elimelech
The name of his wife was Naomi
And the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion
Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah, their place of residency

And to the country of Moab they went
And remained there in a new emplacement

Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died
And she was left, and her two sons
A husband and a father, they were denied

Now they took wives of the women of Moab
Orpah was the name of the one
And the name of the other Ruth
And they dwelt there about ten years under Moab’s sun

Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died
So the woman survived her two sons and her husband
Surely at this time, God’s plans had her mystified


We too live in a world of troubles, trials, and woes
And often things occur which make us question God
We shake our heads and take the path where it goes
And each step can be a painful, heartbreaking trod

But at the end of the miserable, weary path
We find that God was there all along guiding us
We thought that we were the objects of His wrath
But instead we were being molded to be like Jesus

His ways are far above ours, so let us in Him trust
Let us never let our faith fail as each day we live
He is tending to us, and all His ways are just
And so let us to Him all our praises give

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 1:6-14

One Choice, Two Paths

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law
That she might from the country of Moab return
For she had heard in the country of Moab
Words which made her heart churn

That the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread
And so she prepared to move from Moab to Israel instead

Therefore she went out
From the place where she was on that day
And her two daughters-in-law with her
And off they went on the way

To the land of Judah to return
For her home her soul did yearn

And Naomi to her two daughters-in-law said
“Go, return each to her mother’s house I say affectionately
The Lord deal kindly with you my beloved
As you have dealt with the dead and with me

The Lord grant that you may find rest
Each in the house of her husband, may you be kept
So she kissed them, after them she blessed
And they lifted up their voices and wept

And they said to her through the streaming waters
“We will return with you to your people, surely
But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters
Why will you go with me?

Are there still sons in my womb
That they may be your husbands?
Save yourself from this gloom

Turn back, my daughters, go—
For I am too old to have a husband as you know

If I should say I have hope this day
If I should have a husband tonight, no longer alone
And should also bear sons, I pray
Would you wait for them till they were grown?

Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands too?
No, my daughters; this I cannot ask of you

For it grieves me very much for your sakes as you can see
That the hand of the Lord has gone out against me

Then they lifted up their voices
And wept again as if a dirge was sung
And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law
But Ruth to her tightly clung



In reality there was but one choice to make
Though down different paths it will lead
Will one cling to the God of Israel for heaven’s sake
Will they to His word pay heed?

If the answer is yes, the destiny is bright and sure
If the answer is no, there is no true hope at all
One must look to Jesus with a heart tender and pure
And on His glorious name each must call

Lord God, thank You for Jesus our Lord
Thank You for the chance to walk in His light
Help us all our days to hold to Your word
Until You bring us home to the land of delight

Until that day we will praise our Lord Jesus
Who has done such marvelous things for us

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 1:15-22

Your People, My People; Your God, My God

And she said, “Look, as you can see
Your sister-in-law Orpah has gone back
To her people and to her gods
Return after your sister-in-law, don’t be slack

But Ruth said in words heartfelt and true
“Entreat me not to leave, please don’t do so
Or to turn back from following after you
For wherever you go, I too will go

And wherever you lodge, I will lodge too
Your people shall my people be
And your God, my God, it is true
I shall not ever leave you, this you shall see

Where you die, I will die, may it be so
And there will I be buried, I speak plainly
The Lord do so to me, and more also
If anything but death parts you and me

When she saw that she was determined to go along
She stopped speaking; her determination strong

Now the two of them went
Until they came to Bethlehem
When finally the miles were spent

And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem
That all the city was excited because of them

And the women said, “Is this Naomi?”
She was a different woman, they could plainly see

But she said to them just the same
“Do not call me anymore Naomi
Instead now Mara is my name
For the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me

I went out full many years before
And emptily has the Lord has returned me to my door

Why do you call me Naomi
Since the Lord has testified against me

And the Almighty me He has afflicted
I have been tried by His trial and convicted

So Naomi returned along with Ruth
The Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her
Who returned from the country of Moab
Their future unknown and unsure

Now they came to Bethlehem the town
At the beginning of the barley harvest
There they together settled down
As the Bible story does attest



Lord, help us to see Your hand in all things
As directing our lives not for evil, but for good
Help us to accept everything that our life brings
And to honor you at all times as we should

Yes, troubles come our way, but there are always blessings too
And both the troubles and the blessings are being used by You

For our good and for Your glory
Everything comes as a part of Your plan for us
This is the message we find in Your gospel story
And it is all because of our Lord Jesus

Yes, thank You Lord for such kind and attentive care for us
And thank You for our blessed Redeemer, our Lord Jesus

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 2:1-7

The Lord be With You and the Lord Bless You

There was a relative of the husband of Naomi
A man of great wealth and fame
Of Elimelech’s family
Boaz was his name

So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi
“Please let me go to the field
And glean heads of grain after him
In whose sight I may find favor; who grace to me will yield

And she said to her, “Go, my daughter
It’s hot out there; please take plenty of water

Then she left, and went and gleaned
After the reapers, in the field
And she happened to come, it seemed
To a place where grace to her one would yield

To the part of the field belonging to Boaz, came she
To the field of Boaz who was of Elimelech’s family

Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem
And said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!”
“The Lord bless you!” they answered him
Yes, the Lord bless you too!

Then Boaz said to his servant
Who was in charge of those who reaped
“Whose young woman is this?”
When he saw her, maybe his heart leaped

So the servant who was in charge
Of the reapers answered and said
“It is the young Moabite woman
Who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab
Now she lives here instead

‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers, she said
Among the sheaves, was her request, to me this she pled

So she came and has continued
From morning until now
Though she rested a little in the house
She has worked steadily as her strength does allow



Though a foreigner to the land of Israel
Ruth has proven to be a humble, diligent soul
And though her state is lowly as the words do tell
It is apparent that she knows the Lord is in control

Oh if we could learn from her such a lesson!
To be faithful and diligent in our duties whatever they may be
Then we wouldn’t spend our time fretting and a’guessin’
What God has in store for us, instead we’d trust implicitly

We’d trust that He has every step of our life
Properly planned and carefully selected
Even the times of trials and strife
Can be times which are used to get our walk corrected

So let’s be like Ruth and hand our fate to the Lord
Trusting that He has it all under control
And let us continue to read, and love, and cherish His word
Let it nourish us and feed our hungry soul

For in this there is a great reward indeed
As we cling to Him and wait upon His return
May that day come soon and come with lightning speed
For this is what our longing hearts should yearn

Thank You O God for the hope which is instilled in us
Thank You O God for our Lord and Savior, our precious Jesus

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 2:8-16

Bread and Grace in the Field of Boaz

Then Boaz said to Ruth
“You will listen, my daughter, will you not?
Do not go to glean in another field
Nor go from here, not from this spot

But stay close by my young women here
You will be safe and shall have no fear

Let your eyes be on the field which they reap
And go after them, this you shall do
Have I not commanded
The young men not to touch you?

And when you are thirsty
Go to the vessels and drink the water
From what the young men have drawn
Do this too, won’t you my daughter?

So she fell on her face
Bowed down to the ground, and to him said
“Why have I found in your eyes this grace?
Such wondrous favor and not sternness instead?

That you should take notice of me
Since I am a foreigner, and thus unworthy

And Boaz answered and said to her
“It has been fully reported to me
All that you have done for your mother-in-law
Since the death of your husband, that calamity

And how you have left your father and your mother
And the land of your birth also
And have come to a people, yes another
Whom you did not before know

The Lord repay your work
And a full reward be given you too
By the Lord God of Israel
Under whose wings for refuge have come you

Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight my lord
For you have comforted me
And have spoken to your maidservant a kindly word
Though I am not like one of your maidservants, but unworthy

Now Boaz said to her at mealtime
“Come here, and eat of the bread

And dip your piece of bread in the vinegar
Come, and feel free as I have said

So she sat beside the reapers
And parched grain to her he passed
And she ate and was satisfied
And kept some back, feeling full at last

And when she rose up to glean
Boaz commanded his young men, saying
“Let her glean even among the sheaves
And do not reproach her, this to you I am relaying

Also let grain from the bundles
Fall purposely for her from your hand
Leave it that she may glean
And do not rebuke her, this please understand



Boaz’ care for Ruth is but a mere reflection
Of Jesus’ care for us, gentiles by birth
In Him there is a spiritual reconnection
So that now we have new and eternal worth

Thank You O God for the wondrous love You have lavished up us
And for the surety of life for eternal days
For You have sent us Your Son, our Lord Jesus
And so to You we extend all of our praise!

Yes! Now and forever hear our praise, O God
From our hearts and souls as in Your presence we trod

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 2:17-23

Gleaning Through the Harvest Season

So she gleaned until evening
Out there in the field
And beat out what she had gleaned
And about an ephah of barley her effort did yield

Then she took it up and into the city she went
And her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned
The effort for which her day was spent

So she brought out and gave to her from her pack
After she had been satisfied what she had kept back

And her mother-in-law said to her
“Where have you gleaned today?
And where did you work?
The one who took notice of you, blessed be he I say

So she told her mother-in-law, probably elated
With these words she did say
With whom she had worked, and she stated
The man’s name is Boaz with whom I worked today

Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law
“Blessed be he of the Lord, yes a blessing upon his head
Who has not forsaken His kindness
Both to the living and the dead!

And Naomi said to her as she spoke
“This man is a relation of ours
One of our close relatives is this bloke

Ruth the Moabitess said then
“He also said to me, I do attest
‘You shall stay close by my young men
Until they have finished all my harvest

And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law then
“It is good, my daughter, as he revealed
That you go out with his young women
And that people do not meet you in any other field

So close by the young women of Boaz she did stay
To glean, until the end of barley harvest did draw
And the wheat harvest too, yes all the way
And she dwelt with her mother-in-law



Though the work was hard, hot, and tiring
Ruth continued with it day by day
Her example to us should be all the more inspiring
Knowing that God used her efforts in such a wondrous way

In the end her deeds and life have been given
As sure examples to follow for each one of us
To be humble, dedicated, and loyal in this life we are livin’
And as we anticipate the coming of our Lord Jesus

As surely as Ruth will receive her just due
So the same is true for us as we bring glory to God
In Christ there is the certainty of reward for me and you
For all we do in His name while on this path we trod

Thank You heavenly Father for your kind hand upon each of us
Thank You for the greatest gift of all, our Lord and Savior Jesus

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 3:1-5

Go Down to the Threshing Floor

Then Naomi, her mother-in-law, to her said
“My daughter, shall I not seek security for you
That it may be well with you and not difficult instead?
I will give instruction on what you are to do

Now Boaz, whose young women you were with
Is he not our relative whom we know?
In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight
At the threshing floor. Yes! It is so

Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself also
Put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor
But do not make the man yourself to know
Until he has finished eating and drinking, and is ready to snore

Then it shall be, when he lies down for his rest so sweet
That you shall notice the place where he lies too
And you shall go in, uncover his feet
And lie down; and he will tell you what you should do

And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do
Ruth’s actions showed a daughter-in-law both faithful and true



Like Ruth we are to submit ourselves to the Lord
And to walk before Him in the Spirit and in righteousness
To learn how we can, we should attend to His word
And in doing so, our souls He will bless

Yes, God has given this wondrous treasure to us
In hopes that we will daily seek His face
And to fellowship with Him through our Lord Jesus
Living in His blessings and showered with His grace

Thank You, O God, for all You have done for us
Yes, heavenly Father, we thank You through Your Son
Our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer, Jesus

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 3:6-13

Midnight at the Threshing Floor

So she went down to the threshing floor
And did according to all
That her mother-in-law instructed her
At the time of nightfall

And after Boaz had eaten and drunk
And his heart was cheerful as well
He went to lie down at the end
Of the heap of grain to sleep for a spell

And she came softly, uncovered his feet
And lay down under the corner of his sheet

Now it happened at midnight
That the man was startled, to be sure
And turned himself; and there, ending his fright
A woman was lying at his feet; hard to figure

And he said, “Who are you? Tell me this thing
So she answered, “I am your maidservant Ruth
Take your maidservant under your wing
For you are a close relative, this is the truth

“Blessed are you of the Lord, My daughter!, he said
For you have shown more kindness at the end
Than at the beginning, instead

In that after young men you did not go
Whether poor or rich, you did not do so

And now, my daughter, do not fear
I will do for you all that was requested by you
For all the people of my town here
Know that you are a woman of virtue

Now it is true that I am a close relative, one cannot deny
However, there is a relative closer than I

Stay this night, and in the morning light
It shall be that if he will perform the task
Of a close relative for you, as is right
Good; let him do it, for this is what you ask

But if he does not want to perform the duty for you
Then I will perform the duty for you, it is true
As the Lord lives! Lie down until morning
Until the day dawns anew



Ruth has sought a kinsman to redeem
And she has found a man willing to do so
Whether it will be Boaz or another it would seem
That the new day the truth will show

We too have a Kinsman willing to redeem each of us
H is near to us because He is also a Man
And yet none other than the Lord God, Jesus
Such is the wisdom of God’s glorious plan

Let us come to Him and let Him His garment spread
Willingly over each one of us
For He is Christ the Lord, our Savior and our Head
He is the Incarnate Word – our glorious Jesus

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 3:14-18

Shesh Seorim – Six Measures of Barley

So she lay at his feet until morning
And she arose before one could tell another by name
Then he said, “Do not let it be known, as a gentle warning
That the woman to the threshing floor came

Also he said, “Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it
And when she held it, he measured six of barley
And laid it on her, this gift he did submit
Then she went into the city at that hour so early

When she came to her mother-in-law at the dawning of the sun
She said, “Is that you, my daughter?”
Then she told her all that the man for her had done
And she showed what she had brought her

And she said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me
For he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law with hands that are empty

Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter
Until you know how the matter will turn out, I pray
For the man will not rest
Until he has concluded the matter this day



Like Ruth whose time for rest will come soon
We have a time of rest from our labors as well
Which is graciously granted to us by an act of faith
And with that we enter our rest as the Bible does tell

In Christ the hope of the seventh day is here
His victory over the devil ensures that we may so partake
Of this marvelous gift so precious and dear
Granted to us through a decision we make

Call on Christ Jesus and your labors will end
In Him there is an eternal blessing marvelous and grand
In His presence eternal life we will spend
As He sits on the throne at His Father’s right hand

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 4:1-6

To Perpetuate the Name of Elimelech

Now Boaz up to the gate went
And there he sat down
And behold, the close relative, the gent
Of whom Boaz had spoken came by the gate of Bethlehem town

So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.”
So he came aside and sat down kind of near

And he took ten men there
Of the elders of the town
And said, “Sit down here.”
And so they also sat down

Then he said to the close relative, there at hand
“Naomi, who has come back to Israel
From the country of Moab, sold the piece of land
Which belonged to our brother Elimelech who in death fell

And I thought to inform you, saying
‘Buy it back, for such is your right
In the presence of the inhabitants, I am praying
And the elders of my people, yes in their sight

If you will redeem it, redeem it
But if you will not redeem it, then tell me
That I may know, for I admit
There is no one but you to redeem it, as you can see

And I am next after you
And he said, “I will redeem it
This I will do

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field
From the hand of Naomi, as you have said
You must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess
Yes, from the wife of the dead

That the name of the dead through his inheritance will be perpetuated
This is what the law requires, just as I have stated

And the close relative said
“I cannot for myself it redeem
Lest I ruin my own inheritance
This won’t work out, it would seem

You redeem for yourself my right of redemption
For I cannot redeem it, I appeal to the law’s exemption



In the requirements of the law there is no hope
No man can meet its demands perfectly
It reflects God’s standards, far beyond the scope
Of our hopeless state, beyond all our ability

And yet for God all things are possible, we know
And so He stepped out of heaven’s glory
And united with human flesh in order to bestow
The good news found in the gospel story

Yes, Christ took on the likeness of a man
And in this appearance to the cross He went
Being obedient to the law to fulfill the plan
From heaven to earth on this mission He was sent

He alone can redeem man who fell so long ago
In His grace and mercy, He came to dwell among us
Fulfilling the plan when to the cross He did go
All hail the Lamb of God, our precious Lord, Jesus

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 4:7-12

I Eschew This Shoe

Now this was the custom in former times
In Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging
To confirm anything in those climes
Including even a marriage arranging

One man took off his sandal
And gave it to the other
And this was a confirmation in Israel
Of a matter between one another

Therefore the close relative to Boaz said
“Buy it for yourself.”
So he took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz instead

And Boaz said to the elders and all the people
“You are witnesses that I have bought this day
All that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s
From the hand of Naomi it has now come my way

Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon
As my wife, I have acquired
To perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance
Today this has transpired

That the name of the dead may not be cut off
From among his brethren in any such way
And from his position at the gate
You are witnesses this day

And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said
“We are witnesses here in Bethlehem, the House of Bread

The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house
Like Rachel and Leah, the two of them
Who built the house of Israel
And may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem

May your house be like the house of Perez
Whom Tamar bore to Judah in days gone by
Because of the offspring which the Lord will give you
From this young woman, now apple of your eye



There in that same town of Bethlehem as we know
Came the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus
He came without pomp or a flashy show
Instead He came and looked like any of us

The stories that we see in the Bible’s pages
Are given to show us hints of Him
God has marked out His plan for the ages
And done it in places like the town of Bethlehem

In these stories we can relate so well
Because they can fit the lives of any of us
Such is the masterful way the Bible does tell
Of the marvelous workings of God in Jesus

And so we thank You O God as we live out our days
Reading Your word and giving You all of our praise

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 4:13-17

And They Called His Name Obed

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife
And when into her he went
The Lord gave her conception, a new life
And she bore a son when her months were spent

Then the women said to Naomi
“Blessed be the Lord, who has not this day left you
Without a close relative
And may in Israel his name be famous too

And may he be to you of life a restorer
And of your old age a nourisher

For your daughter-in-law, who loves you
Who has borne him, she is better than seven sons, it’s true

Then Naomi took the child
Who seemed the lifting of her curse
And laid him on her bosom in a manner mild
And to him she became a nurse

Also the neighbor women to him a name they gave
Saying, “There is born to Naomi a son
And they called his name Obed, meaning a servant or a slave
He is the father of Jesse, the father of David
In Israel, he became a very great one



From sadness and heartache too great to be measured
Came joy and blessing more than could be thought
In Naomi’s lap was placed a son that she treasured
A son through whom her redemption was bought

In the marvelous way God directs our lives’ events
Even the worst of times will be forgotten memories
Some day the difficulties that we face will all make sense
We’ll understand why we faced such great adversities

Until then we need to trust God, giving to Him our cares
And hold fast to the promises of His word
In that treasure to us He gladly shares
The story of redemption centered on our Lord

Yes, it is all about our Lord Jesus
He who has done all things wondrously
And has promised to always care for us

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 4:18-22

The Generations of Perez

Now this is the genealogy of Perez:
It is listed as follows, just as the Bible sez

Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram next
And Ram begot Amminadab, so says the text

After that Amminadab begot Nahshon, as the Bible so relates
And Nahshon begot Salmon, telling us names but no dates

Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed
Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David



These are the generations which are found in Ruth
And they are carefully placed here for us to learn
They show us glorious things and reveal deep truth
And knowing their meaning should make our hearts yearn

Some glorious day, we will be raptured out of here
We will be in the presence of our wondrous Lord
And shortly afterward purified Israel will shout and cheer
When Christ returns to them, so says the Word

And we have it all laid out before us
Here in detail in the Bible’s pages
All of it pointing to our Lord Jesus
The plan of redemption for all peoples and all ages

Hallelujah to our great Lord and our King!
Hallelujah, let us rejoice and to Him make noise and sing!

Hallelujah and Amen…


Ruth 4:18-22 (Perez to David – From the Breaker to the Beloved)

Ruth 4:18-22
Perez to David
From the Breaker to the Beloved

Introduction: At 2:24 on the morning of the 10th of September, I was lying in bed, pondering the enormity of what the book of Ruth pictures. I was so overwhelmed with the all that this story details that I actually covered my face and said, “O God, I am so unworthy before you.”

Many views concerning what the book of Ruth is showing us in redemptive history have been given in the past, but none that I know of take into consideration who Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion actually picture. Thus, they miss the actual overall significance of what we’re being shown. I will give my thoughts on them and I believe they are correct, but you must decide for yourself after considering the whole.

The story of Ruth is one of five megillah scrolls read each year by observant Jews. It is read at Pentecost. Thus it is particularly intended to picture that time in redemptive history which is known as the church age. It is given to show how Gentiles were brought under the wings of the Lord and how the church will be used to bring the Jewish people back to the Lord.

Text Verse: “God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.” Romans 11:8

Here He is, tending to the an entire panorama of history which is pictured in a short little book, tucked away in a seemingly remote corner of His word, and yet He has also tended to the individuals in the story as well. In other words, just as they are a part of the story, we are too because we’re in the greater picture being presented.

And so the minute care of the individuals, and the minute care of the greater story, must equate to the same minute care that He dotes on each of us. Ruth and Naomi had to wait until the end to see the results of their story, but we get to see in advance the results of the pictures they’ve made. Things that haven’t happened yet are still known to us.

And so we can trust that because we are a part of that same larger picture, the end will work out just fine for us. I know that if someone were there ready to take my head off for my faith, that this thought would be a huge comfort to me at that time. “He has it all under control and this is just a step I was ordained to take.”

Israel has probably felt like the punching bag of the world for eons, but they won’t always feel that way. Although they don’t know it and haven’t seen the truth of what Ruth pictures, they will someday and then they, like Naomi, will sit contentedly in the presence of their Redeemer, just as she did.

This is a truth that the Bible presents to us and it presents it in types and pictures that have to be drawn out in order to understand their meaning. But the meaning is there and it is to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. The Generations of Perez (verses 18-22)

18 Now this is the genealogy of Perez:

The term “genealogy” is the Hebrew word toledot. It is the same word used for the first time in Genesis 2:4, which said, “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,” (KJV)

This is the 30th time that a set of genealogies or “generations” has been listed in the Bible. Each comprises either a narration or a list of genealogies which point to God’s work in redemptive history. This word translates over into the Greek word genesis which is used five times in the New Testament, but only once in the same sense from the Old. That time is Matthew 1:1 –

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”

Each generation so far has built upon God’s redemptive plans, showing us the main line leading to Christ, such as Noah, Abraham, etc., and those that branch off of that main line, such as Ishmael, Esau, and so on.

This 30th genealogy in the Bible is that of Perez, the son born to Judah and Tamar. From him, a list of 10 names are given. This is a common form of such generational genealogies. From Adam to Noah, 10 generations are listed. From Shem to Terah who is Abraham’s father, there were 10 generations. Here, from Perez the son of Judah, 10 generations will be listed until King David.

18 (con’t) Perez begot Hezron;

Perez means to Break through, break out, or break open. He is “The Breaker.” Hezron means “Enclosure,” such as being enclosed or surrounded by a wall; like a Village.

19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab;

Ram means “High,” or “Exalted.” Amminadab means “My Kinsman Is Noble” or “People of the Prince.”

20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon;

Nahshon means “Enchanter” or a “Serpent-person,” in essence one who foretells. According to Jewish tradition, he was the first man who entered the Red Sea during the Exodus. Therefore, “Nahshon” is used as an appellation of a brave person who goes first in spite of any danger. Salmon means “Garment” or “Clothed.”

21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed;

Boaz means “In Strength” or “In Him is Strength,” meaning “in the Lord is Strength.” Obed means “Servant” or “Serving.”

22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.

Jesse means “My Husband,” as well as “Jehovah Exists.” As such the name Jesse contains the most profound notion that human marriage reflects divine revelation. That alone should tell us that this story of marriage in the book of Ruth is there to reveal to us a portion of God’s divine revelation. David means “Beloved.”

Although the dating of this list for Perez cannot be determined precisely, it can come close. William Ussher in his book, The Annals of the World, dates the time of Perez to 2236AM and he says that David was born in 2919AM. And so this chronology here spans about 680 years.

Give the king Your judgments,
O God And Your righteousness to the king’s Son
He will judge Your people with righteousness
And Your poor with justice, so it shall be done

The mountains will bring peace under each church steeple
And the little hills, by righteousness
He will bring justice to the poor of the people
The children of the needy He will save and bless

And He will break in pieces the oppressor
They shall indeed always fear
You As long as the sun and moon endure
Throughout all the generations through

II. Wonderful Pictures

The book of Ruth isn’t just a love story, or a story of the redemption of one family in Israel. God doesn’t waste words; nothing is superfluous. Also nothing that is needed is left out. Every story is given to show us pictures of other things. Ruth is just a bit longer than many such pictures.

In the first chapter, six people were named. Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon, Chilion, Orpah, and Ruth. The names of two specific locations were given as well. Bethlehem in Judah and Moab. The family was identified further as being in Ephrathah Bethlehem. Each name’s meaning was explained.

The story began with the words, “Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled.” This then is the time of Israel’s pure theocracy. Eventually, this was replaced by the times of the kings. The people got tired of the way things were and asked for a king. At that time, the Lord said this to Samuel –

“And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.'” 1 Samuel 8:7

This first period is represented by Elimelech, whose name means “God is King” or “My God is King.” Either way, he represents the time from the giving of the Law of Moses, through the time of the judges until the time of the kings. His wife Naomi represents the Israelite people. Her name means “Pleasantness of the Lord, a perfect name for the people He called as His own.

The two sons then represent the two kingdoms. The first is that of the northern kingdom known as Israel, represented by Chilion. His name means “Wasting Away” and it perfectly describes what happened to these people. They were exiled by Sennacharib, King of Assyria in 722BC and simply wasted away as a kingdom.

Malon, whose name means “Man of Weakness” or “Great Weakness,” represents the southern kingdom known as Judah. They were the bearers of the law, something actually termed as weak by Paul in Romans 8:3. And again in Hebrews 7:18, it says this about the law –

“For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness…” Hebrew 7:18

This then is a story of the people of Israel throughout their history, represented by Naomi who is the only character consistently noted from the beginning to the end of the book. Even though I showed that the movement of Elimelech and his family from Israel couldn’t be considered disobedience, the picture it makes is just the opposite. It reflects the continuous disobedience of the people of Israel.

Throughout their history, the biblical record shows that they incessantly disobeyed God’s commandments and also joined themselves to foreigners in their rebellion against Him. Thus they suffered exile. In their exiles the theocracy and the kingdoms died.

First, Chilion, representing the northern tribes, married off to the world and died as a kingdom. The people turned away, just as did Orpah, whose name means “Back of the Neck.” They turned away from their religion and their homeland. They were married off to foreigners and the kingdom ended.

I explained that Chilion was the elder of the two, but that doesn’t seem to make sense. Didn’t the southern kingdom come first? The answer is “no.” There is a king who is overlooked by almost everyone, and yet he is identified as a king at the same time as King David. Going to 2 Samuel 2, we read this –

“Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.” 2 Samuel 2:10, 11

The kingdom of Judah came after Saul and during the time of Ishbosheth. This is important later in the story of Ruth. Mahlon, the younger son picturing the younger southern kingdom of Judah, returned after their exile, but only through the Gentiles pictured by Ruth. They were subject to Gentile rule from this point on.

They were no longer a kingdom and thus Malon died. The kingdom ended. However, Gentiles clung to them, just as Ruth clung to Naomi. The Edomites, for example, were assimilated into the Jewish people in 129 BC under the rule of John Hyrcanus. Even the New Testament notes such Gentiles, particularly Roman centurions, but others as well who clung to Israel.

The order is exact. First Elimelech died. He departed while the sons remained. Then the two sons died, but Naomi lived on. Naomi, whom it is agreed reflects the people of Israel, and Ruth whom it is agreed reflects the Gentiles, were being prepared for redemption and it would occur in the land of Israel.

The time that Naomi was said to be in Moab while everything happened was “about 10 years.” This number 10, according to EW Bullinger “…signifies the perfection of Divine order. … It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete.” The cycle was complete and it was time for a new direction.

When Naomi was about to return to Israel, she said to her daughters in law “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.” (1:8) When she said that, the word for “dead” was hammetim.  It was plural, not singular. All three entities were dead.

God was about to do a new thing. The time of the weak kingdoms, which were ineffective, had ended. But the line had been preserved, even though the kingship was dead. In Jeremiah 22:24, this is recorded, thus ending Judah’s kingship – “As I live,” says the Lord, ‘though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off.'”

It was this king who was carried away exile to Babylon, thus the kingly line was cut off. In his place, a puppet king, Zedekiah, was installed and he too was eventually removed, the temple was destroyed, and Judah went into exile.

It seemed as if that was the end of the story and that the promise of an everlasting kingship to David had failed, but later in Haggai 2:23, God made a promise to Zerubabbel that someday the kingly line would be restored through him. It would be someone who would come, destroy the Gentile nations, and reestablish Israel’s kingship under a true theocracy once again. Here is that verse –

“‘In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts,
‘I will take you, Zerubbabel
My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the Lord,
‘and will make you like a signet ring;
for I have chosen you,’ says the Lord of hosts.'” Haggai 2:23

The signet was promised to be reestablished through him. His name means, “Seed of Babylon.” He is the link between the genealogies listed in Matthew and Luke. Those records went in different directions at David, one through his son Solomon and one through his son Nathan, but they reunited in Zerubbabel. The line would continue until the fullness of time would come and Christ would be born.

It is at this time that the story says that Namoi heard that “the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread.” The word for “visited” indicates a divine superintendence over the affairs that were occurring. Bread has come to Bethlehem. Jesus, the Bread of Life has arrived.

Upon their return, Naomi said that she wished to be called Mara, not Naomi. She is Bitterness from the Almighty, not Pleasantness of the Lord. Though the name isn’t used again, indicating that she is still Pleasantness of the Lord to the Lord, this state of bitterness remained for her until the final part of the drama was realized.

At this time, Boaz enters the picture, which was at the beginning of Chapter 2. His name means “In Him is strength.” Where Malon, picturing the law, was weak, He pictures Christ who comes in the strength of the Lord. It is His genealogies which are reunited in Zerubbabel. He is the one who will bring back a theocratic kingdom. He is introduced “at the time of the barley harvest.”

Barley, as I explained, is the crop of hairy ears. It signifies awareness. In this case, the time of spiritual awareness has arrived.

This is at the time of the Passover and the Feast of Firstfruits, both fulfilled in the work of Christ. He is our Passover Lamb and He is the Firstborn from the dead.

Ruth is an insert story. A story which really occurred in redemptive history at the time of the judges, but it pictures much of redemptive history. Ruth 2 & 3 are an insert into the insert story. What does that mean? To answer, one needs to remember that Boaz showed up at the time of the Barley harvest.

However, it says at the end of chapter 2 that, “Ruth stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest.” First there is the barley harvest, Christ. Then there is the wheat harvest which pictures the church age. This is symbolized by Pentecost, which is 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits. It is when the Holy Spirit came to dwell among men.

Because it says that Ruth remained in Boaz’ fields through both the barley and wheat harvests, it is speaking of the entire church age. But, the events of chapter 2, pictured Christ’s passion. We saw this in the meal with the bread, the sour wine, and the parched grain.

Again, in chapter 3, it said “Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.” This then isn’t chronological. The wheat harvest comes after the Barley harvest even though the end of chapter 2 mentioned that Ruth remained in Boaz’ field’s throughout both harvests, barley and wheat.

In other words, the events of chapter 2, chapter 3, and even a portion of chapter 4 are all an insert, leading to the final events of chapter 4. Christ suffered his passion in chapter 2 and the Gentiles joined him in this, receiving His work and asking to be brought under His redemptive care in chapter 3.

Before that happened, Ruth had attempted to step back from the picture and let Naomi be the one to unite with Boaz. However, this was not the plan. The redemption had to come through Ruth. This is why the Author identified Ruth as a Moabitess four separate times in Chapter 2, but never once in chapter 3.

The plan of redemption means that our foreign status is never considered. With Christ’s work finished, we are no longer strangers. Only in chapter 4 is Ruth again tied to Moab. This is done three times to show that it is through the Christ of the church that God would actually redeem Naomi; the people of Israel.

And that then brings us to the symbolism of Chapter 4 after that insert. Ruth had asked to come under the wings of Boaz in chapter 3. However, Boaz let her know that there was a closer redeemer. And so Boaz had to go to the gates of the city, the place where legal matters are settled to first to straighten out that matter.

This pictures a most unusual encounter which is found in the book of John. There in John 12, it says this –

“Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
23 But Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.'” John 12:20-24

Before He could be our Redeemer, He had to prove He was qualified where no one else could qualify. He had to die in fulfillment of the law in order for the Gentiles to come under His wings. Everything had to be fulfilled in a particular order, one thing leading to another.

And so as Boaz went to the gate of Bethlehem, Christ went to the cross. The word for gate is shaar. It is the same word used for example in Genesis 28:17 when speaking of the Gate of heaven when Jacob said this –

And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

In that Genesis sermon, we saw that the gate pictured the work of Christ. The same is true here. The place of heaven’s judgment is being pictured. There at the gate Boaz awaits the closer goel. When he shows up, he isn’t identified by name. Instead a term is used which conceals who he is while revealing his nature.

When called, ten witnesses are brought in. Who are these ten witnesses? They are the Ten Commandments, the representatives of the entire Law of Moses. They are what witness to the standards of God.

The nearer goel is given the details concerning “Naomi who has come back from the country of Moab.” In other words, the people of Israel. They have an inheritance that is in need of redemption. They have no theocracy and no kingdom. To this unnamed goel, the right to redeem is offered. Who is he? He is man under law.

He is any man who is under the Law. In other words, any Israelite male living under the law. Why is he a closer relative to Naomi? Because he is born of a father and a mother of Israel and thus a complete blood relative. Christ is also a near kinsman, but he is only related through the mother. Therefore, any man under law who can meet the demands of the law, has the right to redeem.

Boaz explains his right to him and he agrees to redeem. However, Boaz then throws in the fact that Ruth is a Gentile wife of Mahlon and he must marry her to raise up a son for the name of the dead. With this the redeemer resigns his rights. Why?

The answer is that even if he thought he could keep the law perfectly, as the young man who came to Jesus did, there was more involved than he realized. Jesus highlighted this to him. He is noted in all three of the synoptic gospels. Luke records it this way –

“And he said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.’
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’
23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”
Luke 18:21-23

Truly, no one can meet the full measure of God’s law. Thus Israel was given grace once a year on the Day of Atonement. Where they failed under the law, if they confessed, they were forgiven. Thus the law was fulfilled on an individual basis through the death of a substitute.

All failed and all either confessed or they were not forgiven. They were considered free from guilt because of this wonderful provision of grace which came year by year. In the case of the man at the gates with Boaz, he was told that he would have to acquire Ruth. She is a Gentile. And the law anticipated that Gentiles would be brought into the commonwealth of Israel.

This is noted throughout the entire Old Testament, and even in the law itself. First, in Isaiah 49:6 it says this –

“Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'” Isaiah 49:6

In Romans 15, Paul cites the law in Deuteronomy to also show that this is true. There in Deuteronomy 32:43, it says –

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And render vengeance to His adversaries;
He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”

Man under law, the nearer goel, had the grace of God extended to him on the Day of Atonement, but that went no further. He could not redeem the Gentiles. The ten witnesses, the Ten Commandments – representing the law, testified against him.

Only one who had perfectly fulfilled the law could redeem the land, qualify to marry Ruth, and raise up a son in the name of the dead husband, representing the dead kingship of Judah. And only this person could also redeem the Gentiles. Only Jesus qualifies. Only He was born under the law, but without Adam’s inherited sin.

Only He is known to be in the kingly line which descends from both Nathan and Solomon as testified through His genealogies which meet at Zerubbabel. Only He fulfilled the law as testified by the gospel records. Only He gave His life in fulfillment of that same law. And therefore, only He is able to redeem. No other person could in the past, and no other person will ever be able to. Only Jesus Christ is qualified.

The nearer goel, Man under Law, realized this and thus he plucked off his sandal and handed it Boaz, to Him in Whom is Strength, and in picture – to Christ. In that act, he gave up any future claim to redeem and faded out of history.

We need to remember here what Naomi said to Ruth after the night at the threshing floor. In 3:18 she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”

While visiting the church during that Genesis 3 sermon, my friend Sergio was checking the Hebrew and Greek of each passage. At the end of that sermon, he came to me and noted that the word Naomi used for “finish” is the Hebrew word kalah. It is the same word used in Genesis 2:1, 2 which says –

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”

This same word used by Naomi is translated in the Greek Old Testament as teleo, which not coincidentally, is the last word Jesus uttered on the cross as is recorded in John 19:30 –

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (Tetelestai/Teleo) John19:30

The rest which Ruth looked for, the rest that Naomi looked for, and the rest which man has looked for since his fall, it is the same rest which became available to man at the death of Christ on the cross. The Lord finished His work and offered that rest to man.

Man lost that offer at the fall and has sought it out ever since. Christ, through His satisfaction of the law, has restored that opportunity to enter God’s rest once again. In Him, it is finished – once and forever.

Not too long ago, I went to a synagogue to observe their Shabbat service in respect to a friend that was killed. After leaving, the Jewish man that drove me back home told me, “The rabbi of the synagogue perfectly fulfills the 613 laws of the Torah.”

How sad it is that they believe this. There is no man other than Christ who ever did or who ever could. There is no longer a Day of Atonement either. That was fulfilled in Christ. If this is not true, then no person is saved or ever will be saved.

He is our Atonement and apart from Him there is only separation from God. We all must take off our sandal and acknowledge that we have no right to step into His place. The ground where He stands truly is holy. Thus after ceding his right to redeem, the unknown goel is dropped from history, never to be mentioned again. The law is fulfilled and annulled. It is finished.

It is obsolete; it has expired. The law can no longer provide the grace it once did on the Day of Atonement. It is a heresy to claim that the Day of Atonement is yet to be fulfilled. It is finished. And so Boaz makes the statement –

“You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.” Ruth 4:9, 10

The word for “dead” here is not plural though like it was in verse 1:8 when Naomi spoke to her daughters in law. It is singular. All are one and all have been acquired in one great act by Christ. Elimelech, the theocracy; Chilion, the older brother and the first kingdom; Mahlon, the younger brother and the second kingdom; and Ruth, the Gentile people – are all His.

What this means is that even the Orpah’s of the world can be redeemed through Christ. He, in one act, redeemed all people for Himself and all rights to the kingdoms of both Israel and Judah, along with the theocratic rule of Elimelech. In other words, Christ is Lord. He is Jehovah incarnate.

Ruth, the Gentile who has come under His wings will be His wife to raise up the name of the dead – all of the dead mentioned. But this leaves the seemingly odd point from the previous sermon about the child born to them, Obed, being Naomi’s redeemer.

Obed the Servant is introduced and Boaz just as suddenly leaves the picture. Obed is Christ, the Servant. Just as numerous children were born and who pictured Christ at their birth – Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, Perez, and others, Obed now fills this role. He is the Servant that Isaiah speaks of many times and the one Paul tells us about in Romans 15:8, 9 –

“Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:
‘For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,
And sing to Your name.'” Romans 15:8, 9

This is the reason why Obed was named by the women of Israel and why they exclaimed, “… may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”

After the church age, Israel will be restored to life. This is depicted in placing Obed in Naomi’s bosom. After all the years of separation and bitterness, Naomi will be redeemed through the child, and Israel will be redeemed through the Servant. Thus, it is an implicit reference to the fact that the law is fulfilled and that this child, Christ, is the embodiment of the law.

This is actually seen in the book of Revelation. During the coming tribulation period, Israel will call on Christ and will be saved in and through this time of trial. There in Revelation, it says this –

“But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.” Revelation 12:14

Just as the women prophesied over Naomi that the child would be a nourisher of Naomi’s old age, so Christ will nourish the redeemed of Israel through the tribulation period and into the kingdom age to come. The pattern is exact and we have been shown in advance of its coming.

And this truth was anticipated in the six measures of barley that passed from Ruth to Naomi, from a Gentile to a Jew in chapter 3. It came from Boaz, picturing Christ, it went through Ruth, picturing the Gentiles, and it was received by Naomi, picturing the bitter Jewish people, awaiting their redemption.

As we saw and as the Bible shows us, despite his intentions to be betrothed to the church, Christ has still maintained compassion for, and a desire to support, Israel until they receive Him as their rightful Redeemer and their King.

It is through the same grace which saved and established the church that the remnant of Israel will be saved, not through the law. Paul explains this in Romans 10:4, where he says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

We see in this picture that the church was redeemed first through Christ and only afterward will national Israel be redeemed. This is the order which Paul meticulously explains in Romans 9-11 and which also was pictured in the stories of Joseph’s life back in Genesis. It is also mentioned by the prophet Micah –

“Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth;
And this One shall be peace.” Micah 5:3-5

This prophecy from Micah is speaking not of just the time after the Babylonian exile, but of the time after the Roman exile. We know this because only after Ruth becomes Boaz’ wife and after the time of the entire harvest season does Messiah, the greater David rule.

Christ came the first time to serve and to suffer. He will come again to rule and reign. And this is why the narrative closes out with the name of David followed immediately by his genealogy. First, it says, “‘There is a son born to Naomi.’ And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.”

This is given to show the record leading up to David, who is the next major figure to picture Christ in the Bible. His life will anticipate the great coming King who will unite Israel under one eternal kingdom, who will shepherd His people, who will root out every form of wickedness, and whose throne will be established in righteousness.

David is noted here at the end of Ruth because of God’s promises to him which are recorded in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 –

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”’”

Christ is at this time the Lord of the Gentile church, but he is not yet reigning on His throne from Jerusalem and amidst His people Israel. However, from the look of things, it seems like that is coming soon.

Finally, the book of Ruth closes out with the ten generations from Perez to David. It almost seems like an afterthought and most scholars say it was added later and has no bearing on the narrative. But this is the furthest thing from the truth. If your commentary says that, put a big fat “X” through it… make it a red one for emphasis. This genealogy is an integral part of the book of Ruth and is given for several important reasons.

The first is that there is a requirement under the law which says, “One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the Lord; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 23:2

One of illegitimate birth is excluded until the tenth generation. Again, the law says, “None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover.” Leviticus 18:6, 7

Even though Perez was born before the law, his birth was still considered illegitimate under the law. And so David’s right to rule could be considered invalid. Therefore, the genealogy is given to show that he is in fact the 10th generation from that illegitimate union between Judah and Tamar recorded Genesis 38. Thus David is made known to be qualified to enter the assembly.

Likewise the law says this in Leviticus 18:11 – “The nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, begotten by your father—she is your sister—you shall not uncover her nakedness.” Abraham was married to his sister, Sarah, the daughter of his father. Boaz is recorded as the tenth generation from Abraham and therefore David is qualified in this regard as well.

Thirdly, this genealogy bears an unusual stamp that has been missing since before the fall of man. As I said earlier, the word for “genealogy” or “generations” is toledot. The first time the word was used was in Genesis 2:4 – “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,…” (KJV)

The word toledot in Genesis 2:4 was prior to the fall of man. Its spelling was tav, vav dalet, lamed, vav, tav. In other words, there are 2 vavs in the spelling. The next time the word was used was in Genesis 5:1, after the fall of man, and was spelled with one vav. The second vav fell out of the word just as man fell in the garden.

Vav is the sixth letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet and it is pictured by a tent peg. The number 6 in the Bible represents “man” such as man being created on the 6th day. So you see “fallen man” is what’s being relayed. The second vav fell out of the word, just as the man fell from grace.

The word toledot is used 39 times throughout the Old Testament in various places when referring to different groups of people, but it is never spelled with two vavs again until this genealogy at the end of Ruth. In every occurrence between Genesis and Ruth, and those after Ruth, one or both of the vavs is missing.

But in this genealogy, the lineage of King David is given and the second vav is restored. Up until then, God was working through various people and various covenants. These were to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. The final covenant is to David.

As I said at the beginning of this sermon, this is the 30th time that the word “toledot” is used in the Bible. As always, when considering a number, I go to Bullinger’s work to see what he says about that number. He says that 30 “…being 3 x 10, denotes in a higher degree the perfection of Divine order, as marking the right moment.”

And doesn’t that fit perfectly? The 30th instance of the word is the right moment for the vav to be reinstated into the line leading to Christ. David is the final peg in the line of covenants prior to Christ’s coming. At this time, the second vav is reintroduced to the word toledot to indicate that the restoration of fallen man would come through the line of David.

In all, these are the only two times in the whole Bible that the word toledot is spelled with two vav’s. Thus they should form both a contrast and a confirmation. In contrast, one was before the fall of man, the other was after it.

In one, man had no knowledge of good and evil; after it, he possessed it. In one, there was no need of a Redeemer; in the other there was such a need. In the first, man was destined to live forever; in the second man was destined to die.

In other words, everything that was possessed before the fall is in contrast to that after the fall. However, in confirmation of the two, they show that God has a plan and that it is being worked out. What was lost will be restored.

The Lord that was seen in the Garden is anticipated in the restored earth. Man was whole and man will be made whole again. It is all seen in this obscure word hidden in this genealogy of Perez through David.

The 39 toledots in the Bible correspond to the 39 books of the Old Testament. It is as if they are anticipating the coming Christ and His work. The fortieth such generation is the one in Matthew. To understand the significance of the number 40 we go again to Bullinger –

He says that 40 is associated “with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement. It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8).”

In Christ, the time of trial and chastisement has ended. In Christ there is grace, revival, and renewal. If you are born again through Him, you are no longer fallen, but complete and alive forevermore. The likeness of God that was given at the creation was lost, but that likeness is restored in us when we call on Jesus as our Savior.

That’s what these little hidden things in the Bible are telling us. Paul explains this mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:48, 49 –

As was the man of dust (that’s Adam – the fallen man, the man without the tav), so also are those who are made of dust (there is something missing); and as is the heavenly Man (full and complete), so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust (fallen and earthly), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (restored and complete). 1 Corinthians 15:48, 49 (Charlie Garrett’s parenthetical inserts.)

Forth, the ten names of this genealogy, make a picture of the work of Christ to come. They are Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David. Translated, they say, “Break Through, Enclosure, Exalted, My Kinsman is Nobel, Enchanter, Clothed, In Him is Strength, Servant, My Husband, Beloved”

Obviously we have to insert our connectors to these names, and without trying to stretch it too far, it would then say, “The One who broke through death is exalted, He is my noble Kinsman, the foreseer, clothed in the strength of the Lord, a Servant is my husband, beloved.” It is a picture of the work of the Lord Jesus.

And a fifth reason for this genealogy goes back to the story of Judah and Tamar. In that story, Tamar received the pledge of Judah which consisted of his signet, cord, and staff. The Hebrew term was eravon, a guarantee or a deposit. That deposit belonged to Tamar until it was returned to Judah.

That pictured the church age as we saw then. This genealogy and the story of Ruth takes us from the church age through to the return of the people of Israel and the time of the Kingdom age. The placing of Obed in Naomi’s lap pictures the redemption of Israel of the future, after the church age. This then is looking forward to the tribulation and then the millennial reign of Christ.

And so the genealogy is taking us from Perez, the Breaker of death, all the way through to David, the Beloved King on His throne – each picturing Christ – from advent to advent. The interim period is the church age. There are probably other reasons for this genealogy, but those are the five points that I gleaned from it.

Thus ends the book of Ruth and the beautiful story of redemption of both Jew and Gentile by the work of Christ. Unfortunately, in order to keep this to a manageable length, a lot of details were skipped over, but there is one that I’d like to share before we close.

In the first Ruth sermon, I mentioned a series of gender discords in the book. In the first chapter, there were nine of them. Seven were spoken by Naomi and two by the Author of the book. Then there is another in relation to Boaz where a word was used to describe him in the masculine once and in the feminine once.

Finally, there is one in chapter 4. Nobody has ever been sure of why they are there and many speculations have been given. However, after much thought and loss of sleep, I believe there may be an answer. These are the discords that are recorded:

In 1:8-13 the two daughters-in-law are referred to by Naomi in the masculine five times. In those same verses, Naomi refers to her sons in the feminine twice. Then in 1:19-22 the Author refers to Naomi and Ruth as they travel from Moab to Bethlehem twice in the masculine. In 4:22, Rachel and Leah, the wives of Jacob are referred to in the masculine.

The reason for these discords, I believe, can be seen when compared to who the people picture. The sons of Naomi picture the two kingdoms. Therefore, any future sons ostensibly born to replace them would also picture kingdoms. The word “kingdom” in the Bible is a feminine word malakhut, and therefore, the sons are spoken of in the feminine.

Naomi pictures the people of Israel. Ruth pictures the Gentiles uniting with the Lord God of Israel. Orpah pictures the Gentiles of the world not yet united to Christ. Leah represents the people under the law, as we saw many times during her life, and Rachel pictures those under grace, again as we saw many times.

In the Bible, people groups are always referred to in the masculine – such as goyim – “Gentiles,” or anashim – “peoples.” This then is why those gender discords are listed in the book of Ruth. It is referring to those bodies or groups of people whom they represent. This fits the picture and it gives an explanation, a reasonable explanation, for those instances of gender discord.

The other gender discord was in the words used to describe Boaz. In 2:1 it was masculine and in 3:2 it was feminine. I explained what I believe was the reason for that gender discord in detail when we did that sermon.

In these instances of gender discord, one has to assume that the pictures I’ve presented are correct and that the plan of redemption shown in Ruth is as I’ve described. They would also have to acknowledge that the dispensational model of history is valid. I believe all of these are sound. But each of us is accountable for what we accept. To me, I firmly believe that God still has a plan for Israel.

No other view of the Bible makes sense without violating Scripture to such a point that anything can mean anything. God is ever faithful and true, even to His unfaithful people whom He has called. He loves them. And He loves us as well, even enough to allow us to make our own choices.

The greatest choice of all, and the choice that will mark our eternal destiny, is what we will do about Jesus Christ. In the end, this wonderful book He has given us is all about Him. If you’ve never understood the plain and simple message of salvation, please give me another minute to share it with you…

Closing Verse: And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 2
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins. Romans 11:26, 27

Next Week: Exodus 1:1-14 (Bitterness and Bondage in the Land of Egypt) (1st Exodus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. He knows your trials, troubles, and woes and He is there with you through them. So cling to Him and let Him do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Generations of Pere

Now this is the genealogy of Perez:
It is listed as follows, just as the Bible sez

Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram next
And Ram begot Amminadab, so says the text

After that Amminadab begot Nahshon, as the Bible so relates
And Nahshon begot Salmon, telling us names but no dates

Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed
Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David

These are the generations which are found in Ruth
And they are carefully placed here for us to learn
They show us glorious things and reveal deep truth
And knowing their meaning should make our hearts yearn

Some glorious day, we will be raptured out of here
We will be in the presence of our wondrous Lord
And shortly afterword purified Israel will shout and cheer
When Christ returns to them, so says the Word

And we have it all laid out before us
Here in detail in the Bible’s pages
All of it pointing to our Lord Jesus
The plan of redemption for all peoples and all ages

Hallelujah to our great Lord and our King!
Hallelujah, let us rejoice and to Him make noise and sing!

Hallelujah and Amen…

41 Toledot





Ruth 4:13-17 (A Restorer of Life)

Ruth 4:13-17
A Restorer of Life

Introduction: Other than just a short genealogy which comprises five verses of names, we will finish the story of Ruth today. Next week, we’ll look into the details and try to piece together what God is showing us in this wonderful story.

For today though, we will see the birth of a son to Boaz and Ruth and how, curiously, it is said to be Naomi’s son. But everything in God’s word has meaning and even those things which seem rather curious have reasonable explanations. This is certainly true with the words about the son who was placed in the lap of Naomi.

Text Verse: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3

In a newborn child, there is an infinite amount of possibility. What will the child do? How long will he live? What will he look like, act like, enjoy doing…? The path which a newborn baby will follow is completely unknown to us. But there are so many hopes tied up in the child as well.

The son born in today’s story is given a name based on expectations of what he will do as he grows up. This child and the record of his birth in no small way prefigures the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

It is one of the marvels of God’s word that two people, in the same story, can both picture Him in differing ways. This is one of the great joys of the Bible. All we have to do is read and think, “How does this point to Jesus?” Once we do that, the story makes so much more sense. And so it is with father Boaz and little baby Obed… both are types of Christ.

As always, these treasures are right there in front of our eyes in God’s superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

 I. Boaz and Ruth, and a Son for Naomi (verses 13-15)

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife;

With the agreement settled at the town’s gate because Boaz was willing and able to fulfill the requirements of the law, Ruth, according to that law, became his legal wife. In chapter one, I noted that some scholars speculate that Mahlon died because he married a Moabite woman.

In essence, it was judgment on his disobedience. Likewise, it was also speculated that no children were born to him during their marriage as punishment as well. However, I argued numerous reasons why these were incorrect assumptions. First, when God judges this way, the Bible will state it.

Secondly, Naomi’s words to her daughters later in that chapter to “return to their gods” implied that they had married into a family who had been following the Lord. Thirdly, Ruth has now married Boaz. If God were to have killed the sons for disobedience by marrying Moabite women, then the same disobedience would be seen in Boaz for him doing so.

Fourth, just because Ruth and Orpah had not borne children cannot be seen as any type of punishment. God withheld children from Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Tamar, among many others, in order to meet His goals. As this verse will show, the Lord will intervene and grant a child to Ruth.

For these and several other reasons I cited, what we read was not punishment on Naomi’s sons, but God working out His plans in redemptive history just as He determines to meet His perfect end for the plan He has established.

13 (con’t) and when he went in to her,

Without being disobedient to either the Law or to the culture of the society, but rather being obedient in all ways, Boaz was granted his wife, and because of this, it says “he went in to her.” It is one of the Bible’s ways of saying they came together in the bed. The beautiful friend became his beautiful wife and companion as well.

13 (con’t) the Lord gave her conception,

There is a stress in verse 13 which is lacking in most translations. It repeats the word “and” five times. Young’s Literal Translation shows the sequence of the thought that we should pay attention to –

And Boaz taketh Ruth, and she becometh his wife, and he goeth in unto her, and Jehovah giveth to her conception, and she beareth a son.

And Boaz took Ruth – according to the Law of Moses, given by the Lord.
And she became his wife – according to the Law of Moses, given by the Lord.
And he went into her – according to the Law of Moses, given by the Lord.
And the Lord (meaning Jehovah) gave to her conception.
And she bore a son – thus a male-child who can fulfill the portion of the law of the Lord concerning raising up a son in the name of the dead, according to the Law of Moses, given by the Lord.

It is a logical sequence of events which shows perfect obedience to the law, acting upon that law, and the Lord ensuring that the allowance of the law will be fulfilled, and this, because a child was conceived and the child was born which turned out to be a son. Every detail shows the hand of the Lord all over the verse.

Despite Boaz having gone into his wife, it is still God who controls the womb. But even then, there is a difference in the workings of God for different individuals. In this verse, it is the Lord, Jehovah, who gave Ruth conception.

This isn’t always the case in Scripture. In Genesis 29, it says that the Lord, meaning Jehovah, opened Leah’s womb to have children. This is the case until the birth of her fourth son Judah. After that, it is God, or elohim, that gave her the final two children. Why would that be?

Likewise, in Genesis 30:22, it says this, “Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.” Instead of Jehovah, it says elohim, or “God,” for the birth of Rachel’s child, just like Leah’s last two. There is a difference to be noted. The Lord, or Jehovah, is the one who monitors the covenant and directs events especially related to the fulfillment of that covenant and the coming of Christ. This is the same reason why in Genesis 38, when Judah’s sons were deemed unacceptable to carry on the covenant line it said that the Jehovah, not elohim, killed them.

It’s a notable pattern found throughout Scripture. If one had never read the Bible, but was given these insights before reading it, they would be able to more clearly guess what was going to happen in advance of it happening. In the case of the child born to Boaz and Ruth now, it is the Lord, Jehovah, who is noted as giving her conception and so the guess might be that this child would lead to Jesus, and he does.

13 (con’t) and she bore a son.

It is through a son that the name of the dead is to be raised up. Whether they had daughters or not isn’t recorded because this is dealing with redemption and inheritance and therefore the male-child to be born to the union is what the Bible is focused on.

Ruth had desired a son to raise up the name of her dead husband and a male-child is granted. However, as we saw in the previous sermon, Boaz noted this at the gates of the city –

“You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate.” Ruth 4:9, 10

The word “dead” is singular. Though all that was Elimelech’s, Chilion’s, and Mahlon’s was bought from Naomi, the name of all of them are united in Ruth’s dead husband Mahlon. This child is to be the heir of all three estates. This son will lead to David and then to Jesus.

Matthew Henry shows that because of this, something more wonderful can be proclaimed about the birth of the child –

“Ruth bore a son, through whom thousands and myriads were born to God; and in being the lineal ancestor of Christ, she was instrumental in the happiness of all that shall be saved by him; even of us Gentiles, as well as those of Jewish descent. She was a witness for God to the Gentile world, that he had not utterly forsaken them, but that in due time they should become one with his chosen people, and partake of his salvation.” Matthew Henry

This 13th verse of chapter 4 is the realization of the blessing that was bestowed upon Ruth and Orpah back in Chapter 1. There in the 9th verse, during a time of great grief and sadness, Naomi said this to them –

“The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.”

Ruth has been granted the fulfillment of the petition by Naomi and has indeed found the rest that she sought in the house of her husband. As Lange says about this, “Sorrow in Moab has been changed into happiness in Israel.”

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name
For His anger may last a moment, but I will tell you this
His favor is for life – honor and blessing; never shame

Weeping may endure for a night
But joy comes in the morning time
When the day turns from darkness to light
God will raise You up in delight sublime

Remember Joseph who suffered many a trial
And also remember Naomi and Ruth
The troubles that came ended after a while
Because they clung to the Lord, the God of truth

14 Then the women said to Naomi,

Who these women are isn’t stated. It could be the midwives at the birth of the child or the collective group of women from Bethlehem. Whichever it is, the last time the women of Bethlehem were mentioned in connection with Naomi was in chapter 1. There this we read this –

“Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, ‘Is this Naomi?'”

20 “But she said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?'”

Though she said to them “call me Mara,” there is no longer the need for this name. She is no longer Bitter and lacking the Lord’s grace, but she is rather Naomi – the Pleasantness of the Lord. She had left Israel full and returned empty. She was now full again.

She had left Israel in hopes of finding sustenance and instead she found death. Now she has been granted both new and restored life. She, had left with a family and a name, and had come back with a daughter-in-law with no male child to bear the family name. Now she had a family and a name once again.

Throughout all of the time since their return, nothing was heard of the women of Bethlehem in relation to her. She and Ruth alone were noted, indicating their solitary state. Now the women are there at the birth of Naomi’s redeemer, ready to praise the Lord because of her newly found hope and to heap a blessing upon her.

What was lost is regained and the life that seemed futile is now filled with hope and expectation.

14 (con’t) “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative;

A shout of praise is given to the Lord for the great thing which he has done for Naomi! She who had nothing but a daughter in law and an inheritance she couldn’t maintain has now been granted more than she could have imagined. Blessed be the Lord for what He has done! Credit is given where credit is due.

And it was because he has not left her without a close-relative, a goel – a kinsman redeemer. However, there is a giant disagreement among scholars concerning this. It is a divide which separates into one of two factions. The question is, “Who is the goel?”

The scholars at Cambridge say this – “…throughout the story the near kinsman is Boaz. He has done all, and more than all, that could be expected of a go’el; he has redeemed the property, and now (this day) he has secured an heir for Naomi’s family.”

This view is held by many great and studious scholars. But there is another view. John Gill, among other notable names, rightly states that it is the child who is Naomi’s goel, not Boaz. Gill says, “the text speaks of what was done that day, and what is after said in the next verse all relates to the child born.”

This is the answer and it is what will be seen in the fulfillment of the pictures given here. The wording is specific that the women say “this day” when the child is born. Just because Boaz was the goel throughout the story doesn’t mean that he continues to be the goel here.

The Hebrew reads literally, “Blessed be the Lord who has not caused to fail to you a kinsman.” Going back to the previous verse, it said, “And Boaz taketh Ruth, and she becometh his wife, and he goeth in unto her, and Jehovah giveth to her conception, and she beareth a son.”

The text of the Bible gives the credit not to Boaz, but to Jehovah through Boaz. And only when the child is born does the verse say, “Blessed be the Lord who has not caused to fail to you a kinsman.” Were Boaz the kinsman, they could have said this long before the birth of the child.

It is singular that Ruth is mentioned for the last time in verse 13, our first verse of the day. However, Naomi is mentioned explicitly three more times after that – in verses 14, 16, and 17, and she is mentioned implicitly by the word “you” in all of the verses 14-17.

Ruth is also mentioned implicitly in these verses, but only in relation to Naomi, not as to her alone. The peculiar and beautiful words, being devoted to Naomi and not to Ruth, are meant to tell us something about redemptive history that is both exciting and wonderful. It is something that is yet future to us now in the stream of time.

It was Naomi whose life was used as such a positive example for Ruth that she literally clung to her rather than returning to her own family. It was Naomi who had suffered the majority of the pains. She lost her life in Israel, she lost her husband, and she lost her two sons. After that, she even lost her beloved daughter in law Orpah.

She was a widow with no seed to continue the family name. She was in such dire straights that she asked the women of Bethlehem to call her Mara instead of Naomi. And yet, Ruth continued with her, determined to reside as a foreigner in a new homeland.

The bond between the two went beyond the bond of most natural lines of descent. No mother could hope for a more faithful, obedient, hardworking, and dedicated daughter than Ruth was to her. Despite her foreign-born status, she never gave up on her devotion and love for her mother in law, her blessed Naomi. What do you suppose that is picturing?

And then, almost at the closing of the story, it is the near blood-relative, Boaz, who has a son by Ruth, but it is the mother-in-law who is congratulated for having a son! This child who came, not from the nearest close-relative who remains unnamed in the story, is called the goel of Naomi by the women.

And legally, this is correct. It is he who will inherit the estate of Elimelech, Chillion, and Mahlon because his mother, Ruth, was Mahlon’s wife. Boaz redeemed the inheritance from Naomi and Ruth was a part of the redemption in order to raise up a son in his name. That son then is the legal redeemer of Naomi.

Her house isn’t built up by Boaz, her house is built up by this child, for whom Boaz redeemed it. That’s why last week in verse 11, it said this, “The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel.” The house is built up through the woman by the sons born to the woman.

As Lange says about this – “He is the grandson of her family, though not of her blood. Ruth’s goel was Boaz, but Naomi’s the son of Ruth; for Ruth lives in the house of Boaz, but Naomi in that of the child, which belongs to him by virtue of his birth from Ruth.”

It may seem confusing, but it pictures redemptive history which has proven to be even more confusing to many as well. Only when this story is properly understood, does the greater story of redemption come into correct focus.

14 (con’t) and may his name be famous in Israel!

Well, whose name? Is it the Lord who was mentioned in the beginning of the verse? Is it Boaz, who some say is the goel? Or is it the child? The answer is the child. Boaz is not the goel of Naomi and the child is the nearest antecedent in the verse.

The women exclaim concerning this child-redeemer, “May his name be famous in Israel!” And they exclaim more…

15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age;

With all certainty, the goel of Naomi is the child. These words show us that with clarity. “And may he be to you a restorer of life.” In this is the thought of bringing happiness, joy, and enjoyment. It is this child that is born that will bring these things to her.

She was Bitter and dead; he will make her joyful and vibrant. She was without hope; he will bring her a newfound sense of purpose. It is the child in her lap, not Boaz, who will bring these things to her. And in addition to that, he will be a nourisher of her old age.

This is not something given to Boaz to do because he is old himself. Rather it is something which will come from the child who is young and will be able to care for her and tend to her in her own old age. This is what the blessing of the women indicates. A future hope in the child, not a present hope in the husband of Ruth.

15 (con’t) for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”

This again shows us that Naomi’s goel is the child. The women refer to Ruth as the mother of the child. Ruth isn’t of Israel, but is married into Israel. And it is Ruth who is said to love her. In the Hebrew, the tense of the verb is perfect. In essence, “your daughter-in-law, who has completely loved you.”

It is she who is “better than seven sons” to Naomi. What seven sons could not have done, she was able to do. Only through a woman can a child be born. If she had seven sons but none of them were married, they could never have given her what she has obtained.

In the Bible, the number seven indicates spiritual perfection. The women of the town knew that the value of Ruth and her love for Naomi was transcendent and that it had been through this love that a new hope was transcendently granted.

Because the son was born to Ruth, though he was not of direct blood, he was to be considered the most cherished of all sons. It is an indication that the legal parameters of Israel through physical descent could not compare to the wholly-devoted and self-sacrificing foreign-born daughter.

It is the connection which is based on love which has brought Naomi to the point that she has come. The in-grafting of the child into her heart and family line was because of the love of the daughter-in-law which in turn makes the child of more heartfelt love than would have been possible through natural means.

Benson gives us wonderful words to express this state that Naomi has found herself in – “See how God sometimes makes up the want of those relations from whom we expected most comfort, in those from whom we expected least!”

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, indeed
When the plowman shall overtake the one who reaps
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed
For this my soul rejoices and my heart leaps

The mountains shall drip with sweet wine
And all the hills shall with it flow
It will fill the tables with joy at mealtime
And bring to the peoples a contented and radiant glow

The Redeemer will come and restore all once lost
And He will do it for His people without charge or cost

II. His Name is Obed (verses 16 & 17)

16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom,

This is a symbolic act of adoption as her own. In Genesis 30, when Rachel was unable to bear her own children, she gave her maidservant to Jacob to have one for her. When she did this, she did it with this thought in mind –

“Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, and she will bear a child on my knees, that I also may have children by her.” Genesis 30:3

By having the child born in her lap, it signified that the child belonged to her. This verse about Naomi is similar. Obviously she would hold the baby and play with it often, but the purpose of specifically saying this in the Bible was to tell us the significance of the act. The record of the words shows the intent of the passage. And the next words continue to confirm this…

16 (con’t) and became a nurse to him.

This is not the usual term for “nurse” where a woman would suckle a child. That word is yanaq. Rather this is the word aman. It means to confirm or to support. It is the same word that is used to describe Mordecai, the uncle of Esther, where it says –

“And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.” Esther 2:7

It is also used in the following passage from Isaiah which is speaking of the men, not the women, who would tend to Israel in the future –

“Kings shall be your foster fathers,
And their queens your nursing mothers;
They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth,
And lick up the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord,
For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” Isaiah 49:23

That passage from Isaiah 49 is actually showing us a portion of the fulfillment of the pictures we’re seeing in the book of Ruth right now. Go take a gander there after the sermon today and you can be a leg up on the final sermon we have in Ruth next week.

Naomi, as the aman, or nurse, then is the one to raise the child in the law and culture of Israel. She will be the one who willingly bears the responsibility noted in Deuteronomy 6 –

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

This is the implication of the words that have been given in this verse. Were it not so, then the Bible would have skipped over it because these are the things any normal mother or grandmother would do. There would be no need to mention them otherwise, but because it does, we’re asked to consider the words with the additional weight that these things apply to Naomi specifically.

17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name,

Surprisingly, commentators deny this as if it doesn’t say what it says. They say, that they merely “recommended a name” to Ruth. But it says they gave him the name. Literally, they “called out a name.” This is the name they called him.

Whether it became a nickname that stuck, or whether it was a name that they called him and so Ruth decided to run with it, we don’t know. Either way it was the neighbor women who named him. And we’re given a reason why they named him as the verse continues…

17 (con’t) saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.”

He is given a name because he is a son born to Naomi. This is why they named him. It doesn’t say that they “recommended” he be given a name, but that they called out a name because Naomi has a child. The name is being tied to the fact that he is Naomi’s son. And the name that he is given is tied to the fact that he is a son. And so we continue…

17 (con’t) And they called his name Obed.

The name they called out for this wonderful child is Obed. It is being tied to the fact that he is Naomi’s son and to the fact that he is, in fact, a son. And so they call him Obed, which means “servant.” What does him being Naomi’s son have to do with him being a servant?

This is what confounds people, but the answer comes from the account itself. Just three verses ago, as soon as it was said that Ruth was given conception and bore a son, the women said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel!”

In the very next verse, it says, “may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age.” The son is the close relative, the goel, who is Naomi’s redeemer. He is the one who will be the restorer of life and the nourisher of her. He will be a servant to her and so they call him Obed.

As would be expected of the ladies of Bethlehem, they would see him as able to serve her as she grew older and became less and less able to care for herself. There was a point where it would fall to him, as her goel, to care for her, to restore her, and to nourish her.

Despite the troubles of old age to come, the Pulpit commentary says that “…now a sealed fountain of reviving waters had been opened in the wilderness.”

* 17 (fin) He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The narrative portion of the book of Ruth ends with a note of resounding greatness. In the previous chapter, Boaz had hinted that a blessing was upon Ruth because of her noble character. He exclaimed in the dark of night at the threshing floor, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter!”

In an utterance of prophecy as much as a blessing, he spoke words which he actually became a participant in. Because of his attentive care for her, and because of her true and noble character, the two of them became ancestors of David, the great king of Israel, Israel’s sweet psalmist, and a prophet of God.

And in turn, each of them became ancestors of the greatest King of all, and in Whom all of the Messianic prophecies are ultimately directed and fulfilled. Boaz then shows us that there is more than just adherence to the law to bring about what is good and right.

The unnamed closer-relative adhered to the law, but by him Ruth and Naomi remained unredeemed. Following the letter of the law only shows that the law cannot prevent misery. Instead, it only increases it. It only shows us that something more than the law is needed: grace.

Paul tells us this in an exacting way in the New Testament. First he asks if the law, which is good, brings about death. His answer is that no, it is sin which brings about death. Here are his words from Romans 7 –

“Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” Romans 7:13-15

Later, in the book of Galatians, he shows us then what the law’s purpose was –

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3:21-25

Where the closer relative relied solely on the law, only misery for Naomi and Ruth would remain. But Boaz, using the law and adding in grace and love, prevailed over the law. He followed the spirit and intent of the law, not the mere letters which comprise it.

He too could have declined to redeem Ruth, but through granting of grace, a bond of love was formed which prevailed over the law. There was no removal of his sandal, there was no spitting in his face for not fulfilling his duties. Instead, there was the ability to redeem and there was a desire to redeem. And so.he.redeemed.

In this story of redemption, there is found the truth that no law exists which is as strong and as capable as the law of love. Paul tells us this in Romans 13 –

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:8-10

The closer relative sought to not help his distressed relative by using the provisions of law for his own benefit. In the process, he harmed her. Boaz sought to use the law to help her and he did it also through an exercise of love. Thus he not only followed the provisions of the law, he fulfilled the law. Indeed, love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:10)

In our fallen state, we cannot love perfectly and so we can never perfectly fulfill the law. The law only shows us our desperate need for God’s mercy. But God cannot show mercy to the point of violating His own righteousness. Sin must be judged. And so God sent His Son into the world.

The Bible says, God is love. As this is so, His Son is love and thus He can love perfectly and thus perfectly fulfill the law. This He did and then in the most amazing display of love ever, He willingly gave His own life up in exchange for our sins.

The Bible tells us that if we call out to receive this gift of love and receive Jesus Christ as Lord, we will be save from God’s wrath. I would pray that if you have never asked God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, that you would do so today. If You do, you will be counted among the redeemed of the Lord. What an offer! Don’t wait another day.

Closing Verse: “And now the Lord says,
Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him,
So that Israel is gathered to Him
(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord,
And My God shall be My strength)” Isaiah 49:5

Next Week: Ruth 4:18-22 (Perez to David – From the Breaker to the Beloved) (13th Ruth Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. He knows your trials, troubles, and woes and He is there with you through them. So cling to Him and let Him do marvelous things for you and through you.

And They Called His Name Obed

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife
And when in to her he went
The Lord gave her conception, a new life
And she bore a son when her months were spent

Then the women said to Naomi
“Blessed be the Lord, who has not this day left you
Without a close relative
And may in Israel his name be famous too

And may he be to you of life a restorer
And of your old age a nourisher

For your daughter-in-law, who loves you
Who has borne him, she is better than seven sons, it’s true

Then Naomi took the child
Who seemed the lifting of her curse
And laid him on her bosom in a manner mild
And to him she became a nurse

Also the neighbor women to him a name they gave
Saying, “There is born to Naomi a son
And they called his name Obed, meaning a servant or a slave
He is the father of Jesse, the father of David
In Israel, he became a very great one

From sadness and heartache too great to be measured
Came joy and blessing more than could be thought
In Naomi’s lap was placed a son that she treasured
A son through whom her redemption was bought

In the marvelous way God directs our lives’ events
Even the worst of times will be forgotten memories
Some day the difficulties that we face will all make sense
We’ll understand why we faced such great adversities

Until then we need to trust God, giving to Him our cares
And hold fast to the promises of His word
In that treasure to us He gladly shares
The story of redemption centered on our Lord

Yes, it is all about our Lord Jesus
He who has done all things wondrously
And has promised to always care for us

Hallelujah and Amen…