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Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter – an excellent wife.

RUTH-4-180426
length: 62:41 - taught on Apr, 26 2018
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Thursday April 26,2018

 

Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - an excellent wife.  

 

Boaz takes full responsibility of kinsman-redeemer in front of many witnesses. Chilion’s name will die out while Mahlon’s will live on.

 

RUT 4:8 So the closest relative said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself." And he removed his sandal.

 

Redeeming Ruth would have cost the relative quite a bit while not redeeming her only cost him one sandal, or so he thinks. His lost opportunity by not taking the most gracious way is very great.

 

RUT 4:9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon.

 

RUT 4:10 Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased may not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today."

 

RUT 4:11 And all the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, "We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.

 

RUT 4:12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the Lord shall give you by this young woman."

 

The witnesses offer three blessings:

1) As Rachel and Leah built the house of Israel may Ruth build the house of Boaz.

 

In the Bible, it is the woman who makes the home one that is fitting to the blessings of the Lord. We will spend a bit of time on this truth. An entire section of Proverbs is written about the woman’s virtue to her husband, her children, and to her home.

 

Their wish is that Ruth be a woman of excellence. She already has this reputation amongst those in the city, but the wish is still given as it is a custom. We would imagine that sometimes this blessing is given upon a newly married couple, which under their breath they say, “Yeah right, not a chance,” but we would imagine this time hopes are high.  

 

2) “achieve wealth (worth or strength) and become famous” - make yourself a well-established name in Bethlehem and have worthy sons.

 

A name of renown is greatly valued in Israel, as it is everywhere. The blessing desired is that his marriage would only build his name in a great way and not diminish or tarnish it. A marriage to a selfish and shallow woman would damage his name and likely effect the children and the family. The same is true when a woman marries a selfish man. The desire is that anyone in Bethlehem would think of blessedness and strength when the family of Boaz and Ruth were ever mentioned. Everyone wants this, but few are willing to do what it takes to be blessed and strong.

 

3) “be like the house of Perez” - strength and a large family. Perez (burst forth) pushed past his twin brother at birth.

 

Tamar was also a widow, in fact twice, and received the benefit of levirate marriage, though the brother of her husband also died. Tamar was the wife of Judah’s son Er who was evil and died by the hand of the Lord. She was then taken by Er’s brother Onan, who would not sire a child and he also died by the hand of the Lord. Judah promised Tamar his younger son, but she would have to wait the number of years for him to come of age, but when the young man had grown Judah did not give her to him. Tamar therefore took matters into her own hands and disguised herself as a prostitute. Judah himself bedded her and she conceived twins. At the birth, when the first born emerged the midwife tied a scarlet chord to his wrist labeling him as the first-born son, but he receded into the womb and Perez burst forth ahead of him.  

 

Perez was a more prominent family than Zerah, his brother, and he settled in Bethlehem. Because of this the family of Perez was viewed as strong, prominent, and good at breeding strong sons. To them it would be a great compliment to be called “like the house of Perez.”

 

The people did not know it at the time, but 4:12 is a Messianic prophecy - “the seed which the Lord shall give you.”

 

RUT 4:12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the Lord shall give you by this young woman."

 

Even the rabbis interpret this passage as Messianic: “the seed which the Lord shall give you by this young woman.”

 

PSA 89:1 I will sing of the lovingkindness of the Lord forever;

To all generations I will make known Thy faithfulness with my mouth.

 

PSA 89:2 For I have said, "Lovingkindness [chesed] will be built up forever;

In the heavens Thou wilt establish Thy faithfulness."

 

PSA 89:3 "I have made a covenant with My chosen;

I have sworn to David My servant,

 

PSA 89:4 I will establish your seed forever,

And build up your throne to all generations."

 

The psalmist then writes of the things that had gone wrong in Israel. It is likely that he is writing of the reign of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, who dove headlong into idol worship. Rehoboam would suffer for his failures, but the promise is that the house of David would rule forever, as was promised to David in 2Sa 7.

 

PSA 89:30 "If his sons forsake My law,

And do not walk in My judgments,

 

PSA 89:31 If they violate My statutes,

And do not keep My commandments,

 

PSA 89:32 Then I will visit their transgression with the rod,

And their iniquity with stripes.

 

PSA 89:33 "But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him [David],

Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.

 

PSA 89:34 "My covenant I will not violate,

Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.

 

PSA 89:35 "Once I have sworn by My holiness;

I will not lie to David.

 

PSA 89:36 "His descendants shall endure forever,

And his throne as the sun before Me.

 

PSA 89:37 "It shall be established forever like the moon,

And the witness in the sky is faithful."

 

RUT 4:11 And all the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, "We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.

 

RUT 4:12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the Lord shall give you by this young woman."

 

All three blessings center on the house of Boaz and therefore his marriage to Ruth. The fulfillment of these blessings all depend on the virtue of them both. But since the blessings are given to Boaz, the prayer is that Ruth is a virtuous or excellent woman. She already has this reputation in Bethlehem after only living there for about a month or two.

 

PRO 31:10-31 is a discourse of the woman of virtue as defined by God and praised by the same. 

 

PRO 31:10-31 is an acrostic. Each of the 22 verses begin with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order.

 

There are several of these in the scripture, notably Psa 119. It means that the first line starts with a word that begins with the letter aleph, and the second line with a word that begins with bet, and then gimmel, dalet, etc.

 

PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.

 

PRO 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.

 

Vs. 10 “A woman” - tva (ishshah)

Chayil - excellence, valor, wealth, strength (used of Boaz, 2:1; Ruth, 3:11; and the blessing upon Boaz, 4:11)

 

Boaz is described by the author of the Book of Ruth as being a great man of wealth and valor. Boaz said to Ruth the night on the threshing floor that the whole city knew her as a woman of excellence. And the people of the court pray that the house of Boaz achieve wealth or strength. In each case chayil is used.

 

Let’s take a brief survey of the use of this word. So often it is used for the strength or wealth or valor of people in the Bible. Of course, it is used for God’s strength as well. Being used over 200 times, we will pass over its uses for soldiers and kings and move to its use for our everyday lives.

 

PSA 18:30 As for God,

His way is blameless;

The word of the Lord is tried;

He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

 

PSA 18:31 For who is God, but the Lord?

And who is a rock, except our God,

 

PSA 18:32 The God who girds me with strength [chayil],

And makes my way blameless?

 

PSA 18:33 He makes my feet like hinds' feet,

And sets me upon my high places.

 

PSA 18:34 He trains my hands for battle,

So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

 

PSA 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation,

And Thy right hand upholds me;

And Thy gentleness makes me great.

 

PSA 18:36 Thou dost enlarge my steps under me,

And my feet have not slipped.

 

God girds you and I with strength. Never mistake human resources or circumstances for it.

 

PSA 33:1 Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming [beautiful] to the upright.

 

PSA 33:2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.

 

PSA 33:3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

 

PSA 33:4 For the word of the Lord is upright; And all His work is done in faithfulness.

 

PSA 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.

 

PSA 33:6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

 

PSA 33:7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

 

PSA 33:8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

 

PSA 33:9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

 

PSA 33:10 The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.

 

PSA 33:11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

 

PSA 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

 

PSA 33:13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men;

 

PSA 33:14 From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth,

 

PSA 33:15 He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.

 

PSA 33:16 The king is not saved by a mighty army [chayil]; A warrior is not delivered by great strength.

 

PSA 33:17 A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength [chayil].

 

PSA 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness,

 

PSA 33:19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.

 

PSA 33:20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.

 

PSA 33:21 For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name.

 

PSA 33:22 Let Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, According as we have hoped in Thee.

 

Men boast in their own strength/wealth. We are to only boast in the Lord’s.

 

PSA 49:5 Why should I fear in days of adversity,

When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,

 

PSA 49:6 Even those who trust in their wealth [chayil],

And boast in the abundance of their riches?

 

PRO 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

But she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones.

 

PRO 31:1 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him.

 

The identity of Lemuel remains uncertain.

 

PRO 31:2 What, O my son?

And what, O son of my womb?

And what, O son of my vows?

 

PRO 31:3 Do not give your strength [chayil] to women,

Or your ways to that which destroys kings.

 

PRO 31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,

It is not for kings to drink wine,

Or for rulers to desire strong drink,

 

True strength, wealth, courage, and virtue can only come from the Lord.

 

PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.

 

PRO 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.

 

The gain is implied as coming from her. What it is, is not mentioned. He has confidence in her to bring gain to him and the home as opposed to taking from it.

 

PRO 31:12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

 

She knows what is good according to God and she loves it.

 

Hence, she always does good, and not just when it is easy or that her husband is good and deserving. Like our word chesed, goodness (Hebrew: towb) has to be known and loved.

 

PRO 31:13 She looks for wool and flax, And works with her hands in delight.

 

The same Hebrew asah, to be active, to work, is used of Ruth gleaning in Boaz’s field. We should imagine that Ruth took delight in her work since the product of it provided for the woman she loved so dearly.

 

However, the love of another will only motivate partially, and often will not be enough when sacrificial work is demanded. It is love for God that is needed. Doing all things as unto Him, not just because He’s watching, which He is of course, but out of love for Him.

 

We all know the difference between work and delightful work. The hands seem to do better and more efficient work when the soul is delighted.

 

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