Ruth’s Bold Move: An Analysis of Chapter 3

In this enlightening exposé, we delve into the contextual commentary of the third chapter of the Book of Ruth, a historically meaningful and spiritually fulfilled narrative embedded within the sacred texts of the Old Testament. Faithful and obedient, Ruth’s tale is layered with spiritual wisdom and divine intervention that extend timeless lessons about trust, humility, and providence.

Understanding the interactions and dialogues in Ruth Chapter 3 can provide us with a profound alignment with God’s overall scriptural message, certainly enriching our theological perspectives and application of Faith. As we explore and dissect Ruth’s conversation with Boaz, God’s illustration of our relationship with Him takes form, guided by references from the Bible.

Join us as we unravel the threads of divine guidance woven into Ruth 3, conjuring a vivid and sincere view of God’s favor and sovereignty in man’s obedience and surrender. “And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11). An insight into this particular verse, among many others, awaits within this enlightening commentary.

Ruth's Bold Move: An Analysis of Chapter 3

Unveiling the Heart of Ruth: Her Dedication and Steadfast Love (Ruth 3:1-5)

The book of Ruth provides a beautiful narrative of steadfast love and dedication, key attributes exhibited by its protagonist, Ruth. In the context of Ruth 3:1-5, the qualities that set Ruth apart are put into action. This portion of the often-interpreted “love story” is an integral part of the narrative. It unravels Ruth’s dedication both to her mother-in-law Naomi and to her husband, who has passed away, and depicts her pursuit of a secure future for both her and Naomi.

Here, in the face of famine, economic hardship, and bereavement, Ruth’s dedication stands out. Noteworthy is Ruth’s obedience, as depicted in verse 3:5 where she agrees to Naomi’s plan without hesitation: “All that you say I will do”. Ruth’s character here reflects the exhortation in Ephesians 6:5-7 to obey with sincerity of heart, just as one would obey Christ. The following list captures Ruth’s character traits shown in this passage:

  • Dedicated Loyalty: Ruth’s faithfulness to her late husband, to Naomi, and ultimately to God, in the face of adversity, speaks volumes about her character. It aligns with 1 Corinthians 16:14’s command – “do everything in love.”
  • Radical Obedience: Ruth went against the norms of her Moabite culture to follow Naomi’s God, proving that her dedication was not just to her mother-in-law, but also to Yahweh.
  • Sacrificial Love: Ruth’s actions reflect the love noted in John 15:13, where the Bible notes, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This heart of dedication shown by Ruth, regardless of the obstacles she faced, displayed a steadfast love that reached beyond the cultural and societal norms of her day. Paul draws on this in 1 Corinthians 13:7, stating that love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This type of radical dedication and steadfast love, earnestly reflected in Ruth’s actions, is asked of every believer and underlies the very tenets of Christianity.

The Midnight Encounter: Boaz’s Revelation at the Threshing Floor (Ruth 3:6-9)

In this noteworthy encounter, Ruth approaches Boaz in the middle of the night at the threshing floor, taking the initiative as guided by her mother-in-law, Naomi. She arrives after Boaz had finished eating and drinking, and he was in good spirits, and gracefully uncovers his feet and lay down quietly (Ruth 3:7). This action is an exercise in humility and bravery on Ruth’s part. She, a Moabite woman, risks her reputation and safety to follow Naomi’s instruction. Her actions demonstrate her steadfast faith and the great lengths she is willing to go for her family’s survival.

Boaz awakens startled (Ruth 3:8), only to discover Ruth at his feet. Ruth then states her request audaciously yet respectfully, “Spread the corner of your garment over me since you are a kinsman-redeemer” (Ruth 3:9). Her statement contains powerful symbolism, invoking the language of marriage. In Ancient Near East customs, this action symbolizes a man’s intention to take care of a woman and effectively an implicit marriage proposal.

Boaz is moved by Ruth’s loyalty, faith, and humility. He is impacted by her choosing him, despite being older and having other younger men to choose from (Ruth 3:10). Boaz’s pledge to fulfill Ruth’s request is a critical moment in biblical history and the lineage of Jesus Christ. But the commitment to carry out her request isn’t an immediate process, there were potential obstacles to be navigated. A man who was a closer relative than Boaz had the first right to fulfill the responsibilities of a relative-redeemer (Ruth 3:12-13).

Boaz Responds: A Testament of Kindness and Compassion (Ruth 3:10-13)

In Ruth 3:10-13, Boaz demonstrates remarkable kindness and respect towards Ruth. His response to her request for marriage protection is affirming and gentle. “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replies first, affirming her courage.

This statement is powerful, as Boaz seeks God’s blessings for Ruth and recognizes the bold step she took, venturing into his domain at night. Boaz sees Ruth’s act not as inappropriate but instead, as a testament to her determination and trust in God’s providence.

Boaz is touched and impressed by Ruth’s choice, as we see in Ruth 3:11, “All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.” By referring to Ruth as ‘a woman of noble character,’ Boaz illustrates the respect he has for Ruth. He highlights her reputation in the town and compliments her integrity, a quality he deeply appreciates.

Furthermore, Boaz shows an understanding of Ruth’s situation, acknowledging that she could have chosen to pursue younger, possibly wealthier men. Instead, she chose him, perhaps because she saw in him the same kindness she herself embodied.

In return for Ruth’s kindness, Boaz shows his own by promising to do all he could for Ruth. He expresses this in Ruth 3:12-13 when he reveals the existence of a closer relative who technically has the right to act as a kinsman-redeemer. However, Boaz ensures Ruth that if the closer relative will not fulfil his duty, he then would surely take the responsibility.

Boaz’s commitment to care for Ruth shows his integrity and compassion. It is evident throughout the narrative that Boaz and Ruth’s story embodies kindness, compassion, respect and faith in God. This scriptural narrative offers a valuable exploration of how compassion, respect and kindness manifested in our interpersonal interactions can pave the way to God’s blessings.

The Pledge of Redemption: Understanding the Levirate Marriage Law (Ruth 3:12-15)

The Levirate marriage law, as stated in Deuteronomy 25:5-10, exists as an ancient Israelite societal obligation. It instructs that if a married man were to die without producing an heir, his brother ought to marry his widow and any child they would later bear would be regarded as the late brother’s seed.

This is to secure the perpetuation of the deceased’s name and inheritance within Israel. This law underscores Ruth 3:12-15, showcasing Naomi’s declaration of Boaz as kinsman-redeemer (go’el), positioned to redeem not only the family property but the family honor too.

Naomi presents Boaz as a ‘kinsman redeemer’, a role outlined in Leviticus 25:23-28 and Ruth 3:9. A ‘kinsman-redeemer’, often an elder family member, protects the extended family’s interest, ensuring that property doesn’t fall into the hands of any non-family members.

By virtue of levirate marriage, Boaz agrees to marry Ruth for the sake of continuing the lineage of Elimelech, Naomi’s dead husband. Ruth’s son will carry on the name of the dead, and without any right to inherit from his father Boaz, will establish the lost property to Naomi.

God’s loving-kindness (hesed) is mirrored in Boaz and Ruth’s story, and verse 13, where Boaz tells Ruth to stay until the morning, reveals his pledge of redemption. The unrequited role of kinsman-redeemer, Ruth’s conversion to the God of Israel, and their subsequent marriage all contribute to the dynastic blessing as a lineage to King David and, ultimately, to Jesus Christ. A Lineage ensured by the pledges of redemption through levirate marriage.

Ruth Returns to Naomi: A Glimpse of Divine Providence (Ruth 3:16-18)

In Ruth 3:16-18, we see Ruth’s return to Naomi after a significant meeting on the threshing floor with Boaz. The events surrounding this interaction illustrate an extraordinary display of God’s providence. As Ruth recounts her encounter with Boaz to Naomi, her mother-in-law’s faith in God’s divine will is brought to light, promoting a sense of hope and anticipation.

The concept of divine providence is powerfully present in these verses, as Naomi interprets Ruth’s account of the encounter. Here, we see:

  • Naomi’s faith in God’s providence, viewing Boaz’s promise as an unfailing commitment.
  • Ruth’s obedience and trust, openly accepting Naomi’s counsel and seeking refuge under Boaz’s cloak (symbolic of protection).
  • Boaz’s rightful ownership and willingness to redeem, offering not only shelter but a potential future for Ruth and Naomi.

In Naomi’s advice for Ruth to “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out…” (Ruth 3:18), she acknowledged the manifestation of God’s redeeming love and mercy for them, and the broader nation of Israel. It’s a profound testament to the specific and overarching works of divine providence – working seamlessly through ordinary circumstances to accomplish His divine purpose.


As we conclude our study on Ruth chapter 3, it is clear to see that this chapter holds great significance and relevance today. The story of Ruth serves as a testament of faith, courage, loyalty, and obedience. Through the humble character of Ruth and her budding relationship with Boaz, we are able to grasp a glimpse of the heart of our all-mighty, all-loving Heavenly Father.

In a world stricken with strife, pain and uncertainty, the virtuous character of Ruth invites us to deepen our faith and recommit to our heavenly calling. Just as Ruth displays an unwavering commitment to Naomi and to her new found faith, we must also maintain our steadfast commitment to our Heavenly Father who loves us and desires to bring us into His abundant grace.

Ruth’s strategic and humble appeal to Boaz (Ruth 3:9, NKJV) for redemption reflects our spiritual condition – needy, vulnerable and wholly dependent on a Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Boaz’s willingness to take responsibility for Ruth and to redeem her demonstrates Christ’s redemptive love for us.

Whether you find yourself in a season of suffering, of waiting, or of abundant blessings, may you openly seek and humbly accept God’s sovereign arm as your ultimate Protector and true Redeemer. May Ruth’s boldness and unwavering faith inspire us all to relentlessly pursue our relationship with God, to find our identity in Christ Jesus, and to echo Ruth’s actions in adhering to His will.

Let us embrace the wisdom from Ruth chapter 3 and apply it to our daily operations. May we embark on our individual spiritual journeys with renewed enthusiasm, faith, and determination, understanding that we have a Redeemer who loves us far more than we can comprehend – a Redeemer who has willingly claimed us as His own.

May God’s teachings, mirrored in the life of Ruth and countless others throughout Scripture, guide and enlighten our paths today, tomorrow, and forevermore. Amen.

About The Author

Scroll to Top