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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ruth 2:1

 

 

Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.

Adam Clarke Commentary

A mighty man of wealth - We have already seen that some suppose Boaz to have been one of the judges of Israel; he was no doubt a man of considerable property.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ruth-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

A kinsman - More literally “an acquaintance”; here (and in the feminine, Rth 3:2 ) denoting the person with whom one is intimately acquainted, one‘s near relation. The next kinsman of Rth 2:20 , etc. גאל gā'al is a wholly different word.

Boaz - Commonly taken to mean, “strength is in him” (compare 1 Kings 7:21).


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ruth-2.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Ruth 2:1

Naomi had a kinsman.

A kind kinsman

I. God never wants His instruments of succour unto those that trust in His mercy. Some relation (either natural or spiritual) God will raise up to relieve His in their deepest extremity.

II. Some rich men may yet be religious men. Though indeed they are rare birds, yet riches and religion are not inconsistent things.

III. It Is a brave attainment to be rich in this world, and to re rich in good works too. So Boaz was. Boaz did not make gold his confidence, but was rich in faith (James 2:5), and rich to God (Luke 12:21). (C. Ness.)

Boaz a yeoman

In these early days, especially under the rule of the judges, when hostile inroads on the chosen people were so frequently made by unfriendly neighbours, the man who had great possessions was in a manner compelled to be also a military leader, and so we may very justly combine the two meanings, and speak of him as a valiant man and a wealthy; or, as Dr. Morison has paraphrased the expression, “a strong and substantial yeoman.”(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)

The rich kinsman

All that the appointed kinsman could do for the estate and body of his impoverished relative the Lord Jesus as our goel does for our souls and our everlasting state. In His humanity He is our nearest kinsman. In His Deity, he is perfectly able to supply all our wants, and to defend us from every danger and oppression. As the promised goel, the Lord Jesus has a special relation to Israel as a nation, and a particular personal relation to every believing soul. He is the goel, the Kinsman Redeemer of the nation of Israel. He is the seed of Abraham, in whom all the nations are to be blessed. God gave the land of Canaan unto Abraham, and unto his seed for ever. It was to be their permanent possession. But the children of Abraham have been long since cast out of their inheritance. Their land has been taken from them, and they have been wanderers and exiles on the heart. Yet God ordained that this land should not be sold for ever, because it was His land. It was Immanuel’s land. And Immanuel is their kinsman according to the flesh, who is to restore again that land to the seed of Abraham. His feet are in that day to stand upon the Mount of Olives. But the Lord Jesus Christ is also our goel, our Kinsman Redeemer--to fulfil the great duties of a Restorer to us. He restores that which He took not away. He has redeemed our lost estate. He has brought life and immortality to light, and given us a kingdom which cannot be moved. He has redeemed our persons from bondage and condemnation. We may go to Him just as freely and hopefully as the impoverished Jew went to his kinsman, perfectly sure that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This gracious character of our blessed Saviour is brought out in many points of view in the history of Boaz. When Naomi returned to Judah with Ruth, she found a goel already prepared for her. He was “a mighty man of wealth,” perfectly able to meet all their wants, and to restore them to their happy condition again. And such a kinsman has been provided for us. We need not say, “Who shall ascend up to heaven to bring Christ down from above?” He is already prepared to be a Saviour for us, before we are born. We have nothing to do but to receive Him, trust in Him, and obey Him, as our gracious Lord. Like Boaz, He is “a mighty man of wealth.” All things in heaven and earth are His. And if we are His, all things are ours. He can enrich His people with every conceivable blessing. No good thing can they want while they have Him for their friend and portion. The name of this rich kinsman of Naomi’s was Boaz, which means strength. In this name we may find a memorial of our Divine Redeemer. Jesus is our strength and our salvation. He is the power of God unto salvation for us. What mighty works He has done for us! What works of mercy is He still willing to accomplish! He is our Kinsman Redeemer. We see Him in His lowly human, suffering form, wearing our nature, and bearing the burden of our sins. We see Him in the unsearchable riches of His grace as God over all, and in the triumphs of His obedience as the Lord our Righteousness, possessing unlimited wealth to be applied to our needs. We see Him of infinite might, exalted above the heavens, angels, authorities, and powers being made subject unto Him. We see Him fully provided for us, waiting to be gracious to us, and ready to receive the poorest and the most wretched of His kinsmen who come to Him. (S. H. Tyng, D. D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ruth 2:1". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/ruth-2.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's,.... That was her kinsman by her husband's side, who now lived at Bethlehem; and yet it does not appear that Naomi made any application to him for assistance in her circumstances, though well known to her, as the word used signifies; which might arise from her modesty, and being loath to be troublesome to him, especially as he was a relation, not of her own family, but of her husband's; but, what is more strange, that this kinsman had taken no notice of her, nor sent to her, who yet was a very generous and liberal man, and had knowledge of her coming, for he had heard of the character of Ruth, 2:11 but perhaps he was not acquainted with their indigent circumstances:

a mighty man of wealth; a man of great wealth and riches, and of great power and authority, which riches give and raise a man to, and also of great virtue and honour, all which the word "wealth" signifies; to which may be added the paraphrase the Targumist gives, that he was mighty in the law; in the Scriptures, in the word of God, a truly religious man, which completes his character:

of the family of Elimelech; the husband of Naomi; some say that his father was Elimelech's brother; see Gill on 2:2,

and his name was Boaz; which signifies, "in him is strength", strength of riches, power, virtue, and grace; it is the name of one of the pillars in Solomon's temple, so called from its strength. This man is commonly said by the Jews to be the same with Ibzan, a judge of Israel, Judges 12:8, he was the grandson of Nahshon, prince of the tribe of Judah, who first offered at the dedication of the altar, Numbers 7:12, his father's name was Salmon, and his mother was Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, Matthew 1:5. A particular account is given of this man, because he, with Ruth, makes the principal part of the following history.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ruth-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of a wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name [was] Boaz.

(a) Or power, both in virtue, authority and riches.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ruth-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2:1-3. Ruth gleans in the field of Boaz.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ruth-2.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

As the history advanceth in its progress, the several particulars of it become more interesting. In this chapter we are introduced into the acquaintance of the hero of the subject, Boaz: and informed how Ruth became first brought acquainted with him. The events of a day are circumstantially related, and the consequences of it, in Ruth's conduct during the season of the harvest follow.

(Ruth 2:1) And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

As the main hinge upon which the whole of this sweet history turns, considered in a spiritual and typical sense, is centered in the character of Boaz, here spoken of, it will be proper, in the opening of the chapter in this place, no attend particularly to what is said of him. Boaz by name signifies strength. And he is said to be a rich kinsman's of Naomi's husband. Now it is a point which should never be lost sight of through the whole of this history, that the self-same word which in this place is rendered kinsman, is in some other scriptures rendered Redeemer. The original word is Goel. Thus for example: If the man have no (Goel) kinsman to recompense the trespass. So it is rendered Numbers 5:8. So again in this same book, Ruth 3:12. I am thy (Goel) near kinsman. But in the book of Job 19:25, the same word is rendered Redeemer. I know that my (Goel) Redeemer liveth. So again in the book of the Proverbs 23:11. For their (Goel) Redeemer is mighty. So likewise in the prophecy of Isaiah 47:4. As for our (Goel) Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts is his name. And what is the evident conclusion from the comparative view of all these scriptures, but that the Goel-kinsman of our nature is one and the same person, the Goel-Redeemer of his people: of whom Boaz, in whom is said to be strength, is a lively type. Moreover, he is said to be the kinsman of Elimelech. And may we not, without violence to the sacred text, consider this certain man (as Elimelech is first called in the opening of the Book of Ruth), a lively type of our whole nature, to whom the Lord Jesus is indeed both our kinsman and Redeemer; being in his humanity bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh; and in his Godhead our Redeemer, mighty to save, the Lord of Hosts is his name. And as it is a subject of the most interesting nature, to trace the affinity after the flesh of Boaz with the Lord Jesus, as well as to view him as the type of Jesus, I detain the Reader to make a further remark concerning his pedigree. And if the Reader will consult the opening of the Gospel by St. Matthew, he will there discover how that our Lord after the flesh sprung from Boaz and Ruth; and thereby manifested his connection both with the Jewish and the Gentile church. See Matthew 1:5. Hence, thou blessed Jesus, I may truly say thou art the Goel, the kinsman Redeemer, of thy people! thou art of our family, for thou didst take our nature upon thee, when thou becamest man for our sakes. And surely thou art a mighty man of wealth, for in thee dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and in thee are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:1; Col_2:3.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/ruth-2.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ruth 2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name [was] Boaz.

Ver. 1. And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s.] Lyra saith Elimelech and Salmon - other Hebrews say Elimelech and Naasson - were brethren. Some, more probably, hold that Elimelech was the son of Salmon’s brother, and so his son the kinsman of Boaz once removed; for there was one nearer. [Ruth 3:12]

A mighty man of wealth.] Rich, and yet religious - a rare bird.

And his name was Boaz,] i.e., Strength, or fortitude. He was strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city. [Proverbs 18:11] But good Boaz had learned better than to trust in uncertain riches: [1 Timothy 6:17] he was rich in this world, and withal rich in good works (ibid.), rich in faith, [James 2:5] rich to Godward. [Luke 12:21]


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ruth-2.html. 1865-1868.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, an important man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.’

Introductory to what is about to unfold we are provided with information about Boaz, the man who will feature prominently in the story. He was ‘an important man of wealth’, and was of the family of Elimelech. Family was an important concept in Israelite eyes, and a man was seen as having a responsibility towards other members of his wider family. It was expected of him that where he could, he would redeem any family property that had had to be sold, and would enable the continuation of his kinsmen’s names by producing sons to take up their inheritance. Whilst the Law of Moses had only indicated this as being an obligation to brothers of a deceased man who had died childless (Deuteronomy 25:5-10), it was also apparently seen as incumbent on other close relatives to perform the same function, albeit voluntarily, when there were no brothers. Compare how Judah had basically admitted that he had been responsible to ensure that his daughter-in-law had had children by a family member, and that she could not therefore be greatly faulted for having ensured the continuation of her husband’s name by having intercourse with him by trickery (Genesis 38:6-30). Such perpetuation was ancient custom and a matter of family honour. Deuteronomy had only been applying it to a specific situation.

Furthermore they would be seen as having an obligation to ensure that family members did not go hungry, and it is clear from the narrative that Boaz had been making enquiries into Naomi’s situation and was well informed about it (Ruth 2:11). He was thus behaving like a loyal kinsman.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/ruth-2.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. A kinsman of her husband’s — An acquaintance and friend, and also a relative. But the Hebrew word is not the same as that rendered kinsman in Ruth 2:20 and Ruth 3:9; Ruth 3:12-13. According to a Rabbinical tradition, Boaz was a nephew of Elimelech. He was a wealthy and influential citizen of Bethlehem, and perhaps had also distinguished himself in war.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ruth-2.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Booz. The Scripture does not specify how nearly they were related. R. Josue says Elimelech, Salmon, and Tob (chap. iii. 13,) were brothers, and Booz was the son of Salmon, which cannot be refuted, (Serarius, q. 1.; Menochius) though the authority and proofs be very weak. It is not, however, more probable that Booz was the brother of Elimelech. Some think that he was not the immediate son of Salmon, as four persons seem too few to fill up the space of 366 years, from the marriage of Rahab till the birth of David. But this is not impossible. (Calmet) See chap. iv. 20.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ruth-2.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. No JFB commentary on this verse.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ruth-2.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) Boaz.—It has been already said that if there are any gaps in the genealogy, these are most probably to be referred to its earlier portion. According to the line, however, given in Ruth 4:18 seq., Boaz is grandson of the Nahshon who was prince of the tribe of Judah during the wanderings in the desert and son of Salmon and Rahab of Jericho. It may be noted that the difficulty of date may be lessened by supposing that in the last two generations we have children of their fathers’ old age.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ruth-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
kinsman
3:2,12
a mighty
Deuteronomy 8:17,18; Job 1:3; 31:25
Boaz
Boaz, according the Targumist, was the same as Ibzan.
4:21; Judges 12:8-10; 1 Chronicles 2:10-12; Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32
Booz

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ruth-2.html.

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

CHAPTER SECOND

Ruth 2:1

The Relative

1And Naomi had [in Bethlehem] a kinsman [lit. acquaintance,] of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth [a valiant hero], of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

EXEGETICAL AND DOCTRINAL

Before relating the wonderful deliverance through a kinsman, by which faithfulness and love are rewarded, the writer first informs us briefly of the existence of the person who is chosen to effect this deliverance. Hitherto the acting persons have been only women, both of them loving and excellent; now, the portrait of a man is drawn, who is the model of an Israelite, as family-head and as landlord, in war and in peace.

Naomi had a kinsman. The expression for this is מְיֻדָּע. In our texts, it is true, it is pointed מיֹדַע, with מוֹדָע, as Keri, in the margin. But מוֹדָע occurs only once more ( Proverbs 7:4), and there also we must probably read מְיֻדָּע. The reading מוֹדָע was preferred by the Masora only on account of the fem. מוֹדַעַת, which occurs at Ruth 3:2. The participle מְודָּע is of more frequent occurrence, cf. Psalm 55:14. Hitherto, Naomi could say, as does the Psalmist ( Psalm 88:9): “Thou hast put my kinsmen (מְיֻדָּעַי) far from me.” Compare also Ruth 2:19 of the same Psalm, where it stands in parallelism with אֹהֵב, lover, and רֵעַ, companion. She has likewise experienced what is written Psalm 31:12, cf. Job 19:14. Literally, to be sure, the word means only an “acquaintance;” but it expresses more than we mean by that term. The man was not a very near relative, but one “known” to the family, as belonging to it. It was an acquaintance valid within the family lines; hence the word signifies as much as familiaris. It is used in a noteworthy connection at 2 Kings 10:11, where Jehu slays all the great men, the מְיֻדְּעִים, and the priests of Ahab,—i. e. everybody that adhered to him, whether from family connection or interest. The Latin notus may occasionally approximate to the idea of the Hebrew term even more closely than the Greek γνώριμος; not so much, however, in Catull79:4 (si tria notorum basia repererit), as in Liv3:44, where, with reference to the violence done to Virginia, is said: notos gratia (patris et sponsi) turbam indignitas rei virgini conciliat.

The fact is emphasized that Boaz was only a מִיֻדָּע This not only explains a certain remoteness of Naomi from him, but it makes the piety, which notwithstanding the distance (manifest also from Ruth 3:12) of the relationship, performs what the narrative goes on to relate, more conspicuously great than it would appear if, according to an unfounded conjecture of Jewish expositors, he were held to be the son of Elimelech’s brother.

A valiant hero. These words are applied to Boaz in no other sense than to Gideon ( Judges 6:12), Jephthah (11:1), and others, and have no reference to his wealth and property. He was a strong and able man in Israel, in war and in peace. Probably he had distinguished himself in conflicts of Israel against enemies, perhaps against Moab. The ancestor of David Isaiah, as the Midrash (Ruth 31, d) remarks, rightly thus described. His name, Boaz (בֹּעַז), is to be explained by reference to the name of one of the pillars erected by Song of Solomon, and called Boaz, while the other was named Jachin (cf. my Gold. Thron Salomo’s, p45). It is not a compound of בּוֹ עָז, but a contraction of בֶּן־עַז, “son of strength, of enduring vigor.” The signification alacritas (Ges, Keil, etc.), would hardly be applicable to the pillar.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The same characteristic is ascribed to Boaz as to Gideon, and to David. But concerning his warlike deeds nothing is related. In Israel, however, there was no valor, properly so called, except such as sprang from the acknowledgment of the living God. The word is not applied to wild battle-rage, but to moral strength, which valiantly repels distress and dishonor, as Abraham drew the sword for his country against foreign oppressors. Boaz was a hero in war through his virtue in peace. And this virtue comes so clearly to view in the Book of Ruth, that the narrator could justly add: he was a brave man. For morally brave he shows himself in every relation: 1. as landlord; 2. as confessor of God; 3. as man of action; and hence he receives the reward both of him who dispenses blessings and of him who receives them.

[Fuller: “This first verse presents us with two remarkable things: 1. Poor Naomi was allied to powerful Boaz2. Boaz was both a powerful man and a godly man.”—Tr.]


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Bibliography
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Ruth 2:1". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/ruth-2.html. 1857-84.

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