Rth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? Rth 3:2 Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Rth 3:3 Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Rth 3:4 But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” Rth 3:5 And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”
Rest as used in this context implies the security and benefits that are to be found in a godly marriage
Winnowing in Palestine consisted of throwing the mixture of straw, chaff, and grain up into the wind by means of a fork with large teeth. The worthless chaff was blown away from the winnower, the straw less far, while the valuable heavier kernels of grain fell back onto the threshing floor. The separation is the result of a breeze that usually blows off the Mediterranean from 4-5PM until sunset. The wind however must not be too strong, for then even the heavy valuable portions of the grain would be blown away with the lighter chaff. In summer the west wind blows very strongly in the afternoon but drops off in the evening, so that the evening hours provide the most desirable wind conditions. The threshing-floors are constructed in the fields, preferably in an exposed position in order to get the full benefit of the winds.
Naomi felt responsible for Ruth’s future husband and home. Naomi was no longer depressed, but had now in a positive sense become a matchmaker and was preparing Ruth to seek the love of her willing kinsman-redeemer, Boaz. Naomi’s motive was unselfish for she knew that if Ruth remained an unprotected widow in a foreign land, life could go very hard for her.
Ruth and Boaz Marry
Rth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Rth 4:14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! Rth 4:15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Ruth 4:16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. Rth 4:17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Note that the offspring or firstborn would be considered the son of Mahlon and any additional sons born would legally be the offspring of Boaz. Moses explains that…
“And it shall be that the first-born whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel.” (Dt 25:6)
It is because of this that Naomi is said to have a Redeemer. Note that the redeemer is not Boaz. The redeemer is the child which had been born. It is the birth of this child that would take away Naomi’s reproach of childlessness. It is this child who would take care of her in her old age. And it is this child of whom it is said, “May his name become famous (literally – “be called”) in Israel.”
It is through the birth of a baby born in Bethlehem that Naomi is going to find her redemption. This baby has a name which shall be proclaimed both in Israel and throughout the world. For whoever calls upon this name shall be saved.
These events in Moab and Bethlehem played their part in leading up to the birth of David. But that is not all. David is not an end unto himself. He is merely the forerunner of the Messiah. God’s hand is over all history. God works out His purpose, generation after generation.