Who was Boaz?

Boaz was the husband of Ruth and the great-grandfather of King David. He was a rich and generous man, who saved Ruth and Naomi from misery. Boaz had many famous descendants, including Jesus himself.

Boaz lived in the time after the conquest of Canaan, when there was still no king over Israel. He was from the tribe of Judah and lived in Bethlehem, where he had a field and several workers at his service ( Ruth 2: 1 ).

Boaz meets Ruth

One day, Boaz was in the field, watching the work of the reapers, when he saw a woman harvesting the spare ears . He was impressed by his hard work and asked who he was ( Ruth 2: 4-7 ). The foreman explained that she was Ruth.

A relative of Boaz, named Elimelech, had emigrated with his family to Moab during a time of famine. There, Elimelech had died, leaving his wife Noemi in disgrace, because his two children also died. Noemi decided to return to his home in Belém, along with his daughter-in-law Ruth. Although she was a Moabite, Ruth chose to follow the God of Israel and wanted to take care of her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Seeing her faithfulness, Boaz decided to help Ruth by offering him work, food and protection ( Ruth 2: 11-12 ; Ruth 2: 14-16 ). So Ruth spent the rest of the harvest working in the Boaz field and collecting enough food for her and her mother-in-law.

See also the story of Ruth.

The wedding of Boaz and Ruth

When the harvest season was over, Boaz went to sleep in the field, close to the harvested grain he was cleaning. In the middle of the night, he woke up and was startled. A woman was lying at her feet! It was Ruth, who proposed to him ( Ruth 3: 8-9 ).

According to the custom of the time, if a man died without leaving children, his closest relative should marry his wife to give him children and continue the name of the deceased. Since Boaz was a relative of Elimelech and his children, he could take on the responsibility of marrying Ruth and taking care of his family.

Boaz was even more impressed by Ruth, because she chose to carry on Noemi’s family name, rather than looking for a younger husband. Boaz was probably not new or attractive, but Ruth valued his kindness. Seeing the good nature of Ruth, Boaz decided to guarantee his safety ( Ruth 3: 10-11 ).

The next day, Boaz sent Ruth home with a lot of food and a promise that would help her. Then he went to speak to another relative of his, who was closest to Elimelech and who had priority in the responsibility of marrying Ruth.

When he discovered that he had to marry Ruth, if he wanted to buy Noemi’s property, the other relative relinquished his right because he did not want to endanger his family’s inheritance. Thus, Boaz was given the responsibility to care for Ruth ( Ruth 4: 5-6 ). He married her and they had a son, which they called Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of the future King David.

Boaz proved to be a good man, who valued loyalty and kindness, not being blinded by prejudice. He was rich but he was not stingy and was ready to share what he had with those he needed. Because of this, he was blessed with a good wife and a dear son!

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