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At the heart of the story of Ruth is a wealthy landowner, Boaz, whose many workers harvest the fields in Bethlehem.

He is an upright, generous man who makes sure there is increased provision for Ruth, requesting harvesters to leave something for her (in accordance with Levitical law).

But there’s more. In that day and culture, if a man died leaving a widow without a son (to be his heir and provide for his mother), the man’s nearest male relative (usually a brother) would marry the widow and provide for her and hopefully produce an heir for his deceased relative.

This person was called a ‘kinsman redeemer’. Boaz was a relative, but Ruth discovered that there was someone closer in line than him who had first refusal.

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The story makes Ruth’s preference for Boaz clear, and Boaz is touched that she should choose him, rather than seeking a younger match.

Ruth is no doubt relieved when the closer kinsman is happy to pass the responsibility to Boaz.

The symbolism of a wealthy kinsman redeemer is clear with the redemption theme woven throughout the Bible and an explanation for why Jesus came and what He sought to do.

He too is wealthy –not with money, but all the riches of heaven – and not reticent in serving the Church, providing all that is needed to be ‘a ransom for many’.

Like Boaz, Jesus is more than ready to be your redeemer and, in His case, there is no one who has a prior claim.

You are precious, bought at great cost, and the Church, as the bride of Christ, is wed to the soon-coming King.


A Prayer To Make:
Thank You, Lord, that Jesus is my friend and my redeemer. Help me remember that always. Amen.

An Action To Take:
Think of ways in which you might be able to be generous. A tip at a restaurant? Clothes for charity?

Scripture To Consider:
Lev. 23:15–22 and 25:23–34; Mark 10:35–45; Heb. 9:11–15

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.