Ruth and Boaz. One of the most famous love stories in the Bible. And it is a love story, in more ways than one. Did Boaz love Ruth when he married her, and she him? Romantically, I mean, in the sense that most modern people think of when they think of the word “love”? (an unfortunate phenomenon, that we’ve reduced love to only romance, but there it is).
Well, who knows?
We do know that he respected her, and was much older than her, and her feelings toward him the Bible doesn’t mention. But there’s a whole lot more love going on in this story than between these two. There’s the love of Ruth to her mother in law and vice versa, and the love of God toward these people, this family, and the Israelites and the whole world. After all, Ruth became an ancestor of Jesus, who came for all of us.
That’s how I think about it 😉
Related Bible Verses
“The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character. Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing, as surely as the LORD lives, I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
Back in 2017-18 or so, I started thinking about what if I wrote a musical about the story of Ruth? It all began with the writing of Ruth’s Song. Only problem–I wasn’t sure what other parts of the story would make good songs…except, definitely, this moment, arguably the climax of the story, when Boaz promises to marry Ruth.
It’s an interesting speech, especially to my modern ears. He calls her “my daughter,” but I realize that’s an indication not only of their age gap but also perhaps a respectful term, kind of like the way Jesus once called his mother “woman.” It sounds rude to us, but in their culture, it’s probably the exact opposite.
And all this talk about kinsmen redeemers requires some background knowledge that I can’t get into now, because there’s a lot I don’t know either (ask your pastor or read something!)
Then, another problem: Again, like Ruth’s Song, I had a hard time hearing a melody for this passage. So I read it several times, went away, came back, and then slowly, it came:
(I had to stretch the lyrics a LOT though. Keeping only the sentiment, but couldn’t stick too closely to the original text. Ah, well. The B section turned out surprisingly well, considering I usually suck at B sections. That did flow a little more smoothly. Obviously got a little inspiration from above, so thank you, God ^.^)
God bless you, my daughter, this kindness that you’ve done
Is greater far than even the previous one
For after the young men, you did not choose to run
So may He bless you for choosing me
And now, my daughter, I’ll do just what you ask
And your request will be my own heart’s first greatest task
All of the townsmen know that you are noble, true–
They, like me, would love to help you too
So do not fear, stay here for the night
Another near kinsman has the right
To redeem you
If he wants to
But if he gives you up, as the LORD lives above, I will do it
To you, I promise this
So now, my dear one, stay for tonight I pray
Tomorrow I will tell the others not to say
That you have been here, until I go to speak
With the elders, and their blessing seek