Ruth 3:7-8, Who Played Who? Part I of II

When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.”

//Here’s a puzzle for you. Who got played in the story of Ruth and Boaz?

As the story goes, the young widow Ruth accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back from the land of Moab to Israel, where she had no social ties. Concerned about her daughter-in-law’s future, Naomi decides to help out. She instructs Ruth to wash and perfume herself, and then to follow Boaz, Naomi’s “kinsman.” While Boaz is sleeping off a drunk, Ruth should lie down with him and uncover his “feet” (a euphemism for genitals throughout the Bible).

So Ruth does what her mother says, and Boaz wakes up in the middle of the night to find Ruth there. Ruth introduces herself, and suggests that Boaz should “redeem her” (that is, take her for his wife, as was the custom for the in-law of a widow).

Thus Ruth obtains a husband and stability in a new land. Sneaky, huh? But wait … that’s only one side of the story. More tomorrow.

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