Exploring Boaz’s Character Through Different Biblical Interpretations and Cultural Depictions

In the Bible, Boaz is a prominent figure found in the Book of Ruth. He is a wealthy landowner in Bethlehem and a relative of Naomi, a widow who returned to her homeland with her Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth. Boaz is known for his generosity and adherence to the law, which is demonstrated by his kindness to Ruth, a Moabite widow, and the daughter-in-law of Naomi. As a “kinsman-redeemer,” Boaz plays a crucial role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, making his story a significant one in the Bible.

Unveiling the Key Figure in the Book of Ruth
Unveiling the Key Figure in the Book of Ruth

When we examine Boaz’s character, we can see that he was a godly man who modeled healthy and Biblical masculinity, faithfulness to God, and served as a Christophany—an image and precursor of Jesus Christ. He was a man who understood the importance of the law and used it to provide for the marginalized in his community, such as leaving the margins of his fields for those in need to glean from. This act of generosity and care for the less fortunate demonstrates his righteous character.

As we delve deeper into Boaz’s life and his role in the Bible, we can draw important life lessons and better understand the significance of his place in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Boaz’s story reminds us of God’s sovereignty and His plan for humanity, which is ultimately fulfilled through the birth, life, and death of Jesus.

Historical Background

The Time of the Judges

During the time of the Judges, Israel was a loose confederation of tribes governed by leaders known as judges. It was a turbulent period marked by frequent conflicts with neighboring peoples and internal strife. One such story from this time is that of Boaz, a central figure in the Book of Ruth.

Boaz was a wealthy man from Bethlehem, and he plays a crucial role in the story of Ruth and Naomi. In this era, a widespread famine had struck the land, forcing a man named Elimelech to leave Bethlehem with his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. They settled in the neighboring country of Moab.

However, tragedy struck this family as Elimelech and both sons died in Moab, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, as widows. With her husband and sons gone, Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, and Ruth, demonstrating extraordinary loyalty, chose to accompany her mother-in-law.

Now back in Bethlehem, Ruth, a Moabite and a foreigner in Israel, found herself in need of provision. As a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband, Boaz had the responsibility to aid the widows, according to the customs and laws of Judaism at the time. In adherence to these laws, Boaz kindly allowed Ruth to glean in his fields, protecting her and providing for her and Naomi.

Their story continues with Boaz and Ruth eventually marrying, further demonstrating Boaz’s noble character and adherence to the Jewish laws. Their union led to the birth of Obed, who became the grandfather of the great King David and an ancestor in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

Key Characters and Relationships

Boaz and Ruth

Boaz was a wealthy landowner in Bethlehem and a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband. Throughout the story, he is consistently kind, protective, and generous towards Ruth, a Moabite widow and the daughter-in-law of Naomi. Boaz’s worthiness and strong faith in God are exemplified through his interactions with Ruth. In the end, Boaz and Ruth marry, and their relationship is significant to the genealogy of Jesus.

Here are some key aspects of Boaz and Ruth’s relationship:

  • Loyalty: Ruth displays unwavering loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and Boaz rewards her for it.
  • Protection: Boaz provides protection for Ruth, treating her with kindness and respect.
  • Commitment: Both Boaz and Ruth show commitment to serving others and following God’s will.

Naomi’s Influence

Naomi plays a pivotal role in the story, as she is the one who first connects Ruth with Boaz. After losing her husband and two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, Naomi encourages Ruth to return to her people but Ruth insists on staying with her. Naomi’s presence and guidance help shape the events that lead Ruth to Boaz, resulting in the continuation of the family line. Her wisdom and advice to Ruth ultimately help in securing a better future for both of them.

Boaz’s Lineage

Boaz’s lineage is significant because it directly connects him to the family line of King David, Jesus’ ancestor. His genes play a crucial role in the establishment of David’s kingdom and the subsequent arrival of Jesus. The genealogy is as follows:

  1. Salmon: Father of Boaz, married to Rahab
  2. Boaz: Married to Ruth, a Moabite woman.
  3. Obed: Son of Boaz and Ruth.
  4. Jesse: Father of King David.
  5. David: King of Israel and ancestor of Jesus.

This lineage exemplifies the importance of Boaz as a key figure in the Bible. Not only was he a righteous man, but he also played an essential role in establishing the lineage of significant biblical figures, including the Messiah.

Boaz’s Role and Actions

Boaz as Redeemer

Boaz is a key figure in the story of Ruth. According to the Bible, Boaz was a wealthy landowner in Bethlehem and a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband, Elimelech 1. As a relative, Boaz had the right to act as a kinsman-redeemer, a male relative who could help a family member in need 2. The concept of a kinsman-redeemer is rooted in the Mosaic Law and is specifically laid out in Leviticus 25.

Marriage to Ruth

When Ruth, a Moabite widow, accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem, they were in a vulnerable situation. Boaz took notice of Ruth as she worked in his field, gleaning the leftovers to provide for herself and Naomi. Touched by her dedication and loyalty, Boaz protected her and ensured her provisions 3. Following Jewish law and custom, Boaz began the process of redeeming Ruth and marrying her. Through his actions and faith, the vulnerable widows found protection and provision in the community.

Property and Inheritance

As part of the redemption process, Boaz had to secure the legal rights to Elimelech’s land. He first approached a closer relative who had a prior claim on the land. In front of ten witnesses, Boaz made the other relative aware of their duty to redeem the land, marry Ruth, and ensure the continued lineage of the deceased 4. The closer relative relinquished his right to the land, allowing Boaz to officially redeem the property and marry Ruth.

Boaz’s Role as a Kinsman-Redeemer

Boaz’s actions as a kinsman-redeemer represent a picture of the redeemer found in Jesus Christ5. We can see parallels in the sacrificial love, provision, and protection that Boaz offered to Ruth and her family. By choosing to marry Ruth, Boaz provided her and Naomi with a new beginning, and their descendant, Obed, became the grandfather of King David, an ancestor of Jesus.


  1. Christianity.com – Who was Boaz in the Bible?
  2. Biblestudytools.com – Who Exactly Was Boaz?
  3. Christholdfast.org – Boaz
  4. GotQuestions.org – Who was Boaz in the Bible?
  5. Christianity.com – Who Was Boaz in the Bible?

Social and Religious Context

who is boaz in the bible
Social and Religious Context

Laws of Gleaning

During the time of Boaz, certain laws governed the treatment of the poor and widows in society, particularly the Laws of Gleaning. According to Leviticus 19, landowners like Boaz were required to leave the corners of their grain fields unharvested so that the poor and widowed could come and gather the fallen grain for themselves. This act of social justice provided them the opportunity to sustain their families without begging or relying on charity.

Redemption and Inheritance Laws

Another important aspect of the social context is the Redemption and Inheritance Laws discussed in Leviticus 25. These laws ensure the protection of widows, such as Ruth, by requiring a close relative, or “redeemer,” to “redeem” their deceased husband’s property and marry the widow. This marriage would restore the widow’s social status and ensure that the property remains within the family. As a result, any child born from this marriage would be considered the heir of the deceased husband, not the biological father.

Boaz’s Compliance with Mosaic Law

In the narrative of Ruth, Boaz emerges as a noble figure who abides by these laws and upholds the spirit of social justice. When Ruth, a Moabite widow, comes to glean in Boaz’s barley fields, he not only grants her permission but also goes out of his way to protect her from harm and ensure she is treated fairly. Boaz’s adherence to these laws showcases his respect for Mosaic law, his commitment to social justice, and his concern for the well-being of the widows like Ruth.

The redemption and inheritance laws played a significant role in Ruth’s story when she sought Boaz’s help to redeem her husband’s land. Being a close relative, Boaz was eligible to be her redeemer, and he ultimately decided to marry Ruth. Their marriage symbolizes Boaz’s respect for kinship ties and his devotion to upholding the laws established to protect the vulnerable in society.

In conclusion, Boaz’s actions and character within the larger social and religious context serve as an example of how Jewish laws shaped societal norms and promoted social justice. His compliance with the laws of gleaning and redemption demonstrates the importance given to the protection and welfare of the widows and the poor. Boaz’s actions reflect crucial aspects of the Jewish Temple teachings and create a model for ethical conduct.

Theological Significance

Theological Significance
Theological Significance

Symbolism in Boaz’s Actions

Boaz, a wealthy landowner from Bethlehem, is a prominent figure in the Old Testament Book of Ruth. His character and actions are highly symbolic, reflecting the workings of God’s redemption plan. For example, Boaz’s adherence to Hebrew law and leaving the margins of his field for the marginalized to glean demonstrate his righteousness and concern for the poor (source). His kindness towards Ruth, a Moabite widow, goes beyond what is required, showcasing God’s love and compassion for all people, regardless of their backgrounds.

Another significant symbolic gesture is Boaz marrying Ruth. Through their marriage, Boaz becomes a kinsman-redeemer, a role which involves the redemption of Ruth’s late husband’s land and securing their family’s future. This act further emphasizes God’s providence and His intention to provide salvation for all people, as can be seen throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

Lineage to Jesus Christ

Boaz’s importance in biblical genealogy is well-established (source). In the Gospel of Matthew, Boaz is listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, thus linking Jesus to King David: “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David” (Matthew 1:5-6). This connection solidifies Jesus’ claim to the throne of David, fulfilling prophecies and expectations of the Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Furthermore, Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed, who became the grandfather of King David. David, in turn, is a central figure in God’s plan for Israel and the world, as it is through his lineage that God promised to establish a kingdom that would never end and send the Messiah. Ultimately, the birth of Jesus Christ fulfills this promise, making Boaz an important part of the lineage leading to Christ’s arrival and the redemption of mankind (source).

By exploring the symbolism in Boaz’s actions and his connection to the lineage of Jesus Christ, we can better understand the theological significance of his character in the Old Testament and the broader context of God’s plan for humanity.

Frequently Asked Questions

who is boaz in the bible
Frequently Asked Questions

What legal steps did Boaz take to marry Ruth, and why were these actions necessary?

Boaz followed the customs of his time to acquire the right to marry Ruth. As a relative of Ruth’s deceased husband, Boaz had the option to redeem the family’s land and marry Ruth through the practice of levirate marriage. Boaz approached the nearest kinsman, a man with a higher claim to redeemer the land and marry Ruth. In a public transaction, Boaz obtained the right to marry Ruth when the other kinsman chose not to take up the responsibility. These actions were necessary to uphold the family’s honor and lineage.

What was the nature of Boaz before his marriage?

Before marrying Ruth, Boaz was known as a wealthy and honorable man from Bethlehem. He was kind, generous, and observed the laws of his time. Boaz showed great compassion toward Ruth, a foreign widow, by allowing her to glean in his fields, offering her protection, and eventually welcoming her into his family.

How is the Boaz Blessing interpreted in religious contexts?

The Boaz Blessing is often seen as a reflection of God’s grace and provision. Boaz’s compassionate actions toward Ruth embody the kindness and generosity that God extends to all people, including those who are marginalized or in need. Followers of Christ can view the story of Boaz and Ruth as an example of God’s redemptive work in the lives of individuals and families, even in difficult circumstances.

What lessons does the story of Boaz impart to readers?

The story of Boaz teaches us the importance of integrity, kindness, and faithfulness. Boaz demonstrates true nobility by extending kindness to Ruth, observing the laws of his time, and ultimately redeeming her family. Readers can learn valuable lessons about loyalty, compassion, and the importance of upholding one’s commitments in both personal and societal contexts. Through Boaz’s actions, we see the transformative power of love and commitment in the midst of adversity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top