Summary: A study of the book of Ruth chapter 3 verses 1 through 18
Ruth 3: 1 – 18
This Is My Land
1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.” 5 And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.” 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.” 10 Then he said, “Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. 12 Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you—good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives! Lie down until morning.” 14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 Also he said, “Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “Is that you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, “These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, ‘Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’ ” 18 Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”
I remember a song that went something like the following words, ‘This is my land, this is your land, from California to the Gulf Stream waters. This land is my land, this land is your land. This land was made for you and me.’
So why the song? Well, our Holy Adoni Yahweh Is the actual owner of the land of Israel, and as having leased it to His people for their inheritance, with the consequence that the Israelites themselves merely had only the recognized use of the land.
We as sinful human beings take things for granted. It seems that many people think that someone else’s property belongs to them. They have the motto ‘what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.’
In Israel because of this the present possessor could not part with the family portion perpetually or sell it at will. It was to remain forever in his family. If therefore the situation arose that any one was obliged to sell his inheritance on account of finding himself in poverty, and actually did sell it (although all that he could sell was the use of the land), it was seen as the duty of the nearest relation to redeem it, by acting as goël (redeemer). However, even if it was not redeemed, it still returned to its original ‘owner’ at the next year of Jubilee, without compensation, for what had been bought was merely the use of the land. Consequently, at least in theory, (land purchasers would often later find a way round it by absorbing the land into their own land, ‘adding field to field’).