Arlen L. Chitwood
Redemption of the Inheritance
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down.
And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.
Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.
And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’” And he said, “I will redeem it.”
Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.”
And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.” (Ruth 4:1-6)
Events surrounding Ruth’s appearance before Boaz on his threshing floor in Ruth chapter three have their parallel in events seen in the first four chapters of the book of Revelation. And events surrounding Boaz’s redemption of the inheritance and that which follows in Ruth chapter four have their parallel in events seen in chapters five through twenty of the book of Revelation (chapters 5-18 have to do with the redemption of the inheritance, and chapters 19, 20a have to do with events following this redemption, leading into the Messianic Era).
Thus, the things foreshadowed in this part of the book of Ruth are seen being fulfilled in the first twenty chapters of the book of Revelation. And, it should go without saying that one book must be studied and understood in the light of the other book, along with other related Scripture.
In Ruth chapter three, Ruth appears before Boaz on his threshing floor, at the end of the harvest, in a prepared and ready manner. She had previously labored in Boaz’s field in complete accord with provided instructions (2:1-23); and she had previously prepared herself for meeting Boaz on his threshing floor at this time, also in complete accord with provided instructions (3:1-3).
A separation of the wheat from the chaff is seen at the beginning of detailed events occurring on the threshing floor in Ruth chapter three (v. 2). The type though, in relation to Ruth, deals with events that follow the separation of the wheat from the chaff, for Ruth had already made this separation herself, prior to her appearance on the threshing floor (2:17).
In this respect, matters in the type can move beyond the point of Boaz threshing grain (with this only mentioned), and Ruth can be seen appearing after Boaz has completed this work. It is at this time that the bride is seen being revealed on the threshing floor in the type. And events will transpire in exactly the same manner in the antitype. The bride will be revealed in exact accordance with the type — on Christ’s threshing floor, following the separation of the wheat from the chaff.
Thus, events surrounding Ruth’s appearance before Boaz, on his threshing floor move beyond events surrounding a separation of the wheat from the chaff. And these subsequent events have to do with two things: redemption, and marriage. Once on the threshing floor at this time, Ruth, through her actions, made known a dual request — a request for both the redemption of a forfeited inheritance and for marriage.
Boaz was to redeem the forfeited inheritance and, in the process, take Ruth as his wife. And, because of Ruth’s prior actions (proper preparation, allowing her to now be in a position to make this request), Boaz, in keeping with laws governing the Jewish people, was required to honor Ruth’s request.
In the type, once the prepared bride was revealed on the threshing floor and the request was made, Boaz was seen honoring the request. And exactly the same thing is seen in the antitype in the book of Revelation, with the antitype providing more detail and covering a broader scope of events than this one type covers.
The antitype begins with events surrounding “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” as introduced in Revelation 1:1-8, with this revelation covering numerous events within a period of time lasting at least seven years. And, as seen in this book, events surrounding “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” begin with the removal of all Christians from the earth to appear before Christ in judgment (1:10ff) and end at least seven years later with Christ’s return to the earth and subsequent events connected with His return, leading into the Messianic Kingdom (19:11ff).
The type in the book of Ruth doesn’t deal with the removal of Christians from the earth, with the unfaithful at the judgment seat, or with an actual judgment per se (though reference is made to judgment through a separation of the wheat from the chaff); nor does the type deal with that which is seen in Revelation chapter four (the twenty-four elders arising from their thrones and casting their crowns before God’s throne).
(For a discussion of the significance of that which is seen through the twenty-four elders arising from their thrones and casting their crowns before God’s throne, refer to the Appendix.)
Rather than dealing with all of the things seen in the antitype, in the opening chapters of the book of Revelation, the type in the book of Ruth deals only with the things emanating out of findings and determinations at the judgment seat, as these things have to do with faithful Christians. The type deals with prepared Christians at the judgment seat (which necessitates their prior removal from the earth) and that which will result from the dual request which they, following the separation of the wheat from the chaff, will make in Christ’s presence — a prepared bride, through her presence, requesting both a redemption of the inheritance and marriage (seen in Revelation 5-19). And, beyond this dual request being made, the type, in this same respect, deals only with that which Christ will do in that coming day when this request is made — honoring the request by redeeming the inheritance and by taking the revealed bride as His wife.
Christ will honor this dual request in that coming day, in fulfillment of that foreshadowed by the type, for exactly the same reasons as seen in the type. A prepared, revealed bride will be present; and, the Son, to remain true to His Word and fulfill the many promises in this Word to the bride (e.g., the overcomer’s promises in Revelation 2, 3), will act accordingly.
Manner of the Redemption
Comparing the type and the antitype, the order of events within the scope of “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” as presented in the book of Revelation, can clearly be seen. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” follows the time of the harvest (present dispensation), begins with the removal of all Christians from the earth to appear before the judgment seat (Revelation 1:10ff), and continues with the judgment of Christians and the revelation of the bride. And the revelation of the bride must precede the redemption of the inheritance, for it is the bride who, by her presence, requests both redemption and marriage.
Ruth chapters three and four center on the revelation of the bride and the redemption of the inheritance, with the bride becoming the wife of the redeemer through this redemptive process. And the first nineteen chapters of the book of Revelation are seen centering on exactly the same thing, with everything occurring within the scope of time covered by “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
In the book of Ruth, Boaz is seen as the one both able and willing to redeem the inheritance, though Boaz calls attention to a nearer kinsman (closer relative); and the nearer kinsman had to be given an opportunity to exercise his rights and redeem the inheritance before Boaz could act in this capacity.
Different kinds of legal matters within the Jewish economy at the time events in the book of Ruth occurred were carried out at the gates of the various cities scattered throughout the land, at the entrance way into these cities. Elders of a particular city would gather at the gate of that city and await anyone in the city who might have a legal matter to carry out or to resolve.
This is the reason chapter four begins with the statement, “Now Boaz went up to the gate . . . .” (4:1). And this is the apparent reason that Lot was seen seated in the gate of Sodom when the two angels entered Sodom in Genesis 19:1. Lot was apparently among those at the gate (among the elders of the city) who were there to carry out or to resolve legal matters on behalf of those in the city.
Boaz, at the gate, first stopped the nearer kinsman who had come by, and he instructed the nearer kinsman to sit in a certain place (v. 1). Boaz then singled out ten elders who were at the gate, took them aside, and instructed them to sit in the same proximity as the nearer kinsman (v. 2).
Boaz then explained the matter at hand, directing his remarks to the nearer kinsman, but making sure that the ten elders heard as well. He needed all of them to hear that which he had to say, for all of them had to act — the nearer kinsman first, then the ten elders.
The subject surrounded an inheritance belonging to Naomi, which had been forfeited. Boaz wanted to pay the required price and redeem the inheritance, but there was a nearer kinsman who had to be given opportunity to act first in this capacity. And the nearer kinsman, after hearing about the forfeited inheritance as Boaz explained the matter, said that he would redeem the inheritance (vv. 3, 4).
However, Boaz wasn’t through explaining all that was involved. Boaz then said,
Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.” (v. 5)
The one who redeemed the inheritance, whether the nearer kinsman or Boaz, would also, at the same time, be redeeming (be purchasing) Ruth; and Ruth, through this redemptive process, would become his wife. This was something that would automatically occur within the process of redeeming the forfeited inheritance, redeeming the field.
Much controversy has surrounded the identity (with respect to the antitype) of the nearer kinsman. However, there should be no controversy, for the nearer kinsman was able to redeem. And the only One able to redeem in the antitype is the One who shed His blood at Calvary (Revelation 5:1ff).
And though it was the Son who shed His blood and died at Calvary, this was, as well, the blood of God (Acts 20:28). This was the day God died.
Thus, just as there are two (only two [v. 4b]) who were able to redeem in the type, there must also be Two (only Two) who are able to redeem in the antitype. And these Two in the antitype are the Father and His Son, though the Father has placed all redemptive work in the hands of His Son.
This will explain why the nearer kinsman couldn’t redeem the inheritance and take Ruth as his wife. The nearer kinsman apparently already had a wife, something seen in the antitype. God already has a wife. Israel is the wife of God.
Thus, whether in the type (past) or in the antitype (future), the Nearer Kinsman wasn’t free/won’t be free to perform the redemptive act. Such an act would have “marred [‘destroyed,’ ‘ruined’]” (type), would “mar [‘destroy,’ ‘ruin’]” (antitype), the Nearer Kinsman’s own inheritance.
There was a law in Israel concerning the nearest kinsman either refusing or forfeiting his right to redeem an inheritance. And a central feature of this law had to do with the nearest kinsman relinquishing his right through removing his shoe and handing it to the kinsman next in line to redeem (cf. Deuteronomy 25:7-9; Ruth 4:7, 8).
Thus, in keeping with this law, when the nearer kinsman couldn’t redeem Naomi’s inheritance (though, through no fault of his own), he removed his shoe and handed it to Boaz. This act showed to everyone present (in this case, Boaz and the ten elders) that he had relinquished his redemptive rights to the kinsman next in line, to Boaz.
Thus, once this had been done, Boaz was free to redeem the forfeited inheritance. And the ten elders were also free to recognize Boaz as the one now able to act in this capacity, along with recognizing the price which he was to pay as legal and binding.
And, not only was this the case, but once the complete transaction had been carried out, it would also be recognized that Ruth was Boaz’s wife. Ruth automatically became Boaz’s wife through this legal transaction carried out at the gate of the city, witnessed by ten elders, among others present.
And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi.
Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.” (vv. 9, 10)
This was followed by all those who were present recognizing that which had occurred, along with their pronouncing a blessing on the union that had resulted from this transaction — that of Boaz and Ruth (vv. 11ff).
In the book of Revelation, an entire chapter is given over to presenting Christ as the One both able and willing to redeem the inheritance. Following events surrounding the judgment seat (chapters 1-3) and the casting of crowns before God’s throne (chapter 4), the search is conducted for one “worthy” to redeem the inheritance (chapter 5). And, the only One found throughout God’s creation — “in heaven or on the earth or under the earth” (v. 3) — was “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” though revealed in relation to the redemptive process about to occur as the Lamb that was slain (vv. 4-12).
(Within the course of the subject matter of the book of Revelation — “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” — two things are seen at the forefront: judgment, and redemption. In connection with the first [judgment], Christ is seen as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”; and, in connection with the second [redemption], Christ is seen as the Lamb that was slain.
This is why Christ is referred to in this two-fold manner in chapter five, for the redemption of the inheritance will occur through judgment. And the One who breaks the seals must be seen acting in both capacities — in a judicial capacity [as the Lion], but also in a redemptive capacity [as the Lamb].
However, within Christ’s work at this time the emphasis, by far, is on the redemptive rather than the judicial nature of the events. Revelation 5:5 is the only place in the entire book where Christ is referred to as the Lion, but He is referred to twenty-eight times in this book as the Lamb. Thus, the emphasis in the book is not on judgment per se, but on redemption emanating out of judgment.)
The future marriage of Christ and His bride will occur exactly in accord with the type set forth in Ruth chapter four, not in accord with the way things are done in the modern world, whether in the East or in the West. As Boaz purchased Ruth through the process of redeeming a forfeited inheritance, so will Christ purchase His bride through the process of redeeming a forfeited inheritance (forfeited by the first Adam in Genesis chapter three [cf. Romans 8:20-22]). And, as Ruth automatically became Boaz’s wife through this redemptive process, so will it be with Christ and His bride. The bride (having previously been revealed at the judgment seat) will automatically become Christ’s wife through His redemption of the forfeited inheritance.
The redemption of the forfeited inheritance is seen occurring in Revelation chapters five through eighteen. The seven-sealed scroll in Revelation chapter five contains the redemptive terms of the forfeited inheritance (the earth), and chapters six through eighteen reveal the seals being broken and these terms being carried out.
Then, in chapter nineteen, after the terms set forth in the seven-sealed scroll have been carried out, after the inheritance has been redeemed, the bride is seen as Christ’s wife (vv. 7-9).
Thus, though God is seen completing His dealings with Israel within the scope of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy in Revelation chapters six through eighteen, judgmental matters on earth at this time also pertain to the Church as well, though the Church will be in heaven. This book begins with the Church removed into heaven and judged, followed by the twenty-four elders casting their crowns before God’s throne (chapters 1-4). Then it continues with the search for One worthy to loose the seals of the seven-sealed scroll — containing the redemptive terms of the forfeited inheritance (chapter 5). And, in succeeding chapters, covering Daniel’s unfulfilled Seventieth Week, the book deals with the inheritance being redeemed and with the bride being revealed as Christ’s wife at the end of this redemptive process.
The redemption of the inheritance in chapters six through eighteen has to do with the domain over which Christ and His wife, His consort queen (chapter 19), will rule during the succeeding Messianic Era (chapter 20). And it is in the preceding respect that events in these chapters have to do with the Church as well as with Israel, though the Church will be in heaven when these events unfold on earth.
And, in relation to the nearer kinsman being unable to redeem the inheritance in the type (Ruth 4:1-8), note the antitype in Revelation 5:1-7. The Father, in possession of the seven-sealed scroll, will not be in a position to redeem the inheritance (vv. 1-4), for, already having a wife, it would mar His own inheritance. Thus, as in the type, these redemptive rights will have to be passed on to another One (vv. 5-7).
As the nearer kinsman in the book of Ruth took off his shoe and handed it to Boaz, the Nearer Kinsman in the book of Revelation is seen handing the seven-sealed scroll (in His possession, as the shoe in the type) to His Son. And as Boaz in the type was now free to redeem the inheritance and take Ruth as his wife in the process, so will it be in the antitype. Once the Father has handed the seven-sealed scroll to His Son, the Son will then be free to redeem the inheritance and take the previously revealed bride as His wife in the process.
(For additional relevant comments, as they pertain to the ten elders seen in Ruth chapter four and the twenty-four elders seen in Revelation chapter five, refer to the Appendix.)
Also note that when Scripture deals with the “marriage” of Christ and His bride, as in Revelation 19:7-9, the reference is always to the festivities surrounding the marriage, not to the marriage itself. There will be no marriage ceremony per se, as we think of marriage in our modern-day culture. There wasn’t one in the type, and there won’t be one in the antitype either. And this is an easy matter to see in both the type (Ruth 4) and the antitype (Revelation 5-19).
The wedding festivities surrounding the marriage of God’s Son will occur in heaven following the redemption of the forfeited inheritance, for the entire redemptive process must be carried out before the bride can become Christ’s wife. And this can be clearly seen from the context of Revelation 19:7-9, where these festivities are mentioned. In this passage, the marriage festivities are seen occurring immediately following the redemption of the forfeited inheritance (chapters 6-18) and immediately preceding Christ’s return to the earth in order to overthrow Gentile world power, followed by events leading into the Messianic Era (19:11ff).
(Note that when the type in the book of Ruth and the antitype in the book of Revelation are viewed together, the chronology of events in connection with “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” is easy to follow. The rapture occurs first. This is then followed by the judgment of Christians [all Christians (2 Corinthians 5:10)], the revelation of the bride at the judgment seat [with resulting events (e.g., crowns cast before God’s throne)], the redemption of the inheritance, which includes marriage [part and parcel with the judgments of the Tribulation], the marriage festivities, Christ’s return to the earth, the overthrow of Gentile world power, and the ensuing Messianic Era [with God’s firstborn Sons — Christ, Israel, and the Church (which will have been adopted into a firstborn status at this time) — occupying their proper regal positions on and over the earth].
However, even though this chronology of events is clearly outlined in Scripture, it is being ignored in certain quarters today, particularly as it relates to the timing of the rapture in relation to the Tribulation. And this has resulted in some Bible students, studying the matter apart from this revealed chronology, coming to the erroneous conclusion that the Church will go through part or all of the Tribulation.
Numerous Christians today have largely gotten away from studying Scripture after the fashion in which it was revealed to man — the way in which it was written and structured by individuals as the Spirit moved them to pen this Word. And studying Scripture after the fashion in which it was written and structured is the only way in which all of the various details within the numerous events surrounding “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” can be seen in their correct chronology, fullness, and completeness.
Suffice it to say, a person simply cannot take the complete word picture in the Old Testament [seen through viewing all of the various types on the subject together], set it alongside the New Testament antitype, and come to any conclusion other than seeing the complete Church [all Christians] being removed preceding the Tribulation.
A person must understand that the rapture is the first of the revealed events in “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” else he will fail to properly understand numerous things about the succeeding revealed events. If one goes wrong with the timing of the beginning event in “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” — the rapture, in relation to the Tribulation [which has to do with the redemption of the inheritance and marriage, necessitating a prior removal of the bride from the earth and revelation of the bride at the judgment seat] — he will find himself being forced into other erroneous interpretations numerous places throughout the events that follow.
Thus, the importance of properly understanding exactly when the rapture will occur in relation to the Tribulation cannot be overemphasized. For a discussion of the different parts of the complete Old Testament word picture in the light of the antitype, as it pertains to the removal of the Church at the end of the dispensation, refer to the Appendix.)
Result of the Redemption
The result of the redemption of the inheritance — type or antitype — is regal in nature. In the type, Ruth became Boaz’s wife, and Boaz’s lineage is traced to King David. In the antitype, the bride will become the wife of the Lamb, who, with His consort queen, will reign as the greater Son of David.
Once Boaz had acquired sole redemptive rights from the nearer kinsman, he redeemed the inheritance and in the process took Ruth as his wife (4:1-10):
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. (v. 13)
Note that a son is immediately introduced following the statement concerning Boaz taking Ruth as his wife, with the lineage of this son given, ending three generations later with King David:
Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed;
Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David. (vv. 21, 22)
This is the way in which the book of Ruth ends, with a reference to Israel’s second king, which would be an ending having to do with regality. And this is exactly how one would expect the book to end — with this lineage, beginning with Obed (seen in relation to Naomi [typifying Israel] as a redeemer, a restorer of life, and a provider in her old age), and ending with King David. This is where Man’s Day ends in both the type and the antitype, the point toward which everything is seen moving, not only in the book of Ruth but in Scripture as a whole.
The result of the redemption of the inheritance, as seen in the antitype, will be a reverential awe and excitement in heaven of a nature possibly not heretofore seen.
John first heard “a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments . . . .” (Revelation 19:1-3). Then John saw the twenty-four elders, along with the four living creatures, as they “fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying, Amen! Alleluia!” (v. 4). Then John heard a voice coming out of the throne which said, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” (v. 5). This was the followed by John hearing a voice that he described as that of “a great multitude . . . many waters . . . mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (v. 6).
Then, for the first time since the inheritance began to be redeemed, the bride comes back into view. But, the one previously seen as the bride is now seen as the wife of the Lamb — the wife of the One having redeemed the inheritance and, through this process, claimed the bride as His wife:
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage [marriage festivities] of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.
And to her it was granted to be arrayed [lit., “array herself”] in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper [or marriage banquet, festivities] of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9).
And John, having previously been shown all the various things surrounding “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” beginning with the removal of Christians from the earth, now finds himself at this climactic point. The inheritance has been redeemed, the previously revealed bride is now the Lamb’s wife, and the marriage festivities can at last begin, with a view to ensuing events.
The marriage festivities conclude events occurring in heaven prior to the heavens being opened, followed by Christ’s return to overthrow Gentile world power and bring numerous related events to pass. And John, having been shown these things and finding himself at this climactic point, could do no more than fall at the feet of the one having revealed these things to him (v. 10).
Thus, the entire sequence of unfolding events in the book of Revelation — foreshadowed by unfolding events in the book of Ruth — can only be seen as regal in nature, in complete keeping with the way man was introduced at the time of his creation.
God’s first statement relative to man — an entirely new creation in God’s universe, one created in His own “image” and “likeness” — was, “let them [the man and the woman together] have dominion [Heb., radah, ‘rule’]” (Genesis 1:26). The first man, the first Adam, was to reign as king, with his wife reigning at his side as consort queen. And, though the fall ensued, with the domain remaining under Satan’s control, God’s purpose for man’s creation in the beginning remained unchanged.
And this purpose is seen being brought to fruition 6,000 years later in the book of Revelation. Following events seen in the first nineteen chapters of this book, the second Man, the last Adam, will reign as King, with His wife reigning at His side as consort queen (chapter 20a).
The Spirit is in the world today searching for a bride for God’s Son. Once the bride has been procured, the bride will be removed from the earth and revealed at the judgment seat (Revelation 1-3). Then, crowns will be relinquished, with a view to man, after 6,000 years of sin and death, at last finding himself in a position to realize the purpose for his creation in the beginning (Revelation 4). The inheritance will then be redeemed — the domain over which Satan and his angels presently rule, but the domain over which Christ and His consort queen will be about to rule (Revelation 5-18). Then, once the inheritance has been redeemed, the bride will be revealed as Christ’s wife. And ensuing events will lead into the Messianic Era, when the King with His consort queen will, at long last, hold the scepter (Revelation 19, 20a).