Arlen L. Chitwood
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.
Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel!
And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”
Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him.
Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. (Ruth 4:13-17).
The coming Messianic Era, the earth’s approaching Sabbath, is the point toward which all Scripture moves. This is the way Scripture begins, continues, and ends. This is seen in sections of Scripture, it is seen in complete books, and it is seen in Scripture as a whole.
This is the way God introduced His Word in the opening chapters of Genesis. God began this first book of Scripture after a fashion that reflects upon the whole of that which He was about to reveal, upon all subsequent Scripture. God revealed to Moses at the very beginning, in the opening section of His Word, that which He was about to reveal in more detail through about forty different individuals over the next 1,500 years (Genesis 1:1-2:3).
This section of Genesis reveals, in skeletal form, that which the whole of God’s revelation to follow is about. The remainder of Scripture simply forms the sinews and flesh, clothing the skeletal form given at the beginning, providing everything necessary for man to understand that which God would have him know about His plans and purposes.
In this respect, Scripture begins with a very brief statement concerning the creation of the heavens and the earth, followed by the earth, a province within God’s created universe, being reduced to a ruined state — something that could only have resulted from the incumbent ruler’s (Satan’s) fall (Genesis 1:1, 2a; cf. Isaiah 14:12-17; Jeremiah 4:23-28; Ezekiel 28:14-19). Then, this opening section of Scripture continues with God’s restoration of the ruined creation over a six-day period, the creation of man following the completion of the restoration on the sixth day, and God resting on the seventh day (Genesis 1:2b-2:3).
Man was created following the restoration of the ruined creation, on the sixth day, for a revealed purpose — “let them have dominion [Hebrew: radah, ‘rule’]” (Genesis 1:26), which could only have been the dominion that Satan possessed (though having previously forfeited the right to continue holding the scepter). And, contextually, it is clear that the reference to “them” in this verse has to do with the man and the woman holding the scepter together (vv. 27ff).
God, bringing matters to pass after this fashion, put the man to sleep following his creation, opened his side, and from this opened side took a rib that He used to form a helpmate for the man. Then the helpmate, the woman — bone of the man’s bone, and flesh of the man’s flesh (created in man at the time of man’s creation, but later removed from the man) — was presented back to the man (Genesis 2:21-24).
Since the woman was formed from a part of the man’s very being, apart from the woman, the man was incomplete. But, once God had formed the woman from the man’s rib and had presented that which was a part of the man back to the man, the man was once again a complete being. The woman, in this respect, completed the man.
And it was only as a complete being that the man could fulfill the purpose for his creation. The man could reign only in conjunction with the woman. The man would reign as king, with the woman reigning alongside as consort queen, together forming one complete person on the throne.
This is the way Scripture begins, relating, at the very beginning, the subject matter surrounding the whole of God’s revelation that was to follow. God laid out, at the very beginning, exactly how He restored a ruined creation (through divine intervention, over six days time), the purpose surrounding man’s creation (to rule the restored domain), exactly how man was to rule the restored domain (as a complete being, the man as king and the woman ruling at his side as consort queen), and the time when man was to rule (on the seventh day, a day of rest following six days of restorative work).
But, following man’s creation, sin re-entered the sphere having to do with God’s plans and purposes for the earth. Man sinned, resulting in exactly the same thing that had previously occurred when Satan sinned — a ruin of two creations. There was a ruin of both man and the material creation, the domain that man had been created to rule.
At the time of Satan’s previous fall and ruin, God had brought the domain over which he ruled into a ruined state as well, described in the words of Scripture as “without form, and void.” And only darkness existed where light had previously existed, a darkness covering “the face of the deep [darkness covering water that, in turn, covered the ruined earth]” (Genesis 1:2a).
But, when God began to restore the ruined material creation following Satan’s sin, God did not include the incumbent ruler within that which was being restored. Rather, God left Satan in his ruined state and restored the domain over which he ruled, creating man to rule the domain in his (Satan’s) stead (Genesis 1:2b-26).
And, to prevent man from taking the scepter and replacing him in this manner, Satan, through the woman, brought about man’s fall. Then, at the time of man’s fall, God reacted exactly as He had reacted at the time of Satan’s fall. The one who had been created to rule found himself in a fallen state, and the domain that he was to rule (the restored domain) was placed under a curse (Genesis 3:1-17).
Following this, exactly as in the previous ruin of the material creation, God set about to restore that which, through sin, had been brought into this ruined state. This time though, unlike that which had been done in the previous restoration, God, within His restorative work, included the one who, through sin, had brought about the chaos. Man, created in God’s image, after His likeness, was this time placed first and foremost in God restorative work. God would first restore man, and then He would restore the material creation (Romans 8:18ff).
And the pattern concerning how God would restore both ruined creations, along with that which would follow in relation to both man and the material creation, had already been set at the very beginning of Scripture. God would work six days to restore both, and He would then rest on the seventh day.
In this respect, this opening section of Scripture (Genesis 1:1-2:3) relates, at the very beginning, what the whole of God’s revelation to follow is about. It is about redemption, leading into regality. It is about God working six more days to restore that which had fallen into a state of ruin, with a day of rest to follow, during which time man will exercise regality. And each day in the latter restoration and rest is comprised of 1,000 years.
God is going to work for 6,000 years and then rest the seventh 1,000-year period. Everything in Scripture centers on revelation having to do with God’s work and purpose surrounding this matter, with different parts of Scripture presenting different facets of this same central subject. And, centering on revelation of this nature, it must be recognized that everything in Scripture moves toward that coming day of rest, foreshadowed by the day of rest in Genesis 2:2, 3 — the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period, the earth’s coming Sabbath.
(The Sabbath was given to Israel as a “sign,” to keep this thought ever before the people of God [Exodus 31:13-17], and Christians have been told that a Sabbath rest awaits the people of God [Hebrews 4:9]. And the whole of Scripture has been structured in a septenary form in order to keep this thought ever before the people of God at any point in Scripture [e.g., Numbers 19:11-19; Hosea 5:13-6:2; Matthew 16:28-17:5; John 1:29, 35, 43; 2:1; 11:6, 7].)
Scripture, from Genesis chapter one through Revelation chapter twenty-two, deals with man in relation to 7,000 years of time. Scripture has very little to say about that which occurred prior to the 7,000 years, and Scripture has very little to say about that which will occur following the 7,000 years. Even in Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, where man is given a glimpse into that which will occur beyond the 7,000 years (beyond the Messianic Era, during the endless ages that follow [during eternity]), the emphasis is still on the Messianic Era. This must be the case, for this is the unchangeable way in which matters were set forth in the beginning (e.g., Revelation 21:6ff; 22:6ff).
(Note two easy to see examples in the New Testament concerning how individual books are structured in this manner — the books of Hebrews and Revelation. Both books relate their subject matter at the beginning and then, within this subject matter throughout the books, both remain in complete keeping with the direction toward which all Scripture moves.
The book of Hebrews is introduced by seven successive Messianic quotations from the Old Testament, moving through Man’s Day and covering a deliverance that will be realized only during the Lord’s Day. Thus, one can know from this introductory material that the content of the book beyond that point has to do with things surrounding a deliverance [salvation] to be realized in that coming day, during the Messianic Era.
And the book of Revelation deals with exactly the same subject, though from a different perspective. The very first verse relates what the book is about — “the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” And, following introductory comments on this verse, the remainder of the book outlines events having to do with this revelation, which ends with deliverance [salvation] during the Messianic Era. The book ends with the second Man, the last Adam, with His wife [1 Corinthians 15:45ff; Revelation 19:7-9], fulfilling that for which the first man, the first Adam, with his wife, were created.)
Thus, it should go without saying that since the Messianic Era is the point toward which all Scripture moves, it should also be a subject with which all Christians are either quite familiar or are becoming quite familiar. But such is far from the case. Rather, exactly the opposite is instead true. The point toward which all Scripture moves is something understood and appreciated by very few Christians today.
And the blame for this current condition of Christendom can be placed at the same point Christ placed it 2,000 years ago when He was on earth and a similar condition existed in Israel. It can be laid first and foremost at the feet of the spiritual leaders.
This is where Christ placed it as it existed among the people of God at His first coming, and it is no different today among the people of God, immediately preceding Christ’s return. The spiritual leaders misled the people relative to the proffered kingdom near the end of the past dispensation, and the spiritual leaders have misled and continue to mislead the people relative to the proffered kingdom near the end of the present dispensation.
At the conclusion of Christ’s ministry as Prophet, at His first coming, He severely condemned Israel’s religious leaders because of that which they had done during the course of His ministry. And, to reflect upon that which had occurred and why it had occurred, an entire chapter is given over to this in the gospel of Matthew (chapter 23).
There were numerous religious sects in Israel when Christ was on earth the first time; but it was the “scribes and Pharisees” who, because of their numbers and influence (the largest and most influential of the religious sects), held sway over and directed the religious life of the people.
The scribes and Pharisees sat “in Moses’ seat” (Matthew 23:2). That is, because of the position that they held (the governing religious sect in Israel), they were the ones responsible for teaching that revealed through Moses and exhorting the people accordingly, as Moses had done. In this respect, the scribes and Pharisees together (forming a fundamental group that claimed to follow the Law to the letter) held the same position in Israel that Moses, the one through whom God gave the Law, had held 1,400 years earlier.
The scribes and Pharisees had followed Christ about the country throughout His ministry and had sought, at every turn, to mislead the people by seeking to both discredit the Messenger and subvert the message being proclaimed (e.g., Matthew 9:11-13; 12:10-14, 24-45; 15:1ff; 16:1ff; cf. Matthew 3:7, 8). Accordingly, they were the ones whom Christ subsequently held directly responsible for the Jewish people rejecting both the Messenger and His message. In Christ’s words, at the time of His condemnation of these religious leaders, near the end of His earthly ministry, they had “shut up the kingdom of the heavens against men [‘in the presence of men’].” They had no interest in entering the kingdom, and they were doing everything within their power to prevent others from entering as well (Matthew 23:13).
Near the conclusion of Christ’s present ministry for Christians, as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary — during the present day and time — exactly the same conditions that prevailed in Israel 2,000 years ago can be seen existing in Christendom (cf. Matthew 13:33; Luke 18:8; Revelation 3:14-21). And, viewing conditions as they presently exist in Christendom, these conditions again involve the same message and the people of God. They again involve the King, the kingdom of the heavens, the religious leaders, and those whom the Lord has entrusted to the care of these leaders.
At Christ’s first coming, because of Israel’s rejection of the King and the kingdom, the proffered kingdom was taken from Israel, with the nation subsequently crucifying the One who had made the offer. Then, following Christ’s resurrection, an entirely new entity (the Church) was called into existence to be the recipient of that which Israel had rejected.
And, with the calling into existence of the Church, Israel was set aside for a dispensation, while God dealt with the one new man “in Christ” in relation to the message surrounding the kingdom. And the religious leaders in Christendom then became the counterpart to the religious leaders in Israel who occupied “Moses’ seat” at Christ’s first coming. They, as in Israel, then became the ones responsible for teaching and leading the people, with the proffered kingdom occupying the same prominent place that it had occupied before.
But, what has happened in Christendom, immediately preceding Christ’s return? One need only look around to see what has happened — exactly the same thing that happened in Israel surrounding Christ’s first coming has happened in Christendom immediately preceding Christ’s return. Relative to the proffered kingdom, the religious leaders misled the people then; and, relative to this same proffered kingdom, the religious leaders have misled and continue to mislead the people now. They “shut up the kingdom” then, and they are shutting it up now; they were not interested in entering the kingdom then, and they are not interested in entering the kingdom now; they sought to prevent others from entering the kingdom then, and they are seeking to prevent others from entering the kingdom now.
Over a 2,000-year period, the entire matter has come full-circle. The people of God, though a different people today, are at exactly the same place where they were 2,000 years ago. The leadership has busied itself with other things, while, at the same time, they have either ignored or sought to subvert the central message which they should have been proclaiming. And, as happened in Israel 2,000 years ago, the people committed to the trust of the shepherds have blindly followed their lead.
And, if Christ took the kingdom from the people of Israel and severely condemned the spiritual leaders in Israel for that which happened 2,000 years ago — which He did — will He deal any different with those in Christendom who are guilty of exactly the same thing? The answer to that question is simple. The latter group will have to be dealt with exactly the same way, on exactly the same basis as the former group. If this were not the case, God could not be perfectly just and righteous in His dealings with man (cf. Romans 11:17-21).
The book of Ruth covers this whole panorama of teaching surrounding the proffered kingdom, primarily in relation to Christians but also in relation to Israel as well (since Israel must be in the picture in order for God to deal with Christians in this manner). And the book of Ruth, as numerous other individual books in Scripture, ends at the same point as Scripture as a whole ends.
And this study in the book of Ruth will be brought to a close by showing how God brought this one part of His revelation to a close — in a manner that is in perfect keeping with how the whole of Scripture closes. This is seen in the book through the revealed account of that which occurred after Boaz had redeemed the inheritance and Ruth became his wife, which foreshadows that which will occur after Christ redeems the inheritance in that coming day and the bride becomes His wife.
And if an individual would properly understand all the various revealed things about that coming day, he must begin with the types, with the book of Ruth being a central type in this respect.
In the type, as seen in this book, matters at the end of the book have to do with Naomi (typifying Israel), with Boaz and Ruth (typifying Christ and His wife), and with regality as it relates to all three. And that which is seen surrounding these matters in this book is exactly what is seen in the antitype in relation to God’s three firstborn sons (Christ, Israel, and the Church [following the Christians’ adoption into a firstborn status].
Thus, whether in this type or in the antitype, matters are seen ending at exactly the same place set forth in the opening two chapters of Scripture — two chapters through which God established, at the beginning, the subject matter and pattern for the whole of His revelation that was to follow.
The Inheritance Redeemed, Relative to Israel
Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O LORD, we have waited for You; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. (Isaiah 26:8)
The redemption of the inheritance in relation to Israel will consist of judgments of such a severe nature that the nation will have no recourse other than to turn to and call upon the God of their fathers for deliverance (an action that portends the Jewish people’s prior repentance [i.e., the Jewish people having previously changed their minds]). And, when Israel does this, exactly as in the type in Exodus — when Israel turned to and called upon the God of their fathers for deliverance, during a time of severe persecution, with God sending Moses to deliver them from Egypt (Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-12) — God will send the One greater than Moses to deliver His people from a worldwide dispersion (cf. Ezekiel 36:24-28; Acts 3:19-22).
Israel, through the nature of the redemption of the inheritance (“in the way of Your judgments”), will be brought to the place of repentance. And God’s promise to His people when this occurs has to do with healing for both the people and the land. In that day, the people will be restored; and the land will blossom as the rose, with streams flowing in the desert (cf. Leviticus 26:40-42; Deuteronomy 30:1-3; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 35:1-10).
In Ruth chapter four, Boaz redeemed the inheritance in the first part of the chapter; and that which resulted from this redeemed inheritance, as it related to Naomi, is seen in the latter part of the chapter. That which resulted from the redeemed inheritance is seen three different ways for Israel in the type: (1) through that which is stated about Obed (Boaz and Ruth’s son), (2) through that which is stated about Ruth, and (3) through extending Boaz’s genealogy to King David (Boaz and Ruth’s great grandson).
In relation to Naomi, Obed is referred to as “a kinsman” (relative), one whose name would be “famous in Israel,” “a restorer of your life,” and “a nourisher of your old age” (vv. 14, 15a). Then, in relation to Naomi, Ruth is referred to as one “who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons” (v. 15b). And the book closes with Boaz’s genealogy through Obed, ending with David, Israel’s second king (vv. 17-22).
(Why Israel’s second king? Note that God rejects the first and establishes the second — a principle set forth at the beginning of Scripture and seen throughout the Word.
God rejected the first earth and will establish the second; God rejected the earth’s first ruler and will establish the Second; God rejected the first man and will establish the Second; God rejected Israel’s first king and established the second [then, yet future, God will establish a Second from this second ruler — David’s greater Son, the second Man, the last Adam].)
For Israel, the inheritance will be redeemed “in the way of Your judgments.” Israel is going to pass through this time of judgment when the inheritance is being redeemed. Then, following the nation being brought to the place of repentance and calling upon the God of their fathers for deliverance, that which is seen in the type after the inheritance had been redeemed can then occur.
The Kinsman-Redeemer will appear in the midst of the nation, and, as Obed in the type, His name will be “famous in Israel.” Conditions will be exactly as stated in Isaiah 26:8: “. . . O LORD, we have waited for You; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You.”
Or, note a Messianic passage from Isaiah:
Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: “Behold, it is I.” [“Jesus,” the One whom the nation had rejected and crucified (cf. Zechariah 12:10-14)].
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:6, 7)
And, as Obed in the type, the Kinsman-Redeemer in that day, in relation to Israel, will be “a restorer of your life” and “a nourisher of your old age.” Israel today is in the place of death, with the history of the nation stretching back four millennia to Abraham. But the One who said, “I am the resurrection, and the life,” immediately prior to raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:25), is going to one day restore life to the one whom Lazarus typified. And in that day, the Restorer of life will be the One providing all the various things that the nation will require.
And, as Ruth loved Naomi and was better to her than seven sons, Christ’s wife, in that coming day, will exhibit the same affection toward Israel. This is the type of affection that the King will exhibit; and that which is exhibited by the consort queen, in complete keeping with the type, can only be the same. Israel in that day, rather than being despised and rejected as the nation finds itself today, will be loved by the King Himself, along with His consort queen.
Then, as the book of Ruth ends with regality by carrying Boaz’s genealogy to King David, matters end in the antitype by carrying the genealogy to David’s greater Son, seated on the throne. Christ, following the redemption of the inheritance, will sit on His own throne in the heavenly Jerusalem and on David’s throne in the earthly Jerusalem (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 3:21).
Then, that which began to be revealed in the opening chapters of Genesis and dealt with throughout Scripture will be ushered in. The long-awaited Messianic Era will, at long last, be realized, with Israel’s Messiah dwelling in the nation’s midst — a healed nation restored to a healed land, occupying the position of firstborn in that land (cf. Exodus 4:22, 23; 19:5, 6; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Joel 2:27).
The Inheritance Redeemed, Relative to the Church
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7).
The redemption of the inheritance in relation to the Church will have to do with Christ redeeming the domain over which He and His wife will rule during the succeeding Messianic Era. This is the domain presently under Satan’s control, as he continues to exercise power over the earth, as God’s appointed ruler, though a rebel ruler.
The Church, in that day, will realize the reason for her existence — brought into existence following Israel’s rejection of the proffered kingdom, to be the recipient of this kingdom. And, occupying this position, the Church will form the wife of the King Himself, His consort queen, exercising power and authority with Him over the earth.
In Ruth chapter four, Boaz, through the process of redeeming the inheritance, also redeemed Ruth’s widowhood. Ruth, through this redemptive process, became his wife. In this respect, once the transaction at the gate had been completed and the price had been paid, not only had Boaz redeemed the forfeited inheritance but Ruth had become his wife as well.
And once the inheritance had been redeemed and the union of Boaz and Ruth had occurred, blessings immediately come to the forefront. As previously seen, these blessings began to be exhibited through their son, Obed, with the book ending by tracing Boaz’s genealogy through Obed to King David. Thus, the book ends with blessings within a regal setting, foreshadowing exactly where it will end in the antitype as well.
Following the redemption of the inheritance (through which the previously revealed bride will become the wife of the Redeemer, the wife of the Lamb), the marriage festivities, Christ’s return to the earth, and events connected with His return, the long-awaited Messianic Era will be ushered in. Christ will exercise power and authority over the redeemed inheritance in the stead of Satan, as the Second Man, the Last Adam. And His wife, ruling at His side, will rule in the stead of the angels presently ruling with Satan (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; Ruth 4:9, 10).
The day is coming when the Father will give His Son, “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom . . . .” (Daniel 7:13, 14), placing the Son upon His “holy hill of Zion [Jerusalem]” (Psalm 2:6). And the Son, in this position will, with His wife, exercise power and authority over the previously redeemed domain.
With reference to that coming day, God has promised His Son…
Ask of Me, and I shall give You the nations [the Gentiles] for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession [the domain which, in that day, will have been redeemed].
You shall break them [the inhabitants of the redeemed domain] with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:8, 9).
And, as well, with reference to that coming day, the Son has promised overcoming Christians co-heirship with Him…
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations —
He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels — as I also have received from My Father. (Revelation 2:26, 27)
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:21)
This is the way matters will exist after Man’s Day has been brought to a close and the Lord’s Day ushered in. This is the direction toward which all Scripture moves, and it has been revealed numerous different ways throughout the whole of Scripture, beginning in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis and concluding in the closing chapters of the book of Revelation.
The book of Ruth, closing in this manner, simply presents another facet to the complete word picture presented by the whole of Scripture — a facet of the picture that God has deemed necessary, apart from which the picture presented by the remainder of Scripture would be incomplete.