[CF Devotionals] 2014-06-08 - The City Gate

Ruth ~ Part 41 ~ “The Court Is in Session”

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Introduction: First, let’s take a moment to talk about the importance of the city gate. Huey makes the following note:

“ … the city gate, a kind of outdoor court, the place where judicial matters were resolved by the elders and those who had earned the confidence and respect of the people. The location also served as a place for transacting business and as a kind of forum or public meeting place.”

“… Then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin, to the town elders at the gate” (Deuteronomy 22:15).

“He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint, to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”” (2 Samuel 15:2).

“Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate” (Proverbs 22:22 KJV).

“While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate …” (Jeremiah 38:7).

“They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly” (Amos 5:10 KJV).

Jackman makes the following comments regarding the city gate:

“‘The gate” was really the center of the community’s life; there cases were heard and contracts were made. The “elders” dispensed justice, the poor waited for help, and the ordinary people met one another to exchange news. It had much the same function as the village square in medieval Europe. Everyone had to pass through the gate, so it was the obvious place to make for if you wanted to be sure of meeting someone, in a relatively small community.”

Keeping all this in mind, what happens next, which we will discuss next week, is an example of the legal system of the day. Boaz was taking his case to court. His desire was to marry Ruth, and to redeem Naomi’s property and Elimelech’s line.

To be continued.

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CFD | June 2014 | Geoff's Devotions | Geoff's Studies | Devotional Topics