2014-07-13 - Study of the Book of Ruth
Ruth ~ Part 46
Verses 11-12: The witnesses formally ratify the agreement and call down blessings on Ruth. They "pray" she will be like the mothers who were the sources of the nation. The two named Rachel and Leah were the mothers of the sons of Jacob, and therefore they were the mothers of the nation. Their maid-servants were not named, following the tradition that their children really belonged to Rachel and Leah.
Think about it. This is even more true than the witnesses could have possibly realized. One of the reasons God set Israel apart, was for it to become the nation from which the Messiah would come. In a very real sense, Ruth would be in the same line as Rachel and Leah, in that through her, the Messianic line would continue.
They also blessed Boaz, "praying" that first, he would be prosperous materially. Second, the blessing was the hope his name will become great in the community. This specifically related to fertility. It seems they were wishing for him to have more children, beyond one son, to carry on the name of Mahlon - wishing for him to have sons for himself. This was certainly prophetic. They referred to Perez as an illustration of their wish for him.
"Perez was Boaz's ancestor (vv. 18-21; Mt 1:3; Lk 3:33). His birth to Judah was from a union based on the levirate practice (Ge 38:27-30; see note on 1:11). Perez was therefore an appropriate model within Boaz's ancestry, for the blessing the elders gave to Boaz. Moreover, the descendants of Perez had raised the tribe of Judah to a prominent place in Israel. So the blessing of the elders that, through the offspring- Ruth would bear to Boaz, his family would be like that of Perez was fully realized in David and his dynasty." 1
Perez is also an ancestor of Boaz - and therefore of the Messiah. His birth was recounted in Genesis.
"When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, 'This one came out first.' But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, 'So this is how you have broken out!' And he was named Perez. Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out ,and he was given the name Zerah" (Genesis 38:27-30).
To be continued.
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