Come…Eat Some Bread: Christ in the Book of Ruth

Bread, Wine, and the Bridegroom and His Bride

[Read: Ruth]

The title of this short entry is taken from Ruth 2:14, where Boaz, the Kinsman Redeemer, gives bread and wine to Ruth, a widow to an Israelite who converted to faith in the Lord God of the Jews, YHWH. “Come here and eat some bread,” Boaz says, “and dip your morsel in the wine.” As I read through Ruth the other night, I was struck by how many times I had read over this exchange between Boaz and Ruth, never once stopping to meditate on the significance of what is happening here. Ruth, a believer in YHWH,[1] goes out in faith to glean the fields and is approached by Boaz who bestows grace upon grace upon her, showing her kindness above others who were gleaning in his field.[2] When we reach verse 14, therefore, Boaz’s offer of bread and wine emphasizes the blessing that he was pouring out upon her, including her in communion with him and his servants, although she was not a servant. Boaz, the redeemer of Ruth and Naomi,[3] of the widowed Jew and widowed Gentile, who has come from Bethlehem[4] is gracious, compassionate, and gives of his bread and wine to Ruth, the non-Jew who has come to faith in YHWH.

Are you seeing the similarities between this and what our Lord Jesus has done for His people? Is it not the Lord Jesus who is our Redeemer? Did He not come from Bethlehem?[5] Is He not the Redeemer of the remnant of elect Jews[6] and of His elect Gentiles?[7] Is He not the Redeemer of whom it is written: “…Jesus took bread…and gave it to His disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat’…And He took a cup…saying, ‘Drink it…’”?[8] Is it not the Lord Jesus who will clear His threshing floor,[9] as Boaz did,[10] and take His church to Himself at the time of the harvest[11] so that their eternal union would be fulfilled,[12] as Boaz took Ruth to be his wife after the time of the harvest had passed and he had finished winnowing the barley on his threshing floor?[13] Is Jesus not the One who Redeemed us and made us a fruitful bride,[14] just as Boaz redeemed Ruth and made her a fruitful bride?[15]

We would hardly be doing the text justice if we were to pass by it and not recognize the significance of Boaz’s giving of bread and wine to Ruth (as Christ gave His Bread/Body and Wine/Blood for His bride), and of Ruth’s desire to be brought under the wings of Boaz[16] (as the church is healed by the wings of the Sun of Righteousness).[17] Boaz is a striking type of our Redeemer, our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. And as Boaz showed grace upon grace to Ruth, inviting her to sup with him, so our Lord Jesus has shown us grace upon grace, and invites us to taste and see that the Lord is good. And in so doing we remember our Lord until He returns, spreads His wings over us and brings us to glory with Him, that we may dwell with Him as a bride dwells with her husband – even as Ruth dwelt with Boaz, her redeemer.

Amen.

-h.


[1] Cf. 1:14-18

[2] Cf. 1:8-13

[3] Cf. 2:20

[4] Cf. 2:4

[5] Cf. Micah 5:2, Matt  2:1-6 & Luke 2:10-12

[6] Cf. Ro 11:1-10

[7] Cf. Ro 10:11-13

[8] Cf. Matt 26:26-28

[9] Cf. Matt 3:12

[10] Cf. Ruth 3:1-2

[11] Cf. Matt 13:36-43 & 24:30-31

[12] Cf. Eph 5:25-32

[13] Cf. Ruth 4:13

[14] Cf. Rev 21

[15] Cf. Ruth 4:13-17

[16] Cf. 3:9

[17] Cf. Mal 4:2

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One thought on “Come…Eat Some Bread: Christ in the Book of Ruth

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