Let’s read verses 1-4: “Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, shall I not seek SECURITY FOR YOU, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do” (NKJV).

In Ruth 1:4-5 we learn that Ruth’s husband (Naomi’s son) had died. Ruth then followed Naomi back to her homeland in Israel (1:6-22). In the passage quoted above we see Naomi’s heartfelt concern for Ruth. She wanted Ruth to FIND SECURITY, which, as we shall see, was another way of saying she WANTED RUTH TO FIND A HUSBAND. She knew that Boaz, a relative of hers, was a godly man and not married, and that he was an ideal choice for Ruth. She then tells Ruth to do something that to her mind would sound strange, due to her ignorance of the customs of Jewish people. In short, she tells her to make herself as presentable as possible, go to the threshing floor where Boaz would be sleeping, and UNCOVER HIS FEET AND LIE DOWN. I’m sure this sounds strange to us too, for we may be inclined to think this was IMPROPER and that Ruth was making some kind of sexual advance towards Boaz. That is NOT the case at all; in this act of “uncovering a man’s feet” Ruth is PROPOSING MARRIAGE TO BOAZ!

This is made clear as we read on in verses 6-9, “So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lied down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, UNCOVERED HIS FEET, and lay down. Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was LYING AT HIS FEET. And he said, ‘Who are you?’ So, she answered, ‘I am Ruth, your maidservant. TAKE YOUR MAIDSERVANT UNDER YOUR WING, for you are a close relative.” Some versions read, “I am Ruth your maid. So SPREAD YOUR COVERING OVER YOUR MAID,” but the word “covering” is literally “wing.” Again, we must know the customs of that day to enter into what Ruth meant in saying, “Take me UNDER YOUR WING.” Ruth 2:12 will help us in this, for it says, “The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, UNDER WHOSE WINGS YOU HAVE COME FOR REFUGE.” To be “under someone’s wings” was to be in a place of SAFETY AND SECURITY. Ruth had come “under the wings of the Lord” and now she is simply asking Boaz to “take me under your wings.” We had seen at the beginning that Naomi was “seeking security for Ruth” (verse 1) and now Ruth is asking Boaz to marry her so she would be safe and secure in his hands! Boaz did accept this proposal for marriage and thus Ruth did “come under his wing.”

If we had the time and space, we would gladly go over the rest of the story, which involved Boaz having to officially REDEEM RUTH BEFORE HE COULD MARRY HER. The “redeeming of Ruth” and the “marriage to Ruth” is a wonderful PICTURE to us of how the Lord Jesus Christ had to REDEEM US (see 1st Peter 1:18-19 & Ephesians 1:7) so He can, in a future day, MARRY US (see Ephesians 5:25; 2nd Corinthians 11:2 and Revelation 19:7-9).  (474.5)  (DO)