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bim ; for the word bless frequently signifies to praise, Psal. ciji. i.
Ver. 8.“ Neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.”]_Which is figurative of the manifestations of Christ's love, and of that free unconditional grace that is displayed in the gospel; and the maidens may be figurative of the daughters of Zion, who are candidates of grace, being changed into glory.
Ver. jo. Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowlege of me, seeing I am a stran. ger.”7—'The condescension of Boaz to Ruth was great and astonishing, and the more so as she was a stranger: in which respect Boaz was a figure of Christ, and Ruth of the gentile church. As the name Boas signifies in strength, or firmness, which is the name given to the pillar of the temple, so it was in strength of love that Christ engaged in covenant with the Father, and in strength of love be lived, died, and rose again, and manifested bimself to his church; which eliscoveries of grace and kindness fill the hearts of his people with boly admiration, that the gracions soul says, 16 Why have I found grace in thine eyes? What was there in me that could engage thy love and kindness, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing that I am a stranger?" Notc, a discovery of Christ's love to the soul fillcth it with the bighest admiration of distinguishing grace: and a sense of distinguishing favour from the Lord gives the soul the greatest sense of what its state was by nature, which serves to augment the wonders of redeeming love.
Ver. 12. “ Under whose wings thou art come to trust."? -Which points out the safety and security of Ruth in her trust and confidence, being protected, sheltered, and secured by the “Lord God of Israel;" for bis perfections, power, and promises, are engaged as wings for the security of that soul ihat trusteth in bis name.
Ver. 19. “ Then she said, Let'me find favour in thy sight, my lord.”]- Which shews the greatness of Boaz, and the humble behaviour and intense desire of Ruth: but spiritually it might denote (as Boaz was a type of Christ) the greatness of Christ's person, and the humble and intense desire of the church to enjoy the presence and favour of Christ, in seals, smiles, and pledges of pardoping love.
Ver. 14. “ And she did eat and was sufficed, and left.") - Which kindness of Boaz to Ruth was figurative of the kindness of the Lord Jesus to his church, in feeding her with the bread of life, and of her cating the heavenly
manna, and of the satisfaction she finds therein : and her leaving thereof may denote the exuberance of grace in Christ, and that his falness can never be exhausted.
Ver. 15, 16." Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not. And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for lier,” &c.]-Hence let it be observed, that the field of Boaz may spiritually denote the divine word; and as Ruth was commanded to glean only in this field, it may denote that the promises of salvation are only in the field of God's word, which the christian is to gather food from: and Boaz commanding his reapers to let Ruth " glean (which the bishops' translation renders 'gather,') among the sheayes," may be figurative of the Lord's command to his ministring servants, who are his spiritual reapers, to comfort, encourage, and support his people, and let them “ glean among the sheaves," that is, among the free blessings of the covenant, and the precious and free promises of the gospel, Isai. xl. 1. And by the reapers of Boaz letting down at his command handfuls on purpose for Ruth, it may be figurative of the great commission which gospel ministers, those spiritual reapers, have from Christ to let down handfuls, that is, to drop ministerially the abundance of gospel blessings, that the church may glean them by faith ; and the handfuls may denote the fulness of Christ, the blessings of the covenant, the preciousness of the promises, and the sure mercies of David : and as they were 56 on purpose for her," it may denote, that there is not a case the church of God or a gracious soul can be in, wherein a promise is not provided by God for that very case, and not only one promise, but promises, blessings, and sure mercies for that case, even a handful of them.
" That she may glean them, and rebuke her not,"jWhich may be figurative of the church's right to all the blessings of salvation by the gift of Christ, and that a soul sensible of its want of spiritual blessings bas a right to glean, that is, to gather, as its own, all the blessings and promises in the book of God.
" And rebuke her not.”]—Though Ruth was a Moah. itess, a gentile, a stranger, yet she was not to be rebuked ; which may be figurative of the liberty of the church to glean in the gospel field : she is not to be rebuked for her guiltiness, sinfulness, and unworthiness, though she glean among the sheaves of divine blessings, of pardon, peace, righteousness, and salvation, and all the sure mercies of
David; for they are sent down by the Holy Ghost in the ministration of the word on purpose for the church.
Ver. 20. “ And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.”]-In which respect Boaz was a figure of Christ, who is near of kin to us gentiles : under the law be that was nearest of kin had a right to redeem, which made it such matter of joy to Ruth; so Christ being near akin to us, from whence our redemption flows, is what makes his name such matter of joy to the church.
We found it very easy in the former chapter to applaud the decency of
Ruth's carriage, and to shew what good use we may make of the account given us of it; but in this chapter we shall have much ado to vindicate it, and to clear it, from the imputation of indecency, and to save it from having an ill use made of it: but the goodness of those times was such, as saves this here from being ili done, and yet the badness of these times is such, as that it will not justify any now in doing the like. Here is, (1.) 'The directions Naomi gave to her daughter-in-law, how to claim Boaz for her husband, ver. 1-5. (2.) Ruth's punctual observance of those directions, ver. 6, 7. (3.) The kind and honourable treatment Boaz gave her, ver. 8-15. (4.) Her return to her mother-in-law, ver. 16–18.
VER. 9. “Spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid ; for thou art a near kinsman.”]-The bishops' trans. lation renders it, the wing of thy garment.' That is, one who had a right to redeem ; and for the man to cast the skirt or outward part of his garment over the head of bis intended spouse was a pledge of marriage, and claiming a particular property in the person as his own, Ezek. xvi. 8. and this may bave been the reason of Ruth's request, knowing that according to the law she had a right of marriage to him, Deut. xxv. 5. therefore it would have been wrong in another, though not so in her, for she bad a right by law to remind him of his being a near kinsman, and of his obligation to restore her right to her. The word redeem in this case under the law was taken for restoring to the right owner that which was alienated, that the right owner might enjoy his own inheritance: this was to be done by the near kinsman; wbich may be figurative of Christ's redeeming his people, who are spiritually in a state of slavery and bondage by nature, Acts xx. 28.
In this chapter we have the wedding between Boaz and Rath, in the circum
stances of which there was something uncommon, which is kept upon record, for the illustration, not only of the law concerning the marrying of a brother's widow, Deut. xxv, 5, &c. for cases help to expound laws, but of the gospel ton; for from this marriage descended David, and the son of David, whose espousals to the gentile church were hereby typified. We are here told, (1.) How Boaz got clear of his rival, and fairly shook him off, ver. 1-8. (2.) How his marriage with Ruth was publicly solempized, and attended with the good wishes of his neighbours, ver. 9–12. (3.) The happy issue that descended from this marriage. Obed the grandfather of David, ver. 13-17. And so the book concludes with the pedigree of David, ver. 18-22. We suppose that it was agreeable to him, that the blessed Spirit directed the inserting this story into the sacred canon, he being desirous that the virtues of his great grandinother Ruth, together with her gentile extraction, should be transmitted to posterity, and the singular provi. dences that attended her.
VER. 6. " And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself.”]~Such is the nature of the law in its spirituality, perfection, purity, and penalty, that it is impossible for the law to redeem a guilty sinner. Note, the law gives up the whole right of redemption to the Lord Jesus: 6 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent forth bis own Son,” Rom. viii. 3. “ Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,” Rom iii. 25.
Ver. 11. “And do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem."]—Which was a prophetical speech or desire that Christ might descend from her: and it was exactly accomplished, see Micah v. 2. for he was born in Bethlehem-Ephratah. In which respect she became worthy to build up the spiritual Israel of God; like Rachel and Leah, which two built up the house or tribes of the literal Israel; and it sets forth this book as figurative of the deep things of the gospel.
'Ver. 13. * So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife."] - Which was figurative of Christ's taking the gentile church to be bis spouse, bride, and Hepbzibah, in whom he always delighted. For, as bishop Hall observes, 'Boaz blessed Ruth as a father, encouraged her as a friend, promised to be to her as a kinsman, rewarded her as a brother, filled her with gifts, and kindly embraced her as a husband.” Which sets bim forth as an eminent type of the Lord Jesas, in his loving-kindness, grace, communications, and faithfulness to his people, as their friend, brother, and husband.
SA MU EL;
THIS book is called the First book of Samuel, because it principally relates to the government of Samuel, and the two kings Saul and David, whom Samuel anointed to be kings of Israel. It contains the history of fourscore years; forty under Eli, and forty under Samuel and Saul. The author of this book to the xxyth chapter is generally thought to be Samuel himself, and they contain such things in which he was chiefly concerned: the rest of the book is supposed to be written by king David, or by Gud and Nathan, two prophets in his time, 1 Cbron. xxix. 29.
This book contains the history of the two last judges Eli and Samuel, and of Saul the first king of Israel, with the state of the church and commonwealth under their government. It begins with an account of Samuel's birth, education, and call to the proplietical office under Eli, who for his remissness and connivance at the wickedness of his sons is threatened with the ruin of his family; and accordingly bis sons are slain in battle with the philistines, the ark of God is taken, and Eli himself breaks his neck. The ark