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The book of Ruth mentions both Boaz and Obed as redeemers of Ruth and Naomi respectively. Is this a typology of God the Father and Christ the Son, both being our redeemers?

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    – Dottard
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 8:22
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    Where are we told that Obed is the redeemer of Ruth?
    – Dottard
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 8:23
  • @Dottard. Possibly Ruth 4:13-17 "..she bore a son...a redeemer....a nourisher of your old age..?
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 9:17
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    @C.Stroud - I do not know what version you are quoting but the Hebrew never says that Obed was a redeemer.
    – Dottard
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 10:32
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    @C.Stroud I deleted my incorrect comment. Your own comment points to a prophecy of a future kinsman-redeemer. (In my own view.) Ruth 4:14 literal. "Jehovah has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer this day and may be famous his name in Israel." I suggest the women spoke prophetically of the coming Christ.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 12:04

2 Answers 2

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Typology

To answer this we should first understand typology. It is a method of biblical interpretation where an element found in the Old Testament is seen to prefigure one found in the New Testament. The initial one is called the "type," and the fulfillment is designated the "antitype." Either type or antitype may be a person, thing, or event, but often the type is messianic and frequently related to the idea of salvation.

The concept of typology comes from the belief of many Christians that God's actions are consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments. By drawing parallels between Old Testament events and the life of Jesus or New Testament teachings, typology is a way of understanding how different parts of the Bible interrelate.

For instance, the story of Jonah spending three days in the belly of a whale is seen as a "type" that prefigures the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Similarly, the Passover lamb sacrificed by the Israelites in Egypt is considered a "type" of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, with both lambs seen as offering deliverance from death.

But, it doesn't specifically link Boaz and Obed from the Book of Ruth to God the Father and Jesus.

Some people see Boaz as a preview of Jesus because of his role as a 'kinsman-redeemer'. This is a family member who steps in to help a relative who's in trouble. Some people think this is a bit like what Jesus did for people, stepping in to help them.

But Obed isn't usually seen as a preview of God the Father or Jesus. He was King David's grandfather and an ancestor of Jesus, but he didn't play a role like Boaz did.

So, while it's possible to think of Boaz as a sort of early hint of Jesus, it's less clear to see Obed as a hint of God the Father. This would be more of a guess than something clearly suggested by the Bible.

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  • I agree with your post, that there is no specific link between Boaz to God the Father or Jesus Christ the Son.
    – Lesley
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 16:14
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Boaz is the redeemer of Naomi and he was also a kinsman of Elimalech, the deceased husband of Naomi. A kinsman-redeemer would protect the interests of needy members of the extended family by redeeming land sold outside the family and by providing an heir for a male relative who had died. Boaz is explicitly called a kinsman-redeemer in Ruth 2:20:

That man is our close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers. (NIV)

It is worth noting that the closest kinsman-redeemer in Naomi's family declined to redeem Naomi's land and to marry Ruth. Boaz, on the other hand, makes a legally binding agreement to purchase the land owned by Elimalech and to marry Ruth, whose husband was the deceased son of Naomi and Elimalech (Ruth chapter 4).

That is not said of Obed, the son of Boaz and Ruth and the only grandson of Naomi. Obed did not redeem either Naomi (his grandmother) or Ruth (his mother). Yes, he would take on the responsibility of looking after his mother and his grandmother as they became old and probably infirm. That was his duty. Obed fathered Jesse and Jesse fathered David, but that does not make Obed co-redeemer of Ruth and Naomi.

It is important to understand that it was the LORD who was behind all the events that led up to Boaz becoming the kinsman redeemer of Naomi, and thence, through Obed would come Jesse, the father of David, leading to Christ Jesus, the ultimate kinsman-redeemer.

The LORD is the true redeemer in the book of Ruth. We know that the Lord God is the ultimate Redeemer (Psalm 106:10; 130:8; Isaiah 35:10; 48:17; Galatians 3:13). And we see God’s hand working behind the scenes in the book of Ruth: God sent the famine that drove Naomi’s family to Moab, where Ruth was (Ruth 1:1); God made certain that Ruth “happened” to come to the field of Boaz (Ruth 2:3); God had previously instituted the law of levirate marriage (Ruth 4:5; cf. Deuteronomy 25:5–6); and God enabled Ruth to conceive (Ruth 4:13). Through it all, God’s plan was to bring David into the world and continue the line of Christ (verses 17–22). https://www.gotquestions.org/redeemer-in-Ruth.html

I can see Boaz as a typology of Christ Jesus as redeemer, but I don’t see how that can be stretched to suggest Boaz and Obed are a typology of God the Father and Christ the Son.

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