The Types in Rut
Elimelekh אֱלִימֶלֶךְ – #H458 El is my King. During a time of famine (persecution) in Beit Lechem (Israel), Elimelekh led his wife and two sons out of Israel and into the Gentile nation of Mo’av. Elimelekh here represents יְהֹוָה.
Beth Lechem בֵּית לֶחֶם – #H1035 House of Bread (Food). The irony of this is that Elimelekh lived in an area of normally abundant grain and sheep. Instead of there being sufficiency (security), there was famine. As this was during the time of the Judges, the opening chapter of the Book of Rut may well have been during a period of judgment upon Israel.
Na’omi נָעֳמִי – #H5281 Pleasant from no’am נֹעַם – delight, splendour, beauty. Na’omi represents Israel as being the wife of יְהֹוָה and as such, the TaNaKh. This is the delight, splendour and beauty of יְהֹוָה.
Mara מָרָא – #H4755 Bitter, of physical pain as a result of a curse – from the root marah מָרָה #H4784 To be bitter, unpleasant, provoke, rebel, disobedient towards a father or יְהֹוָה. Although this is usually referred to as bitter 32 times out of the 44 uses refers to rebellion or disobedience. After the death of her husband and sons, Na’omi no longer wants to be referred to as ‘pleasant’ but as ‘unpleasant’. She considers herself as being under the judgment of יְהֹוָה. If Na’omi represents the TaNaKh (Written Torah) and pre-Resurrection Jewish Believers, then Mara represents the Oral Law. Due to the burden placed upon Israel by the Oral Law, what was once a beautiful thing has become bitter and ultimately the disobedience of the Israelite leaders in ignoring or persecuting יְהֹוָה’s prophets and His Son, Yahushua. Na’omi also represents the Good News going forth out of Israel into the Gentile world because of the persecution from the authorities.
Machlon מַחְלוֹן – #H4248 sick from the root chalah חָלָה (pronounced kha-la) – #H2470 weak, grieved, prayer, woman in childbirth. Machlon represents the religious leadership.
Kilyon כִּלְיוֹן – #H3630 wasting away from the root kalah כָּלָה (pronounced ka-la) – #H3615 to accomplish, cease, consume, to be spent or finished, destruction failing. Kilyon represents the secular leadership. As the two sons were off-spring of Na’omi/TaNaKh, these represent the religious and secular authorities that made the Oral Law as though it was the Written Torah. Both words have virtually the same sounding roots. As the Ruach of יְהֹוָה was not in these bodies, there was no strength or life in their teachings.
Rut רוּת – #H7327 friendship from rehuth רְעוּת – #H7468 female friend or neighbour from the root ra’ah רָעָה – #H7462 to tend as a flock, to shepherd, to yoke together. After the death of their husbands, Na’omi urges the two daughter-in-laws to return to their own people to find new husbands. Rut insists on staying with Na’omi and calls Na’omi’s people and ‘Elohim her own. Rut represents a faith that derives from the TaNaKh. Rut, therefore represents the Good News turning back upon itself to the Jewish people and the post-Resurrection Gentile Believers who stay yoked with the Jewish Believers. It also represents the redemption of Israel (Na’omi) through Gentiles (Rut).
‘Orpah עָרְפָּה – #H6204 gazelle from ‘oreph עֹרֶף – #H6203 obstinate, stiff-necked from the root ‘araph עָרַף – #H6202 to break the neck or behead. As shown above, Rut represents a TaNaKh based faith. Therefore, ‘Orpah must also be a faith based upon the TaNaKh. This can only be Islam and at its most violent is shown as public beheadings of all those who disobey the Muslim laws.
Bo’az בֹּעַז – #H1162 the root meaning is uncertain but may be to do with quickness. With the death of her sons, there was no-one to carry on the name of Elimelekh. Likewise, with the death of Rut’s husband, there was no-one to carry on his name. The Torah accommodates this tragedy by allowing a close relative to marry the widow and to raise any children as though they were the widow’s dead husband’s children. This is referred to as the Kinsman Redeemer ga’al בֹּעַז – #H1350. This Kinsman Redeemer could also buy back a person’s indebted land or to redeem from slavery. Throughout this Book, it is clearly shown that Bo’az has compassion for the plight of Na’omi and Rut, not only meeting their needs but supplying over and above their minimum necessities. Bo’az represents Messiah Yahushua. By the single act of marrying Rut, Bo’az redeems both Rut and Na’omi as Rut’s child Oved is also considered to be Na’omi’s child. The marriage clearly represents the Crucifixion as both Jew and Gentile are redeem by the once for all sacrifice.
Reapers qatsar קָצַר – #H7114 these are messengers (angels) that are sent out by Yahshua to minister to needs of people.
Close kinsman ga’al בֹּעַז – #H1350. There was one person who had the right to redeem Na’omi and Rut before Bo’az. However, this relative could not redeem the pair of women. This represents the Law in that within the Law there was provision for salvation but was not capable of full redemption.
Harris R.L., Archer G.J. Jr. Theological Word of the Old Testament, Waltke B.K. (1980) Moody, Chicago, Il.
Strong J. (1994) Strong’s New Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, World Bible Publishers Inc., Madison.
Strong J. (1996) The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson, Nashville.