Biblical People

Biblical People: Boaz

Boaz is a wealthy farmer living in Judah. He was a close relative of the Elimelek we covered a few chapters ago. Boaz is also a respected man, well known for his integrity.

When Ruth goes out to glean the grain the harvesters missed, she ends up in one of Boaz’s fields. He knows her by reputation, but this is the first time he sees her.

Boaz approaches. He affirms her loyalty to Naomi, promises her safety in his fields, and gives her the same privileges as his laborers—even though she is but a poor widow scavenging for food.

Excited to learn that Ruth ended up in Boaz’s field and favorably interacted with him, Naomi later sends Ruth to the threshing floor at night to get Boaz’s attention. Ruth asks him to redeem her. In effect, she’s asking him to marry her. It’s a proposal of sorts.

Attracted to her, Boaz is willing, but he isn’t her closest relative. Another man is. Boaz can only marry Ruth if the other man declines to do so.

Boaz immediately sets out to make Ruth his wife, deftly dealing with the other relative who could thwart his intentions.

They marry and have a baby boy. Though we don’t know if Boaz has other children, this is Ruth’s first.

They name him Obed. He is the grandfather of King David and a direct ancestor of Jesus. 

One more thing. Remember Rahab, the prostitute who helped the spies? She’s Boaz’s mother.

Do people affirm us as someone with integrity? How do we treat those who are less fortunate than we are?

[Read Boaz’s story in Ruth 2–4. Discover more in Matthew 1:1–5.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at