BOAZ (bō'ăz, Heb. bō’az). A well-to-do Bethlehemite in the days of the judges who became an ancestor of Jesus by marrying Ruth, the Moabitess, widow of one of the sons of Elimelech (
BOAZ bo’ az (בֹּ֨עַז, LXX, Bóos, alacrity, quickness. 1. A wealthy farmer of Bethlehem, the kinsman of Elimelech and Naomi and the great-grandfather of David. He is best known in the Bible for his treatment of Ruth, the Moabitess and the former wife of Elimelech’s son, Mahlon. Naomi had gone to Moab with her husband and two sons at the time of a severe famine (during the Judges period). While in Moab the two sons married Moabite women, but subsequently both the sons and the father died. Naomi encouraged her daughters-in-law to return to their own people but Ruth refused. When Naomi returned to Bethlehem Ruth accompanied her. The pair arrived in time for the fall harvest, whereupon Ruth took advantage of an Israelite custom and went out to glean. Her good fortune was to begin in the fields of Boaz where she was instructed to remain for the duration of the harvest.
Naomi instructed her daughter-in-law in the custom of the Levirate law which made the provision of a goel or kinsman-redeemer to protect the dead man’s name and inheritance. The rite was initiated by the woman’s lying at the feet of the goel. The appeal was made to Boaz who proved to be second in line. On the next morning he arranged for the matter to be settled in the city gate where such matters were resolved. The older man refused “to mar his inheritance” by marrying a Moabitess. Boaz, thereupon, purchased all the property belonging to Elimelech and his sons and took Ruth in marriage.
Boaz is set forth as a model of piety and graciousness, Ruth as a model of virtue and devotion. Despite the prohibition against a Moabite entering Israel for ten generations, Ruth accepted Israel’s religion and customs in following Naomi. Boaz while really a kinsman of Elimelech, therefore responsible to marry Naomi, sees the extension of the responsibility to Mahlon and marries his widow. The happy aftermath of the story is that the couple were the grandparents of David who found a ready shelter in Moab when he fled from Saul.
2. The name of one of two bronze pillars Solomon placed in front of the Temple. The one he placed on the N side was named Boaz and the one on the S Jachin. Both pillars were beautifully adorned with capitals of lilywork (
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(bo`az; Booz; "quickness" (?)
(1) A resident of Bethlehem and kinsman of Elimelech, Naomi’s husband. In
Boaz "is set before us as a model of piety, generosity and chastity" (H. P. Smith,History, 398). He found virtue and rewarded it. HPM, sections 501-8, gives a picture of the life of "a well-to-do landed proprietor of central Palestine," much of which could aptly be taken as a description of Boaz.
(2) The name of one of the two bronze pillars erected in front of Solomon’s temple, the other being Jachin (