V 20. “May the Lord bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.”
It would seem from the story that Naomi still held the rights to some land, which had belonged to her late husband Elimelech, in the vicinity of Bethlehem. As Elimelech had died, someone in the family had the right to buy it from Naomi. Such a person would have been known as the Family-Redeemer. There would have been several such relatives, and there was an order of precedence in this right-to-buy arrangement. Boaz was such a relative, as Naomi now recognised. But as we shall discover, he was not the first in line. Boaz would have known this too, but he persevered in his willingness to do all he could to help both Ruth and Naomi.
There were all the signs of a relationship developing between Boaz and Ruth, but Boaz held back, he was an honourable man who wanted to do things properly. You could well imagine what might happen with other young men in the harvest fields. Naomi was confident, telling Ruth in v 22 ‘You might be harassed in other fields, but you’ll be safe with him. ‘
So we see God’s plan unfolding and the dark clouds over both Naomi and Ruth begin to clear away.