Ruth, a descendant of Moab, is another Bible character that exhibits Bride characteristics.
Ruth, whose name means "friend or companion," appears a total of 13 times in Scripture. The number 13 in Scripture speaks prophetically of Love, so we see this is one revealing sign that Ruth herself is a prophetic picture of the Bride. She was the "daughter of Naomi," telling us prophetically that she "had the characteristics of" Naomi.
Now the name Naomi means "my delight," and comes from a word meaning "beauty" and "pleasant." So we see that this name-characteristic is prophetic of Ruth herself, and of the Bride (See Song 7:6). Let's now look at further Bride Characteristics seen in Ruth.
The first Bride Characteristic of Ruth that makes her stand out most notably can be seen in the following passage.
"And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her." (Ruth 1:16-18)It is here that Ruth's actions reveal her steadfast commitment and devotion to Yahuweh. Her devotion to Yahuweh most assuredly qualified her as one the Bridegroom would single out as "my delight."
Barley and Wheat HarvestsAs we look further at Ruth, we see more of her actions that exhibit some very revealing Bride characteristics:
So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law." (Ruth 2:23)Here we are also told that Ruth gleaned through to the end of both the barley harvest and of the wheat harvest, a prophetic picture of the Bride's work of proclaiming Truth, of preparing the Way, and of gathering souls, during barley Harvest, and even during the time of the Wheat Harvest. Barley and wheat are mentioned together in 13 separate Scripture passages, attesting again to these important Bride features revealed by Ruth. The number 13, which speaks of "Love," is a primary Bride-Characteristic number (See Prophetic Numbers In Scripture).
We are told that Ruth gleaned "unto the end" of Barley Harvest. Here we understand that the Bride's work includes gleaning — of searching for, finding, and gathering of the Scriptural food for herself. Likewise, the Bride's work includes giving the food she has gathered, to those of her household. We then notice, however, that her gleaning continued, not just to the end of Barley harvest, but unto the end of "barley harvest and of wheat harvest."
Our current understanding is that the "Wheat Harvest" begins after the "Barley Harvest" is finished. But the "Barley Harvest" signifies the coming of the Bridegroom for the Bride! Here we might ask, "How will the Bride continue to glean, and provide for her household, after the Bridegroom comes - until the end of wheat Harvest?"
The answer is found in the Bride picture we see in the account of Elijah and Elisha. Just before Elijah (who pictures the Barley-Harvest Bride-Company) went up in a whirlwind, he passed along his mantle to Elisha (who pictures the Wheat-Harvest saints). Elijah's mantle speaks of the Spirit and Glory of Elijah given to Elisha, who received a double-portion of Elijah's anointing. The mantle also speaks of the ministry of Elijah which was passed on to Elisha, in order to continue the work of Elijah, after Elijah had gone up.
It will be the same with the Bride. The mantle of the Barley-Harvest Bride-Company will be passed on to the Wheat-Harvest saints. This mantle passed on from the Bride consists of the Scriptural Truths and instructions she has gleaned and gathered for her household — for Yahuweh's family, the Elisha-Wheat-Harvest believers. This mantle is the provision the Bride makes for her household. In this way, the Bride will be able to provide for her household before she is taken by the Bridegroom, and also after she is taken. In this way the ministry of Ruth will surely continue until the end of the Wheat Harvest.
Continuing in the prophetic picture, we see that Ruth, through her faith and diligence, is married to Boaz. The name Boaz, because it is mentioned 24 times in Scripture, carries some significant clues for us. The number 24 itself is significant, as it reminds us of the 24 elders that surround the throne of Yahuweh.
The name of the Bridegroom, in the chronological order that Strong's numbers pourtray, is the Strong's number <2424>, and speaks of two working together (Messiah-in-you) to provide the government (number 12) of the Kingdom. Thus we see that the number 24 is a fitting clue to this Bridegroom picture of Boaz, who became Ruth's Kinsman-Redeemer.