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Boaz shows favour
to Ruth in the field.
but abide here fast by my maidens:
the vinegar. And she sat beside the (9) let thine eyes be on the field that they
reapers : and he reached her parched do reap, and thou after them: have
corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, I not charged the young men that they
and left. shall not touch thee? and when thou
(15) And when she was risen up to glean, art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink
Boaz commanded his young men, saying, of that which the young men have drawn.
Let her glean even among the sheaves, (10) Then she fell on her face, and bowed 1 0r, 1 find favour. and 3 reproach her not: (16) and let fall herself to the ground, and said unto him,
also some of the handfuls of purpose for Why have I found grace in thine eyes,
her, and leave them, that she may glean that thou shouldest take knowledge of
them, and rebuke her not. (17) So she me, seeing I am a stranger? (11) And
gleaned in the field until even, and beat Boaz answered and said unto her, It
out that she had gleaned : and it was hath fully been shewed me, all that thou
about an ephah of barley. (18) And she hast done unto thy mother in law since
took it up, and went into the city : and the death of thine husband : and how
her mother in law saw what she had thou hast left thy father and thy mother, Heb, to the heart.
2 Heb, to the heart. gleaned : and she brought forth, and and the land of thy nativity, and art
gave to her that she had reserved after come unto a people which thou knewest
she was sufficed. not heretofore. (12) The LORD recom
(19) And her mother in law said unto pense thy work, and a full reward be
her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? given thee of the LORD God of Israel,
and where wroughtest thou ? blessed be under whose wings thou art come to trust.
he that did take knowledge of thee. And (13) Then she said, 'Let me find favour in
she shewed her mother in law with whom thy sight, my lord ; for that thou hast 3 tsb. shane her she had wrought, and said, The man's comforted me, and for that thou hast
name with whom I wrought to day is spoken 2 friendly unto thine handmaid,
Boaz. (20) And Naomi said unto her though I be not like unto one of thine
daughter in law, Blessed be he of the handmaidens. (14) And Boaz said unto
LORD, who hath not left off his kindher, At mealtime come thou hither, and
ness to the living and to the dead. And eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in
Naomi said unto her, The man is near
rudeness, by being away from the company of her own a sour wine generally mixed with water, which was
As the next verse shows, he had already given offered to our Saviour (Matt. xxvii. 48, &c.). orders to his men on the subject.
Left.-Had to spare. In verse 18, we find that this (9) Have drawn.-Literally, shall (from time to superfluity was put by for her mother-in-law. time) draw. Possibly from that self-same well at (17) Beat out.--That is, she threshed it herself, Bethlehem from which David desired to drink (2 Sam, so as to save the labour of carrying away the straw. xxiii. 15).
She then found she had an ephah, that is, rather more (10) Á stranger.-A foreigner. Note, however, than four pecks. that the Moabite language, though having its own (19) Blessed be he that did take knowledge peculiarities, really differed but little from Hebrew, of thee.- Naomi easily perceives that the quantity of as may be seen, for instance, from the famous inscrip- corn brought home is unusually large, and that theretion of King Mesha discovered in the land of Moab fore some special kindness must have been shown. in 1868.
Her own, therefore, as well as her danghter's thanks (11) Heretofore. The curious Hebrew phrase are due to this benefactor. thus rendered is literally, yesterday and the day (20) Who hath not .-It is not clear whether before.
the grammatical antecedent is God or Boaz. Either (12) Boaz prays that God will recompense Ruth's way a good sense is obtained. As our lost dear ones dutifulness to her mother-in-law, and the more seeing had kindness shown them of old, so we too now. If that she herself has put herself under His protection. Boaz is the antecedent, it may seem curious that Faith in Divine help and grace will win an undoubted Naomi (knowing that she was dwelling near to a recompense.
kinsman of her husband's, and, further, one who had (13) Friendly.--Literally, unto the heart. The shown kindness before they departed to Moab) should same phrase is rendered comfortably (Isa. xl. 2).
not have made herself known to him. It is, at any (14) At meal-time.-This should apparently be rate, & proof of the independence of her character. joined to what precedes : Boaz now shows a fresh act However, the name once named evidently suggests the of kindness.
train of thought which at length leads Naomi to appeal Vinegar.-By this term is to be understood wine to him for a kinsman's special aid, the aid of the Goel which had become sour (Proverbs x. 26). As such, or redeemer. Nazarites were forbidden to use it (Num. vi. 3). One of our next kinsmen.-One of those who Similar to this was the vinegar of the Gospel narrative, must redeem.
Naomi sends Ruth
to claim kindred with Boaz.
of kin unto us, 'one of our next kins- 11 0r, one that hath known unto the man, until he shall have men. (21) And Ruth the Moabitess said,
done eating and drinking.
(4) And it He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep
shall be, when he lieth down, that thou fast by my young men, until they have
shalt mark the place where he shall lie, ended all my harvest. (22) And Naomi
and thou shalt go in, and 3 uncover his said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It
feet, and lay thee down; and he will
2 Or, fall upon is good, my daughter, that thou go out
tell thee what thou shalt do.
(5) And with his maidens, that they ®meet thee
she said unto her, All that thou sayest not in any other field. (23) So she kept
unto me I will do. fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean
(6) And she went down unto the floor, unto the end of barley harvest and of
and did according to all that her mother wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mo
in law bade her. (7) And when Boaz had ther in law.
clothes that are eaten and drunk, and his heart was
merry, he went to lie down at the end CHAPTER III.-(1) Then Naomi her
of the heap of corn: and she came motherin law said unto her, My daughter,
softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may
her down. (8) And it came to pass at be well with thee ? (2) And now is not
midnight, that the man was afraid, and Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens
4 turned himself; and, behold, a woman thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley
lay at his feet. (9) And he said, Who to night in the threshingfloor. (3) Wash
art thou ? And she answered, I am thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and
Ruth thine handmaid : spread therefore put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee
thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou down to the floor : but make not thyself
art 5a near kinsman. (10) And he said,
3 Or, lift up the
on his feet.
4 Or, took hold on
5 Or, one that houth
right to redeem.
(21) My young men ...my harvest.–Emphatic (verse 12). Consequently, according to Israelite law in the Hebrew. As long as my reaping lasts, cleave (Deut. xxv. 5 899.), it would be the duty of Boaz to steadily to us.
marry Ruth to raise up seed to the dead. (2) The (22) That they meet thee not.-It is good general tone of Naomi's character is clearly shown in and that people meet thee not. This would not only this book to be that of a God-fearing woman, so that it be throwing away genuine kindness, but would be con- is certain that, however curious in its external form, temptuously proclaiming the fact.
there can be nothing counselled here which really is Maidens. Naomi speaks of the young women, repugnant to God's law, or shocking to a virtuous man whereas Ruth had spoken of the young, men.
We such as Boaz, otherwise Naomi would simply have need not suppose that any distinction is intended : been most completely frustrating her own purpose. Ruth names the young men as the chief workers; (3) Her knowledge by long intimacy of Ruth's chaNaomi, the young women as those with whom Ruth racter, and doubtless also of that of Boaz by report, would be specially thrown.
would enable her to feel sure that no ill effects could (23) And dwelt.—Unspoiled by mixing with her accrue. new society, she stops on quietly at the end of her (4) Uncover his feet. More literally, as the task, and tends her mother-in-law at home with the margin, lift up the clothes that are on his feet; so same fidelity with which she had worked for her LXX. and the Vulgate. We are told that the custom abroad.
still prevails in Palestine of owners of crops sleeping
on their threshing-floors, lying with their clothes on, III.
but with their feet covered with a mantle. (1) Rest.-Although Naomi had already (chap. i. 12) (5) I will do.-Ruth's obedience here is an intellirepudiated any thought of marriage for herself, still gent obedience. She knew in what relation Boaz she felt it her duty to do what she could to provide a stood to her family, and the duties attaching to the home for the daughter-in-law who had so loyally fol. relationship (chaps. ii. 20, ii, 9). Thus with obedient lowed her, lest her own death should leave her young trust, implicitly but not blindly, she follows her companion specially unprotected and friendless. But mother-in-law's orders; strong in conscious innocence there is clearly a second thought. The marriage of she risks the obloquy that may attend her duty. Boaz and Ruth will not only ensure rest for the latter, (8) Was afraid.–Was startled. See the use of the but will also raise up the seed of her dead son and word in Gen. xxvii. 33. preserve the family name.
Turned.-Literally, bent himself. (Comp. Judges That it may be well with thee.--The object of xvi. 29.) He wakes with a start, and in turning secs a the marriage is for Ruth's good, and thus should it be woman at his feet. with every marriage; it must be for the good, and (9) Skirt. Literally wing; Heb. canaph, as iu comfort, and abiding peace, not of the body only, but chap. ii. 12. The Targum treats this as in itself the of the soul.
claim to espousal on her part. The metaphor may be (345) The plan suggested by Naomi seems peculiar, illustrated from Ezek. xvi. 8, and more generally from yet some thoughts may give a certain colouring to it. Matt. xxiii. 37. (1) Nacmi seems to have believed that Boaz was the (10) Blessed be thou of the Lord.—This answer nearest kinsman, being ignorant of the yet nearer one of Boaz’s is in itself a sufficient proof of the view he
the kinship of Ruth.
Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daugh-
(12) And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. (13) Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well ; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning
(14) And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor. (15) Also he said, Bring the 'vail that thou hast upon thee, and
hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
(16) And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
(17) And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law. (18) Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall : for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
2 Or, sheet, or,
CHAPTER IV.-(1) Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by ; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. (2) And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. (3) And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come
took of her conduet, and of the integrity of his own. language unable to mark the distinction. The clause, We note, too, that this blessing follows immediately on if we accept the current reading, will mean that Boaz the avowal of her name. His own feelings had already went to the city to find the kinsman whose claim lay been attuned to due honour and respect for Ruth; he before his own, while Ruth, laden with six measures of is prepared not only to discharge the duty of next of barley, goes to her mother-in-law. kin, but to do it in no perfunctory spirit, but with a (16) Who art thou ?-We can hardly view this as sincere loyal affection. The Targum on verse 15 a simple question as to Ruth's identity, but rather as supposes that to Ruth, the distant ancestress of the meaning, how hast thou fared ? Saviour, was vouchsafed the knowledge, as in its fulness (18) Will not be in rest.-i.e., will not keep quiet. to the Virgin hereafter, of the birth of the Messiah through her. Origen compares Ruth to the Gentile
IV. Church, the engrafted wild olive.
(1) Went up.-Inasmuch as the town stood on a Thou hast shewed ....-Literally, thou hast hill: : so in chap. iii. 3, Ruth is bidden to go down to the done well thy latter kindness above the former.
threshing-floor. (11) City.-Literally, gate : the constant meeting. The kinsman.-The Goel. (See chap. iii. 12). place of persons going in and out. (See Gen. xix. 1, Turn aside. The form of the imperative is such xxxiv. 20, 24; Deut. xvi. 18, xxi. 19, &c.)
as to give a hortatory turn, pray turn aside and sit (13) Until the morning.--You have made clear the down. object of your plea, and I fully assent to it; but do Such a one.—Heb., p’loni almoni. This phrase is not run the risk of going now, in the dead of night, used like the English so-and-so, such-and-such, of back to your home.
names which it is thought either unnecessary or undesir(14) One could know another.-Literally, a man able to give. The derivation is probably from palah. could recognise his friend; i.e., before daylight, in the to mark out, to separate, to distinguish, and alam, to early dusk.
hide, giving the twofold notion of one who is indicated, A woman.-Literally, the woman-i.e., this woman. though in a certain sense concealed. The phrase is Thus it is of Ruth, not of himself, that Boaz is here used of places, 1 Sam. xxi. 2, 2 Kings vi. 8; see also thinking. A sensible man like Boaz knows “that we Dan. viii. 13. Why the name is not recorded here does must not only keep a good conscience, but keep a good not appear; possibly it was not known to the writer, or name; we must avoid not only sin but scandal.” it may have been thought unworthy of recording, since (Henry.)
he neglected his plain duty in refusing to raise up (15) Vail – Rather a mantle, so in Isa. iii. 22.
seed to the dead. We know nothing of this unnamed She went.- This should be, if we follow the current person save the fact of the offering of the redemption Hebrew text, he went. The verb is masculine (yabho), set before him, and his refusal of it, an offer which and the distinction is shewn in the Targum, which involved the glory of being the ancestor of the Christ inserts the name Boaz as the nominative. It must be who was to be born in the far-off ages. allowed that a fair number of Hebrew MSS., as well (3) Naomi selleth :-Rather, the portion as the Peshito_and Vulgate, take the verb in the of land, which belonged to our brother Elimelech, feminine. The LXX, is from the nature of the Greek has Naomi sold. The present tense of the English Boaz Buyeth the Inheritance
again out of the country of Moab, selleth
firm all things ; a man plucked off his a parcel of land, which was our brother
shoe, and gave it to his neighbour : Elimelech's : (4) and 'I thought to adver
and this was a testimony in Israel. tise thee, saying, Buy it before the in
(8) Therefore the kinsman said unto habitants, and before the elders of my
Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem
his shoe. it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then 1 Heb. I said I will
(9) And Boaz said unto the elders, and tell me, that I may know: for there is reveal, in thine unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this none to redeem it beside thee; and I am
day, that I have bought all that was Eliafter thee. And he said, I will redeem
melech's, and all that was Chilion's and it. (5) Then said Boaz, What day thou
Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. (10) Morebuyest the field of the hand of Naomi,
over Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moab
Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, itess, the wife of the dead, to raise up
the name of the dead upon the name of the dead upon his inherit
his inheritance, that the name of the ance. (6) And the kinsman said, I cannot
dead be not cut off from among his breredeem it for myself, lest I mar mine
thren, and from the gate of his place : own inheritance : redeem thou my right
ye are witnesses this day. (11) And all to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
the people that were in the gate, and the (7) a Now this was the manner in former
elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD time in Israel concerning redeeming
make the woman that is come into thine and concerning changing, for to con
house like Rachel and like Leah, which
a Deut. 25. 7, 9.
Version seems to suggest that the sale is taking place the
of the law, the son of Mahlon. It would, at this particular time, but the meaning clearly is that therefore, be like mortgaging one's own estate, and that Naomi, as the representative of the dead Elimelech for the benefit of another. Josephus and the Targum had, so far as it was possible for an Israelite to part explain it by saying that he already had a wife, and with a family estate, sold the land to obtain in some feared the discord that might arise. sort the means of living. In the year of Jubilee, the (7) In former time.- Arguments have been built property would return to the family, on which it was, on this word in favour of our assigning a late date to so to speak, settled, but Boaz proposes to the Goel that the book, but the inference seems hardly warranted. he should redeem the property at once. We might The same Hebrew word occurs in Deut. ii. 10, perhaps compare this to the owner of a freehold buying Judges i. 10, &c. from a leaseholder under him the residue of his lease, Plucked off his shoe.-The idea of this act so that he may occupy his own estate.
apparently is that the man resigns the right of walking (4) And I thought ...-literally, and I said I on the land as master, in favour of him to whom he will uncover thy ear.
gives the shoe. A similar but not identical custom is The inhabitants. - This should perhaps rather be, prescribed in Deut. xxv. 9. those who are sitting here (the Hebrew word yashabh A testimony. The testimony, the manner in has the two meanings of dwelling and sitting, see e.g., which the solemn witness is born. Gen. xxiii. 10, where the latter meaning should cer- (8) Drew.-The same word in the Hebrew as tainly be taken). So the LXX., Peshito and Vulg. plucked in verse 7.
If thou wilt not. The current Hebrew text has (11) The Lord .. In this way is the nuptial here, if he will not, which is clearly an error for the blessing invoked. second person, which is read by a large number of Is come.-Rather, is coming. Hebrew MSS., and by all the ancient versions.
Rachel-though the younger sister and the junior I will redeem it.—He is willing enough to redeem wife—is put first, probably from her death and burial the land as a good investment, forgetting, until having associated her with Bethlehem (see Gen. xxxv. reminded, the necessary previous condition. It involves 16, 19). In this way, too, we should explain the marrying Ruth, and this he declines to do.
prophecy of Jeremiah as applied by St. Matthew (5) What day . - When the person had been (Jer. xxxi. 15; Matt. ii. 18). bought out to whom Naomi had sold the land until the Build.-From the Hebrew word to build are derived year of Jubilee should restore it to her family, there the words for son and daughter, thus a twofold aspect remained Naomi's own claim on the land, and after. in the word sometimes appears as here. (See also wards that of Ruth, as the widow of the son of Gen. xvi. 2, xxx. 3). Elimelech. But further, this last carried with it the Do thou worthily.—The Hebrew phrase (asah nec
sity of taking Ruth to wife, so that a child might khayil) thus rendered, involves the notion of doing a be born to inherit, as the son of Mahlon, Mahlon's thing with vigour and might. The khayil of a soldier inheritance.
is his valour-of a land, its material resources, and (6) Lest I mar .-The redemption of the (Prov. xxxi. 10) the “virtuous woman
” of the English land would involve the spending of money, drawn Version is literally, woman of khayil. The good wish away from the Goel's own estate; but the land thus for Boaz here is that by his energy he may command acquired would not belong to the Goel himself, but to continual prosperity. the son he should have by Ruth, who would yet be, in 1 Be famous.-Literally, proclaim a name.
Boaz Marries Ruth.
Birth of Obed.
Chron, 2. 4; Mat.
3 Heb. caused to
ceuse unto thee.
two did build the house of Israel: and 1 orget the riches, which loveth thee, which is better to I do thou worthily in Ephratah, and 2 be
thee than seven sons, hath born him. famous in Beth-lehem : (12) and let thy : Heb. proclaim (16) And Naomi took the child, and laid house be like the house of Pharez, "whom
it in her bosom, and became nurse unto Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which a Gen. 38. 29; 1 it. (17) And the women her neighbours the LORD shall give thee of this young
gave it a name, saying, There is a son woman.
born to Naomi; and they called his (13) So Boaz took Ruth, and she was
name Obed : he is the father of Jesse, his wife : and when he went in unto her,
the father of David. the LORD gave her conception, and she Or, redeemer. (18) Now these are the generations of bare a son. (14) And the women said unto
Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, (19) and Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath
Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amnot left thee this day without a *kins-o thy gray minadab, (20) and Amminadab begat Nahman, that his name may be famous in
shon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, Israel. (15) And he shall be unto thee a lo Chron. 2. 4: (21) and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz restorer of thy life, and 5a nourisher of
begat Obed, (22) and Obed begat Jesse, 6 thine old age: for thy daughter in law,
and Jesse begat David.
5 Hel), to nourish.
(12) Pharez.-(See Gen. xxxviii. 29). Judah having, though unwittingly, fulfilled the Levirate obligation to the widow of his eldest son, the child thus born becomes the heir of that eldest son, and therefore the head of the house of Judah.
(11) Left thee without.-Literally, not allowed to cease to thee.
A kinsman.-That is, the child (See next verse). The word kinsman here is Goel, a redeemer.
(15) A nourisher.-(See marginal renderings).
Daughter-in-law.–The position of the nominative is emphatic.
Loveth.-The verb is a perfect, which hath ever loved thee.
(16) Nurse.-The verb (aman) here is that used in Isa. xlix. 23, “and kings shall be thy nursing fathers.” That ordinarily used for the natural nursing of a woman is different.
(17) Obed.-i.e., a serving one.
(18–22). This short genealogy, abruptly added, may be due to a later hand, it being thought necessary to connect David's line fully with Judah.
(18) Hezron.-See Gen. xlvi. 12.
Amminadab.-It was to his daughter Elisheba that Aaron was married. (Exod. vi. 23).
(20) Nahshon was the prince of the children of Judah in the wilderness. (See Num. i. 7, &c).
Salmon-Heb., Salmah, though called Salmon in the next verse. In 1 Chron. ii. 11 he is called Sulma.
Salmon may very probably have been one of the two
It has been observed above that the smallness of the
Unless this is done we are forced to increase largely the average length of a generation, and suppose that most of these generations were children of their fathers' old age.
We know from 1 Kings vi. 1 that from the Exodus to the fourth year of Solomon was 480 years. If we deduct from this forty years for the wanderings in the desert, then, seeing that David died at the age of seventy, we have for the period from the entrance into Canaan to the birth of David, 480—40—7044 = 366 years. But if Rahab bears Boaz to Salmon only a few years after the beginning of this period, we have to cover nearly 366 years with three generations, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, which entails upon us the conclusion that each of the above three begat the specified son at the age of over a hundred, and that Salmon was also well advanced in years at his marriage. This, however, seems hardly credible, and the theory that one or two generations have dropt from the list is, at any rate, reasonable.