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Commentary Updated April
said to her,
"Where did you
where did you
work? May he
notice of you
whom she had
name of the
Amplified: And her mother-in-law said to her, Where have
you gleaned today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who noticed
you. So [Ruth] told [her], The name of him with whom I worked today is
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And her mother-in-law said to her,
Where did you take up the grain today, and where were you working? May
a blessing be on him who gave such attention to you. And she gave her
mother-in-law an account of where she had been working, and said, The
name of the man with whom I was working today is Boaz.
Naomi said, "Where did you work today? Whose field was it? God bless
the man who treated you so well!" Then Ruth told her that she had
worked in the field of a man named Boaz. (CEV)
Her mother-in-law asked her, "Where did you gather grain today? Just
where did you work? May the man who paid attention to you be blessed."
So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the person with whom she worked.
She said, "The man I worked with today is named Boaz." (GWT)
KJV: And her mother in law said
unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou?
blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she showed her
mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with
whom I wrought to day is Boaz.
"So much!" Naomi exclaimed. "Where did you gather all this grain
today? Where did you work? May the LORD bless the one who helped you!"
So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had
worked. And she said, "The man I worked with today is named Boaz."
- Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And
her mother-in-law saith to her, 'Where hast thou gleaned to-day? and
where hast thou wrought? may he who is discerning thee be blessed.'
And she declareth to her mother-in-law with whom she hath wrought, and
saith, 'The name of the man with whom I have wrought to-day is Boaz.
Septuagint: And her
mother-in-law said to her, Where hast thou gleaned to-day, and
where hast thou wrought? blessed be he that took notice of thee.
And Ruth told her mother-in-law where she had wrought, and said,
The name of the man with whom I wrought to-day is Booz
HER MOTHER IN
LAW THEN SAID TO HER "WHERE DID YOU GLEAN TODAY? WHERE DID YOU WORK?
MAY HE WHO TOOK NOTICE OF YOU BE BLESSED": (Ruth 2:10; Ps
41:1; 2Cor 9:13, 14, 15)
Although the text does not state
it clearly, there is little doubt that Naomi noticed that the amount
of barley Ruth had gleaned in one day was considerably more than one
would have expected from simply following the reapers and picking up
the leftovers. Why do I say that? Because she speaks a beatitude on
the one who noticed (which means more than just looked) without any
other provocation. By law any owner of a field should have allowed
Ruth to glean the leftovers, but Naomi knows that somehow she has
interacted with the owner of the field for she has returned with far
more than one would normally expect from a day's gleaning, not to
mention the roasted grain! Ruth’s return ended Naomi’s emptiness and filled her
with a renewed sense of hope and thankfulness. By way of application,
beloved, when we glean in the fields of our Greater Boaz and Kinsman
Redeemer, the Living Word, we always obtain more than we deserve
Lange's Commentary notes
that in the face of such abundance...
The natural heart would have
rejoiced, received, enjoyed, and inquired just as Naomi did, but
withal (on the other hand) with no thought except of self. She,
on the contrary, before her inquiries are answered, induced simply by
the abundance of the gifts and the manifest happiness of Ruth (cp Pr
Applying the question "Where
did you glean today?" to each of our lives, it is a good question for
us to ask ourselves each night:
"Where have I gleaned today? What improvement have I made in grace and
knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18-note)? What have I
done that will turn to a good account? Let us not glean in any other
field but that of our Lord and Master's and our labor will always
May he who took notice of you
- How did she know? The text did not say Ruth told her. As alluded to
above, it seems the
unexpected "largess" of barley, exceeding abundant over what one would
have expected from the Levitical gleaning laws (cp Lv 19:9). Naomi
must have deduced that Ruth had been shown favor (cp grace =
undeserved, unmerited favor).
After two rapid fire questions, Naomi offers up a prayer of blessing
for Boaz, whose identity is still unknown to her. This is a good
practice to follow - we can pray for others without knowing their
name, being confident that the Lord does know!
means to consider carefully and indicates a process of investigation
and conveys the idea to "inspect" or "look over" something with the
intention of recognizing it or of looking at it intently.
The Septuagint translates
(see word study of
Nakar - 41x in the OT -
Gen. 27:23; 31:32; 37:32f; 38:25f; 42:7f; Deut. 1:17; 16:19; 21:17;
33:9; Jdg. 18:3; Ruth 2:10, 19; 3:14; 1Sam. 26:17; 2 Sam. 3:36; 1 Ki.
18:7; 20:41; Ezra 3:13; Neh. 6:12; 13:24; Job 2:12; 4:16; 7:10; 21:29;
24:13, 17; 34:19, 25; Ps. 103:16; 142:4; Prov. 20:11; 24:23; 28:21;
Isa. 61:9; 63:16; Jer. 24:5; Lam. 4:8; Dan. 11:39
Nakar is the same verb used by Ruth when she asked
Why have I found favor in your sight that you should
take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?
Be blessed - Naomi's
reaction expresses her heart, for out of the mouth comes that which
fills the heart (cp Mt 12:34, 15:9, Lk 6:45). Virtually every prayer
in Ruth is a prayer of blessing (not that the actual word "blessed" is
used but that the intent of the prayer is to bless) and all are
answered in this short book (cp Naomi's prayer for Ruth in Ru 1:8, 9).
is a verb which literally can mean to kneel (to go to one's knees -
Camel in Ge 24:11, Solomon in 2Chr 6:13) as contrasted with standing
position or even a bowing at the waist). And so barak can refer
to an act of adoration sometimes on bended knee. To give divine
blessings (Ge 1:22, 9:1-7) To esteem greatly or adore God for His
blessings (Ge 24:48, Ps 103:1) To invoke blessings upon another (Ge
24:60, 27:4, 27)
SO SHE TOLD
HER MOTHER IN LAW WITH WHOM SHE HAD WORKED AND SAID "THE NAME OF
THE MAN WITH WHOM I WORKED TODAY IS BOAZ"
Matthew Henry adds that
Ruth told her mother what
kindness Boaz had shown her, that she might take some occasion or
another to acknowledge it and return him thanks; but she did not tell
her how Boaz had commended her, (Ru 2:11-note).
Humility teaches us, not only
not to praise ourselves, but not to be forward to publish others'
praises of us.
said to her
"May he be
blessed of the
who has not
kindness to the
living and to
said to her,
man is our
relative, he is
one of our
Amplified: And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, Blessed be he of the Lord
who has not ceased his kindness to the living and to the dead. And
Naomi said to her, The man is a near relative of ours, one who has the
right to redeem us. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And Naomi said to her
daughter-in-law, May the blessing of the Lord, who has at all times
been kind to the living and to the dead, be on him. And Naomi said to
her, The man is of our family, one of our near relations.
CEV: "The LORD bless
Boaz!" Naomi replied. "He has shown that he is still loyal to the
living and to the dead. Boaz is a close relative, one of those who is
supposed to look after us." (CEV)
Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "May the LORD bless him. The LORD
hasn't stopped being kind to people--living or dead." Then Naomi told
her, "That man is a relative of ours. He is a close relative, one of
those responsible for taking care of us." (GWT)
KJV: And Naomi said unto
her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off
his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her,
The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
NIV: "The LORD bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law.
"He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead."
She added, "That man is our close relative; he is one of our
"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." (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And
Naomi saith to her daughter-in-law, 'Blessed is he of Jehovah who hath
not forsaken His kindness with the living and with the dead;' and
Naomi saith to her, 'The man is a relation of ours; he is of our
Septuagint: And Noemin said to
her daughter-in-law, Blessed is he of the Lord, because he has
not failed in his mercy with the living and with the dead: and
Noemin said to her, The man is near akin to us, he is one of our
NAOMI SAID TO
HER DAUGHTER IN LAW "MAY HE BE BLESSED OF THE LORD": (Ru
3:10; 2Sa2:5; Job 29:12 13; 2Ti 1:16, 17, 18)
Naomi's first reaction upon the identification of the master of the
field as Boaz is fascinating. She offers up a second prayer "May
he be blessed of Jehovah".
How wonderful if prayer would be our first and natural "reflex" when
we hear "good news". Clearly "bitter" Mara
of chapter one is now turning into "blessing" for Naomi
who speaks a blessing in the name of Jehovah.
Bitterness > Blessing
Unbelief > Faith
Despair > Hope
Empty > Full
As Wiersbe says
It is encouraging to see the changes that have taken place in Naomi
because of what Ruth did. God used Ruth to turn Naomi’s bitterness
into gratitude, her unbelief into faith, and her
despair into hope.
One person, trusting the Lord and
obeying His will,
can change a situation from defeat to victory.
Ruth’s faith in God’s Word led her to the field of Boaz. The love of
Boaz for Ruth compelled him to pour out his grace upon her and meet
her every need. (Grace is love that pays the price to help the
undeserving one.) Ruth’s experience of grace gave her new hope as she
anticipated what her kinsman redeemer would do. “And now abide faith,
hope, love” (1Cor 13:13), and they still abide with us as we abide in
Jesus Christ and trust in Him." (Wiersbe,
W: Be Committed: An Old Testament Study. Ruth and Esther. Victor. 1993)
(Bolding and color added for emphasis)
is a frequent prayer in Ruth - the field workers to Boaz in (Ru 2:4-note),
Naomi to Boaz in (Ru 2:19, 20-notes), Boaz to Ruth in
(Ru 3:10-note) and
finally the Bethlehemite woman to Naomi (Ru 4:14-note). Naomi
is beginning to see and understand the unfolding of God’s
sovereign plan regarding
her and Ruth the Moabitess and as she is reminded of the covenant
loyalty of Jehovah, her emotions begin to shift from bitterness to
Someone has noted that every
prayer in Ruth is a prayer of blessing (a "beatitude"), and God
answered every one! In this case Naomi has ask Jehovah to deal kindly
with Ruth and Orpah (Ru 1:8-note), which
He clearly answered in Ruth 2.
Naomi acknowledges in Ruth 2:19, that He answered, bestowing kindness
(hesed) on Ruth
and Naomi, through their kinsman redeemer! In a similar and even
greater way, God the Father in heaven is
able to bestow kindness on sinners, through the kindness of His Son
Spurgeon writes that "There is no more blessed way of living than a life of dependence upon
a covenant-keeping God. We have no care, for He careth for us; we have
no troubles, because we cast our burdens upon the Lord."
Life is swayed by care. Concern is unavoidable but in the NT it is
given a new orientation in Christ. Liberation from care comes as one
casts it upon God (Ps 55:22-note,
1Pe 5:7-note), not because God grants every wish, but because
prayer grants freedom from care.
WHO HAS NOT
WITHDRAWN HIS KINDNESS TO THE LIVING OR TO THE DEAD:
(2Sa 9:1; Pr 17:17; Php 4:10)
Who has not withdrawn his
kindness - The question arises as to whom does Naomi refer? Who
has not withdrawn his kindness? Does this refer to Boaz or Jehovah?
Notice how different translations suggest different answers...
NIV: "The LORD bless him!"
Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his
kindness to the living and the dead." She added, "That man is our
close relative; he is one of our kinsman-redeemers."
NLT: "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."
GWT: Naomi said to her
daughter-in-law, "May the LORD bless him. The LORD hasn't stopped
being kind to people--living or dead." Then Naomi told her, "That man
is a relative of ours. He is a close relative, one of those
responsible for taking care of us."
The NIV suggest she is
speaking of the kindness of God, while the NLT seems to favor
Boaz as the one showing kindness. God's Word Translation
clearly favors God as the ultimate source of the kindness.
I agree with John Piper
I think the kindness she
refers to is the Lord's kindness. (Cf. Ge 24:27.) Boaz had just begun
to show kindness to the dead. It was God who seemed to have forsaken
it. The Lord's kindness has not forsaken the living (Naomi and
Ruth) or the dead (Elimelech and Chilion). It was the Lord who
stopped the famine. It was the Lord who bound Ruth to Naomi in love.
It was the Lord who preserved Boaz for Ruth. Ruth did not just happen
to come to Boaz's field. The light of God's love has finally broken
through bright enough for Naomi to see. The Lord is kind. He is good
to all who take refuge under H+-is wings. So let us fall on our faces,
bow before the Lord, confess our unworthiness, take refuge under the
wings of God, and be astonished at his grace.
Henri Rossier agrees with
Piper writing that...
Naomi's heart is full of gratitude
toward the man who had shown regard for Ruth when he might have
rejected her as a foreigner. What sweet conversation is this exchange
between these two God-fearing women! Ruth speaks the charming name of
Boaz, and Naomi responds by giving thanks to Him who had not left
off His kindness toward the living and the dead.
The Disciple's Study Bible
Naomi praised the kindness,
the grace of God. This joyous recognition of God's goodness to His
people in their distress stands in stark contrast to the darker
sentiments voiced in Ru 1:13, Ru 1:20, 21. God will bless His people
in the midst of their needs. He is slow to bring suffering upon His
people, even if they deserve it. The suffering He does cause His
people is for the purpose of helping His people grow. The
righteousness of God would not let Him bring evil and suffering upon
His people without just cause. The righteousness of God prompts Him to
aid and bless His people when they are in distress. That is the nature
of God as a God of grace.
eleos [word study]
= mercy) as
noted earlier (Ru 1:8-note)
is the idea of faithful love in action and usually refers to
God's lovingkindness expressed in His covenant relationship with
Israel. God's hesed denotes persistent and unconditional tenderness,
kindness, and mercy, a relationship in which He seeks after man with
love and mercy.
Hesed - 216v in OT - Gen.
19:19; 20:13; 21:23; 24:12, 14, 27, 49; 32:10; 39:21; 40:14; 47:29;
Exod. 15:13; 20:6; 34:6, 7; Nu 14:18, 19; Deut. 5:10; 7:9, 12; Jos.
2:12, 14; Jdg. 1:24; 8:35; Ru 1:8; 2:20; 1Sa 20:8, 14, 15; 2Sa
2:6; 7:15; 15:20; 16:17; 22:51; 1 Ki. 3:6; 8:23; 20:31; 1 Chr. 16:34,
41; 17:13; 2 Chr. 1:8; 5:13; 6:14, 42; 7:3, 6; 20:21; 32:32; 35:26;
Ezr. 3:11; 7:28; 9:9; Neh. 1:5; 9:17, 32; 13:14, 22; Esther 2:9; Job
10:12; 37:13; Ps 5:7; 6:4; 13:5; 17:7; 18:50; 21:7; 23:6; 25:6, 7, 10;
26:3; 31:7, 16, 21; 32:10; 33:5, 18, 22; 36:5, 7, 10; 40:10, 11; 42:8;
44:26; 48:9; 51:1; 52:1, 8; 57:3, 10; 59:10, 16, 17; 61:7; 62:12;
63:3; 66:20; 69:13, 16; 77:8; 85:7, 10; 86:5, 13, 15; 88:11; 89:1, 2,
14, 24, 28, 33, 49; 90:14; 92:2; 94:18; 98:3; 100:5; 101:1; 103:4, 8,
11, 17; 106:1, 7, 45; 107:1, 8, 15, 21, 31, 43; 108:4; 109:12, 16, 21,
26; 115:1; 117:2; 118:1, 2, 3, 29; 119:41, 64, 76, 88, 124, 149, 159;
130:7; 136:1, 2, 3; 138:2, 8; 143:8, 12; 144:2; 145:8; 147:11; Prov.
11:17; 16:6; 20:6, 28; 21:21; Isa. 16:5; 40:6; 54:8, 10; 55:3; 57:1;
63:7; Jer. 2:2; 9:24; 16:5; 31:3; 32:18; 33:11; Lam. 3:22, 32; Dan.
1:9; 9:4; Hos. 2:19; 6:4, 6; Joel 2:13; Jon. 2:8; 4:2; Mic. 7:18, 20
The NAS renders hesed
as deeds of devotion(2), devotion(1), devout(1), faithfulness(1),
favor(2), good(1), kindly(7), kindness(32), kindnesses(1),
loveliness(1), lovingkindness(176), lovingkindnesses(7), loyal
deeds(1), loyalty(6), mercies(1), merciful(2), mercy(1),
righteousness(1), unchanging love(2).
The Hebrew word hesed is
one of Jehovah's most central characteristics. Think of what we have
learned about the CHARACTER OF BOAZ as you read this definition of
hesed. In Ruth 3:10 hesed describes Ruth's character. God's
loving-kindness (hesed) is offered to His people, who need redemption
from sin, enemies, and troubles. A recurrent refrain describing God's
nature is "ABOUNDING in hesed" (Ex 34:6; Neh 9:17; Ps 103:8; Jonah
4:2, Lam 3:22). Thus hesed is one of the most important words
in the OT, and is often translated in the KJV as “lovingkindness” or
“mercy”. This key OT term indicates FAITHFULNESS to a relationship. To
show kindness or hesed is to act in a loyal, loving way to a
person . This is true of kindness in human relationships and of the
kindness God shows us.
Read 2Sa 9:1-13 for the beautiful example of David showing ''hesed" to
crippled Mephibosheth (although the word hesed is not used), the
surviving son of Jonathan with whom David had a covenant relationship
(1Sa 18:1, 2, 3, 4). God's hesed denotes persistent and
unconditional tenderness, kindness, and mercy. Hesed is central
to God’s character and is closely tied to His covenant with His
Chosen people; in fact the covenant may be thought of as the
relationship from which the hesed flows. However, God’s hesed is not
bound by the covenant itself, and though men may prove unfaithful to
this relationship, God’s hesed is everlasting (Isa 54:8). In general,
one may identify three basic meanings of hesed, and these 3
meanings always interact: "strength," "steadfastness," and "love." Any
understanding of hesed that fails to suggest all three
inevitably loses some of its richness. "Love" by itself easily becomes
sentimentalized or universalized apart from the covenant. Yet
"strength" or "steadfastness" suggests only the fulfillment of a legal
or other obligation. hesed refers primarily to mutual and reciprocal
rights and obligations between the parties of a relationship
(especially Jehovah and Israel). But hesed is not only a matter of
obligation; it is also of generosity. It is not only a matter of
loyalty, but also of mercy. Hesed implies personal involvement
and commitment in a relationship beyond the rule of law. "Devotion" is
sometimes the single English word best capable of capturing the nuance
of the Hebrew hesed. The RSV attempts to bring this out by its
translation, "steadfast love." Biblical usage frequently speaks
of someone "doing," "showing," or "keeping" hesed. The concrete
content of the word is especially evident when it is used in the
plural (eg, La 3:22). God's "mercies," "kindnesses," or
"faithfulnesses" are His specific, concrete acts of redemption in
fulfillment of His promise. An example appears in Isa. 55:3: "And I
will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful
mercies (hesed) shown to David".
Naomi acknowledged that it was Jehovah Who had not stopped showing His kindness
to the living and the dead (cf Ge 24:27; 2Sa 2:5). When burdened with adversity and
affliction, an awareness of even the little kindnesses
Jehovah does for us can bring release, revival and rejoicing. Naomi
was bitter but not so bitter that she had completely closed her heart
to see the hand of the Almighty working in her behalf.
embittered with God? Like Naomi you may have lost someone very near
and dear to you, but Naomi's example should encourage you to be on the
lookout for the the "footprints" of Jehovah walking and working in
your life. He is still Jehovah Shammah, the God Who is there and He
ever seeks to heal and revive those downcast spirit. (Ps 34:18, Is
Malachi says that "for you who fear My name the Sun of
righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go
forth and skip about like calves from the stall." (Mal 4:2-note)
showing His kindnesses
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Ps 147:3)
Bible Knowledge Commentary
adds that Naomi's
night of sorrow with its fog of depression had broken into the dawning
of a new day of joy. As God was the source of her sorrow, He was
now the source of her joy. God’s kindness again rested on the
living, Ruth and herself."
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985.
What does the reference of "His
kindness...to the dead"
refer to? One reasonable explanation is that the name of
Elimelech, Naomi's dead husband, could "live on" through Ruth
and Boaz, who as a kinsman -redeemer could redeem property and persons
and thus perpetuate the lineage of Elimelech.
NAOMI SAID TO HER "THE MAN IS
OUR RELATIVE. HE IS ONE OF OUR CLOSEST RELATIVES": (Ru
Lv 25:25, 48, 49 (from
bondage); Dt 25:5, 6,7; Job
The man is a relation of ours; he is of our redeemers (YLT)
The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen (KJV),
That man is our close relative;
he is one of our kinsman-redeemers
That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers
Boaz is one of our close relatives, one who will take care of us (ICB)
That man is a relative of ours. He is a close relative, one of those
responsible for taking care of us (GWT)
from the verb
= to come near) is an adjective meaning near, close by, closely
related. Qarob refers to nearness in time or space: something
is about to happen, is near at hand, e.g., judgment, calamity (Dt.
32:35) or something that is not near at hand, referring to its
prophetic fulfillment as in Balaam's prophecy "I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob." (Nu
24:17) Solomon writes that "with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is
at hand." (Pr 10:14) The first use of qarob is in Ge 19:20 which
describes the "town is near enough to flee to" from the coming
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Joseph told his brothers "you shall
live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me." (Ge
45:10) Solomon uses qarob figuratively to exhorts his readers to "draw
near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools."
(Eccl 5:1) Qarob as here in Ruth 4 refers to a relationship, a
relative (Ex 32:27; Nu 27:11; 2Sa 19:42) and a relationship to God
(Lev. 10:3; 1Ki 8:46, 59; Ps 119:151).
refers to one who is near (literally near, not in comparison with
other relatives, but with men in general) whereas closest
relatives is one of
the key words of this book, the Hebrew word ga'al which
is used 20 times in the 85 verses in Ruth. The total number of Old
Testament uses of ga'al is 98 and Ruth has about 20% of
the all the uses in Scripture.
Qarob is translated in
the Septuagint with the adverb
which means one who is near.
David offers a great prayer (we
would all do well to keep on our heart so that it is near our lips)
"Be not far from me, for trouble is near (qarob; Lxx =
For there is none to help (boetheo)." (Psalm 22:11)
Swanson - 1. near,
close, approaching, i.e., pertaining to being in close, or very
close proximity to an object (Ge 19:20); 2. near, imminent,
i.e., a point in time close to another point of time (Dt 32:35); 3.
close relationship, i.e., have a state or condition of intimate
association, as a figurative extension of close spatial proximity (Ps
Qarob NAS Usage:
about(1), close(2), close relative(1), closer(1), draws near(1),
hand(1), kinsmen(1), lately(1), near(47), nearby(1),
nearest(6), neighbors(2), ones near(1), related(1), relative(1),
relatives(1), short(1), shortly(1), soon(2), who are near(2), who is
Qarob - 74v - Ge 19:20;
45:10; Ex 12:4; 13:17; Lev 10:3; 21:2f; 25:25; Nu 24:17; 27:11; Dt
4:7; 13:7; 21:3, 6; 22:2; 30:14; 32:17, 35; Josh 9:16; Ru 2:20; 3:12;
2Sa 19:42; 1Ki 8:46, 59; 21:2; 1Chr 12:40; 2Chr 6:36; Neh 13:4; Esther
1:14; 9:20; Job 17:12; 19:14; 20:5; Ps 22:11; 34:18; 38:11; 75:1;
85:9; 119:151; 145:18; 148:14; Pr 10:14; 27:10; Eccl 5:1; Isa 13:6,
22; 33:13; 50:8; 51:5; 55:6; 56:1; 57:19; Jer 12:2; 23:23; 25:26;
48:16, 24; Ezek 6:12; 7:7f; 11:3; 22:5; 23:5, 12; 30:3; 42:13; 43:19;
Da 9:7; Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:14; Obad 1:15; Zeph 1:7, 14
Qarob is used several
times to refer to the imminent nature of the
Day of the Lord
are translated with
(See discussion of the doctrine of imminency -
Imminency, Imminent - As related to Christ's
Another discussion on imminency)
Clearly the Spirit is using the
doctrine of imminency to generate in our hearts a sense of urgency!
30:3) “For the day is near, Even the day of the LORD is near;
It will be a day of clouds, A time of doom for the nations.
1:15) Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, And it
will come as destruction from the Almighty.
(Joel 2:1) Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy
mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of
the LORD is coming; Surely it is near,
(Joel 3:14) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the
day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
1:15) “For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on
your own head.
1:7) Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near,
For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests.
(Zeph 1:14) Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming
very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out
Hear are some
other great uses of qarob (All in Lxx are translated with
in the Psalms...
(Ps 34:18) The LORD is near
to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(Ps 85:9) Surely His salvation is
near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.
(Ps 119:151) Thou art near,
O LORD, And all Thy commandments are truth.
(Ps 145:18) The LORD is near
to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
Observe how the narrator has
masterfully step by step unveiled the identity of Boaz. First, Boaz is
merely presented as an acquaintance (Young's Literal
Translation) or relative of Naomi’s, then as of
the family of Elimelech (Ru 2:1-note).
This family relationship (of the family of Elimelech)
is repeated in (Ru 2:3-note)
and finally after again stressing his family nearness (our
relative), he is
dramatically presented as the NIV translates it as one of our kinsman-redeemers
or as a potential goel
which is the key to the plot of this book and of "The Book"!
Blood Relative = A
Gal 4:4, 4:5 Heb 2:14,15, 16, 17
cp Jn 1:1, 14, Php 2:5-11
1Cor 6:20 Gal 3:13 1Pet 1:18, 19
He 7:25, He 10:10-14
Willing to pay the
Jn 10:15, 16, 17, 18 1Jn 3:16
Jn 18:37, Ro 5:8 Is 53:4, 5, 6, 7
Willing to take as
Ro 7:4 2Co 11:2
Ep 5:25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
said to me, 'You should
close to my
* they have
harvest.' " (NASB:
Amplified: And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said to me also, Stay close to my
young men until they have harvested my entire crop (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And Ruth the Moabitess said, Truly,
he said to me, Keep near my young men till all my grain is cut.
CEV: Ruth told her, "Boaz
even said I could stay in the field with his workers until they had
finished gathering all his grain." (CEV)
Ruth, who was from Moab, told her, "He also said to me, 'Stay with my
younger workers until they have finished the harvest.'" (GWT)
KJV: And Ruth the Moabitess said,
He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they
have ended all my harvest.
Then Ruth said, "What's more, Boaz even told me to come back and stay
with his harvesters until the entire harvest is completed." (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And
Ruth the Moabitess saith, 'Also he surely said unto me, Near the young
people whom I have thou dost cleave till they have completed the whole
of the harvest which I have.'
Septuagint: And Ruth said to her
mother-in-law, Yea, he said also to me, Keep close to my
damsels, until the men shall have finished all my reaping
THEN RUTH THE MOABITESS
SAID "FURTHERMORE HE SAID TO ME 'YOU SHOULD STAY CLOSE TO MY SERVANTS
UNTIL THEY HAVE FINISHED ALL MY HARVEST'": (Ru 2:7, 8, 22;
Song 1:7, 1:8)
to me - Butler observes that...
This added statement by Ruth about
the requirement Boaz gave her to stay with his reapers until the end
of the harvest was given to show that Boaz may be thinking romance and
redemption, too (Bible Biography Series - Ruth: The Ancestress of
is translated "cleaved"
in Ruth 1:14 (see
word study on dabaq).
In this verse the Septuagint translates dabaq with the Greek verb
(prós = to, toward and in compound words prós implies
motion, direction + kollao = to glue) literally means to glue
one thing to another so that it adheres. Figuratively, proskollao
means to join closely. Proskollao was frequently used in medical
language of the uniting of wounds.
advising Ruth to "stick like glue" to
his servants. Notice that Boaz lets Ruth know of his concern for her
in a very practical way. Husbands should likewise exercise this same protective tendency for their
wives. Remember these were the difficult and dark days of the judges.
All my harvest
would also indicate that Boaz is inviting her to glean in his fields
for the full three month harvest season.
Harvest - In Palestine the
grain harvest came between April and June and was celebrated by the
offering of the first sheaf of grain (Ex 34:22; Lev 23:10) and by the
feast of harvest, one of the three pilgrimage festivals (Ex 23:16). In
the OT events are dated by the wheat (Ge 30:14; Jdg 15:1, etc.) and
the barley (2Sa 21:9; Ru 1:22, etc.) harvests.
Constable makes an excellent
point noting that "The beauty of Ruth’s character
shines forth in Ru 2:21. She did not view her relationship with Boaz
as a way out of her own responsibility to provide for herself and her
aged mother-in-law. Instead she rejoiced that she could continue to
discharge her duty in safety.
daughter-in-law, "It is
daughter, that you
go out with his
so that others do not
fall upon you in
Amplified: And Naomi said to Ruth, It is good, my daughter, for you to go out
with his maidens, lest in any other field you be molested.
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And Naomi said to Ruth, her
daughter-in-law, It is better, my daughter, for you to go out with his
servant-girls, so that no danger may come to you in another field.
CEV: Naomi replied, "My
daughter, it's good that you can pick up grain alongside the women who
work in his field. Who knows what might happen to you in someone
else's field!" (CEV)
Naomi told her daughter-in-law Ruth, "It's a good idea, my daughter,
that you go out to the fields with his young women. If you go to
someone else's field, you may be molested." (GWT)
KJV: And Naomi said unto Ruth her
daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his
maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.
"This is wonderful!" Naomi exclaimed. "Do as he said. Stay with his
workers right through the whole harvest. You will be safe there,
unlike in other fields." (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: And
Naomi saith unto Ruth her daughter-in-law, 'Good, my daughter, that
thou goest out with his young women, and they come not against thee in
Septuagint: And Noemin said to
Ruth her daughter-in-law, It is well, daughter, that thou
wentest out with his damsels; thus they shall not meet thee in
NAOMI SAID TO
RUTH HER DAUGHTER IN LAW "IT IS GOOD MY DAUGHTER THAT YOU GO OUT WITH HIS MAIDS:
(Pr 27:10; Song 1:8)
"This is wonderful!" Naomi exclaimed. "Do as he said. Stay with his
workers right through the whole harvest" (NLT)
(05291) (Hebrew =
na'arah, Greek = korasion) usually refers to a marriageable but unmarried
girl, emphasizing the youthfulness of the girl and is the term used to
describe Ruth elsewhere in (Ru 2:6-note;
Matthew Henry comments that
"Our blessed Saviour is our Goel; it is He that has a right to
redeem. If we expect to receive benefit by Him, let us closely adhere
to Him, and His fields, and His family; let us not go to the world and
its fields for that which is to be had with Him only, and which He has
encouraged us to expect from Him. Has the Lord dealt bountifully with
us? Let us not be found in any other field, nor seek for happiness and
satisfaction in the creature."
When the Lord deals bountifully
with us, let us not be found in any other field, nor seeking for
happiness and satisfaction in the creature. We lose Divine favors, if
we slight them.
OTHERS DO NOT FALL UPON YOU IN ANOTHER FIELD:
in someone else's field you might be harmed (NIV)
so that no danger may come to you in another field (BBE)
You might be molested if you went to someone else's field (TEV)
You will be safe there, unlike in other fields. (NLT)
If you work in another field, someone might hurt you (ICB)
(pagha) means to push against; strike, hit or attack. These were the
days of Judges when every one did whatever they felt like doing (Ru
1:1, Jdg 21:25).
Literally “that they do
not fall upon thee.” Pagha signifies to fall upon a person, to
smite and ill-treat him. (Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch)
New American Commentary - In Ruth 1:16 Pagha had been
used of “to pressure, compel.” But coming after the conversations in
vv. 8–16, the reader may interpret it as a catchall for nāga‘, “to
touch, harass,” in Ru 2:9, hiklîm, “to shame, embarrass,” in Ru 2:15,
and gā‘ar, “to rebuke, insult,” in Ru 2:16.
Pagha - 43v in OT - Gen.
23:8; 28:11; 32:1; Ex. 5:3, 20; 23:4; Num. 35:19, 21; Jos. 2:16;
16:7; 17:10; 19:11, 22, 26f, 34; Jdg. 8:21; 15:12; 18:25; Ruth 1:16;
2:22; 1Sam. 10:5; 22:17f; 2 Sam. 1:15; 1 Ki. 2:25, 29, 31f, 34, 46;
Job 21:15; 36:32; Isa. 47:3; 53:6, 12; 59:16; 64:5; Jer. 7:16; 15:11;
27:18; 36:25; Amos 5:19
The NAS renders pagha as approach(1), attack(2),
attacked(1), came(1), cut down(1), entreat(2), entreated(1), fall(7),
fell(4), happen(1), intercede(2), interceded(1), kill(1), make
supplication(1), meet(3), meets(3), met(2), reached(7), spare(1),
strike the mark(1), touched(2), urge(1).
close by the
Boaz in order
end of the
harvest and the
lived with her
Amplified: So she kept close to the maidens of Boaz, gleaning until the end of
the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
Bible - Lockman)
BBE: So she kept near the servant-girls
of Boaz to take up the grain till the cutting of the early grain and
the cutting of the late grain were ended; and she went on living with
CEV: And so, Ruth
stayed close to the women, while picking up grain in his field. Ruth
worked in the fields until the barley and wheat were harvested. And
all this time she lived with Naomi. (CEV)
So Ruth stayed with the young women who were working for Boaz. She
gathered grain until both the barley harvest and the wheat harvest
ended. And she continued to live with her mother-in-law. (GWT)
KJV: 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.
So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz's fields and gathered grain
with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she worked with
them through the wheat harvest, too. But all the while she lived with
her mother-in-law. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
And she cleaveth to the young women of Boaz to glean, till the
completion of the barley-harvest, and of the wheat-harvest, and she
dwelleth with her mother-in-law.
Septuagint: And Ruth
joined herself to the damsels of Booz to glean until they had
finished the barley-harvest and the wheat-harvest
SHE STAYED CLOSE BY THE MAIDS OF BOAZ IN ORDER TO GLEAN UNTIL THE END
OF THE BARLEY HARVEST AND THE WHEAT HARVEST:
(Pr 6:6, 7, 8; 13:1, 20; 1Co 15:33; Eph 6:1, 2, 3)
And she cleaveth to the young women of Boaz to glean (YLT)
And Ruth joined herself to the damsels of Booz (English of LXX)
she stayed close... -Again the verb is dabaq
word study on dabaq). Ruth "stuck like glue"
to the maids of Boaz and her actions
emphasize Ruth's obedience to Boaz's exhortation (Ru 2:8-note).
Believers should be
like Ruth and not wander from the Lord’s promised provision and
protection into the fields of passing pleasures (Heb 11:25-note,
of the world (see
Heb. sat or continued at home, when
she had despatched her occasions abroad, and did not wander or gad
abroad, after the manner of idle persons and harlots, Pr 7:11-12.
close is the fourth and last use of the Hebrew verb dabaq in Ruth and
pictures one "sticking like glue". Ruth dutifully observed
her mother's and Boaz's directions and continued to glean even until the end of
wheat harvest, diligently gathering food that could be stored up
for winter. Ruth's diligence and industry is a beautiful illustration
of Solomon's instruction to
Go to the ant, O sluggard. Observe her
ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler,
prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the
harvest. (Pr 6:6, 7, 8)
So for about the next three months from
late March (approximate
beginning of the barley harvest) until the middle of June (approximate
end of the wheat harvest) Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz.
interesting that these two harvests spanned at least three months for this period is the one fixed by
Jewish tradition as
the time that must elapse before a female proselyte (Gentile joining
the Jewish faith) may marry!
Chapter two thus closes with a
hint of what is shortly to follow. This chapter also closes with a
hint of suspense for there is no declaration of what is to follow
after the harvest season ends. It is notable that neither Naomi nor
Ruth ask “But what happens after Boaz’s harvest is over?”. It
seems fair to conclude that they have both come to realize that
Jehovah Himself is their Provider and they are resting in and working
within His bountiful provision. Their response reminds one of the
greater Kinsman Redeemer's exhortation to all of God's children to
be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we
drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' For all these things
the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you
need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His
righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore
do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own. (mT 6:31, 34, 33, 34-see notes
Now Ruth was laboring motivated
by a wonderful hope (even though at the time she likely did not fully
comprehend the significance of the events that were providentially
transpiring), the anticipation of her day of redemption, when
her kinsman redeemer would pay the price of redemption. By analogy
believers today can labor with the same hope for our Kinsman Redeemer
has already paid the price and we have been
"sealed (by the
Holy Spirit) for the day of redemption" (Ep 4:30-note)
not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the
Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for
our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." (Ro
AND SHE LIVED
WITH HER MOTHER IN LAW:
But all the while she lived with her mother-in-law (NLT)
she went on living with her mother-in-law (BBE)
(yashab) which means to sit down and so
to dwell, remain or abide.
Yashab emphasizes a
thoroughly settled state or condition -- settled down, comfortable and
content with the circumstances. This verb then pictures Ruth's
commitment to Naomi and to Naomi's God. Ruth did not have a visa, a
temporary agreement to stay only a set amount of time and no more.
Ruth was there for good and for better or for worse.
This emphasizes also that she
was fulfilling her oath of commitment in Ruth 1:16, 17.
IN UNRIGHTEOUS TIMES
Lived with her mother in law
- Why might the narrator
give us this fact? Could it be the days of the Judges were much
like modern day America where unmarried couples give little thought to
moving in together, not realizing that they will reap a "bountiful" harvest
of bitter tragedy, barrenness and brokenness? Ruth stands out as model
of righteous living which should encourage all saints that this
remains possible, by the favor (grace) of God, even in the most
unrighteous of times.
New American Commentary Volume 6: Judges, Ruth
The note not only brings the
chapter full circle (cf. Ru 1:22) but also creates the impression that
they had settled into a regular routine. We are left to wonder what
has happened to Naomi's dream (Ru 2:20). Boaz has been introduced as
an extremely kind and gracious man and as one who qualifies to rescue
the line of Elimelech. But the dream seems to have died an early
death; Boaz has helped Naomi and Ruth economically, but he is doing
nothing about the real crisis in the family created by the deaths of
all the male members. Only time will tell if this situation will be
J Vernon McGee has a concluding comment to this incredible chapter
The beauty of this story, which occurred during the time of men like
Gideon, of whom it is written “he had many wives,”
(Jdg 8:30) and Samson, whose
affairs with the opposite sex were notorious, would touch the hardest
heart with profound wonder of the love of a great man for a noble
woman. The honest love of a great man and a good woman is born in the
heart of God, and this kind of love is noble and ennobling, and is
described in the poetry of the Holy Spirit: "...for love is strong as
death...Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown
it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it
would utterly be contemned." (Song 8:6,7). (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Butler writes that....
This statement says much about the
good character of Ruth. In spite of her exciting prospects, she
remained loyal to Naomi as she had stated in her vows recorded in
chapter 1 of the book of Ruth. Ruth did not run around town seeking
entertainment. "But she constantly came to her mother [in law] at
night in due time, as became a virtuous woman, that was for working
days, and not for merry nights. And when the harvest was ended... she
did not gad abroad, but kept her aged mother [in law] company at home.
Dinah [Jacob's daughter] went out to see the daughters of the land,
and we know what a disgrace her vanity ended in [Genesis 34]. Ruth
kept at home, and helped to maintain her mother [in law]" (Henry).
(Bible Biography Series – Ruth: The Ancestress of Christ)
Roy Hession applies the
concept of kinsman redeemer writing...
To conclude this chapter, we remind
ourselves that the Hebrew of old did not have to wait until the year
(Lev 25:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28) to have his lands restored and himself set free from
slavery. If he had a near kinsman (Goel) who was able and willing he could
have both his lands and himself redeemed right away. There is, indeed,
a jubilee celebration waiting for us in heaven, when every last thing
will be made good and every tear be dried. But we do not have to wait
till then to have the losses of sin made good, our tears dried, our
problems solved. Inasmuch as Jesus is our nearest Kinsman, we can
enjoy a full redemption long before that jubilee. We don't have to go
on with our sighs, we don't have to continue with those inner failures
and traits that daunt us, we don't have to settle for anything less
than what is promised in the Word of God (cp Ep 1:3-note). There are unexplored areas
in the redemption of our Lord Jesus that we have yet to discover.
(Hession, Roy: Our Nearest Kinsman: The Message of Redemption and
Revival in the Book of Ruth. Christian Literature Crusade. 1976)
Adam Clarke sums up this
1. Ruth seems to have been a woman
of a very amiable mind: she was modest, and she was industrious, and
most probably a comely woman; and all these things served to attract
the attention of Boaz, and to engage his affection. Her attachment
also to her mother-in-law could not fail to secure his esteem. All
these things worked together in the course of Providence, to bring
about a matrimonial connection, which in its issue was intimately
connected with the salvation of a lost world; for, from this very
line, Jesus Christ, according to the flesh, sprang; and Ruth showed
herself as worthy to be one of His progenitors as the Virgin Mary was
to be His mother. See the notes on Mt 1:1–16
2. We should carefully attend to
the leadings and to the workings of God’s providence; it is our duty
and our interest to do both, for the path of duty is ever the way of
safety. Had not Ruth acted thus, how dreary and uncomfortable must her
life have been! but she followed God fully, and in a path apparently
dangerous, and yet, not only sustained no injury, but succeeded well
in all things: from this, as well as from innumerable other
circumstances, we see the truth of that word, Acknowledge him in all
thy ways, and he will direct thy steps; and with this we may ever
connect, Trust in the Lord with thy whole heart, and lean not to thy
own understanding. Whosoever follows God in simplicity of heart, will
most assuredly be guided into all truth.