BEHOLD BOAZ CAME FROM BETHLEHEM AND SAID TO THE REAPERS "MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU":
(Ps 118:26; 129:7 129:8; Lk 1:28; 2Th 3:16; 2Ti 4:22; 2Jn 1:10 11)
time later Boaz himself arrived from Bethlehem"
"Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the
"Jehovah is with you" (YLT)
as it happened, had just come from Bethlehem. ‘Yahweh be with you!’ he
said to the reapers" (NJB)
Boaz arrived from Bethlehem"
Behold (02009) (hinneh) (translated "just then", "and lo", "now
behold", "presently") is a marker used to enliven a narrative, to
change a scene, to emphasize an idea or to draw attention to an
important fact, detail or action that follows (eg, Ge 6:13, Isa 65:17). It's an exclamation
that demands the reader's attention and so it is variously translated
with words such as Here!, There!, Look!, Behold! Now!
"hinneh" with the Greek verb
is in the aorist tense, imperative mood (aorist
calling for an urgent attention. Do this now.
Don't delay. It could be loosely paraphrased "Pay attention!"
or "Listen up!" to arouse attention and introduce a new and
extraordinary fact of considerable importance.
Now with an
understanding of this interjection "behold", you can see that the narrator is
drawing the reader into the
scene that gives us our first "personal" introduction to Boaz.
It is also worth nothing
that often when one encounters the word "behold"
in the book of Ruth there is a sense that the hand of God is controlling and
directing the scene (Ru 3:8, 4:1-see note
In other words it was no "accident" that Boaz had come out from the
city at the same time Ruth was gleaning in his field!
So dear reader, "Behold!"
the sovereign working of your God and stand in awe and assurance that
He is likewise involved in every detail of your life even though you
may not always see His hand, sense His presence or "feel" like He is
aware of what you are currently going through.
Mark it down - Jehovah
is aware and He does care! Our Kinsman-Redeemer Himself
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will
fall to the ground apart from (the will of) your Father. But the very
hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of
more value (worth more) than many sparrows. (Mt 10:29, 30, 31)
And so we find that the wealthy landowner Boaz just ‘happened’
to come to that particular field that same day, and then ‘happened’
to notice the young woman Ruth, who ‘happened’ to be in the
shelter at the time of his visit (Ru 2:7-note).
In summary, ‘behold’
draws our attention to this chain of circumstances and directs the
perceptive reader to the activity of the Almighty God behind the
scene. Behold, God has just introduced two of the
progenitors (ancestors in the direct line) of Jesus Christ to each other!
comments that on the fact that Boaz visits his own
fields, writing that
was both for his own interest (he that wholly leaves his business to
others will have it done by the halves; the master's eye makes a fat
horse) and it was also for the encouragement of his servants, who
would go on the more cheerfully in their work when their master
countenanced them so far as to make them a visit. Masters that live at
ease should think with tenderness of those that toil for them and bear
the burden and heat of the day."
May the LORD be with
you - These are the very
first words Boaz speaks. The point is that Boaz brought the Lord into his daily
life, here in the form of a blessing
from a master to workers. This observation gives us
an insight into the character of this man who would be eventually
prove to be Ruth and Naomi's
If you want to know a man's
relation to God you need to find out how far God has saturated to the
details of his everyday life. And you can discern a great deal about
an individual from their manner of greeting. He greeted his workers
with GOD. (friendly?, sympathetic?, critical?, proud?, boisterous?,
etc). Even the tone (and inflection) of our voice and our mannerisms
in which we speak communicate much about our disposition.
How do you
greet others? Glibly with a "Hi, how are you?" (not really expecting
an answer) Or do you bless others when you greet them? When you shake
hands, are you just going through the motions or do you genuinely have
interest in the other person?
The psalmist declares
Blessed is the one who
comes in the name of the LORD (Ps 118:26-note)
This verse was quoted by the
Jewish multitudes in Jerusalem announcing
the arrival of the Messiah, the one who fulfilled His role as
mankind's Kinsman-Redeemer (see Mt
Parenthetically, it is sad that often
pious expressions become part of the language and gradually lose their original
meaning. For example “Good-bye” originally meant “God be with you”
but one can
hardly deduce piety from a person’s use of “good-bye” today! In Boaz’s
case we perhaps can. Though the greeting may have been conventional,
it is not recorded elsewhere in Scripture nor attested in
Solomon instructs us that
Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious (are sweet to all, win him favor, bring him
praise, brings them honor). (Eccl 10:12).
who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD (Pr 14:2)
The psalmist adds...
blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His
commandments. (Ps 112:1)
From these observations and those that follow, it is reasonable to
conclude that Boaz was a "God-saturated", God fearing man and his farming
business and relationship to his employees was permeated with a God-consciousness.
Not only is Boaz a man of great wealth but a great man of God.
The prince of preachers, C H Spurgeon, addressed his
congregation in a similar way declaring:
"How better could I salute you this morning than in the words of
Boaz to the reapers, “The Lord be with you”? What kinder answer
could you give me than “The Lord bless thee”?" (from
his Sermon on Joseph: A Miniature
Portrait, Ge 39:2)
A devotional in
Our Daily Bread
draws a practical application from this exchange of greetings:
is clear from what we know about Boaz that he was not a harsh
landowner, but a man who genuinely cared for others. The response of
his workers revealed their goodwill toward him and their desire for
God's blessing to be upon him as well. As we think about our
relationship with Christ and the people God has placed around us, we
would do well to consider the importance of our greetings. Are "good
morning" and "God bless you" just empty, insincere phrases? Or do our
words show that we truly care for those whom we are addressing?...
What is the difference between an empty greeting and a meaningful one?
When you talk to someone, how can you communicate genuine love,
interest, and concern? A heartfelt greeting can energize the
weary and encourage the lonely." (Albert Lee)
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Taylor has an interesting note...
Mark, again, his piety. He cries,
"The LORD be with you." Now, I know that this has become the common
salutation in the East, for Dr. Thomson tells us that "The Lord be
with you" is merely the "Allah m'akum" of ordinary custom. I am well
aware, also, that by frequent use, even such expressions of piety come
to be employed without any pious feeling, and often even by those who
have no faith in God at all. How seldom do we think of God when we say
"good-bye," which is simply "God be with you!" It is possible that
even infidels and atheists may take leave of each other with that
word, and without any consciousness of inconsistency in so making use
of it. So it is possible that Boaz simply meant to be courteous when
he used this salutation, and that there was no more piety in it than
there is in a modem "goodbye." It is possible, but not very probable,
for, as we shall see in the future, this man was in the habit of
tracing all blessings to God, and of commending those whom he loved to
the care of God, and therefore in his mouth the ordinary salutation
was restored from its common colorlessness to its first uncommon
piety, and meant everything which it had originally expressed.
(William M. Taylor. Ruth The Gleaner)
satisfying relationships begin in the real world? We live in a culture
that would probably answer that question in one of two ways. One
answer is that good relationships happen by dumb luck, fate, or some
arrangement of the stars. You just stumble into a relationship. We
occasionally hear the phrase "lucky in love." Consider the folk wisdom
about positioning yourself so that a lucky strike will hit you. For
example, if you catch the bouquet thrown by the bride, you'll be the
next to get married. The other answer is that technique is everything.
We learn how to manipulate, seduce, persuade, and captivate somebody
by saying exactly the right words, looking exactly the right way...The
Bible has a different way of talking about the creation of love and
2:1-16: One Fine Day)
AND THEY SAID TO HIM "MAY THE
LORD BLESS YOU:
Ge 18:19; Josh 24:15; Ps 133:1, 2,
3; 1Ti 6:2)
Jehovah doth bless thee (YLT)
This pious, considerate
interchange shows that even in the days of the Judges there were godly
individuals in Israel. The
book of Ruth is an oasis of fidelity in a time of Israel’s idolatry,
sin, and infidelity. When Boaz came to his workers, he prayed a
blessing over them. They expressed their kindness by praying a
blessing over him. As Paul declared
let those who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to
them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more,
because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. (1Ti
Boaz shows interest in people and we should emulate him, for people
are more important than projects in God's eyes.
People don't care
how much you know
Until they know how much you care.
Taylor adds that Boaz's...
salutation was no mere one-sided
thing. The reapers answered, "The LORD bless thee." They did not look
askance upon their employer, as if he had been their natural enemy.
They recognized that in his prosperity they would prosper, and that in
his adversity they could not but be sufferers with him; and therefore
they reciprocated his courtesy, and followed his prayer for them by
their prayers for him. It is a beautiful sight. One feels almost as if
he were transported three thousand years back to Bethlehem, and saw it
all before his eyes. The portly proprietor coming with stately dignity
along to his own plot of the field, and kindly saluting the laborers
in Jehovah's name; the reapers lifting themselves up simultaneously
from their constrained position, each with the sweat on his face and
the sickle in his hand, returning the salutation with hearty
affection: "An intercourse this," as William Arnot says, "between rich
and poor, between master and servant, which we love to think of in
those patriarchal times, which we weep the want of in our own." (The
Race for Riches, and some of the Pits into which the Runners fall. By
William Arnot, pp. 1, 2. Edinburgh, 1852) (William M. Taylor. Ruth The
comments that their mutual blessings show
Their joint-dependence upon the divine providence. They express their
kindness to each other by praying one for another. They show not only
their courtesy, but their piety, and acknowledgement that all good
comes from the presence and blessing of God, which therefore we should
value and desire above any thing else both for ourselves and others.
adds a pithy comment
There was no labor problem in his field. Management and labor were on
speaking terms, and these were of the friendliest sort. The most
remarkable part is the inclusion of the Lord’s name and a gracious
recognition of Him in all relationships of life. To his “The Lord be
with you,” they responded with the cheery and gracious greeting,
“The Lord bless thee” (Ru 2:4). God was reverently recognized in the
harvest field by both the owner and the laborers. This all transpired
in the days of the judges when there was decline, decay, and
disintegration. The remainder of Israel might forget God and turn to
idols, but there was one man who did not forget Him but remembered Him
even in the extension of a morning greeting. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
What about us? Are we in such close fellowship with God, that His Name
is a part of our everyday conversation? Or do we reserve His Name for
Sundays and class socials?
Many today do indeed use God's holy Name but sadly more often for
profanity than for praise.
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Do We Truly Care - When I
first became a Christian, my friends and I had a way of helping each
other memorize portions of the Bible. We would greet one another by
asking the other person to quote a verse. Knowing of my poor memory,
one friend used to humorously say to me, "Quote John 11:35!" He knew
that it would be easy for me to remember this two-word verse.
Although it was a game, we didn't do this just for fun. These
greetings reflected our desire to be people of God's Word.
In the book of Ruth, we read that Boaz greeted his workers by saying,
"The Lord be with you!" and they responded, "The Lord bless you!" (Ru
2:4-note). It is clear
from what we know about Boaz that he was not a harsh landowner, but a
man who genuinely cared for others. The response of his workers
revealed their goodwill toward him and their desire for God's blessing
to be upon him as well.
As we think about our relationship with Christ and the people God has
placed around us, we would do well to consider the importance of our
greetings. Are "good morning" and "God bless you" just empty,
insincere phrases? Or do our words show that we truly care for those
whom we are addressing? —Albert Lee (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Thinking It Over - What is the difference between an empty
greeting and a meaningful one? When you talk to someone, how can you
communicate genuine love, interest, and concern?
A heartfelt greeting can
energize the weary and
encourage the lonely.
F B Meyer has the
following notes on ...
RUTH 2 RUTH, THE GLEANER
- Ruth 2:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 14, 15, 16, 17
Boaz, the master. -- Would that language like this was more
frequently heard in harvest fields and factories! The speech of
the employed is generally an echo of that of the employer (Ru
2:4). We should beware, however, of degenerating into a
formality which speaks God's name thoughtlessly. How much good
might we do if we were more careful to notice those who serve
us, and speak kindly to servant-girls. Little acts and words of
kindness do not cost much, but they mean much to a lonely soul
(Matt. 25:40). Note the significant synonym for trust
(Ruth 2:12; Ps 63:7; Mt 23:37).
Boaz (strength) the near
kinsman, is a glimpse of Him who, centuries later, was born in
this same Bethlehem, and who appeals to each who does the will
of His Father, as brother, sister, or mother. He takes knowledge
of strangers; He is quick to see every trait of natural grace,
and all kindly actions done to the least that belong to Him; He
provides bread and wine; He causes handfuls to be dropped on
purpose; He screens from annoyance and harm; He comforts and
speaks to the heart; He blesses, and the humble, stooping spirit
is blessed forever.