|Ruth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? (NASB: Lockman)|
Amplified: THEN NAOMI her mother-in-law said to Ruth, My daughter, shall I not seek rest or a home for you, that you may prosper? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: And Naomi, her mother-in-law, said to her, My daughter, am I not to get you a resting-place where you may be in comfort?
CEV: One day, Naomi said to Ruth: It's time I found you a husband, who will give you a home and take care of you.
GWT: Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, said to her, "My daughter, shouldn't I try to look for a home that would be good for you?
KJV: Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
NJB: Her mother-in-law Naomi then said, 'Daughter, is it not my duty to see you happily settled?
TEV: Some time later Naomi said to Ruth, “I must find a husband for you, so that you will have a home of your own
Young's Literal: And Naomi her mother-in-law saith to her, 'My daughter, do not I seek for thee rest, that it may be well with thee?
|Septuagint (LXX): eipen de aute Noemin e penthera autes thugater ou me zeteso (1SAAS) soi anapausin hina eu genetai (3SAMS) soi
English of Septuagint: And she lodged with her mother-in-law: and Noemin her mother-in-law said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee
|THEN NAOMI HER MOTHER IN LAW SAID TO HER:
As we have turned the pages of this short story, it was first Naomi and then Boaz who claimed our attention. Now we turn to Ruth, the one after whom the book is named, the young poverty-stricken widow from Moab who was to become renowned in Israel and an ancestress of Messiah. Remember that everything of eternal significance began when she made the decision to follow her mother-in-law back to Bethlehem-Judah (Ru 1:16, 17, 18).
Then is a time phrase (expressions of time) which should always prompt the question of the diligent inductive student When is 'then'? In this case we are not told exactly how much time lapsed between the closing of Ruth 2 and Naomi's question to Ruth in this verse. We are told that Boaz is threshing suggesting that we are at the end of the barley harvest (cp Ru 1:22), which would be about 4 weeks after Ruth and Boaz first met.
Hamilton Smith comments…
It is clear that during the weeks of the barley and wheat harvests, Naomi had time to put her plan together. John Piper refers to her plan as strategic righteousness. (cp to passive righteousness = "I don't murder, steal, etc.") When the time was strategically right she acted. As a background one should be aware of the fact that it was customary for Hebrew parents to arrange marriages (Ge 24:3, 4; 34:4, Jdg 14:1, 2, 3, 4, 5f - see notes).
Naomi is saying in essence I seek for you a happy future. The idiomatic, negated rhetorical question is equivalent to an affirmation.
That it may be well with you - Recall that Naomi prayed for this very thing in Ru 1:8, 9, and now she plays a role in answering her own prayer. This is an example of divine sovereignty and human responsibility being beautifully interwoven to bring about the purpose of God.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum reasons that…
Seek (01245) (baqas/baqash) conveys the idea of an earnest seeking after something with the full intention that the object sought be found or acquired.
Naomi felt responsible for Ruth’s future husband and home. Naomi was no longer depressed, but had now in a positive sense become a "matchmaker, matchmaker" (from the tune in the wonderful musical "Fiddler On the Roof" which is highly recommended), and was preparing Ruth to seek the love of her willing kinsman-redeemer, Boaz. Naomi's motive was unselfish for she knew that if Ruth remained an unprotected widow in a foreign land, life could go very hard for her. The turning point in the narrative is at hand.
Paul wrote that he wanted
Security (04494) (manowach from root nuah/nuach) which signifies absence of movement and thus pictures one being quietly settled in a particular place with the presence of security as when
Manowach - 7v in the OT - Ge 8:9; Deut. 28:65; Ruth 3:1; 1Chr. 6:31; Ps. 116:7; Isa. 34:14; Lam. 1:3
Keil and Delitzsch write that rest in this verse…
Naomi seeks a place of tranquility and repose for the maiden from Moab. Earlier (Ru 1:9-note) Naomi had prayed for Ruth to experience rest -
There are 7 uses of manowach in the OT - Ge 8:9; Deut. 28:65; Ruth 3:1; 1Chr 6:31; Ps. 116:7; Isa. 34:14; Lam. 1:3 and rendered in the NAS as place(1), rest(2), rested(1), resting place(2), security(1).
God was answering Naomi's prayer more
Has God ever surprised you with an answer so much more than you even thought possible? Rest assured that Jehovah "delights in the prosperity of His servant" (Ps 35:27-note) and "in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love." (Ps 147:11NIV-note)
Rest as used in this context implies the security and benefits that are to be found in a godly marriage as discussed below. The Greek word used to translate manowach is anapausis which means to refresh, give rest or permit one to cease from labor in order to recover and collect their strength. Jesus' great invitation uses two forms of this word
Believers are the bride of Christ and in covenant with Him, the one Whom "Boaz" prefigures and in Whom we find our "Sabbath rest and our eternal rest and security.
Rest (manowach) also implies a state of contentment and satisfaction as alluded to by the psalmist:
As alluded to above, Ruth 3:1 provides a fascinating "commentary" on the ideal state of marriage, which when entered into within God’s will, is the closest earthly approximation to rest which a human being can enjoy, for ideally a godly marriage fixes and composes the affections for life. How unlike most marriages in our modern low commitment society. Is your marriage a blessed rest or a restless battle? A married state is, or should be, a state of rest where "youthful lusts" are forsaken (2Ti 2:22-note), wandering affections are fixed on one's beloved (cp "my beloved" in Song of Solomon - Song 1:13, 14, 16; 2:3, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17; 4:16; 5:2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 16; 6:2, 3, 7:9, 11, 13; 8:14), and one's heart is thus at rest. Naomi seeks Ruth's rest in the house and heart of her husband, who she hopes to be Boaz.
Hubbard observes that…
Roy Hession applies these truth to the believer's life writing…
Thou tallest burdened souls to Thee,
Amplified: And now is not Boaz, with whose maidens you were, our relative? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
CEV: You have been picking up grain alongside the women who work for Boaz, and you know he is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be threshing the grain.
BBE: And now, is there not Boaz, our relation, with whose young women you were? See, tonight he is separating the grain from the waste in his grain-floor.
GWT: Isn't Boaz, whose young women you've been working with, our relative? He will be separating the barley from its husks on the threshing floor tonight.
KJV: And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshing floor.
NJB: And Boaz, the man with whose work-women you were, is he not our kinsman? Tonight he will be winnowing the barley on the threshing-floor.
Young's Literal: and now, is not Boaz of our acquaintance, with whose young women thou hast been? lo, he is winnowing the threshing-floor of barley to-night,
|Septuagint (LXX): kai nun ouchi Boos gnorimos hemon ou en meta ton korasion autou idou autos likma ton halona ton krithon taute te nukti
English of Septuagint: And now is not Booz our kinsman, with whose damsels thou wast? behold, he winnows barley this night in the floor
|AND NOW IS NOT BOAZ OUR KINSMAN WITH WHOSE MAIDS YOU WERE?: (Ru 2:19, 20, 21, 22, 23 - see notes; Heb 2:11, 12, 13, 14) (Ru 2:8, 9, 10, 11 - see notes; Ru 2:23-note)
The Net Bible note states that the phrase
The introductory word regularly introduces a logical step in an argument, often a consequence or a conclusion; the particle
Our is plural feminine genitive of "ego" in the Septuagint therefore translated "our" not "my", affirming Ruth's right of claim on TWO SEPARATE MOSAIC LAWS laws, one governing widowhood (Dt 25:5, 6) referred to as the "LAW OF LEVIRATE [Latin - levir - husband's brother] MARRIAGE" and a second governing the redemption of the property of one who was too poor to redeem it themselves and this involved the wonderful truth about the KINSMAN-REDEEMER (i.e., the redeemer needed to be a kinsman) (Lev 25:10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28).
The custom of Levirate marriage actually antedated the Mosaic law being seen as early as Ge 38 (Tamar seducing her father-in-law Judah because his sons had not fathered a son to perpetuate their dead brother's name & for failure to do so God killed them) viz., that if an Israelite who had been married died without children, it was the duty of his brother to marry the widow, that is to say, his sister-in-law, that he might establish his brother's name in Israel, by begetting a son through his sister-in-law, who should take the name of the deceased brother, that his name might not become extinct in Israel. This son was then the legal heir of the landed property of the deceased uncle (cf. Dt 25:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). These two institutions are not connected together in the Mosaic law; nevertheless it was a very natural thing to place the Levirate duty in connection with the right of redemption.
Kinsman (04130) (mowda'ath) means relative or kinsman. Without going into the grammatical details, note that in the original Hebrew sentence construction kinsman is given considerable stress by a reversal of normal sentence order.
Naomi may have interpreted Boaz's kindness to Ruth that allowed her to work alongside his maidservants as an indication of a favorable disposition on his part toward Ruth and possibly a willingness to do the kinsman's part.
Bertheau wrote that
BEHOLD HE WINNOWS BARLEY:
Behold (02009) (hinneh) is an interjection demanding attention and could be translated something like "look!" "see!" Most often hinneh was used to point out people.
He winnows (02219) (zarah) conveys the basic thought of stirring up the air to produce a scattering and spreading effect.
Winnowing in Palestine consisted of throwing the mixture of straw, chaff, and grain up into the wind by means of a fork with large teeth. The worthless chaff was blown away from the winnower, the straw less far, while the valuable heavier kernels of grain fell back onto the threshing floor. The separation is the result of a breeze that usually blows off the Mediterranean from 4-5PM until sunset. The wind however must not be too strong, for then even the heavy valuable portions of the grain would be blown away with the lighter chaff. In summer the west wind blows very strongly in the afternoon but drops off in the evening, so that the evening hours provide the most desirable wind conditions. To best take advantage of this natural (divine providence) phenomenon the threshing floors were usually on elevated parcels ground with a hard packed surface.
And understanding of the typical threshing floor accentuates how fearful Gideon (who the angel of the LORD called a "valiant warrior" - see note Judges 6:12) must have been, for Scripture records that
There is not much breeze in the lower elevation of the typical wine press! This was just fine with Gideon who did not want the exposure associated more elevated threshing floor.
Barley (see dictionary article) (08184) (se'orah) actually means “a hairy or bristling thing” so called because of the rough and prickly beard covering the ears. In threshing, the grain was beaten out from the stalks with flails (cf. Ru 2:17-note) or was trodden over by oxen. Then in winnowing the grain was thrown in the air and the wind carried the chaff away. The grain was then removed from the threshing floor and placed in heaps to be sold or stored in granaries.
Threshing and winnowing were a time of great festivity and rejoicing. Naomi knew (How did Naomi know?) that Boaz was threshing his grain on the day that she had chosen for her plan. She also knew that Boaz would be sleeping near his grain that night, to protect it for these were the days of the Judges (Jdg 21:25).
AT THE THRESHING FLOOR TONIGHT:
The threshing floor (01637) itself was usually located outside town in a place where the prevailing west wind could be used to advantage.
The root meaning of the Hebrew word for “thresh” is “to trample,” which comes from this second threshing practice of using oxen to trample the grain. The people of Bethlehem took turns using the threshing floor. The floor was a flat hard area on a slightly raised platform or hill. When the winnowing was done, the farmer normally stayed with the grain at night, camping out on the threshing floor to ensure that the harvest was not stolen. Winnowing (tossing grain into the air to finish separating the grain from the chaff) normally occurred in late afternoon when the Mediterranean winds prevailed. Sifting and bagging the grain would have carried over past dark and Boaz may have remained all night to guard the grain from theft.
Tonight (03915) (layil from from lul = a twisting away of the light) is a picture of the time of day when the light “holds back” and darkness sets in. Whatever Boaz's motive may have been for spending the night at the threshing floor, his presence there reveals an unpretentious man, one who enjoyed all aspects of life associated with the land. The simple manners of Boaz and his times are here before us. This "mighty man of wealth" assists personally in the winnowing of his barley.
Ruth 3:3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Wash and anoint yourself therefore, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: So take a bath, and, after rubbing your body with sweet oil, put on your best robe, and go down to the grain-floor; but do not let him see you till he has come to the end of his meal.
CEV: Now take a bath and put on some perfume, then dress in your best clothes. Go where he is working, but don't let him see you until he has finished eating and drinking. (CEV)
GWT: Freshen up, put on some perfume, dress up, and go down to the threshing floor. Don't let him know that you're there until he's finished eating and drinking. (GWT)
KJV: Wash thy self therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
NJB: So wash and perfume yourself, put on your cloak and go down to the threshing-floor. Don't let him recognise you while he is still eating and drinking.
Young's Literal: and thou hast bathed, and anointed thyself, and put thy garments upon thee, and gone down to the threshing-floor; let not thyself be known to the man till he complete to eat and to drink;
Septuagint (LXX): su de louse (2SFMI) kai aleipse (2SFMI) kai perithesein (2SFAI) ton himatismon sou epi seaute kai anabese (2SFMI) epi ton alo me gnoristho (2SAPS) to andri eos ou suntelesai (AAN) auton piein (AAN) kai phagein (AAN)
English of Septuagint: But do thou wash, and anoint thyself, and put thy raiment upon thee, and go up to the threshing-floor: do not discover thyself to the man until he has done eating and drinking
WASH YOURSELF AND ANOINT YOURSELF AND PUT ON YOUR BEST CLOTHES: (Mt 6:17)
Wash (07364) (rachats) is translated in the Greek Septuagint with louo which normally referred to bathing your entire body (cp Jn 3:10)
Anoint yourself (05480) (cuk or suk) describes the ordinary physical process of anointing the body which in the ancient orient was usually with olive oil (Dt 28:40) particularly after bathing (2Sa 12:20) and especially for its fragrant effect. There were no supermarkets selling deodorants in those days. Thus in the hot Palestine climate olive oil or other ointment was used by the Jews to anoint themselves after bathing in order to give the skin and hair a smooth and comely appearance. It is interesting that the Jews had the custom of rubbing the head with oil or ointment at feasts in token of joy thus this verb is also used as a symbol of gladness. For example in 2 Samuel we read that
Solomon records in the context of verses on "happiness" and "joy" to "let not oil be lacking on your head (Eccl 9:8) (Ecc 9:8NLT paraphrases this latter as "with a dash of cologne"!)." Note that Naomi did not tell her to make herself up like evil Jezebel who "painted her eyes" (2Ki 9:30)
From the NT, we know that anointing was a mark of hospitality for Jesus
Solomon records that
Put on your best like Esther who risk her life going uninvited before King Ahasuerus
Clothes (08071) (simlah) not like the attire of a harlot but a general word for clothes which in context could be a mantle (see picture for how it this have looked) large enough to disguise Ruth's identity. Paul would have approved of Ruth's external and "internal" appearance for he desired for
GO DOWN TO THE THRESHING FLOOR:
Go down - The hill country of Palestine is flanked on the west by the Mediterranean Sea and on the east by the deep rift Arabah, far below sea level. Therefore about any place traveled in Israel is either up or down.
Threshing floor (01637) (goren) which has the root meaning of the Hebrew word for “thresh” is “to trample,” which comes from the threshing practice of using oxen to trample the grain.
The most famous threshing floor in the world was on Mt Moriah (the site at which Abraham was to sacrifice his son of promise, Isaac Ge 22:1,2,cp 2Chr 3:1, 2Sa 24:24, 25) and which was purchased by King David from the Jebusite Araunah (Ornan -Wikipedia) in order to build an altar to the Lord. (2Sa 24:16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 cf 1Chr 21:15-22:1) Later, this same area became the site of Solomon’s Temple, the first temple (2Chr 3:1). Some Jews (as well as Christians) believe the altar of burnt offering in the temple at Jerusalem was situated on the exact site of the altar on which Abraham intended to sacrifice Isaac. To them the two Mount Moriahs mentioned in the Bible (Ge 22:2, 2Chr 3:1) are identical. Today, the Muslim structure, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, reputedly sits on this site. The most famous mount, Calvary, is situated in this same area.
DO NOT MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN TO THE MAN UNTIL HE HAS FINISHED EATING AND DRINKING:
Naomi's bold venture was undoubtedly based upon her inward assurance that Boaz and Ruth were already genuinely attracted to one another and that they were both individuals of great integrity in otherwise lawless days (Ru 1:1, Jdg 21:25).