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Old and New Testament.
said to her,
you, that it may be
well with you?
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
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?
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
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: 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.
Gleaning in the fields of Boaz, and
receiving blessings from the hand of Boaz, however happy and right, will
not give full rest and satisfaction to the heart either of Boaz or Ruth.
Nothing will give rest to the heart but the possession of the one that
is loved. Hence, in chapter 3, Ruth is seeking to gain Boaz, and Boaz is
working to possess Ruth. Love can never be satisfied with gifts, however
precious; it must have the giver.
In his former dealings Boaz had shewn
marvellous grace to Ruth. He had put at her disposal his fields, his
corn, his maidens, and his young men. He had given her water from his
well, parched corn from his table, and handfuls let fall of purpose. All
these blessings, however, had not satisfied her heart. They had indeed
won her confidence, and drawn out her affections. But once the
affections have been won nothing but the possession of the Person who
has won them will satisfy the heart. This is equally true whether in
Divine or human relationships. The grace and gifts by which Boaz kindled
the affections of Ruth would not in themselves satisfy these affections.
It is the possession of the Blesser not the blessings that gives
satisfaction to the heart.
Thus it is in the Lord's ways with believers. He so deals with us that
we are brought to see that He is greater than all the blessings He
bestows. Happy for us when we learn that blessings in themselves cannot
satisfy. Christ alone can satisfy the heart.
Was not this the great lesson that
Peter had to learn in Luke 5? The Lord bestowed a great temporal
blessing upon Peter. He gave him the biggest catch of fish he had ever
had. It was a blessing beyond the capacity of nets and boats to contain,
and yet in that very gift the Lord so revealed Himself to Peter that He
became greater in Peter's estimation than the blessings He had given;
for immediately afterwards we read, he "forsook all and followed Him."
What! left the fish that the Lord had given? Yes, he left all — nets,
boats, and fish — and followed Him. If ever there was a catch of fish
that Peter had a right to keep, it was the catch of fish the Lord had
given. But he forsook the blessings to follow the Blesser.
So with another humble believer, Mary Magdalene. She had been
completely under the power of the devil, for the Lord had cast out of
her seven demons. She had been greatly blessed but her heart had been
won to the Blesser. Thus at the empty tomb, when the disciples went away
to "their own home," Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping.
Blessings were not enough for Mary; she could find no rest in
this world without Christ. With Him she was happy, without Him
she was desolate.
In like manner the Lord dealt with the man who was once a blasphemer
of Christ and a persecutor of the saints. Grace reached and blessed
him in such manner that Christ became greater to him than all the
blessings that Christ could give. His desire is expressed in the words,
"that I may know I Him," (Php 3:10-note)
and again, "that I may win Christ." (Php 3:8KJV -
He is not content to know all the blessings to which Christ has
given Him a title; he must know the Giver of the blessings. He
is not content to win heaven at last, but he must win the One who has
made his heaven secure.
Alas! how slow we are to learn that Christ, and only Christ, can
satisfy our heart's desire. At times we seek rest in our spiritual
blessings. Our efforts are directed to keeping bright in our souls the
joy of conversion, and the sense of the blessings we have received. But
right as it is to be in the joy of salvation, all such efforts are
doomed to failure. We cannot (and God never intended that we should)
enjoy the blessings apart from the Blesser. Every blessing that we have
received is set forth in Christ, and can only be enjoyed in company with
Others seek satisfaction in a busy
round of service. Would that we were all busy in the Lord's service;
but if pursued with the object of finding rest, we shall only find, like
Martha (cp Lk 10:38, 39, 40, 41, 42) that we get distracted
rather than find rest. Service is good but it will not satisfy
Others again seek some passing satisfaction in the vain things of this
passing world, only to find that the more we surround ourselves with the
things of earth the more we increase our cares (cp Mk 4:19JKV),
rather than find rest of heart. The prophet truly says. "Arise ye
and depart; for this is not your rest; because it is polluted" (Micah
2:10KJV). Again we say, Christ alone can Satisfy the heart.
Thus from one cause or another we are compelled to admit that as
Christians we know little true satisfaction of heart. Saved
indeed every true Christian is, but it is one thing to be saved
and quite another to be satisfied.
Saved by the work of Christ
we can only find satisfaction in the Person of Christ.
The measure in which we are enjoying
the company of Christ is the measure of our rest and satisfaction. Full
and complete satisfaction will only be known when that great day dawns
of which it is said, "The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife
hath made herself ready." (Rev 19:7, 8, 9) In a mystery this great truth
passes before us in the closing portion of the beautiful story of Ruth.
The first two chapters have told us in picture how love for Christ is
awakened. The last two chapters will tell us how love is
Book of Ruth.)
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
34:4, Jdg 14:1, 2, 3, 4, 5f - see
Matchmaker from Fiddler on the roof
SHALL I NOT SEEK
SECURITY THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU?:
1Co 7:36; 1Ti 5:8, 5:14) (Ge 40:14; Dt 4:40; Ps 128:2-note;
shall I not seek rest for thee (KJV)
do not I seek for thee rest (YLT)
My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you (NIV)
My daughter, it's time that I found a permanent home for you, so that
you will be provided for (NLT)
My daughter, shouldn't I try to look for a home that would be good for
Daughter, is it not my duty to see you happily settled? (NJB)
My daughter, am I not to get you a resting-place where you may be in
I must find a husband for you, so that you will have a home of your own
My daughter, I must find a home for you so you will be secure (NET)
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
Fruchtenbaum reasons that...
Naomi was faced with three issues.
First, how could the name of Elimelech be maintained among the tribes of
Israel since both her sons were now dead? Second, what steps should be
taken to protect her inheritance, which Elimelech had left in Naomi’s
trust? Third, how could she provide rest and security for her faithful
daughter-in-law? A marriage between Ruth and Boaz would solve all three
problems. (Fruchtenbaum, A. G. Ariel's Bible Commentary : The books of
Judges and Ruth. Page 318. San Antonio, Tex.: Ariel Ministries)
(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
"younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give
the enemy no occasion for reproach."
(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
ark rested (nuah/nuach)
upon the mountains of Ararat (Ge 8:4).
found no resting (manowach) place
for the sole of her foot (Ge 8:9)
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...
signifies the condition of a peaceful
life, a peaceful and well-secured condition, "a secure life under the
guardian care of a husband" (Rosenmüller).
Naomi seeks a
place of tranquility and repose for the maiden from Moab. Earlier (Ru
Naomi had prayed for Ruth to experience rest
May the LORD grant that you may find rest
= related word - menuchah = resting place, rest, quiet, a place
where peace and trust are present)
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
exceeding abundantly beyond all that
(she could) ask or think (Ep 3:20-note).
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."
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
to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest (anapauo, the verb) Take My yoke upon you,
and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall
find rest (anapausis,
the noun) for your souls."
(Mt 11:28, 29)
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.
(manowach) also implies a state of contentment and
satisfaction as alluded to by the psalmist:
Be at rest
(manowach) once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. (Ps
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.
A significant theological point
emerges here. Earlier Naomi had wished (Ed: or prayed for) for these same things (Ru 1:8, 9
Here human means (i.e., Naomi’s plan) carry out something previously
understood to be in Yahweh’s province. In response to providentially
given opportunity, Naomi began to answer her own prayer! Thus she models
one way in which divine and human actions work together (Ed: cp
God's sovereignty, human free will/responsibility): believers are
not to wait passively for events to happen; rather, they must seize the
initiative when an opportunity presents itself. They assume that God
presents the opportunity.” (Hubbard, R: The Book of Ruth. New
International Commentary on the Old Testament series. Grand Rapids: Wm.
B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988
Life in the presence of penury could not have been pleasant for the maid
from Moab, but there is not a scintilla of suggestion that she ever
complained. She had cast her lot with Naomi on the side of God (Ru 1:16,
17, 18), and she
abode with fortitude in her decision. The mother heart of Naomi went out
to her daughter-in-law, and she sought for her a place of rest. This
could only be attained in the quiet shelter of a godly home, where some
strong man protected Ruth from the stormy winds of a harsh world. (McGee,
J. V. Ruth and Esther: Women of Faith. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Roy Hession applies these
truth to the believer's life writing...
When Ruth told her mother-in-law that
the name of the man in whose field she had been gleaning was Boaz, I
like to think that Naomi suddenly sat bolt upright... We, too, need a
like revelation of the right vested in the Lord Jesus for us, if we are
to be emboldened to put in our plea for the full redemption that grace
has for us. We need to see that the One who has been showing us such
undeserved favours ever since we took our place as gleaners in His field
has more and is more. We need to see that Jesus is our nearest Kinsman,
with the right to redeem both ourselves and our situation, a right
acquired through the mighty sufficiency of His blood. The Son of man has
the right on earth to forgive sins, and more, to redeem and overrule for
ultimate good the very losses occasioned by our sin. And it is all based
on blood, in the shedding of which all blame attaching to us was
anticipated and extinguished.
With that vision of the blood must go a new vision of grace—that our
very lacks, faults and failures are our qualifications for what grace
provides, in the same way that Ruth had to see that her poverty and
widowhood were the very things that qualified her for a redeemer. The
lines of John Newton's hymn,
Thou tallest burdened souls to Thee,
And such, O Lord, am I,
Always give me afresh, as I sing them,
This vision of grace.
They show me that Jesus specialises
in burdened souls and calls such to Him, and that being the case, I
qualify, `for such, O Lord, am I.' Our situations of need are not our
disqualification as the Devil would have us to believe, but are in fact,
if duly acknowledged, our only qualification to be blessed, which means
we are just the case for Him. A new vision of the blood of Christ and
the grace of God, then, is all important if we want to make the same
daring claim on our nearest Kinsman, as Ruth made on hers. So do
yourself the luxury of hearing again and again this sweet Gospel; and if
it does not seem to come always from the pulpit, then start preaching it
to your heart yourself, until at last you have the boldness to lie at
the feet of your Kinsman with great confidence as to what He will do for
you. (Hession, Roy: Our Nearest Kinsman: The Message of
Redemption and Revival in the Book of Ruth. Christian Literature
RUTH 2 AND RUTH 3
Ruth and Boaz
Ruth and Boaz
Ruth to happen upon Boaz's field
plans Ruth’s strategy
Asking to marry
reported to him
his people in
DESCRIPTION OF CHARACTER
of excellence (Ru 2:1)
Ruth: woman of excellence
TAKES HOME TO NAOMI
measures of barley
Modified from JETS 39:1 (March
1996) p. 20 by A. Boyd Luter And Richard O. Rigsby
Now is not
maids you were?
barley at the
Amplified: And now is not Boaz, with whose maidens you
were, our relative? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the
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.
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,
ouchi Boos gnorimos
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
Heb 2:11, 12, 13, 14)
(Ru 2:8, 9, 10, 11 -
The Net Bible note states that
Is not Boaz our close relative, with whose female servants you were?
is an "idiomatic, negated rhetorical question...equivalent to an
affirmation and has thus been translated in the affirmative" as "Now
Boaz, with whose female servants you worked, is our close relative.
The introductory word regularly introduces a logical step in
an argument, often a consequence or a conclusion; the particle
falls back on the past and, making deductions from that, seeks to draw
the consequences for the situation in the present or the future.
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
(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
"The modest man even in the middle of the
night did not hesitate for a moment what it was his duty to do with
regard to the young maiden (or rather woman) towards whom he felt
already so strongly attached; he made his own personal inclinations
subordinate to the traditional custom, and only when this permitted
him to marry Ruth was he ready to do so. And not knowing whether she
might not have to become the wife of the nearer goël, he was careful
for her and her reputation, in order that he might hand her over
unblemished to the man who had the undoubted right to claim her as his
HE WINNOWS BARLEY:
(02009) (hinneh) is an interjection demanding attention and
could be translated something like "look!" "see!"
Most often hinneh was used to point out people.
(02219) (zarah) conveys the basic thought of stirring up the air to produce a scattering and spreading
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
must have been, for Scripture records that
the angel of the LORD
(OT manifestation of Jesus) came and sat under the oak that was in
Ophrah...as...Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in
order to save it from the Midianites. (Jdg 6:11-note)
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.
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).
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.
(Modified from ISBE-note)
(click below to enlarge picture of ancient threshing floor) are
constructed in the fields, preferably in an exposed position in
order to get the full benefit of the winds. If there is a danger
of marauders they are clustered together close to the village.
The floor is a level, circular area 25 to 40 ft. in diameter,
prepared by first picking out the stones, and then wetting the
ground, tamping or rolling it, and finally sweeping it. A border
of stones usually surrounds the floor to keep in the grain. The
sheaves of grain which
been brought on the backs of men, donkeys, camels, or oxen, are
heaped on this area, and the process of tramping out begins. In
some localities several animals, commonly oxen or donkeys, are
tied abreast and driven round and round the floor. In other
places two oxen are yoked together to a drag, the bottom of
which is studded with pieces of basaltic stone. This drag, on
which the driver, and perhaps his family, sits or stands, is
driven in a circular path over the grain. In still other
districts an instrument resembling a wheel harrow is used, the
antiquity of which is confirmed by the Egyptian records. The
supply of unthreshed grain is kept in the center of the floor.
Some of this is pulled down from time to time into the path of
the animals. All the while the partly threshed grain is being
turned over with a fork. The stalks gradually become broken into
short pieces and the husks about the grain are torn off. This
mixture of chaff and grain must now be winnowed. This is done by
tossing it into the air so that the wind may blow away the
chaff. When the chaff is gone then the grain is tossed in a
wooden tray to separate from it the stones and lumps of soil
which clung to the roots when the grain was reaped. The
difference in weight between the stones and grain makes
separation by this process possible. The grain is now poled in
heaps and in many localities is also sealed. This process
consists in pressing a large wooden seal against the pile. When
the instrument is removed it leaves an impression which would be
destroyed should any of the grain be taken away. This allows the
government offers to keep account of the tithes and enables the
owner to detect any theft of grain. Until the wheat is
transferred to bags some one sleeps by the pries on the
threshing-floor. If the wheat is to be stored for home
consumption it is often first washed with water and spread out
on goats' hair mats to dry before it is stored in the wall
compartments found in every house. Formerly the wheat was ground
only as needed. This was then a household task which was
accomplished with the hand-mill or mortar
Threshing floors have come into prominence because of the
Biblical events which occurred on or near them.
1) Joseph with his kinsmen and Egyptian followers halted for
seven days at the threshing-floor of Atad to lament the death of
Jacob (Genesis 50:10). Probably there was a group of floors
furnishing a convenient spot for a caravan to stop. Travelers
today welcome the sight of a threshing-floor at their
halting-place. The hard, level spot is a much preferable to the
surrounding stony fields for their tents.
2) David built an
altar on Ornan's (Araunah's) threshing-floor (2Sa 24:18, 19, 20,
21, 22, 23, 24; 1Chr
21:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27), which later became the site of the Temple (2Chr 3:1).
David probably chose this place for his altar because it was on
an elevation, and the ground was already level and prepared by
Uzzah died near the
threshing-floor of Nacon for touching the ark
4) Ruth reveals herself to Boaz on his threshing-floor
Ru 3:8, 9-notes).
in danger of being robbed
(1Sa 23:1). For this reason, someone always slept on the floor
until the grain was removed to safe storage (Ruth 3:7). In Syria, at the
threshing season, it is customary for the family to move out to
the vicinity of the threshing-floor. A booth is constructed for
shade; the mother prepares the meals and takes her turn with the
father and children at riding on the sledge.
The instruments of the threshing-floor
referred to in 2Sa 24:22
(1) the wooden sledge
(2) the fan (fork) for
separating straw from wheat
(3) shovel for tossing the
wheat into the air in winnowing
(4) broom, for sweeping the
floor between threshing and for collecting the wheat after
(6) the yoke
(8) dung catcher
(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
put on your
down to the
floor; but do
known to the
until he has
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
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
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
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)
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: 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
YOUR BEST CLOTHES: (Mt 6:17)
(07364) (rachats) is translated in the Greek Septuagint with louo
which normally referred to bathing your entire
body (cp Jn 3:10)
(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
Joab sent to Tekoa and brought a
wise woman from there and said to her, "Please pretend to be a
mourner, and put on mourning garments now, and do not anoint yourself with oil,
but be like a woman who
has been mourning for the dead many days." (2Sa 14:2) In we read
that provides "oil to make (one's) face shine. (NIV) (Ps104:15-note)
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"
From the NT, we know
that anointing was a
mark of hospitality for Jesus
"You did not anoint My head with oil,
but she anointed My feet with perfume." (Lk 7:46).
Solomon records that
"Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so
a man's counsel is sweet to his friend," (Pr 27:9)
(Modified from ISBE)
Refers to a very general practice in the East. It originated
from the relief from the effect of the sun that was experienced
in rubbing the body with oil or grease. Among rude people the
common vegetable or animal fat was used. As society advanced and
refinement became a part of civilization, delicately perfumed
ointments were used for this purpose. Other reasons soon
obtained for this practice than that stated above. Persons were
anointed for health (Mk 6:13), because of the widespread belief
in the healing power of oil. It was often employed as a mark of
hospitality (Lk 7:46); as a mark of special honor (Jn 11:2); in preparation for social occasions (Ru
2Sa 14:2; Isa 61:3). (References)
on your best like
Esther who risk her life going uninvited before King Ahasuerus
put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's
palace in front of the king's rooms, and the king was sitting on his
royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace.
Certainly Ruth was not risking
her life but it is nevertheless in Naomi's eyes a crucial encounter
and she is to look her best.
(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
women to adorn themselves with
proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and
gold or pearls or costly garments but rather by means of good works,
as befits women making a claim to godliness. (1Ti 2:9; 2:10)
TO THE THRESHING FLOOR:
Go down -
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.
(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
-Wikipedia) in order to build an
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
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).
threshing-floors are constructed in the fields, preferably in an
exposed position in order to get the full benefit of the winds.
If there is a danger of marauders they are clustered together
close to the village. The floor is a level, circular area
feet in diameter, prepared by first picking out the stones, and
then wetting the ground, tamping or rolling it, and finally
sweeping it. A border of stones usually surrounds the floor to
keep in the grain. The sheaves of grain which have been brought
on the backs of men, donkeys, camels, or oxen, are heaped on
this area, and the process of tramping out begins. In some
localities several animals, commonly oxen or donkeys, are tied
abreast and driven round and round the floor…. Until the wheat
is transferred to bags some one sleeps by the pile on the
threshing floor." (James
Orr, The International Bible Std Encyclopedia)
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