Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ruth 3:10 - 3:18

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Ruth 3:10 - 3:18


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Boaz Promises Favorable Action

v. 10. And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter; for thou hast showed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
She had at first, when she might have stayed in her own country and married among her own people, preferred to accompany her mother-in-law into a strange land, with no other prospect than that of sharing poverty, misery, and humiliation with her. And she had now, instead of setting her cap for some attractive young man, as would have been natural for a woman of her age, shown her obedient disposition toward Naomi in proposing marriage to him, as the levir relative, although he was advanced in life.

v. 11. And now, my daughter, fear not,
she was to lay aside all anxiety and worry, which probably showed itself in the tremulous tones with which she made her request; I will do to thee all that thou requirest; for all the city of my people, "literally, the whole gate," standing for all the inhabitants of Bethlehem and the surrounding country, doth know that thou art a virtuous woman, she had proved to all that she was a good woman, with no loose morals such as were ascribed to the women of Moab.

v. 12. And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman; howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I,
this restriction being added by Boaz on account of possible legal complications.

v. 13. Tarry this night,
he would not think of sending her away in the dense darkness, and it shall be in the morning that, if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part, in redeeming the land and marrying Ruth; but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth, he would cheerfully perform the duty, as he confirmed with a solemn oath. Lie down until the morning. There is not an unseemly hint in the entire passage, only naturalness and simplicity and virtue.

v. 14. And she lay at his feet until the morning; and she rose up before one could know another,
before the light made it possible to recognize people clearly. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor. He wanted to protect, not only his own good name, but that of Ruth as well, particularly since there was still a possibility that the nearer relative might claim her as his wife, and scandalous rumors might have resulted most unpleasantly.

v. 15. Also he said, Bring the veil,
the cloak or shawl which she had about her, that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, a large quantity, and laid it on her, as a gift showing his good will. And she went into the city.

v. 16. And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter?
It was an inquiry concerning the success which she had had, whether her claim had been acknowledged or otherwise. And she told her all that the man had done to her, the gift, of course, being a strong hint to Naomi of the result of Ruth's application.

v. 17. And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother-in-law,
visitors usually being dismissed with gifts for their families.

v. 18. Then said she,
Naomi, Sit still, my daughter, she was to remain quietly at home, until thou know how the matter will fall, what the outcome of the business would be; for the man, Boaz, will not be in rest until he have finished the thing this day. He was an energetic man, who always went forward toward the goal with open directness. All the virtues which we here find in him and in Ruth, purity, chastity, openness, generosity, a strict regard for the rights of the neighbor, are fruits of faith.