a woman of conviction, steadfastness,
commitment and faithfulness
The book of Ruth is the record of a Believer. Elimelech,
Naomi and their two sons had gone to Moab because of a famine in Israel during
the time of the Judges. There Elimelech died and their two sons married two
Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. The sons died also and the women were left with
no children. Culturally the husband's family was to provide for the widows but
for the daughters-in-law there weren't any. Orpah went back to her family and
Ruth persisted and stayed with Naomi because she believed God. There is still a
possibility of help; culture provides a Kinsman Redeem: one of the deceased
husband's family can help raise up children with Ruth for Naomi.
:15 And she [Naomi] said,
Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people,
and unto her gods:
return thou after thy sister in law.
:16 And Ruth said,
Intreat me not to leave thee, or
to return from following after thee:
for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will
thy people shall be my
people, and thy God my God:
:17 Where thou diest, will I die,
and there will I be buried:
do so to me,
if ought but death part thee
Ruth is committed to God and Naomi. She has heard of the
one true God and chooses to believe. Their circumstances are dire. Culturally,
it appears that they are out of favor with God because their husbands have died
leaving them with no children. Who is going to take care of them? They are
facing a life of poverty. Yet, Ruth still believes God and decides to take a
stand and trust Him.
:22 So Naomi returned,
and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her,
which returned out of the country
and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley
harvest. [late April]
:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's,
a mighty man of wealth, of the
family of Elimelech;
and his name was Boaz.
:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi,
Let me now go to the field,
and glean ears of corn after him in
whose sight I shall find grace.
And she said unto her,
Go, my daughter.
:3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers:
and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging
who was of the kindred of
In verse three where God says "and her hap [miqreh]
was to light [qarah] on" contains two Hebrew words that indicate a
figure of speech. Each of these words have an element of chance in their
meanings. Miqreh means 'something met with, i.e. and accident or fortune'
and qarah means 'to light upon (chiefly by accident).' So, "her
chance chanced upon." This is a figure of speech called polyptoton "a
repetition of the same part of speech in different inflections" (Appendix 6
of the Companion Bible). Figures of speech are legitimate grammatical usages
which depart from literal language to call attention to themselves. The words of
the Lord are pure words. His Word has no contaminations. The words are written
specifically for specific purposes. The figures of speech are there to draw our
attention to specific messages in specific ways.
Ruth, by chance, chanced upon the field of Boaz--a wealthy
man and kinsman to Naomi--where Ruth could glean food. This is an honorable way
for people to get food if there is no one to take care of them.
:4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers,
be with you.
And they answered him,
:5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers,
Whose damsel is this?
:6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said,
It is the Moabitish damsel
back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
:7 And she said,
I pray you,
let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves:
so she came, and hath continued
even from the morning until now,
that she tarried a little in the house.
:8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth,
Hearest thou not, my daughter?
Go not to glean in another field,
neither go from hence,
but abide here fast by my maidens:
:9 Let thine eyes be on the field
that they do reap,
and go thou
have I not charged the young men
that they shall not touch thee?
and when thou art athirst, go unto
of that which the young men have drawn.
:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto
Why have I found grace in thine
shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
[not of the house of Israel]
:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her,
It hath fully been shewed me, all
that thou hast done unto thy mother in law
death of thine husband:
and how thou hast left thy
and thy mother,
and the land of thy nativity,
and art come unto a people which
thou knewest not heretofore.
:12 The LORD recompense thy
and a full reward be given thee of
the LORD God of Israel,
wings thou art come to trust.
Here is another figure of speech anthropopatheia;
contributing to God, who is spirit, the characteristics of humans or creatures.
God does not have wings but you can picture the loving care of a mother bird
protecting and caring for her brood under her expansive wings. The picture these
words draw in your mind is more vivid than merely saying "in whom you have
trusted." Let it be said of us:
The LORD recompense thy work,
and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel,
under whose wings thou art come to trust.
:13 Then she said,
Let me find favour in thy sight, my
thou hast comforted me,
and for that thou hast spoken
friendly unto thine handmaid,
though I be
not like unto one of thine handmaidens.
:14 And Boaz said unto her,
At mealtime come thou hither,
and eat of the bread,
and dip thy morsel in the vinegar.
And she sat beside the reapers:
and he reached [gave to/handed] her
parched corn, [roasted ears of grain]
and she did eat,
and was sufficed,
Take note of the all of the 'ands' in verse 14. This is polysyndeton
or 'Many Ands'. It is the repetition of the word "and" at the
beginning of successive clauses, each independent, important, and emphatic, with
no climax at the end. Each act above is individually important. She ate with
Boaz. In Eastern customs it is significant if you eat with someone. It is
customary to bring someone in and offer them food but the host will stand apart
while the guests eat. He handed her food, but she ate with the reapers.
:15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men,
Let her glean even among the
and reproach her not: [reproach...:
Heb. shame her not]
:16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose
and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
:17 So she gleaned in the field until even,
and beat out that she had gleaned:
and it was about an ephah of barley. [about
3 English pecks or ? of a bushel]
God has put Ruth in the right place. Her ephah of barley
is pretty good for a days work at gleaning.
:19 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 shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought,
The man's name with whom I wrought
to day is Boaz.
:20 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. [this is very important]
:21 And Ruth the Moabitess said,
He said unto me also,
keep fast by my young men,
have ended all my harvest.
:22 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
:23 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.
God is taking care of them because of their faithfulness.
The LORD recompense thy work,
and a full reward be given thee of the LORD
God of Israel,
under whose wings thou art come to trust.
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