If you’re an Old Testament Hebrew and your family has rights to a piece of land, that piece of land needs to stay in your family. Ruth chapter one begins with the tell of a famine in the land Judah during the days of the judges of Israel. He died. But, they needed to return to their God and his covenant Law in obedience so that he might give true rest to his people and the Land. So, we’ve explained what this gesture of Ruth’s wasn’t intended to do. The word that is interesting in this verse, is the word for “skirt”. There, they set up shop, eat some food, and live for about ten years. But he has some news for her. Ruth was a Moabite princess of very fine character, who became the great-grandmother of King David. If Naomi is truly telling Ruth to look for and offer an illicit sexual encounter with Boaz it would be a total shock to all of us. a. Either way, the sense of the verse is not altered whether it is included or not. Fortunately though, for the original audience, this story of a disaffected, afflicted, and sojourning woman and her foreigner daughter-in-law would speak of hope. Ruth 3:1-18 1 One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? This means it could either mean “from his feet” or “at his feet.” Both options are sound but, as Holmstedt points out, the use in v.14 is certainly a locative use of this word and should therefore help to interpret the less clear instance in v.4. This was the hope for Ruth as it was also the hope for Israel. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk; and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain: and she came softly and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. That’s – I believe – why Ruth uncovered his feet. Also, the imperfect here implies a durative or progressive rather than future sense, meaning “the place where he is lying” rather than “the place he will lie.” Holmstedt points out that the locative (שׁם) is actually a common or required inclusion for noun phrases in relative clauses. However, under further investigation, they have potentially deep insinuations. Naomi says that she seeks rest for her that it may go well for her. Certainly the book has at its core intentions the validation of David and his lineage. It would fly in the face of what we’ve seen of the characters thus far. Ruth 3:16-18 New International Version (NIV). Vol. This becomes evident in the passage 3:1-6. Barley harvest is typically associated with Passover festival and the wheat harvest is concluded around the time of Pentecost or Shavuot, which is why Jewish tradition reads this book alongside Numbers during the Feast of Weeks. The likely sense of the word for the sentence is not simply just interrogative but rather “to have the force of an impassioned or indignant affirmation” which portrays an undeniable reality. [So, I’m thinking that Boaz was waiting on this other guy to act. Though this is not an exact parallel, since Ruth willingly went to Bethlehem, it could serve as a loose picture in the mind of the author and readers, especially since it continually highlights her foreigner beginnings (1:4, 22, 2:2, 6, 21, 4:5, 10). [i] A. J. Rosenberg, ed., The Five Megilloth: A New English Translation, Judaica books of the Hagiographa–the Holy Writings (New York: Judaica Press, 1992), xi. 4 In this verse, there is only one variant. Especially in ancient times and attested to in scripture (Hos 9:1), this would have been the right situation for prostitution, not to mention the possible double entendre for both (גלה) and (מרגל) given in the story. In this series of blessing and instruction, Naomi charges Ruth to do a very ambiguous act. And I’m supposing that the kind of clothes that Ruth was wearing indicated to all that she was still mourning the loss of her husband. All seven of the occurrences in Deuteronomy are related to obeying the commands of the Lord which will correspond to the Israelites blessing in the Promised Land. To be away from either of these is to be in some sense under a curse, which is why the exile later on is such a travesty. ( Log Out /  The verb is a deliberative imperfect which is connected to the interrogative with the sense that Naomi is currently or in a more general way seeking rest for Ruth. So, though perhaps somewhat hidden to the modern reader, Naomi’s blessing was actually an injunction to be blessed by Yahweh directly connected to obedience to his law. In other words, the author compares the situation with Judah and Tamar to Boaz and Ruth. Ruth 3:1-6. Ruth 3 Commentary: Verses 1 – 5. Modern day Christians can probably give quotes from most other books of the Bible, but the nature of Ruth has left many wondering what to do with it. ( Log Out /  I also read about a … Later in v.11, Boaz speaks to Ruth and says almost the exact same phrase. It has been shown that the incredible message of this short passage surpasses the mere surface level narration of a poor widow’s story. She’s forsaken her false gods, shown flawless loyalty to her mother-in-law – AND SHE DIDN’T NEED TO! Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I did enjoy this summary and look forward to many more. 7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn [or grain]: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. Two are widows and two are Israelites. 6. . Through this small simple story, the author of Ruth concocted a fascinating and intriguing synthesis of both historical narrative and theological instruction. It didn’t seem to be a big deal. He is godly – but I think at least one thing would have been hindering him from making any advance. Grammatically, the verb is ambiguous in its meaning and is a weqatal functioning as an instructional imperfect with the sense of imperative. Even though Ruth is a foreigner in the land of Israel, a wealthy farmer named Boaz takes interest in her. [v] Also here, Naomi uses the suffixed word for “my daughter.” The phrase is used 8 times in Ruth by both Naomi and Boaz. There was a famine in the land of Israel and they decided to go to godless Moab. They were not wicked but faithful. Ruth had found favor in the eyes of Boaz, but yet she lacked security for the future. of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield, 1977. And Naomi is confident that Boaz will have further instructions from that point. He’s willing to obey the Lord and marry Ruth. And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. 3 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home [] for you, where you will be well provided for. The Q is preferable and the alteration is likely due to either scribal error or an archaism for linguistic flare. “Is not Boaz our kinsman?” Our next of kin? Ah, but Ruth is different. Furthermore, there is a high probability that the author was seeking to weave into this story an allusion to Judah and Tamar. While on the other, the story of Ruth is an amazing breath of fresh air amidst the insane turmoil happening in both Judges and Kingdoms. 1 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home # 3:1 Hebrew find rest (see 1:9). As commentators have debated over the centuries, the precise intentions of Naomi are unclear. Each of these components highlights important theological messages, whether openly obvious to the original audience or brilliantly hidden as in parables. Boaz is also related to Naomi, makin… 1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek 1 security for you, that it may be well with you? Men would have been the landowners. But Boaz hasn’t made any advances in that area. I should have added a presentation of positive women in the bible. Harvest time was a time of feasting and enjoyment, so Boaz was full and happy when he retired for the night. thanks, Audrey! Garden City: Doubleday, 1975. 6 ¶ And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. This seems to fit better with the context. Why doesn’t he come to her? 9. But he also knows that there’s someone closer to Ruth and Naomi than he is. Naomi tells the girls to go home. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997. Julia Garner in ‘Ozark’ season 1 episode 6 (Photo by Jackson Davis/Netflix) Ruth’s messing with the electrical by the docks. The word only appears elsewhere in Ruth in 1:15. First – obviously – we’re landing in the middle of the book of Ruth. 2 “Now is not Boaz a our 1 kinsman, with whose maids you were? It is submitting to the instruction of the Lord but not only that. Naomi tells Ruth to watch where Boaz goes after he’s full from supper. It is probable that the author intended this uncertainty to highlight even the difference between Ruth and Boaz from Naomi. This of course according to Judges is due to the people doing what is right in their own eyes and in Kings is exacerbated due to wicked kings who do not do what is right in the Lord’s eyes. First of all, on a more practical level, the law in Deut 21:13 says that a foreign/captive woman allotted to become a wife must remove her old clothes, mourn her family at least a month, and then she is able to be married. Israel was supposed to drive out the idolatrous foreigners from the land that the Lord gave them. The Spirit And The Bride Series Contributed by Stephen Smith on Feb 18, 2020 | 2,216 views. And again those boys died, leaving their Moabite spouses – Ruth and Orpah – and their mother Naomi. And – whether it was a punishment from God or not –the father of that family died in Moab. Naomi then contrived to marry Ruth to Boaz by invoking her kinship with him. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Her return to her mother-in-law . However, for the Israelite reader, this may seem as a bit of a paradox. 2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Or so it seems. Either way, the intention of the sentence seems to parallel the previous in order to show Ruth’s corresponding actions to her words. Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. As is the case for many books of the OT, Ruth’s author and date are contested. 7 She and her two daughters-in-law left the place where they had been living. Audrey January 30, 2015 at 11:55 am. Knowing what we do about Ruth, it again is likely the author and reader would have this as a background for the narrative found here in Ruth. There is however a strange syntactical arrangement. 10 RESULTS OF THE RESURRECTION FOR US (Part 3), 10 RESULTS OF THE RESURRECTION FOR US (Part 2), 10 RESULTS OF THE RESURRECTION FOR US (Part 1). Shirley Whitney April 15, 2015 at 9:09 am. In fact, their promise of rest in the Land was directly connected to this event. His primary purpose in writing the book was to trace the lineage of the newly anointed king of Israel, David. Here’s my reconstruction of what’s happening. I thought he was godly. And what wakes a man from sleep better than uncovering his feet and exposing them to the increasing cool of the surrounding night air? Keep reading.] ( Log Out /  1. All of the occurrences in Deuteronomy are in relation to obedience to the Law and Yahweh so that the people might enjoy a blessed and fruitful life, especially in the Land. The terms “foot” and “feet” in the Old Testament are sometimes used as a euphemism for the reproductive organs. She was not the daughter of either, only a daughter-in-law to Naomi, which the word for such was given in the background narrative, and she was only a loosely connected relative through her dead husband to Boaz. Secondly in this verse, there is an oddity in form for the verb (ירד). This is perhaps why the author changes the verb in v.5 from (אמר) to (צוה) in v.6. The Book of Ruth Summary. Holmstedt, Robert D. Ruth: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text. This may have led some scribe to remove the additional PP in order to show the parallel. 3 The first variation in this passage is between the K and Q with the word (שׁמלתך). Why? Do you remember where Naomi tells Ruth to put on clothes in verse 3? And let me say this without intending to be too silly – Boaz is quite a catch. They indeed needed redemption but it needed to come through the proper channels, unlike their prostituting habits with other gods and nations. This may either serve as a conviction, since she is a Moabitess, or a validation for David and his progeny as the king or redeemer of Israel. But if that is indeed what’s happening, it would be astounding. So let’s start reading that scene in verse 6. Now it … It was written about 1046-1035 B.C. Each of the occurrences carry the meaning of logical conclusion perhaps also translated as “and so.” Another interesting but perplexing word use in this verse is (מדועתנו) often translated as “relative.” There is a host of possible explanations for why this form is used. She’s been a hard worker in the fields. 4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. How did Ruth hear about this God of Israel? It carries the volitional aspect of an instructional imperfect. This may emphasize both Ruth and Boaz’s nobleness to act properly, humbly, and kindly. But positively, what was it meant to accomplish? [Again, I’m impressed with Boaz’s selflessness. Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor. They say that this kind of activity was typical of ancient prostitutes. Thank you for your summary of Ruth. [Which is a great segue into the next scene. However, in Exodus, the situation is even more intriguing. Though this story may take place after the writing of Ruth, it nevertheless shows a pattern common in the completion of mourning. 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