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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Ruth 2

Verses 1-2

Predestined for Rest: God’s Justification (Naomi and Ruth Find Favour) Ruth 1:19 b to Ruth 2:23 records the story of Naomi and Ruth’s return to Bethlehem, where they found favour in God’s eyes, and in the sight of Boaz. The reason Ruth found favour in the eyes of her redeemer, Boaz, is because she chose to forsake her people of an idolatrous culture and cling to Naomi and her faith in the God of Israel.

The setting moves from the land of Moab to the land of Israel, to the city of Bethlehem, the city from which Israel’s redemption will be born, both in their king David, the son of Jesse, and ultimately in the birth of the King of Kings the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ruth 1:19 bAnd it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

Ruth 1:19 b Comments - Ruth 1:19 b begins a new section to the book of Ruth, as the scene moves the reader from Moab to Bethlehem. This location to divide the book of Ruth into sections was chosen because it begin with the common Hebrew idiom “and it came to pass” ( וַיְהִי ), made from the conjunction ( ו ) “and” and the imperfect verb ( הָיָה ) “to be.”

Ruth 1:20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

Ruth 1:20 Word Study on “Mara” PTW says the word means, “bitter.”

Ruth 1:22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

Ruth 1:22 Comments - God uses this season of barley harvest to divinely orchestrate Ruth’s union with her redeemer, Boaz. In the midst of Ruth’s labours in gathering the barley harvest, she finds her redeemer.

Ruth 2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

Ruth 2:1 Word Study on “Boaz” Gesenius says the name “Boaz” ( בֹּעַז ) (H1162) means, “fleetness.” PTW says it means, “fleetness, strength.” His name means, “swiftness.” Boaz was related to Naomi thru her late husband, Elimelech, which made him a kinsman.

Ruth 2:1 Comments - Jesus has redeemed us, being our near kinsman.

Ruth 2:2 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.

Ruth 2:2 “Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn” Comments - The Mosaic Law allowed the poor to glean behind the reapers of the fields in Israel (Leviticus 19:9-10; Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 24:19).

Leviticus 19:9-10, “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger : I am the LORD your God.”

Leviticus 23:22, “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”

Deuteronomy 24:19, “When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.”

Ruth 2:2 “after him in whose sight I shall find grace” Comments - Because of her kinship with this wealthy family from Bethlehem, Ruth believed such family ties would naturally give opportunities for favour and assistance in comparison to working the fields of those unrelated to her.

Ruth 2:2 Comments - Ruth’s statement in Ruth 2:2 reflects her dependence upon divine providence. Her faith in the God of Israel will continually be reveals throughout this book by similar statements.

Verses 3-23

Ruth 2:3 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 unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

Ruth 2:3 “a part of the field belonging unto Boaz” - Comments - Perhaps this was a common field that was shared by all the villagers with it being divided into parts. Boundaries were generally marked by stones, of which the Law forbade to move (Deuteronomy 19:14, Proverbs 22:28).

Deuteronomy 19:14, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.”

Proverbs 22:28, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”

Ruth 2:7 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.

Ruth 2:7 “she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves!” - Comments - The grain gathered represents the Bread of life, or the Word of life. She was willing to gather what was left after the Israelites gathered enough. This is a good Old Testament parallel of the Syro-Phenician woman who said, “Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:21-28). As it took great faith for this Syro-Phenician woman to seek Jesus words, and as Jesus responded to her faith, so it is with Ruth and Boaz.

Matthew 15:27, “And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.”

Ruth sought the grain of Boaz, and he responded to her faith.

Ruth 2:8 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:

Ruth 2:8 “my daughter” - Comments - Apparently, Boaz was much older then Ruth. He refers to young men as if he was older than they. He comments that Ruth did not run after young men, meaning that she was also a young lady (see Ruth 3:10).

Ruth 3:10, “And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.”

Ruth 2:9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

Ruth 2:9 “Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee?” - Comments - Jesus watches over us.

Ruth 2:9 “and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn” - Comments - When we thirst, we come to Jesus (John 7:37).

John 7:37, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

Ruth 2:14 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 her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

Ruth 2:14 Word Study on “and left” The Hebrew phrase “and left” ( וַתֹּתַֽר ), made from the conjunction ( ו ) “and” and the verb ( יָתַר ) (H3498), which Strong says literally means, “to jut over or exceed,” and by implication, “to excel,” and used intransitive, “to remain or be left,” and used causatively, “to leave, to cause to abound, to preserve.”

Modern English translations follow at least three different interpretations, saying (1) she left after eating:

“and left” ( AB), “and left thereof” ( ASV), “and left” ( KJV), “ κατέλιπεν ” (and left) ( Brenton, LXX)

Or, (2) she took food with her that was left over, which she later brought to Naomi (Ruth 2:18 b, “… and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.”)

“and took the leavings” ( DRC), “and she had some left over” ( ESV), “and had some left over” ( NAB), “and had some left” ( NASB), “and saved the rest” ( NET), “even had some food left over” (NCV), “and kept some back” ( NKJV), “and still had some left over” ( NLT), “and she had some left over” ( NRSV, RSV), et tulit reliquias (and she took that which was left behind) ( VgClem)

Or, (3) she ate until she was filled, and left some food remaining:

“and had some left over” ( God’s Word), “and left thereof remaining” ( Rotherham)

Ruth 2:14 Comments - Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:48).

John 6:48, “I am that bread of life.”

Ruth 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

Ruth 2:17 “about an ephah of barley” Comments - The ISBE says that an ephah is “a dry measure of about one bushel capacity .” [13]

[13] H. Porter, “Ephah (2),” and “Weights and Measures,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Ruth 2". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/ruth-2.html. 2013.