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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Ruth 2

 

 

Verses 1-23

Ruth 2:7. Let me glean. She modestly asked this as a favour, which the law itself had allowed the poor.

Ruth 2:10. She fell on her face, honouring Boaz as a prince and venerable father.

Ruth 2:14. Dip thy morsel in the vinegar. The Israelites used a vinegar made of wine, to cool the body, and counteract the effects of hard labour and excessive heat. It was mostly mixed with a proportion of oil to give it an agreeable flavour.

Ruth 2:17. An ephah contained ten omers, or about twenty quarts.

Ruth 2:23. To the end of barley harvest, and of wheat harvest; in all about ten weeks, from the first week after Easter till a month after Whitsuntide.

REFLECTIONS.

We now trace farther steps of providence in accomplishing its designs of shedding a lustre on the house of David, and grace to the humankind in the redemption of the world. The sincere and extraordinary piety of Ruth was discovered by secluding herself from all giddy women of her own age, and the vain amusements of life. She affected no decorations of her person with a view to please, because she wanted to please the Lord alone. She sought no companion but her mother, and desired to gain no knowledge in comparison of the knowledge of God. These are all inestimable qualifications when proceeding from a heart deeply impressed with divine things.

Ruth’s piety discovered itself by the love of devotion. She kept the object of her faith constantly in view: it was the promise of the Lord to his people, and under his wings she had come to trust. She therefore attended his worship that she might learn the law, and become acquainted with the grace and comfort afforded by his word. Fine example in youth, and worthy of imitation.

Her piety was further distinguished by industry and filial affection. She went not about the streets to beg, or to claim kindred with the rich; but decently went forth into the field to maintain herself, and her aged mother, by the labour of her own hands. As idleness is mostly a companion of vice; so industry, and grateful returns to parents, are the happiest fruits of filial piety.

God by his grace having made this stranger meet and worthy of his favour, next directed her way into the field of Boaz, a near kinsman of Elimelech. Towards noon the venerable patriarch entered the field, saluted the reapers, and noticed the stranger, who still wore, it is presumed from her poverty, the Moabian dress. He acquainted himself with her name from his steward; by whom he was further continued in the good account he had previously heard of her morals and piety. He addressed her in language of encouragement, and invited her to eat with his maids. A good name, in the estimation of good men, is of great value; and soon or late this is the inestimable reward of a faith productive of every virtue. From this moment the tide of adversity began to turn, and a rising hope would induce Ruth gradually to forget her country and her tears. It would seem, from the courtesy of Boaz, though the thought of marriage entered not his head, that he was peculiarly struck with the first sight of a person with whom he was designated to form so important a link in the chain of providence. He found a sentiment formed in his heart more than he could express: it was the earnest of that unutterable goodness which that moment began one part of the foundation for the rising glory of his house. All young people should fear God, and be found in the way of piety; and then they are ready for the reception of all those treasures of providence and grace, which heaven may have kept in store for the comfort and happiness of future years.

Ruth returned with more than three pecks of barley, and related to her mother the happy adventures of the day. Naomi, better acquainted with the laws and customs of Israel than the daughter, augured more from the kindness of Boaz than Ruth had been able to conceive. She apprized her of the duties of a near kinsman in raising up issue to a deceased brother or cousin, who had died without an heir; and that the right of redeeming Elimelech’s property belonged to Boaz. From that moment she encouraged Ruth to accept of the good man’s invitation to glean in his field, the whole of both the harvests. Happy are those children who have a wise and aged parent to direct them in the affairs of life, and especially to give counsel in the eventful crisis of marriage. Wisdom in that case is often more to be esteemed than honour and fortune. It is a treasure which cannot be valued; for God has promised to guide his people in all the dubious steps of life. If the good man will keep a command of his passions, let reason operate, and seek the Lord by fervent prayer, he will guide him in judgment, and liberally bless him with wisdom from above.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ruth 2:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/ruth-2.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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