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Ruth Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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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.

name was Boaz. The meaning of Boaz' name is uncertain, but possibly means “strength.” It is interesting that one of the two pillars in Solomon's temple was later named Boaz (1 Kings 7:21). The other pillar was named Jochin (meaning “established”).

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 2:3 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.

gleaned. The custom of gleaning (collecting what had been missed by the officially employed reapers) was a divinely ordained provision for the poor of the land (see Leviticus 19:9, 10; Deuteronomy 24:19).

hap. To outward appearances, Ruth just “happened” to glean in the field of Boaz, but the entire context makes it clear that this was God's providential leading. God is altogether sovereign; He is not a God of chance. A faithful believer, seeking honestly to know and do the will of God, especially in relation to His already revealed will in Scripture, can be confident that the circumstances around him are not dictated by the laws of probability but by the will and purpose of God (Romans 8:28).

Boaz. Boaz was considered a relative of Elimelech, the father of Ruth's first husband. This suggests that Boaz was old enough to be Ruth's father (see also Ruth 3:10). Both, however, were more concerned with having a God-honoring marriage than one based on physical considerations, so age was secondary.

Ruth 2:4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.

Ruth 2:5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

Ruth 2:6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:

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 2:8 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 2:9 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 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

Ruth 2:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

Ruth 2:12 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.

Ruth 2:13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.

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 2:15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:

Ruth 2:16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.

handfuls of purpose. The same Hebrew word, basically meaning “take a spoil,” is used twice in this verse, once translated “let fall” and once as “of purpose.” The word for “handfuls,” used only this once in the Bible, evidently refers to a hand's grip. Boaz is saying in effect to his servants, “Grab from the bundles of sheaves as though you were taking a spoil for her, from the bundles of sheaves, but then leave them as a spoil for her.” Ruth was not to know that this was Boaz' gift to her, so she could assume she was gleaning it all on her own.

she may glean them. Ruth, in gleaning the sheaves deliberately left by Boaz, becomes a type of the believer gleaning food for the soul in the fruitful field of Scripture. Our heavenly “Boaz” has paid the price to take the spoil for us. As we kneel down to glean each morsel, we “rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psalm 119:162).

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.

ephah. Compare Exodus 16:16, 36. An ephah was ten omers, and an omer of manna was adequate for the daily needs of one man. Boaz' generosity is measured by the fact that the “handfuls of purpose” he had left for Ruth were ten times her daily need.

Ruth 2:18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

Ruth 2:19 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 showed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.

Ruth 2:20 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.

Ruth 2:21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

Ruth 2:22 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 other field.

Ruth 2:23 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.