Likewise, something that may shed more light on the issue and this use is the particular phrase’s appearance in scripture outside Ruth, (אשׁר ייטב לך). 8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, [Or “startled”. Starting the second verse, Naomi gives a conjunction with an adverb. External Opposition to God’s Work and the Response of God’s People in Nehemiah 2. However, her family was unfaithful to provide for her but instead dealt deceitfully. Tamar was also a widow, probably a Canaanite like Judah’s wife, and seeking levirate marriage. 18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. We can’t begin to imagine the excitement Ruth and Naomi must’ve felt at this time. The only one we’ll explore is where all the men in that particular family die. Her desire for Ruth could easily be paralleled with a prophet or judge or faithful king’s desire for Israel. They were not wicked but faithful. Through this small simple story, the author of Ruth concocted a fascinating and intriguing synthesis of both historical narrative and theological instruction. Now, we need to talk about how some people interpret these instructions that Naomi gave to 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. [v] Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), 210. exegesis, old testament, ruth, ruth 3:1-6, theology. Either way, the sense of the verse is not altered whether it is included or not. Learn how your comment data is processed. In fact, twice in Deuteronomy (12:9 and 28:65) this word for “rest” is used to contrast peace and security with the lack of it, the former being in the Land and the latter being amidst the nations. And how was the spiritual atmosphere overall in the days of the judges? II. However, in light of the many ideas and parallels in play, it seems that the intent of the author was to convey an ambiguous situation that could result in a variety of ways but actually serves as a prime example that Ruth, and Boaz, is indeed noble (חיל). 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. How did Ruth hear about this God of Israel? He blesses her. In 2:1, the sense is a familial relation between Elimelech and Boaz. ], Your email address will not be published. The book of Ruth has proven to be a bit of an enigma to many throughout the generations. 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. The reference to putting on clothing might indicate that Ruth had up to this point been wearing clothing typical of one who was mourning. 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. However, for the Israelite reader, this may seem as a bit of a paradox. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. The K does not make logical sense in context since it would imply Naomi as the active subject in the encounter with Boaz instead of Ruth. Though she was a foreigner and a widow, because of her faithful obedience and righteousness she received a redeemer who would give her rest. But not in the book of Ruth. This definite use here further strengthens the case that (השׁערים) is in construct with (גרן). In Naomi’s instruction for Ruth in v. 4, she uses a temporal conjunction construction where the first (ויהי) is understand as “and when” while the secondary or complement conjunction (ובאת) is understood as “then.” It is interesting that the verb form for the first is consecutive preterite, often implying past tense, while the second is a weqatal, which has a future sense. In v.5, Ruth says “all that you say I will do.” What is fascinating about this phrase is that it corresponds precisely with Exodus 19:8, 24:3, 7, Num 23:26, and is found nowhere else. Life is good. Two are widows and two are Israelites. She was dissatisfied with the idol-worship of her own people, and when the opportunity arose, she gladly gave up the privileges of royalty in her land and accepted a life of poverty among people she admired. This pericope begins after a period of time lasting roughly three months. Naomi wants Ruth taken care of. 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). [v] Also here, Naomi uses the suffixed word for “my daughter.” The phrase is used 8 times in Ruth by both Naomi and Boaz. She’s decided if she gives him a ride it will be by boat. Therefore it should be engaged in with great seriousness, with earnest prayers for direction, for the blessing of God, and with regard to his precepts. What is the alternative to “wealth gotten by vanity” in Proverbs 13 11? The Book of Ruth Summary. However, many manuscripts prefer the K which is singular. from the country of Moab. If all the subtleties in this story were caught, it would both convict the reader and spur them onto a hope found in returning to the instruction of the Lord. And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return. i. But he also knows that there’s someone closer to Ruth and Naomi than he is. But it happened in ancient Israel. Naomi, or just the author, may be inferring more than just Ruth’s clean up. But what happened to Chilion? Holmstedt thinks the K may be an archaism but if it is then it is not consistent with other occurrences of this form. Scripture: Ruth 3:1-6, Ruth 2:5. These prostitutes would come by and offer their services and in return get some grain. Ruth 3:16-18 New International Version (NIV). That means the PP is likely original and perhaps was meant to be translated with PP as the head of the following relative clause. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2015. Really. Either way of translating would be appropriate with a resultive relative clause. There was a famine in the land of Israel and they decided to go to godless Moab. She tells Ruth to go to him. It didn’t seem to be a big deal. It is far more likely that the PP would have been dropped rather than added. So, let’s talk about the cultural expectations in the days of Boaz and Ruth. It carries the volitional aspect of an instructional imperfect. [It was still so dark that no one would know who was there or not.] In other words – “the man who’s next in line legally to marry you and raise up a son to inherit our land?”. 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. Chapter 1: Ruth and Naomi in Moab. 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. So, this particular phrase not only shows the legitimacy in the line of a king of Israel but it also serves as a condemnation against Israel. The variant is similar to the previous issue. I’ll just remind us of an example of this. This may have led some scribe to remove the additional PP in order to show the parallel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964. Secondly, in Gn 35:2, Jacob speaks to his family saying they must get rid of their foreign gods, purify themselves, and change their garments. This is emphasized by the switch of the verb in the relative clause from (אמר) to (צוה). This was the hope for Ruth as it was also the hope for Israel. 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. Famine has hit Bethlehem, which forces Elimelech and his wife, Naomi, to move east to Moab with their two sons to get some grub. She … It would fly in the face of what we’ve seen of the characters thus far. Ruth and Boaz are not considered noble (חיל) simply for treating others properly but also in their obedience and loving kindness (חסד). Also, most of them are in conjunction with the re-giving of the covenant and God’s proposed sanctuary. This hypothesis would point to a much earlier date, no later than pre-exilic and perhaps as early as the tenth century, as the rabbinic traditions claim.[iii]. The fifth message in this series, describing the role of the Holy Spirit in readying the Church (as a Bride) to meet her Bridegroom in the air. Are we supposed to believe that Naomi would actually think that he’d be the kind to accept an invitation to participate in immorality? 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. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. At least someone in Elimelech’s family needs to perform this duty. The overall sense and meaning of the passage is unaffected by this variation. Orpah does but Ruth refuses. From what he says it sounds like he’d be very happy to do that. 3:1-5 The married state should be a rest, as much as any thing upon earth can be so, as it ought to fix the affections and form a connexion for life. So, according to this view, Naomi is basically counseling Ruth to play the part of an immoral woman. Well, God anticipated this issue. As I was thinking about shortcuts (a.k.a. of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield, 1977. Keep reading.] Some commentators have thought of this as evidence of her illicit intentions to basically be a prostitute for Boaz. [ii] Likewise, attempts to date the book’s origination have proved difficult and have led to a variety of hypotheses. Our story opens on a nice Jewish family with a problem. So, we enter the book of Ruth and the 3rd chapter looking for a king. However, upon entry, Israel never seems to really find much rest. 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. Here, the K is (ושׁכבתי) while the Q with many manuscripts is (־תְּ). The Q has many manuscripts with (תְּ) as the ending instead of the (תִּי) in the K. The K would be first, common, singular. As is the case for many books of the OT, Ruth’s author and date are contested. Remember wicked king Ahab and Naboth? In the days of…? The statement starts with the direct object (כל) followed by the nominalizing relative pronoun (אשׁר) which is functioning epexegetically to its head noun. Ruth. 11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. Finally, in Ezek 16:8-9, the prophet conveys the Lord speaking of Israel, specifically Jerusalem, as an unfaithful bride. Ruth, in some sense then, was a picture of what Israel was supposed to be. Verses 1-5 Here is, I. Naomi’s care for her daughter’s comfort is without doubt very commendable, and is recorded for imitation. And let me say this without intending to be too silly – Boaz is quite a catch. IV. OK, so the question is – is there some cultural obligation that Boaz might have to marry Ruth? She was obviously wrong earlier in her instruction to her daughters-in-law to find rest away from the Lord. Ruth the Moabitess is shown and described in such a way that one would assume should lead to the birthing of a rightful lineage to the throne of Israel. Campbell, Edward F. Ruth: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. In this particular passage, these themes will be uncovered through investigating the background, exegesis and syntax, and synthesizing the implications of both internal and external data. 6 And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the a Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his b finger. 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. The function of (אשׁר) seems to be result, though Holmstedt thinks it is a comparative use. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999. ———. In fact, their promise of rest in the Land was directly connected to this event. Do you remember where Naomi tells Ruth to put on clothes in verse 3? So with that background in mind, let’s start reading Ruth 3:1. The second main component to this story is the preparation Naomi prescribes for Ruth. Ah, but Ruth is different. He died. First, Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem, just in time for the barley harvest (1:19-22). What happens when you gather wealth by labor according to Proverbs 13 11? To wake him up eventually, but not right away. Her return to her mother-in-law . [Again, I’m impressed with Boaz’s selflessness. I really don’t think that’s the case and I’ve explained why already. Likewise, with the later inclusion of Boaz inquiring who was at his feet and the preceding instruction from Naomi to (אל־תודעי), or not be known yet, it may also be inferred that the implication of the verb (גלה) is to show or make herself known at the proper time and place rather than a sexual gesture, which BDB gives as a legitimate option for the Piel. And the answer to this lack of peace and prosperity was a result of disobedience and stray from the instruction of the Lord. And if that’s all that you knew, you might be a little confused. It appears that while he slept peacefully, Ruth slipped in. Ruth chapter 3 summary began as Naomi coached Ruth on how she should find more favor with Boaz (their close kinsman). Following the final verb which has an odd textual variant, Naomi mentions the “threshing floor” again.  So, the use was not necessary and must convey a sense of concern. He is godly – but I think at least one thing would have been hindering him from making any advance. Both verbs in this sentence are consecutive preterite, which from the narrator’s sense is past but for the sake of the story serves as a prelude to what is about to be described in more detail (vv.7-15). 18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day. I read about an older (well, 69, which isn’t that much older than me) man in Europe, who tried to take a shortcut home by cutting across an estuary and finding himself up to his knees in mud. Now, what is Naomi instructing Ruth to do here? She gave Ruth instructions on how to get close with Boaz, really close. Israel was not at rest and they were not experiencing the good fortune promised in the Torah. Boaz would have seen that and known to not pursue anything while that was the case. And there are a lot of men to whom Ruth might be married in the dark days of the Judges that would be really really wicked. Not good. ], 14 ¶ And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. 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? They had been unfaithful and disobedient but Yahweh was full of loving kindness and would stay true to his promises. The phrase following Naomi’s desire for rest is unique and found almost entirely in Deuteronomy, “that it may be well with you” (Gn 40:14; Dt 4:40, 5:16, 6:3, 18, 12:25, 28, 22:7; Ru 3:1). The word that is interesting in this verse, is the word for “skirt”. 3 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. But the promise of a king goes even farther back than that. Here it is uncertain but may intend to include both meanings. And in those chapters we saw the godly man from Bethlehem named Boaz being very kind and gracious to a Moabite named Ruth. New York: Judaica Press, 1992. ( Log Out /  She was a faithful woman who did as she promised. They say that this kind of activity was typical of ancient prostitutes. And in order to be startled, a man would need to be awake. Boaz is an extremely godly man. And this expectation of a king over Israel wasn’t new to the book of Judges or the book of Ruth. 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 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. And the land will remain with that family. 10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: [Notice that he doesn’t rebuke her for any supposed immoral intentions. Parents should carefully advise their children in this important concern, that it may be well with them as to their … And when she does go, he will tell her what to do next. “Is not Boaz our kinsman?” Our next of kin? ii. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. After Ruth affirms her willingness to follow Naomi’s instructions, v.6 quickly transitions summarily to affirm that Ruth did in fact do as Naomi said and she promised. 17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law. Welcome to the book of Ruth. However, Bush and Block tend to believe that there is significant evidence of linguistic markers which imply that Ruth was standard biblical Hebrew. [Now, let’s think about this. 1. 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. [So, Boaz encourages Ruth’s boldness. Both Naomi and Ruth would have been very glad that he seems to be the next in line to fulfill this obligation. Also, the intransitive verb (ירדת) takes this accusative as an adverbial function with termination as the category. So, Ruth was probably still wearing clothing that indicated her sorrow over these events. B. Ruth and Boaz at the threshing floor. 3 The first variation in this passage is between the K and Q with the word (שׁמלתך). As the rabbinic tradition attests, the situation for the writing of this book was alongside the writing of Judges, temporally connected, but during the reign of the Israelite kings. It seems to be a term to identify the disparity of age between Ruth and her elders. Create a free website or blog at Bush, Frederic William. You’re basically looking for the next of kin. The “rest” Naomi desires for Ruth in a redeemer, brought on by both human and divine kindness (חסד) and divine providence, is easily paralleled to the situation Israel remains in under Saul, the many kings following David, or foreign exile, depending on the dating of the authorship. 6 She and her daughters-in-law then prepared to go back from the plateau of Moab because word had reached her there that the LORD had seen to his people’s needs * and given them food. Ruth 3 Commentary: When we open to the 3rd chapter of the book of Ruth we’re coming into the middle of several story lines in the Bible. This may emphasize both Ruth and Boaz’s nobleness to act properly, humbly, and kindly. Naomi tells her to put on some perfume, put on some clothing and go to the threshing floor and meet Boaz. [iii] Daniel Isaac Block, Judges, Ruth (NAC), v. 6 (Nashville, Tenn: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 590–92. Also, it serves to clearly show it was an act of Ruth’s obedience. How many proverbs did Solomon write? She’s been a hard worker in the fields. Ruth 1:6. The phrase (וגלית מרגלתיו) can be understood either as Ruth uncovering Boaz’s feet or his genitals, Ruth uncovering herself at his feet, or as Ruth making herself known at Boaz’s feet. Well, you might think it’s a little strange that Naomi is advising Ruth to approach Boaz and basically propose to him. Ruth, Esther (WBC). It was written about 1046-1035 B.C. These three occurrences are in direct response to the giving of the Law. And to this point we’re led to believe that that someone is Boaz. For the Israelite people, one of the most important concepts is rest. I did enjoy this summary and look forward to many more. Boaz should marry Ruth because he’s a near kinsman. For v. 3, many translators either render the initial (וְ) with “therefore” or do not include it. Although this idea is not explicit, it is probable that the author was weaving together several insinuations regarding Ruth’s foreign heritage, her being a widow, and her noble preparations for marriage to her redeemer. Just the position of a soul awakened. And it should be – because that’s not what the narrator has led us to expect from any of these people. 16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? But Naboth refused to sell his land. So, we’ve explained what this gesture of Ruth’s wasn’t intended to do. We could expect this kind of behavior in the book of Judges. Although the adverb is typically used in a temporal sense “now,” BDB gives an alternative when connected to the conjunction. ( Log Out /  (Read Ruth 3:6-13) What in one age or nation would be improper, is not always so in another age or another nation. What happens then? It takes a finite verb sense perhaps best translated as “until he completes.” The next two infinitives have the prefixed (לְ) and function as the objects of the head verb and should be translated simply as “eating and drinking.”. It is a noun with a verbal root functioning as the direct object of the verb “to seek.” This particular word can mean a place to settle, a place of refuge, or the abstract sense of rest which includes peace, tranquility, security, etc. Things were going from bad to worse. The timeline of this book is intertwined during the period of the Judges. Instead, the people intermarried with the idolaters and even worshiped their false deities. After all, Israelites weren’t supposed to let Moabites into their assembly. From enemies and anxiety far surpassing probability that the Lord gave them situation which make... Of Judges or the book of Ruth. with several possible interpretations symbol of his over! 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