Ruth scavenges for food. Ruth reports back to Naomi.
VERSE 1. Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, and his name was Boaz.
a mighty man of wealth. Even in those days, people imagined that if you had wealth, you were a mighty person.
That view is common. Especially in our day, many Christians equate wealth with holiness. And poverty with sin.
However, that view is absolutely not biblical. It is contrary it is to the mind of God, as we see in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
VERSE 2. Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
glean among the ears of grain. Ruth goes out into the fields to scavenge for scraps of grain that the workers missed.
Poor people, widows, strangers, and orphans had a right to glean at harvest time.
VERSE 3. She went, and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
VERSE 4. Behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “May The LORD be with you.” They answered him, “May The LORD bless you.”
May The LORD be with you. This was a way people greeted each other.
Whose young lady is this? Boaz notices Ruth. He is interested in her welfare. Or perhaps he is interested in her.
Note the respectful way he refers to her, even though she is essentially begging.
In our day, many Christians have contempt for poor people. They speak of poor people with outrage.
But the heroes of the faith in the Bible do not speak of poor people that way. Unlike today’s Christians, the heroes of the faith in the Bible have great respect for poor people.
VERSE 6. The servant who was set over the reapers answered, “It is the Moabite lady who came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab.
the Moabite lady. They identify Ruth as a foreigner.
who came back with Naomi. They see her as supportive of Naomi.
VERSE 7. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came, and has continued even from the morning until now, except that she rested a little in the house.”
let me glean and gather. Ruth asked permission to scavenge in their field.
VERSE 8. Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Don’t go to glean in another field, and don’t go from here, but stay here close to my maidens.
stay here close to my maidens. Boaz puts Ruth under his protection.
VERSE 9. Let your eyes be on the field that they reap, and go after them. Haven’t I commanded the young men not to touch you? When you are thirsty, go to the vessels, and drink from that which the young men have drawn.”
VERSE 10. Then she fell on her face and bowed herself to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take knowledge of me, since I am a foreigner?”
VERSE 11. Boaz answered her, “I have been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father, your mother, and the land of your birth, and have come to a people that you didn’t know before.
I have been told all about what you have done. Boaz is overwhelmed by this remarkable foreign woman and her heroic loyalty to her elderly mother-in-law Naomi.
He already sees her as a woman of valor.
VERSE 12. May the LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given to you from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
VERSE 13. Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord, because you have comforted me, and because you have spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not as one of your servants.”
VERSE 14. At meal time Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some bread, and dip your morsel in the vinegar.” She sat beside the reapers, and they passed her parched grain. She ate, was satisfied, and left some of it.
VERSE 15. When she had risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and don’t reproach her.
VERSE 16. Also pull out some for her from the bundles, and leave it. Let her glean, and don’t rebuke her.”
pull out some for her from the bundles. Behind the scenes, Boaz is protecting and favoring Ruth.
VERSE 17. So she gleaned in the field until evening; and she beat out that which she had gleaned, and it was about an efah of barley.
an efah. One efah is about 22 liters or about 2/3 of a bushel.
VERSE 18. She took it up, and went into the city. Then her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned; and she brought out and gave to her that which she had left after she had enough.
VERSE 19. Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? Where have you worked? Blessed be he who noticed you.” She told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”
VERSE 20. Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, who has not abandoned his kindness to the living and to the dead.” Naomi said to her, “The man is a close relative to us, one of our near kinsmen.”
May he be blessed by the LORD. Naomi had not known who owned the field where Ruth was gleaning.
Now she learns that is is Boaz. Providentially, Boaz is a part of their extended family.
our near kinsmen. Literally “our redeemer.” Some translations say “kinsman-redeemer” or “next of kin.”
VERSE 21. Ruth the Moabitess said, “Yes, he said to me, ‘You shall stay close to my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ”
VERSE 22. Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maidens, and that they not meet you in any other field.”
VERSE 23. So she stayed close to the maidens of Boaz, to glean to the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and she lived with her mother-in-law.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.