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Bible Commentaries

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Ruth 2

 

 

Verse 1

A kinsman - More literally “an acquaintance”; here (and in the feminine, Rth 3:2 ) denoting the person with whom one is intimately acquainted, one‘s near relation. The next kinsman of Rth 2:20 , etc. גאל gā'al is a wholly different word.

Boaz - Commonly taken to mean, “strength is in him” (compare 1 Kings 7:21).


Verse 7

The house - The shed or booth where they took their meals, and were sheltered from the sun in the heat of the day (see Genesis 33:17).


Verse 8

The grammatical forms of the verbs “go hence” and “abide,” are unique and Chaldaic. They are supposed to indicate the dialect used at Bethlehem in the time of Boaz.


Verse 9

After them - i. e. “after my maidens.” The fields not being divided by hedges, but only by unplowed ridges, it would be easy for her to pass off Boaz‘s land without being aware of it, and so find herself among strangers where Boaz could not protect her.


Verse 10

She fell on her face - With Oriental reverence (compare Genesis 33:3, and the marginal reference).


Verse 12

The similarity of expression here to Genesis 15:1, and in Rth 2:11 to Genesis 12:1, makes it probable that Boaz had the case of Abraham in his mind.

The Lord God of Israel - “Jehovah the God of Israel.” Compare Joshua 14:14, where, as here, the force of the addition, the God of Israel, lies in the person spoken of being a foreigner (see Judges 11:21 note).


Verse 14

To dip the morsel, or sop, whether it were bread or meat, in the dish containing the vinegar (compare Matthew 26:23; Mark 14:20: Exodus 25:29; Numbers 7:13) was, and still is, the common custom in the East.

Parched or “roasted” corn - Grain was the common food of the country then (compare 1 Samuel 17:17; 1 Samuel 25:18; 2 Samuel 17:28) as it is now.

And left - Or “reserved” Rth 2:18 . Rather, “had some over” (compare Luke 15:17). Rth 2:18 tells us that she took to her mother-in-law what she had left over.


Verse 17

And beat out that she had gleaned - Namely, with a stick, as the word implies (compare Deuteronomy 24:20; Isaiah 27:12). This method is still commonly practiced. Ruth gleaned enough to support herself and her mother-in-law for five days Exodus 16:16.

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Verse 20

Blessed be he of the Lord … - We may gather from Naomi‘s allusion to the dead that both her husband and son had been faithful servants of Jehovah, the God of Israel. His kindness to the dead consisted in raising up (as Naomi hoped) an heir to perpetuate the name; and, in general, in His care for their widows.

One of our next kinsmen - The word here is גאל gā'al the redeemer, who had the right:

(1) of redeeming the inheritance of the person;

(2) of marrying the widow;

(3) of avenging the death. (See Leviticus 25:25-31, Leviticus 25:47-55; Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Deuteronomy 19:1-13.)

Since these rights belonged to the next of kin, גאל gā'al came to mean the nearest kinsman.

 


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Bibliography Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ruth 2:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ruth-2.html. 1870.

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