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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ruth 2:2

 

 

And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor." And she said to her, "Go, my daughter."

Adam Clarke Commentary

Glean ears of corn - The word glean comes from the French glaner, to gather ears or grains of corn. This was formerly a general custom in England and Ireland; the poor went into the fields and collected the straggling ears of corn after the reapers; and it was long supposed that this was their right, and that the law recognized it. But although it has been an old custom, I find that it is now settled, by a solemn judgment in the court of common pleas, that a right to glean in the harvest field cannot be claimed by any person at common law; see Law Dictionary, article gleaning. Any person may permit or prevent it in his own grounds. By the Irish acts, 25 Hen. VIII., c. 1, and 28 Hen. VIII., c. 24, gleaning and leasing are so restricted as to be in fact prohibited in that part of the United Kingdom. See the note on Leviticus 19:9.

After him in whose sight I shall find grace - She did not mean Boaz; but she purposed to go out where they were now reaping, and glean after any person who might permit her, or use her in a friendly manner. The words seem to intimate that, notwithstanding the law of Moses, the gleaners might be prevented by the owner of the field.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ruth-2.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi,.... After they had been some little time at Bethlehem, and not long; for they came at the beginning of barley harvest, and as yet it was not over, nor perhaps for some time after this; and knowing and considering the circumstances they were in, and unwilling to live an idle life, and ready to do any thing for the support of her life, and of her ancient mother-in-law; which was very commendable, and showed her to be an industrious virtuous woman: she addressed her, and said:

let me now go to the field; she did not choose to go any where, nor do anything, without her advice and consent; so dutiful and obedient was she to her, and so high an opinion had she of her wisdom and goodness; she desired to go to the field which belonged to Bethlehem, which seems to have been an open field, not enclosed, where each inhabitant had his part, as Boaz, 2:3 though Jarchi interprets it of one of the fields of the men of the city; hither she asked leave to go, not with any ill intent, nor was she in any danger of being exposed, since it being harvest time the field was full of people: her end in going thither is expressed in the next clause:

and glean ears of corn after him, in whose sight I shall find grace; or "in" or "among the ears of corn"F15בשבלים εν τοις σταχυσι, Sept. "in spicis", Montanus, Drusius, Piscator; "inter spicas", De Dieu, Rambachius. ; between the ears of corn bound up into sheaves, and there pick up the loose ears that were dropped and left. This she proposed to do with the leave of the owner of the field, or of the reapers, whom she followed; she might be ignorant that it was allowed by the law of God that widows and strangers might glean in the field, Leviticus 19:9 or if she had been acquainted with it by Naomi, which is not improbable, such was her modesty and humility, that she did not choose to make use of this privilege without leave; lest, as Jarchi says, she should be chided or reproved, and it is certain she did entreat the favour to glean, 2:7.

and she said unto her, go, my daughter; which shows the necessitous circumstances Naomi was in; though perhaps she might give this leave and direction under an impulse of the Spirit of God, in order to bring about an event of the greatest moment and importance, whereby she became the ancestor of our blessed Lord.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ruth-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and b glean ears of corn after [him] in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

(b) Her humility declares her great love for her mother in law, for she spared no hardship to get both their livings.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ruth-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean — The right of gleaning was conferred by a positive law on the widow, the poor, and the stranger (see on Leviticus 19:9 and Deuteronomy 24:19). But liberty to glean behind the reapers [ 2:3 ] was not a right that could be claimed; it was a privilege granted or refused according to the good will or favor of the owner.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ruth-2.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

And Ruth the Moabitish 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.

Reader! if we apply this passage in a spiritual sense to the state of the soul (and I see no reason why we may not) it will open a subject both pleasing and profitable. When a sinner is brought by the Holy Ghost out of the world, as Ruth was out of Moab, though the world promiseth plenty of enjoyments, and a fulness of all sensual pleasures, yet the poor in spirit desires rather to glean of the bread of life, even though but in the smallest portion of the ears of corn, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. But then the desire of the awakened soul is also to glean after him in whose sight is found grace. And in whose sight but Jesus can sinners find grace? In the field of his word, his scriptures, his ordinances, there is plenty indeed to glean; and if the Lord Jesus gives grace, he will give the soul to find and inherit substance, and he will fill their treasures. Proverbs 8:18-21.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/ruth-2.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Glean — Which was permitted to the poor, and the stranger, Deuteronomy 24:19, nor was she ashamed to confess her poverty, nor would she eat the bread of idleness.

In whose sight — For though it was their duty to permit this, yet she thought it might perhaps be denied her; at least, that it became her modestly and humbly to acknowledge their kindness herein.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ruth-2.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 2. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi.] This request of Ruth made way to her recompense. Great things oft come of small beginnings. God put small thoughts into Ahasuerus’s heart, but for great purpose. [Esther 6:1]

Let me now go to the field.] In the midst of worldly wants she murmureth not against the God of Israel, for maintaining his servants no better, as Aigoland, king of Saragossa, did against the God of Christians, when he saw the many poor that expected alms from Charles the Great’s table, (a) - she meditateth not to return to Moab, as those in the wilderness once did into Egypt; she stealeth not, setteth not herself to sale for a livelihood, &c., but bethinks her of an honest, though painful employment, and thereto craveth Naomi’s consent, whom she ever honoured as a mother by a singular piety.

After him in whose sight I shall find grace.] This was her modesty, notwithstanding the liberty given her by the law. [Leviticus 9:10; Leviticus 23:22] A good heart inquireth not only An liceat? but also An deceat, an expediat? Ruth would not lease without leave and good liking.

Go, my daughter.] A mild speech from a meek spirit.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ruth-2.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Ruth 2:2

Work has many aspects. It may be treated as a portion of man's curse. But it was not work which was new to man. From the beginning work had been assigned to him; the difference was that work henceforth was to be both excessive in degree and comparatively unremunerative.

Notice:—

I. Nature works. Sometimes in the mere consciousness of health and vitality. There is that in a man which will not and cannot be idle. Doubtless human life is the gainer by every kind and department of industry. The labourers of society are its benefactors. Better any work than any idleness.

II. Faith works. (1) The work of faith looks within. Faith, which is the sight of the unseen, apprehends the existence of spirit, the possibility of regeneration, and the direct influence of Divine grace upon the heart and soul of man. It would not be faith in the Christian sense if it did not apprehend these mysteries. Before faith can set out upon her gleaning she must find grace in the sight of One unseen. (2) The work of faith looks upward. The eye of faith is upon God, even while the hand of faith and the foot of faith are moving among the things of this world. (3) The work of faith looks around. Faith does not look only on her own things, but on the things of others. Faith does seriously contemplate the wants and the woes and the wickednesses which are making havoc of humanity, and has something truly of that mind in her which was also first and perfectly in Christ Jesus. (4) The work of faith looks onward. Oftentimes faith would faint if it had not an onward aspect. It is willing to wait for the day of God's power, willing to be lost and forgotten in the eventual ingathering.

C. J. Vaughan, Voices of the Prophets; p. 55 (see also Good Words, 1886, p. 815)


References: Ruth 2:3.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 214; Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 301. Ruth 2:4.—R. L. Browne, Sussex Sermons, p. 81; C. Kingsley, The Water of Life, p. 140; F. E. Paget, Village Sermons: Trinity to Advent, p. 201; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. ii., p. 266; J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Sundays after Trinity, Part II., p. 97. Ruth 2:12.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxi., No. 1851. Ruth 2:14.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., p. 522; Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 79; W. Meller, Village Homilies, p. 114; S. Baring-Gould, Village Preaching for a Year, vol. i., p. 229. Ruth 2:15, Ruth 2:16.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. viii., No. 464. Ruth 2:16.—D. Lane, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. x., p. 149.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/ruth-2.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Gleaning was permitted to the poor and the stranger, Deuteronomy 24:19, both which she was; nor was she ashamed to confess her poverty, nor would she eat the bread of idleness; whereby she showeth herself to be a prudent, and diligent, and virtuous woman, as she is called, Ruth 3:11.

In whose sight I shall find grace; for though it was their duty to permit this, Leviticus 19:9 23:22, yet either she was ignorant thereof, or thought that, being a stranger, it might be grudged or denied to her; or, at least, that it became her modestly and humbly to acknowledge their kindness herein.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ruth-2.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And 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 shall find favour.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”

Israel, thanks to God’s Law, had its own social welfare system designed to ensure that no one living in the land would starve. When the fields were reaped any wisps of barley or wheat that fell to the ground were to be left there for the poor to gather, as was grain that was at the edges of the different sections of the fields (Leviticus 19:9-10; Leviticus 23:22). This gathering by the poor was called ‘gleaning’. The same applied to the fruit of trees when it was gathered (Deuteronomy 24:21). The methods used by agriculturalists always ensured that some small amount of fruit was left on the trees. This too was available to the gleaners. Gleaners, however, were not always respectful or helpful, and it would appear that sometimes there was friction between the reapers and the gleaners (Ruth 2:15-16). Nevertheless the law was a good one. A similar social welfare law required that the third year tithe be stored so that it could be called on, among others, by the poor and by aliens (Deuteronomy 14:28-29), whilst in the seventh year, when the land was not to be worked, all were free to gather what grew by itself (Exodus 23:11; Leviticus 25:4-7).

Thus as a widow without a provider Ruth was within her rights to glean in the fields. Gleaners were not, however, always looked on as desirable, especially ‘foreign’ ones, and it was therefore her intention to seek out the field of someone who would prove favourable. As Ruth 2:7 indicates, she sought permission before she gleaned, although legally such permission could not be withheld. Naomi, recognising their need for food (not just for eating at the time but also with the remainder of the year in mind) gave her permission and in kindly fashion bade her, ‘go’.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/ruth-2.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. Let me now go to the field — To this course she is prompted by love and care for her mother in law: and by gleaning she hopes to provide subsistence for them both in their loneliness, for they were doubtless poor and needy. She sees not now that this labour, undertaken in love, is to lead her to blessing and honour.

Glean — Gather up what the reapers leave behind them. The right to glean was a legal privilege of the poor in Israel: “When ye reap the harvest in your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger.” Leviticus 13:22. See also Leviticus 19:9, and Deuteronomy 24:19-22.

Ears of corn — Corn is in Scripture the generic word for grain of any kind, as barley, wheat, or rye. In Scotland the use of the word is restricted to oats, in America to maize or Indian corn. Ears of corn, as used of barley or wheat, means the heads, or seed ends, of the stalks.

After him in whose sight I shall find grace — As yet she knew nothing of Boaz; she proposes to glean after him, whoever he may be, who will generously allow it. Though the law secured to the poor the right to glean, the owner of the harvest field had a right to nominate the persons who might glean after his reapers; otherwise the right to glean might have been carried to serious inconvenience and injury to the owners of the harvest.

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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ruth-2.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Ruth 2:2. Let me go to the field and glean — Which was permitted to the poor and the stranger, Leviticus 19:9; Deuteronomy 24:19. And Ruth was neither ashamed to confess her poverty, nor would she eat the bread of idleness. After him in whose sight I shall find grace — Perhaps she did not know that poor strangers had a right to glean as well as the poor of Israel; or rather, out of her great modesty, she would not claim it as a right, but as a favour, which she would humbly and thankfully acknowledge. And she said, Go, my daughter — This shows, that Naomi was in a very poor and low condition as to temporal things; for had she been otherwise, it is not likely that she would have suffered her daughter- in-law to go and glean among the lowest of the people.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ruth-2.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

To me. It was the privilege of the poor and of strangers to glean, Deuteronomy xxiv. 19., and Leviticus xix. 9. Yet Ruth asks leave, through civility. (Calmet) --- This law is no longer in force, but it would be inhuman for the rich to deny this liberty to those who are in distress, and willing rather to work than to beg. (Tirinus)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ruth-2.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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 ... said ... Let me now go to the field, and glean. The right of gleaning was conferred by a positive law on the widow, the poor, and the stranger (see the note at Leviticus 19:9-10; Deuteronomy 24:21). But liberty to glean behind the reapers was not a right that could be claimed: it was a privilege granted or refused according to the good-will or favour of the owner.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ruth-2.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Let me now go.—The character of Ruth comes out strongly here. She does not hesitate to face the hard work necessary on her mother-in-law’s account; nor is she too proud to condescend to a work which might perhaps seem humiliating. Nor does one hanker after her old home in the land of Moab and the plenty there. Energy, honesty of purpose, and loyalty are alike evinced here.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ruth-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
glean ears
Leviticus 19:9,16; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-21

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ruth 2:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ruth-2.html.

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