corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ruth 3:9

 

 

He said, "Who are you?" And she answered, "I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative."

Adam Clarke Commentary

Spread therefore thy skirt over thine hand maid - Hebrew, Spread thy wing. The wing is the emblem of protection, and is a metaphor taken from the young of fowls, which run under the wings of their mothers, that they may be saved from birds of prey. The meaning here is, Take me to thee for wife; and so the Targum has translated it, Let thy name be called on thy handmaid to take me for wife, because thou art the redeemer; i.e., thou art the גאל goel, the kinsman, to whom the right of redemption belongs. See on Rth 2:20 (note). Even to the present day, when a Jew marries a woman, he throws the skirt or end of his talith over her, to signify that he has taken her under his protection.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ruth-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Spread thy skirt … - The phrase indicates receiving and acknowledging her as a wife.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ruth-3.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said, who art thou?.... He spoke quick and short, as one displeased, or however surprised and frightened, just coming out of sleep, and in the night:

and she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid; that had gleaned in his fields with his maidens, and with whom he had conversed there, and knew her by name:

spread therefore thy skirt over thy handmaid; which seems to account for the reason of her uncovering his feet, or turning up the skirt of his garment that was upon them; not through wantonness and immodesty, but to direct him, when opportunity offered, to spread it over her as a token of his taking her in marriage, and of her being under his care and protection, and of her subjection to him; so the Targum,"let thy name be called upon me to take me for a wife,'Whether the custom now used with the Jews at marriage, for a man to cast the skirt of his "talith", or outward garment, over the head of his spouse, and cover it, was in use so early, is questionable; and yet something like it seems to have been done, as this phrase intimates, and to which there is an allusion in Ezekiel 16:8. So Jarchi,"spread the skirt of thy garments to cover me with thy talith, and this is expressive of marriage;'and Aben Ezra says, it intimates taking her to him for wife; though as the word signifies a wing, the allusion may be to the wings of birds spread over their young, to cherish and protect them, which are acts to be done by a man to his wife:

for thou art a near kinsman; as she had been informed by Naomi, to whom the right of redemption of her husband's estate belonged, and in whom it lay to marry her, and raise up seed to his kinsman, her former husband.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ruth-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman — She had already drawn part of the mantle over her; and she asked him now to do it, that the act might become his own. To spread a skirt over one is, in the East, a symbolical action denoting protection. To this day in many parts of the East, to say of anyone that he put his skirt over a woman, is synonymous with saying that he married her; and at all the marriages of the modern Jews and Hindus, one part of the ceremony is for the bridegroom to put a silken or cotton cloak around his bride.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ruth-3.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

In answer to his inquiry, “ Who art thou? ” she said, “ I am Ruth, thine handmaid; spread thy wing over thine handmaid, for thou art a redeemer. ” כּנפך is a dual according to the Masoretic pointing, as we cannot look upon it as a pausal form on account of the position of the word, but it is most probably to be regarded as a singular; and the figurative expression is not taken from birds, which spread their wings over their young, i.e., to protect them, but refers, according to Deuteronomy 23:1; Deuteronomy 27:20, and Ezekiel 16:8, to the wing, i.e., the corner of the counterpane, referring to the fact that a man spreads this over his wife as well as himself. Thus Ruth entreated Boaz to marry her because he was a redeemer. On this reason for the request, see the remarks in the introduction to the chapter.


Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/ruth-3.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

Spread thy Skirt — That is, take me to be thy wife, and perform the duty of an husband to me.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ruth-3.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who [art] thou? And she answered, I [am] Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou [art] a near kinsman.

Ver. 9. Spread therefore thy skirt.] Tostatus thinketh that by this speech she desired him to lie with her; which is gross. Rather, hereby she desired him to marry her - see Ezekiel 16:8, - and as a husband to nourish and cherish her; [Ephesians 5:29] and he understandeth her no otherwise, as appeareth by his answer.

For thou art a near kinsman.] And so hast the right of redemption, and reason to raise up seed to my deceased husband. Let us go boldly to Jesus Christ our elder Brother, and say to him in like sort, Thou, Lord, art my near and dear kinsman, Oh spread thy skirt over me, &c.


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

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ruth-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ruth 3:9. Spread, therefore, thy skirt over thine handmaid See chap. Ruth 2:12. In the Hebrew it is, spread thy wing. It is a proverbial manner of speaking, signifying in general, take me under thy protection; and in particular, take me under thy protection as a husband: the Chaldee, therefore, plainly renders it, let thy name be called upon thine handmaid, by taking me for thy wife. Even to this day, it is a ceremony among the Jews for the man to throw the skirt of his talith, or veil, over his spouse, and to cover her head with it. See Buxtorf. Synag. Jud. cap. 39: Ruth, subjoins the reason of her request; and, to judge properly concerning it, we must, in a great measure, divest ourselves of modern ideas, and consider not only the manners of those times, but the light in which a state of widowhood and celibacy was considered among the Jews. Ruth, a proselyte to the religion of that nation, was full of those expectations which animated the pious women among them; and the sequel of this history fully proves, that her expectations were not ill-grounded.


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

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/ruth-3.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Spread thy skirt over thine hand-maid, i.e. take me to be thy wife, and perform the duty of an husband to me. This phrase is used in this sense Deuteronomy 22:30 27:20 Ezekiel 16:8. Either, first, Because the wife is admitted into the same bed with her husband, and both are covered with one and the same covering. Or, secondly, From an ancient ceremony of the husband’s throwing the skirt of his garment over her head, in token both of her subjection, 1 Corinthians 11:5,6,10, and appropriation to him, being hereby as it were hid from the eyes of others; see Genesis 20:16; and also of that protection which he oweth to her: see Ruth 2:12.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ruth-3.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. Spread… thy skirt over thine handmaid — Literally, spread thy wing. The meaning is, Take me into the protection and intimacy of the marriage relation. The figure, taken originally from birds that cover their young with their wings for protection, is appropriately used of the marriage state. Thus in Ezekiel 16:8, Jehovah represents himself as spreading his wing over Jerusalem in the time of love, and thus taking her to wife. Also in Deuteronomy 22:30; Deuteronomy 27:20, a man guilty of incest is represented as one that uncovereth his father’s wing, or skirt, because he meddles with that which is closed and legally sealed to all but the married pair.

Thou art a near kinsman — A goel, from whom I have a legal right to claim this relation.


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

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ruth-3.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And he said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your handmaid. Spread therefore the edge of your robe over your handmaid, for you are a near kinsman.”

So he asked, quite startled, ‘Who are you?’ And Ruth replied ‘I am Ruth your handmaid.’ As we have seen previously to call herself his handmaid was not to be taken literally, but merely indicated her maidenly modesty. She then requested him, acting as a near kinsman, to cover her with the corner or ‘wing’ of his robe (see Deuteronomy 22:30; Deuteronomy 27:20; Ezekiel 16:8) as a sign that he was taking her under his protection. The word for ‘wing’ is the same as in Ruth 2:12 where it is in the plural and indicated the wings of YHWH, thinking of Him in terms of a protecting bird. Here then, symbolically, Boaz would be taking her under his wing.


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

Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/ruth-3.html. 2013.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Kinsman. Hebrew, "a redeemer;" (Calmet) one bound to defend and to espouse a brother's widow, if others more nearly akin refuse. (Haydock) --- Ruth modestly admonishes him of this duty, and begs that he would take her to wife, (Calmet) as he might then have done without any other formality. (Serarius, q. vii.) --- We find a similar expression [in] Ezechiel xvi. 8., and Deuteronomy xxii. 80. Some think that she only asked for protection. The custom of the husband, stretching a part of his garment over his bride, was perhaps already established among the Hebrews. (Calmet) --- Hebrew and Septuagint, "stretch thy wing over," &c. Chaldean, "Let thy name be invoked upon thy handmaid, to take me to wife." (Menochius; Isaias iv. 1.)


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

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ruth-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

thy skirt = wing (with Septuagint and Vulgate) Other codices, with two early printed editions, read "wings". "Wing" put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause) for protective care. App-6.


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

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ruth-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. Spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; because thou art a near kinsman. She had already drawn part of the mantle over her; and she asked him now to do it, that the act might become his own. To spread a skirt over one is, in the East, a symbolical action denoting protection. To this day in many parts of the East to say of any one that be put his skirt over a woman is synonymous with saying that he married her; and at all the marriages of the modern Jews and Hindus one part of the ceremony is for the bridegroom to put a silken or cotton cloak around his bride (see Roberts' 'Oriental Customs,' on this passage, where it is shown that the same practice obtains among the Hindus).


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 3:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ruth-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) Skirt.—Literally wing; Heb. canaph, as in Ruth 2:12. The Targum treats this as in itself the claim to espousal on her part. The metaphor may be illustrated from Ezekiel 16:8, and more generally from Matthew 23:37.


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ruth-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
Ruth
2:10-13; 1 Samuel 25:41; Luke 14:11
spread therefore
Hebrew "spread thy wing;" the emblem of protection; and a metaphor taken from the young of fowls, which run under the wings of their mother from birds of prey. Even to the present day, when a Jew marries a woman, he throws the skirts of his talith over her, to signify that he has taken her under his protection.
Ezekiel 16:8
a near kinsman
or, one that has right to redeem.
12; 2:20

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ruth 3:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ruth-3.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology