Ruth 3:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do."

New Living Translation
Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do."

English Standard Version
But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”

New American Standard Bible
"It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When he lies down, notice the place where he's lying, go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. Then he will explain to you what you should do."

International Standard Version
When he lies down, be sure to notice where he is resting. Then go over, uncover his feet, and lie down. He'll tell you what to do."

NET Bible
When he gets ready to go to sleep, take careful notice of the place where he lies down. Then go, uncover his legs, and lie down beside him. He will tell you what you should do."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When he lies down, notice the place where he is lying. Then uncover his feet, and lie down there. He will make it clear what you must do."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it shall be when he lies down that thou shalt perceive the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in and uncover his feet and lie down there, and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

King James 2000 Bible
And it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay down; and he will tell you what you shall do.

American King James Version
And it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay you down; and he will tell you what you shall do.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he shall go to sleep, mark the place wherein he sleepeth: and thou shalt go in, and lift up the clothes wherewith he is covered towards his feet, and shalt lay thyself down there: and he will tell thee what thou must do.

Darby Bible Translation
And it shall be, when he lies down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall have lain down, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thyself down; and he will shew thee what thou shalt do.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
It shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay down; then he will tell you what you shall do."

Young's Literal Translation
and it cometh to pass when he lieth down, that thou hast known the place where he lieth down, and hast gone in, and uncovered his feet, and lain down, -- and he doth declare to thee that which thou dost do.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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. 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. Parents should carefully advise their children in this important concern, that it may be well with them as to their souls. Be it always remembered, That is best for us which is best for our souls. The course Naomi advised appears strange to us; but it was according to the laws and usages of Israel. If the proposed measure had borne the appearance of evil, Naomi would not have advised it. Law and custom gave Ruth, who was now proselyted to the true religion, a legal claim upon Boaz. It was customary for widows to assert this claim, De 25:5-10. But this is not recorded for imitation in other times, and is not to be judged by modern rules. And if there had been any evil in it, Ruth was a woman of too much virtue and too much sense to have listened to it.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - And let it be, when he lies down, that thou take note of the place where he lies; and go, and uncover the parts about his feet, and lay thee down; and he shall declare to thee what thou shalt do. The denominative word מַרְגְּלֺלתָיו - freely rendered in King James's version "his feet" - we have rendered "the parts about his feet." It is the exact opposite of מְרַאֲשֹׁתָיו, which never means "his head," but is always translated correctly either "his pillows" or "his bolster." It denotes "the supports on which the head was laid in lying;" and מַרְגְּלות, having reference to members of the body which do not need such supports as the head, simply means "the places occupied by the feet." Naomi ventured, on a bold expedient to bring speedy rest to her daughter-in-law. But we assume that, with unmistaking feminine intuition, she saw, on the one hand, that Boaz was already deeply attached to Ruth, and, on the other, that Ruth reciprocated his attachment with pure intensity. Most probably we should also assume that she detected in Boaz a peculiar diffidence that caused him to shrink from making decisive advances in the way of declaring his affection. He had, however, unconsciously revealed himself, and made it clear to Naomi that he wished to divulge in words the depth of his honorable feelings. But again and again, as we may suppose, his sensitiveness overcame his resolutions. Hence Naomi's scheme to bring him to the point of declaration. It would have been reprehensible in the extreme had she not been absolutely certain of his wishes, on the one hand, and of his perfect honor and un-contaminable purity on the other. And even with that qualification, the scheme would have been imprudent and improper, and utterly unfeminine, had it not been the case that, in virtue of an ancient and much-prized Hebrew law, Ruth was entitled to call upon her nearest of kin to fulfill the various duties of a responsible kinsman. Still, notwithstanding the existence of this law, we may rest assured that the sensitive gleaner would never have summoned up courage to ask Boaz to discharge to her the duties of kinship, unless she had been sure that the thrills that vibrated within her own heart were responsive to subtle touches, on his part, of spirit with spirit.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And it shall be, when he lieth down,.... On the threshingfloor, under the open air, in order to sleep, and take rest:

that thou shall mark the place where he shall lie; the spot he shall lie on, and the direction in which he shall lie, whether east, west, &c. that when the light shall be taken away, and the darkness of the night come on, she might pretty easily find the place where he lay:

and thou shall go in and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; go into the threshingfloor, or to the place where he lay down and gently lay aside the covering upon his feet, whether a blanket, or rug, or his own long clothes, with which his feet were wrapped, and then lay herself down at his feet; this seems to be advised to, in order to give him a hint that there was somebody at his feet. This may seem to us to be strange advice, and not consistent with the character of pious and virtuous women, which they both bore, and with that modesty they otherwise seem to be possessed of; to clear this, let it be observed, that this man was, as Naomi thought, the next kinsman, and so in right of the law in Deuteronomy 25:5, was the husband of Ruth, and therefore might take such a freedom with him as she did; and it seems by the same law as if the woman was to make the demand of marriage, which may serve to reconcile the carriage of Ruth to her character: besides, what things in one age, and in one nation, are reckoned immodest, are not so accounted in another age, and in another nation; add to this the age and gravity of Boaz, and the well known virtue of Ruth to Naomi, she might think herself quite safe in the advice she gave: and yet after all, it must be owned, it is somewhat difficult to account for her simplicity and wisdom in it; since she could not be sure that sin and folly would not be committed, considering the infirmity of human nature; or that such a behaviour in Ruth would not alienate the affection of Boaz from her, and cause him to consider her as a light and loose woman, and unfit to be his wife:

and he will tell thee what thou shall do; being a judge of Israel, and expert in the law, he would inform her whether he was the next kinsman, and had the right of redemption or not, and what methods must be taken, and what rites used, in order to her marriage with him, or another person.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. go in, and uncover his feet and lay thee down—Singular as these directions may appear to us, there was no impropriety in them, according to the simplicity of rural manners in Beth-lehem. In ordinary circumstances these would have seemed indecorous to the world; but in the case of Ruth, it was a method, doubtless conformable to prevailing usage, of reminding Boaz of the duty which devolved on him as the kinsman of her deceased husband. Boaz probably slept upon a mat or skin; Ruth lay crosswise at his feet—a position in which Eastern servants frequently sleep in the same chamber or tent with their master; and if they want a covering, custom allows them that benefit from part of the covering on their master's bed. Resting, as the Orientals do at night, in the same clothes they wear during the day, there was no indelicacy in a stranger, or even a woman, putting the extremity of this cover over her.

Ruth 3:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Naomi Instructs Ruth
3"Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4"It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do." 5She said to her, "All that you say I will do."…
Cross References
Ruth 3:3
Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking.

Ruth 3:5
"I will do whatever you say," Ruth answered.
Treasury of Scripture

And it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall mark the place where he shall lie, and you shall go in, and uncover his feet, and lay you down; and he will tell you what you shall do.

uncover his feet. or, lift up the clothes that are on his feet.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

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