Ruth 2:1
And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
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(1) Boaz.—It has been already said that if there are any gaps in the genealogy, these are most probably to be referred to its earlier portion. According to the line, however, given in Ruth 4:18 seq., Boaz is grandson of the Nahshon who was prince of the tribe of Judah during the wanderings in the desert and son of Salmon and Rahab of Jericho. It may be noted that the difficulty of date may be lessened by supposing that in the last two generations we have children of their fathers’ old age.

2:1-3 Observe Ruth's humility. When Providence had made her poor, she cheerfully stoops to her lot. High spirits will rather starve than stoop; not so Ruth. Nay, it is her own proposal. She speaks humbly in her expectation of leave to glean. We may not demand kindness as a debt, but ask, and take it as a favour, though in a small matter. Ruth also was an example of industry. She loved not to eat the bread of idleness. This is an example to young people. Diligence promises well, both for this world and the other. We must not be shy of any honest employment. No labour is a reproach. Sin is a thing below us, but we must not think any thing else so, to which Providence call us. She was an example of regard to her mother, and of trust in Providence. God wisely orders what seem to us small events; and those that appear altogether uncertain, still are directed to serve his own glory, and the good of his people.A kinsman - More literally "an acquaintance"; here (and in the feminine, Ruth 3:2) denoting the person with whom one is intimately acquainted, one's near relation. The next kinsman of Ruth 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).


Ru 2:1-3. Ruth Gleans in the Field of Boaz.Ruth gleaning in the fields of Boaz, her deceased husband’s near kinsman, h taketh knowledge of her, Ruth 2:1-7. He showeth her great kindness, and blesseth her, Ruth 2:8-16. That which she got she brings to Naomi; and telleth her what had befallen her. She giveth God thanks, and exhorteth Ruth to continue in the field, Ruth 2:17-23.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's,.... That was her kinsman by her husband's side, who now lived at Bethlehem; and yet it does not appear that Naomi made any application to him for assistance in her circumstances, though well known to her, as the word used signifies; which might arise from her modesty, and being loath to be troublesome to him, especially as he was a relation, not of her own family, but of her husband's; but, what is more strange, that this kinsman had taken no notice of her, nor sent to her, who yet was a very generous and liberal man, and had knowledge of her coming, for he had heard of the character of Ruth, Ruth 2:11 but perhaps he was not acquainted with their indigent circumstances:

a mighty man of wealth; a man of great wealth and riches, and of great power and authority, which riches give and raise a man to, and also of great virtue and honour, all which the word "wealth" signifies; to which may be added the paraphrase the Targumist gives, that he was mighty in the law; in the Scriptures, in the word of God, a truly religious man, which completes his character:

of the family of Elimelech; the husband of Naomi; some say that his father was Elimelech's brother; see Gill on Ruth 2:2,

and his name was Boaz; which signifies, "in him is strength", strength of riches, power, virtue, and grace; it is the name of one of the pillars in Solomon's temple, so called from its strength. This man is commonly said by the Jews to be the same with Ibzan, a judge of Israel, Judges 12:8, he was the grandson of Nahshon, prince of the tribe of Judah, who first offered at the dedication of the altar, Numbers 7:12, his father's name was Salmon, and his mother was Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, Matthew 1:5. A particular account is given of this man, because he, with Ruth, makes the principal part of the following history.

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of {a} wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

(a) Or power, both in virtue, authority and riches.

Ch. 2. The generosity of Boaz: his first meeting with Ruth

1. a kinsman] Strictly the word does not mean more than familiar friend 2 Kings 10:11, Proverbs 7:4.

a mighty man of wealth] a wealthy man, 1 Samuel 9:1, 2 Kings 15:20; sometimes the phrase means a valiant man (marg.) Jdg 6:12; Jdg 11:1; in Ruth 3:11 the word for wealth has a moral sense.

Boaz] Cf. 1 Kings 7:21. The derivation of the name is uncertain: possibly, ‘in him is strength’ (for Ruth). More probably the name is traditional, and a contraction of Ba‘al-‘az i.e. ‘B. is strong’; cf. in Phoenician Bomilcar for Ba‘al-melḳarth, Salambo for Ṣalm-ba‘al etc.

Verse 1. - And Naomi had, on her husband's side, a friend. The C'tib reading מְיֻדַּע (absolute מְיֻדָע) is much to be preferred to the K'ri מודַע. But מְיֻדָּע is ambiguous in import. It primarily means known, well-known, acquainted, an acquaintance (see Job 19:14; Psalm 55:13; Psalm 88:8, 18). But as intimate acquaintances, especially in a primitive and comparatively unwelded state of society, are generally found within the circle of kinsfolk, the word may be used, and is here used, in reference to a kinsman. The Vulgate translates it consanguineus. The translation is interpretatively correct; but the original term is less definite, and hence, in virtue of the ambiguity, there is not absolute redundancy in the appended clause, of the family or elan of Elimelech. This friend of Naomi on her husband s side is said, in King James's version, to be a mighty man of wealth. But the expression so rendered has, in the very numerous passages in which it occurs, a conventional import that stretches out in a different and nobler direction. It is the expression that is so frequently translated "a mighty man of valor (see Joshua 1:14; Joshua 6:2; Joshua 8:3; Joshua 10:7; Judges 6:12; Judges 11:1, etc.). In only one other passage is it rendered as it is by King James's translators in the passage before us, viz., in 2 Kings 15:20. There it is correctly so translated, interpretatively. Here there seems to be a leaning in the same direction, and yet it is not strongly pronounced. Cassel, however, takes the other cue, and translates "a valiant hero "Probably," says he "he had distinguished himself in the conflicts of Israel with their enemies." The expression originally means "strong in strength" (δυνατὸς ἰσχύι, Sept.), but is ambiguous in consequence of the many-sided import of the latter word מִשְׁפָחָה, which means originally, either strength, and then valor; or, clannish following (see Raabe), and then military host, or force, or forces; also, faculty or ability, and then, as so often "answering all things," riches or wealth. The idea the writer seems to be that the friend of the widow's husband was a strong and substantial yeoman. He was of the family or clan of Elimelech. The word family is conventionally too narrow, and the word elan too broad, to represent the import of שָׂדֶה as here used. The idea intended lies somewhere between. And his name was Boaz. The root of this name is not found, apparently, in Hebrew, as was supposed by the older philologists, and hence its essential idea is as yet undetermined. Raabe finds its original form in the Sanscrit bhuvanti, which yields the idea of prosperousness. Ruth 2:1The account of this occurrence commences with a statement which was necessary in order to make it perfectly intelligible, namely that Boaz, to whose field Ruth went to glean, was a relative of Naomi through her deceased husband Elimelech. The Kethibh מידע is to be read מידּע, an acquaintance (cf. Psalm 31:12; Psalm 55:14). The Keri מודע is the construct state of מודע, lit. acquaintanceship, then an acquaintance or friend (Proverbs 7:4), for which מודעת occurs afterwards in Ruth 3:2 with the same meaning. That the acquaintance or friend of Naomi through her husband was also a relation, is evident from the fact that he was "of the family of Elimelech. " According to the rabbinical tradition, which is not well established however, Boaz was a nephew of Elimelech. The ל before אישׁהּ is used instead of the simple construct state, because the reference is not to the relation, but to a relation of her husband; at the same time, the word מודע has taken the form of the construct state notwithstanding this ל (compare Ewald, 292, a., with 289, b.). חיל גּבּור generally means the brave man of war (Judges 6:12; Judges 11:1, etc.); but here it signifies a man of property. The name Boaz is not formed from עז בּו, in whom is strength, but from a root, בּעז, which does not occur in Hebrew, and signifies alacrity.
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