So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Beat out.—That is, she threshed it herself, so as to save the labour of carrying away the straw. She then found she had an ephah, that is, rather more than four pecks.Ruth 2:17-18. An ephah — About a bushel of our measure. Gave to her what she had reserved — At dinner, after she had eaten, and was sufficed — Or satisfied. This shows Ruth’s care of her mother-in-law, whom she had in her mind when she was feasted with the reapers with more than she could eat, and therefore brought what she left home for her refreshment.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.
an ephah—supposed to contain about a bushel.An ephah is thought to contain about a bushel. See Exodus 16:36 Leviticus 5:11.
and beat out that she had gleaned: she did not bind up her gleanings in a bundle, and carry it home on her head, as gleaners with us do, but she beat it out with a staff in the field, where she gleaned it, and winnowed it, very probably in the threshingfloor of Boaz; by which means what she had gleaned was brought into a lesser size and weight, and was a lighter burden to carry home:
and it was an ephah of barley; or three seahs of barley, as the Targum; which, according to Bishop Cumberland (i), was six gallons, and three pints, and three solid inches: an omer is said to be the tenth part of an ephah, and, made into bread, was as much as a man could eat in one day, Exodus 16:16, so that Ruth got enough in one day, for herself and her mother-in-law, which would last five days at least. This was a great deal for one woman to pick up, ear by ear, in one day; and must be accounted for, not only by her diligence and industry, but by the favour shown her by the reapers, under the direction of Boaz, who suffered her to glean among the sheaves, and let fall handfuls for her to pick up.So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. she beat out] Cf. Jdg 6:11.
an ephah] Approximately equivalent to our bushel.Verse 17. - And she gleaned in the field until the evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. Gathering together her various sheaves, lots, or bundles (see ver. 7), she threshed them with some suitable rod or simple 'flail' (flagellum), which she had either brought with her in the morning, as part of her equipment as a gleaner, or had obtained at the hut; or perhaps, like many others, she would make use of a convenient stone. Speaking of the village of Huj, near Gaza, Robinson says, "We found the lazy inhabitants still engaged in treading out the barley harvest, which their neighbors had completed long before. Several women were beating out with a stick handfuls of the grain which they seemed to have gleaned. One female was grinding with a hand mill, turning the mill with one hand, and occasionally dropping in the grain with the other" ('Researches,' vol. 2. p. 385). "In the evening," says Dr. W. M. Thomson, "you might see some poor woman or maiden, that had been permitted to glean on her own account, sitting by the roadside, and beating out with a stick or a stone what she had gathered, as Ruth did. I have often watched this process in various parts of the country" ('The Land and the, Book,' p. 647). The diligent gleaner on Boaz's field found, after threshing, that she had nearly an ephah of barley. It would be a considerable load for a female to curry - about a bushel. Josephus mentions incidentally, in his ' Antiquities' (15:9, 2), that the Hebrew cot or homer was equivalent to ten Attic me>dimnoi. But as the ephah was exactly the tenth part of a cor or homer, it follows that the Hebrew ephah was equivalent to the Attic μέδιμνος. Moreover, just as the ephah was the tenth part of a homer, so the omer was the tenth part of an ephah (Exodus 16:36); and thus, if an omer of barley would be somewhat equivalent for nutritive purposes to an omer of manna, it would be a sufficient daily allowance for a man (see Exodus 16:16). Hence Ruth would take home with her what would suffice for several days' sustenance to Naomi and herself.
CHAPTER 2:18-23. Zechariah 7:9; 2 Samuel 16:17) thy mother-in-law since the death of thy husband, that thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and thy kindred, and hast come to a people that thou knewest not heretofore" (hast therefore done what God commanded Abraham to do, Genesis 12:1). "The Lord recompense thy work, and let thy reward be perfect (recalling Genesis 15:1) from the Lord the God of Israel, to whom thou hast come to seek refuge under His wings!" For this figurative expression, which is derived from Deuteronomy 32:11, compare Psalm 91:4; Psalm 36:8; Psalm 57:2. In these words of Boaz we see the genuine piety of a true Israelite.
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