Ruth 3:1
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
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(1) Rest.—Although Naomi had already (Ruth 1:12) repudiated any thought of marriage for herself, still she felt it her duty to do what she could to provide a home for the daughter-in-law who had so loyally followed her, lest her own death should leave her young companion specially unprotected and friendless. But there is clearly a second thought. The marriage of Boaz and Ruth will not only ensure rest for the latter, but will also raise up the seed of her dead son and preserve the family name.

That it may be well with thee.—The object of the marriage is for Ruth’s good, and thus should it be with every marriage; it must be for the good, and comfort, and abiding peace, not of the body only, but of the soul.

Ruth 3:1-2. Shall I not seek rest for thee? — A settlement in a house of thy own, and thereby rest in comfort and safety, under the care of a good husband. He winnoweth barley to-night — This, it is probable, was commonly done in the evening, when the heat of the day was over, and cool breezes began to rise; in the thrashing-floor — Which was in a place covered at the top, but open elsewhere, whither Ruth might easily come. And this work of winnowing corn was usually ended with a feast.

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.Blessed be he of the Lord ... - We may gather from Naomi's allusion to the dead that both her husband and son had been faithful servants of Jehovah, the God of Israel. His kindness to the dead consisted in raising up (as Naomi hoped) an heir to perpetuate the name; and, in general, in His care for their widows.

One of our next kinsmen - The word here is גאל gā'al, the redeemer, who had the right:

(1) of redeeming the inheritance of the person;

(2) of marrying the widow;

(3) of avenging the death. (See Leviticus 25:25-31, Leviticus 25:47-55; Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Deuteronomy 19:1-13.)

Since these rights belonged to the next of kin, גאל gā'al came to mean the nearest kinsman.


Ru 3:1-13. By Naomi's Instructions, Ruth Lies at Boaz's Feet, Who Acknowledges the Duty of a Kinsman.By Naomi’s advice, Ruth lieth at Boaz’s feet, Ruth 3:1-7. He awaking commendeth what she had done, and acknowledgeth the right of a kinsman; tells her there was a nearer kinsman, to whom he would offer her, who refusing, he would redeem her, Ruth 3:8-13. Sends her away with six measures of barley, Ruth 3:14-18.

Rest, i.e. a life of rest, and comfort, and safety, under the care of a good husband. The question supposeth an affirmative answer: I will seek it, as my duty binds me.

Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her,.... After the harvests were over, and so gleaning likewise; when Naomi and Ruth were together alone in their apartment, the mother addressed the daughter after this manner:

my daughter, shall I not seek for thee, that it may be well with thee? that is, in the house of an husband, as in Ruth 1:9 her meaning is, to seek out for an husband for her, that she might have an house of her own to rest in, and an husband to provide her; that so she might be free from such toil and labour she had been lately exercised in, and enjoy much ease and comfort, and all outward happiness and prosperity in a marriage state with a good husband. This interrogation carries in it the force of a strong affirmation, may suggest that she judged it to be her duty, and that she was determined to seek out such a rest for her; and the Targum makes her way of speaking stronger still, for that is,"by an oath I will not rest, until the time that I have sought a rest for thee.''

Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek {a} rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

(a) Meaning that she would provide her with a husband, with whom she might live peacefully.

Ch. 3. Ruth appeals to Boaz to do the kinsman’s part

1. seek rest] a resting place marg.; see on Ruth 1:9. All arrangements for a marriage were made by the parents (cf. Jdg 14:2 f.); hence it was Naomi’s duty to provide for Ruth’s future. How this was done is told with fine simplicity.

Verse 1. - And Naomi, her mother-in-law, said to her, My daughter, shall not I seek out for thee a rest, that it may be well with thee? When Ruth had nothing more to do on the harvest-fields, where Boaz appeared daily, and was unremittingly gracious to her, she may have fallen into a pensive mood. Naomi was quick to note the varying 'nuances of feeling, and said "My daughter, shall I not seek out for thee a rest?" The expression rest, or resting-place, though in itself of generic import, was, when used in such circumstances as environed Ruth, quite specific in application, and would be at once understood. It was a home to which Naomi pointed, a home for her daughter's heart. In such a home, if warm and pure, there would be repose for the affections. "That it may be well with thee," or, "which shall (or may) be good for thee." Either translation is warrantable and excellent. The latter is the most simple, and is given by Carpzov and Rosenmüller; but the former is in accordance with a frequent idiomatic use of the expression, in which there is a change from the relative in result to the relative in aim, so that אֲשֶׁר יִיטַב is equivalent to לְמַעַן יִיטַב (see Deuteronomy 4:40; Deuteronomy 6:3, 18; Deuteronomy 10:11, 25, 28). Naomi did not distinguish between rests that would be 'good, ' and other rests which would not be 'good.' Nor did she moralize on the idea of a rest, and affirm that it would be 'good' for her widowed daughter-in-law. She assumed that every true rest was 'good,' and, on the basis of that assumption, she sought out one for her devoted Ruth. Hence the superiority of the rendering that expresses aim to that which expresses the mere prediction of result. Ruth 3:1As Naomi conjectured, from the favour which Boaz had shown to Ruth, that he might not be disinclined to marry her as gol, she said to her daughter-in-law, "My daughter, I must seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee." In the question אבקּשׁ הלא, the word הלא is here, as usual, an expression of general admission or of undoubted certainty, in the sense of "Is it not true, I seek for thee? it is my duty to seek for thee." מנוח equals מנוּחה (Ruth 1:9) signifies the condition of a peaceful life, a peaceful and well-secured condition, "a secure life under the guardian care of a husband" (Rosenmller). "And now is not Boaz our relation, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he is winnowing the barley floor (barley on the threshing-floor) to-night," i.e., till late in the night, to avail himself of the cool wind, which rises towards evening (Genesis 3:8), for the purpose of cleansing the corn. The threshing-floors of the Israelites were, and are still in Palestine, made under the open heaven, and were nothing more than level places in the field stamped quite hard.

(Note: "A level spot is selected for the threshing-floors, which are then constructed near each other, of a circular form, perhaps fifty feet in diameter, merely by beating down the earth hard." - Robinson, Pal. ii. p. 277.)

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