And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to you all that you require: for all the city of my people does know that you are a virtuous woman.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)City.—Literally, gate: the constant meeting-place of persons going in and out. (See Genesis 19:1; Genesis 34:20; Genesis 34:24; Deuteronomy 16:18; Deuteronomy 21:19, &c.)Ruth 3:11-13. And now, my daughter, fear not — No words can more evidently express any thing than this and the following verse do, that Ruth did nothing immodest. Howbeit, there is a kinsman nearer than I — He does not absolutely refuse to grant her petition, but, influenced by a strict regard to the law of Moses, informs her that as there was a person nearer to her than himself, he could not properly take her to wife till that person had been consulted. If he will perform unto thee the kinsman’s part, &c. — Will take thee to wife to raise up seed to his brother. Bishop Hall thus sums up this matter in his Contemplations: — “Boaz, instead of touching her as a wanton, blesseth her as a father, encourages her as a friend, promises her as a kinsman, rewards her as a patron, and sends her away laden with hopes and gifts, no less chaste, but more happy, than she came. O admirable temperance, worthy the progenitor of Him in whose lips and heart there was no guile!”Fear not; think not that I despise and reject thee, because I do not immediately comply with thy desire.
I will do to thee all that thou requirest, i.e. marry thee, upon the condition here following.
and I will do to thee all that thou requirest; which could be done according to the law of God, and without injury to another person after mentioned:
for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman; or righteous, as the Targum; a good woman, possessed of grace and virtue, having every agreeable qualification to recommend to the marriage state; and therefore, should they come to the knowledge of the step taken to obtain it, will never reproach thee for it, nor blame me for marrying a person, though poor, of such an excellent character, which, by her conduct and behaviour, was universally established. It is in the original text, "all the gate of my people" (u); meaning either all the people that pass through the gate of the city, that is, all the inhabitants of it, or the whole court of judicature, the elders of the city, that sit in judgment there, as was usual in gates of cities, see Ruth 4:1. So the Targum,"it is manifest before all that sit in the gate of the great sanhedrim of my people that thou art a righteous woman''And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. I will do to thee all that thou sayest] Note Ruth 3:4 ‘he will tell thee what thou shalt do’; but Ruth herself suggested what Boaz was to tell. The coincidence was guided by Jehovah’s good providence.
all the city, lit. gate] In ancient times the gate was a place of resort for conversation and business and the administration of justice; cf. Ruth 4:1; Ruth 4:11, Genesis 23:10; Genesis 34:20, Job 29:7, Proverbs 31:23.
a virtuous woman] See Ruth 2:1 n. and Proverbs 31:10. There was no unbecoming forwardness in Ruth’s conduct; it is to be judged in accordance with the customs of the time.Verse 11. - And now, my daughter, fear not: all that thou sayest I shall do to thee, for it is on all hands known in the gate of my people that thou art a truly capable woman. The word חָיִל in the expression אֵשֶׁת ךחיִל is of many-sided import, and has no synonym in English, German, Latin, or Greek. But every side of its import brings into view one or other or more of such affiliated ideas as strength, force, forces, capability - whether mental and moral only, or also financial; competency, substantiality, ability, bravery. All who had taken notice of Ruth perceived that she was mentally and morally, as well as physically, a substantial and capable woman. She was possessed of force, both of mind and character. She was, in the New England sense, of the expression, a woman of "faculty. She was full of resources, and thus adequate to the position which, as Boaz's wife, she would be required to fill. There was no levity about her, "no nonsense." She was earnest, industrious, virtuous, strenuous, brave. There was much of the heroine in her character, and thus the expression connects itself with the masculine application of the distinctive and many-sided word, "a mighty man of valor." The expression אֵשֶׁת חֲיִל occurs in Proverbs 12:4, where, in King James's version, it is, as here and in Proverbs 31:10, translated 'Ca virtuous woman" - "a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." But it is not so much to moral virtue that there is a reference as to that general capacity which consists in "large discourse, looking before and after" ('Hamlet, ' 4:4). Compare the masculine expression אַנְשֵׁיאּחֲיִל in Exodus 18:21, 25, rendered, in King-James's version, "able men," and meaning capable or substantial men, who, however, as we learn from the additional characteristics that are specified, were to be likewise conspicuous for high moral worth. In Proverbs 31:10 there is the same reference to general capacity, as is evidenced by the graphic representation that follows - a representation that by no means exhausts itself in the idea of moral virtue. Ibn Ezra takes the whole soul out of the expression when he interprets it, both here and in Proverbs, as meaning "a woman possessed of riches." When Boaz says, "All that thou sayest I will do to thee," he means, "All that thou hast so winsomely and yet so modestly referred to in what thou didst say, I am prepared to do to thee. There was only one obstacle in the way, and that of a somewhat technical description. If that should be honorably surmounted, nothing would be more agreeable to Boaz s heart than to get nearer to Ruth "For," said he, "it is on all hands known in the gate of my people that," etc. Literally the phrase is, "for all the gate of my people know," a strange inverted but picturesque mode of expression. It was not "the gate of the people," but the people of the gate," that knew. Ruth 3:9).
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